We asked a load of Spaniards what they think of Brits abroad

So apparently…we drink too much?

Spending time in Spain, it would seem that young Brits who come here on holiday have a pretty bad rep.

There are often reports on the news here of holiday resorts like Magaluf overrun by rowdy, drunk, out of control Britons, who can’t handle their drinks.

The German tabloid Bild published an article detailing the ailments plaguing young British tourists abroad that causes them to act in such a way.

These include ‘balcony leg’, which arises from trying to jump from their hotel balcony, being overweight, and having a tendency to lose their clothes; these are all linked to excessive consumption of alcohol.

I asked some young and slightly less young Spaniards what they thought of this depiction of young British tourists – if it’s an accurate reflection of what they see of them on holiday in Spain.

Are we all seen as idiots who are unable to control our booze and are disrespectful of our surroundings?

Jose: They’re a bunch of drunks.


Fernando: I agree. But (Speaking in English) British people is an amazing culture. Fish and chips and, uh, Glasgow.


Jose: I don’t think that they’re especially overweight, and I don’t know what that has to do with it. But they come over here, they can buy alcohol for two pesetas (Spanish currency before the euro) and they drink too much. But places like Mallorca are made so that they can go over there and go crazy.

Miguel: They do bring in a lot of money. They might come over here and act stupid, but their tourism brings in a lot of money.


Jose: Despite them bringing in a lot of money, we still think that they are a bunch of drunks.

What about the general opinion that they don’t know how to handle their alcohol?

Jose: When they’re over here, they can’t. Maybe when they’re at home they can. And not all of them, I imagine. Most of our judgements come from what we see on the news about young British tourists – if you ask me about that they all seem like idiots, but I imagine they’re not all like that.

Miguel: The media’s only going to show the worst ones…

Pablo: Hmm… when they come over here they speak in English. If I go to another country, I’ll talk in their language. Come over here and talk Spanish!

Fernando: … that made no sense.


Pichi: When kids drink here, they respect their surroundings more, unlike British kids. It’s a different sense of society. So it’s a social problem. But it’s not their fault.

Also, bars shut at certain times and you have to stop drinking over there, right? That’s it. So they’re used to having to drink really quickly in a short amount of time to get the most out of it, and go too far.


Do you have any advice for young British tourists who come to Spain?

Pichi: Do as the locals do.

So drink without going too far?

Pichi: Sometimes we go too far too. But we don’t throw ourselves off balconies.

Pilar: I don’t think it’s just young Brits. I think Germans and others would be the same. I think it’s youth culture rather than British culture to drink so much. But I think that the difference is that Spaniards drink all year and it’s more casual, so they don’t go so far.

But of course we complain about the bad image that rowdy tourists bring over here, because young people have died doing “balconing”. It’s bad for them, obviously, and it’s bad for the image of the country they’re in.


Raquel: In general, regardless of their nationality, if the consequence of someone’s holiday is that, for whatever reason, dying or throwing themselves off a balcony, this is a problem.


I don’t know if it’s a problem with British culture… do they do all that over there? Anyway, it’s obviously a big problem if their drinking is resulting in multiple, evitable, deaths.