I hear taking long showers in foreign countries is looked down upon, especially if you are living with someone temporarily. Is there a standard shower time in Spain that is considered acceptable?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark Mayo, choster, Ankur Banerjee Aug 22 '13 at 11:40

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    If I remember correctly when I was in Spain I read a sign in the hotel saying that water is hard to get in some parts in Madrid and they advice us to take quick showers. If the problem is from the shortage in water then it would be good to respect that and take quick showers. – Nean Der Thal Aug 18 '13 at 6:58
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    I think that using any resource excessively is looked down upon in any country, when you're guest. It's an abuse of hospitality. – Danubian Sailor Aug 18 '13 at 7:22
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    @OperationNewDay When I was staying in London once there was a sign next to the shower saying "Water is a scarce resource, please use wisely" – Simon Aug 18 '13 at 11:26
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    Would 5 minutes be an abuse of the water? The other option is to turn on the shower, get wet, then turn it off, soap and shampoo up for as long as needed before turning the water back on and rinsing off. I'm willing to do this if needed, but if 5 minutes is acceptable I'll just do that. – OperationNewDay Aug 18 '13 at 17:06

I am pretty sure there is no explicit convention on this and if there is it is not due to water use - water is not that expensive and showers are a relatively economic use of water (compared to baths or even just flushing the toilet).

What's more a likely factor to offend people you live with is blocking the bathroom for a long time, or if hot water comes from a limited reservoir (I've seen this in a house heated by solar collectors) then a long shower may leave the next person with only cold water. In either case the acceptable time to take depends on the number of people.

But I think that 5 minutes would be considered reasonable in nearly all cases.


Like Michael Borgwardt said, there is no explicit convention on the subject. There are some places in Spain though with real problems concerning water supply (remember that in some places in Spain it doesn't rain that much).

I would recommend that you just ask the people you are living with if there is some water supply problems. If not, just take in consideration what Michael said about blocking the bathroom (that is annoying in every country I've been to).

Anyway, it would not hurt to " turn on the shower, get wet, then turn it off, soap and shampoo up for as long as needed before turning the water back on and rinsing off"... I think that should be a basic behaviour (water conservation habits, help the environment...) I mean, that way you don't waste water while "soaping and shampooing"...

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