When thinking about Spain, not only summer, sun, beach and sea come to mind, but also the good food, which is often enjoyed in good company. Joint, extensively celebrated meals are simply part of the way of life there. Of course, well- known Spanish delicacies such as tapas, churros or paella are also on the menu. Since many regions of the country maintain their own culinary traditions, the Spanish cuisine is very varied overall. Depending on the location of the university, you can experience a wide variety of culinary delights while studying in Spain.
For many students from Germany, a country that is a member of European Union defined by pharmacylib, the meal times in Spain are unusual, because breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken later than in Germany. Lunch takes place between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The Spanish usually eat their dinner late at night, often not before 9 or 10 p.m. Unlike in Germany, breakfast is not very important in Spain. It is quite modest compared to lunch and dinner with sweet baked goods or a toast. Many Spaniards skip breakfast altogether. It is customary to have a small snack in between in the late morning – and again in the afternoon.
Such a snack for in between is a welcome strengthening for students between lectures and during study breaks. How good that in order to satisfy the small – or the big – hunger, you usually don’t even have to leave the university campus.
Catering on campus in Spain
The catering on the Spanish campus can vary depending on the university. The following options may be available:
- Food courts with various stalls
- Snack vending machines
On a campus, students sometimes have several options for getting food and drinks. The dishes offered can be varied. The offer at the kiosk or a snack machine is rather limited. Otherwise, cafeterias and the like supply the students with sandwiches, pizza or other warm meals as well as drinks. As a rule, you rely on self-service. The opening times of the localities are very different. Some are open all day, while others are only open for a few hours. During the lecture-free period or during the holidays, which are compulsory once per semester, individual shops may be closed.
Students who live in one of the student residences, which are often close to the campus, will also find cooking facilities there. These give them the opportunity to cater for themselves in their accommodation. However, student kitchens are not available in all dorms. Often, however, you can book a meal package for your room in the dormitory.
Off-campus catering in Spain
Away from campus, there are various options for catering while studying in Spain. Of course, there is the option of cooking and preparing various cold dishes in the apartment or shared apartment’s own kitchen. In Spain, students find basically the same shopping before in Germany. Various large supermarket chains and discounters are located there. Grocery shopping can also be done in the market or in large market halls and small bakeries or butchers.
Students who live with a host family are usually catered for by this family and, with a little luck, can enjoy real Spanish home-style cooking.
In Spain it is common to go out to eat often. A dinner or lunch in a Spanish restaurant usually includes three courses with a starter, main course and dessert. Many restaurants serve tapas before the first course. These are also popular as snacks between meals. Some of them are also served free of charge with beer or wine in the evening. In large cities in particular, there are of course not only the classic restaurants but also various fast food chains or takeaways where students can get supplies.
Meals in Spain
How high the cost of meals while studying in Spain depends on the individual shopping behavior and the eating habits of the students. Self-catering is usually the cheapest option. The prices for food, like the cost of living in general, vary according to the place of residence. Where you shop is also a decisive factor in terms of costs. In Spain, as elsewhere, there are inexpensive and more expensive supermarkets. The average prices for food are slightly lower or higher than in Germany, depending on the product.
Eating and drinking in the restaurant is on average a little cheaper than in Germany. Since students in Spain often eat outside, the expenses naturally add up over time. The catering offers on campus are usually quite cheap, but still not necessarily cheaper than places away from the university.
Finally, a price example for food costs from Barcelona: If you study in the coastal city on the Mediterranean Sea, you should expect monthly costs between around EUR 250 and EUR 350 for food, including eating out.