Expat Drinking in Spain – Why Do Expats (Especially the British) Drink So Much?

Wine barrels, Spain – copyright Sergio Flores Borrego, Creative Commons

One thing any visitor to Spain notices, if you see a group of expats, and especially the British, they are probably drinking copious amounts of alcohol. No matter what time of day or night.

Not being able to manage their alcohol, or drinking to excess, is a huge part of expat life in Spain — and even the tourists manage to get in on it.

But why?

Easy to figure out — it is the price (it’s cheap, just 3-6 euros for a decent bottle of wine), the availability (it’s everywhere) and the taste (superb!). Plus, expats, particularly those who do not learn Spanish, are often lonely – and that often means turning to the bottle.

But….as people who have lived and traveled in Spain for years and managed not to get drunk and embarrass ourselves, we are here to ask any expats thinking of drinking to excess. Please don’t. Drink like the Spanish do – in moderation.

After all, not only do you make a fool of yourself, you end up feeling terrible the day after. On top of that, the Spanish are getting tired of it, as they are the ones that often have to deal with the aftermath.

The damage caused by drunk expats and tourists, the loud and obnoxious behavior, the vomit in the streets, the vandalism and the violence.

So much so, people around Spain have begun to demonstrate in recent years about the huge influx of drunk tourists (and drunk expats), as it is beginning to negatively affect their quality of life.

Watch this video and you’ll see what we mean. Then please, moderate your drinking habits. You will feel better, and the Spanish definitely will.