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How soon in advance to book restaurant reservations in Spain?

I am almost finished doing our full itinerary for our upcoming three week trip to Spain. Outside of airbnb's, car rental, and Alhambra tickets, I haven't reserved anything else. I have restaurants and attractions scheduled into our calendar but these were thoughts to be more of a guideline and options for us. We will be there from Feb 19 - March 11.

Once I know how soon in advance to book, how do people make these reservations? By email? My Spanish isn't great, so I wouldn't feel confident making a phone call.

How does everyone handle reservations?

Posted by
4939 posts

We don't usually worry about making restaurant reservations, but after having some trouble finding restaurants on our last couple of trips to Europe, I do find myself making a few for our upcoming trip to Italy.

I too am not comfortable using the telephone in a foreign language, so I've been making reservations by email. I've made 3 reservations this way, and have received confirmations from all three restaurants. Two of the emails I actually wrote in Italian; one was answered in English, the other in Italian.

Posted by
379 posts

If you have a specific restaurant that you want to go to on a specific day, I would make a reservation. Most of the restaurants have a website where you can make the reservation online in English.

There is also The Fork, where, for reservations. It's pretty easy to use. They will send you a remainder the day before your reservation. You can cancel without penalty.

Posted by
3894 posts

I’ve never made a restaurant reservation in Spain, because I never know where and when I’ll be at a particular time. I may not even be hungry at the appointed time. Unless there’s a specific restaurant that is so popular you need reservations, play it by ear and start looking for a place to eat when you start getting hungry. I’d hate being someplace and enjoying it, yet have to leave just to make it to a restaurant by a certain time. Essentially, we don’t like being on that type schedule.

Posted by
4939 posts

Making restaurant reservations ahead of time is new to us, and I'm feeling a little conflicted about it.

But I got to thinking how nice it would be to not have to hunt to find dinner our first night in Rome, when we'll be so tired. Then I thought about how the last couple of times we were in Rome we had trouble finding a nice place on Sunday night. Then I remembered how much trouble we had last year in Reims finding someplace nice without having made a reservation...

And then I realized that a reservation made can always be cancelled. So if spontaneity wins the day, I can shoot an email to whatever restaurant thanking them, and cancelling.

We'll see how it works. I've made reservations at three places in Rome: two of them are places we've been before (years ago,) and are close to our pre-tour hotel; the third is a well-reviewed place that is open for Sunday dinner, and is way across town.

And if we change our minds, I will politely cancel.

Posted by
222 posts

A lot of times the hotel staff can suggest a restaurant and make reservations for you. We found a spectacular restaurant in Valencia (La Riua). It was suggested by the hotel and they made the reservations for us. We plan to go again - it was that good. Also, as I was trying to remember the name of the restaurant, I was looking at TripAdvisor and, lo and behold, they had button to make reservations at some restaurants. Buen provecho!

Posted by
36 posts

We just got back from Spain and I also made a few reservations ahead of time. I found recommendations on and other travel sites. Lots of times there was a reservation link on the website of the restaurant.if not I would email them in English and they would reply. Worked well!

Good luck!