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Habits and Customs


Most of Santiago’s streets are one-way for cars, 30 km per hour being the maximum speed limit. The following are the speed limits for roads and motorways:

  • Motorways: 120 km/h
  • National roads: 100 km/h
  • Local roads: 90 km/h


Most of Santiago’s shops open from 10 am to 1.30-2 pm and from 4.30-5 pm to 8-9 pm. Some establishments do not close at lunchtime, while city centre shops and shopping centres also open on Saturday afternoons; they likewise open on Sundays at Christmastime and at the beginning of the sales.

Most establishments accept credit cards, which can also be used to withdraw money from ATMs. Non-E.U. residents are entitled to a VAT refund for purchases over 90 euros, in shops with the sign “Tax-Free Shopping”.


The official time in Spain, as in most European countries, varies during the year: the clocks go forward on the last Sunday in March (change from winter to summer time) and they go back an hour on the last Sunday in October (change from summer to winter time).