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This is when most people start drinking on holiday, based on nationality

We may be leaving the EU, but at least we still share common ground with continentals in our love of a good cocktail (or 12) on holiday.

Travel website recently surveyed members of the European Union to discern their holiday habits, asking questions around everything from whether they try to learn some of the language at their chosen destination, to how avidly they seek out local delicacies.

However, we were struck by their conclusion that British vacationers are the biggest day-drinkers, claiming the majority take their first sip at 12pm while abroad.

We wanted to see how UK drinking habits stacked up against the rest of the EU, so we reached out to the travel firm to find out what time holidaymakers from each nationality hit the bar.

The survey highlighted some age-old stereotypes, but also threw up some surprises. Spanish and Italian drinkers were the latest starters on average, with many buying their first drink after 9pm, but UK residents, who are known for their holiday guzzling, were also the most likely to go teetotal, with 4% of brits saying they don’t drink at all when they’re away.

Keep scrolling to see how drinking habits of European vacationers compare, depending on their nationality.


Average start time: 17:16

The majority of holidaymakers waited until at least 6pm to start on the sangria, but on average, French vacationers begin imbibing lightly earlier. The majority start drinking between 7 and 8pm, with 27% of those surveyed saying this is when they have their first.

Perhaps surprisingly, French drinking habits are similar to Brits when is came to midday tipples. They were the second most-likely to start drinking at midday, with 12% saying they did so. Only UK holidaymakers beat them, at a rate of 13%. Meanwhile, some French drinkers were more dedicated, with 6% saying they start at 11.


Average start time: 15:25

In what might come as a shocking revelation, Brits were found to be the biggest day-drinkers.

While most French, German, Italian and Spanish vacationers started between 5pm and 7pm, the largest percentage of Brits (13%) start drinking alcohol at 12pm. In fact, just over 12% of UK residents said they begin in the evening, between 6pm and 8pm.

It gets worse. Just under 9% said they start at 11am, and 4% admitted to taking their first sip at 10am.

And with all those pints to enjoy, who has time for exploring the food scene? Apparently, just 55% of Brits surveyed said they try to eat local cuisine while away, and an uncomfortably large proportion (14%) said they only eat British food abroad.











Average start time: 17:52

Germans were the most restrained of all the holidaying groups. Just 5% of them said they begin drinking at 12pm on holiday, while just 2.2% said they start at 11am.

According to the survey, German holidaymakers begin to let their hair down in the early evening, devoutly obeying the 5 o’clock rule. Around 8.3% said they start at 5pm — the highest percentage at this time for any nationality — but the majority (20%), claim to have their first beverage at 8pm.


Average start time: 17:37

Last week db went to Sabor in west London to sample Galician delicacies cooked by acclaimed chef Nieves Barragan, served with some premium beers by Estrella Dramm which are far easier to find in Spain than the UK. The evening was an authentic celebration of the nation’s cuisine, right down to the start time of 8pm (on a Monday, as well). A spokesperson for the beer brand informed us that late nights were part and parcel of the culture.

And so it is with the hotel bar. While most (13%) said they began drinking after 1pm, start times were spread evenly throughout the day. Just 8.5% took their first sip with they fellow Europeans at 6pm, while 12% preferred to imbibe from 8pm onwards, and another 12% got on the cervezas at 9pm. Demonstrating admirable levels of endurance, an astonishing 2% of Spanish holidaymakers said they start drinking at midnight.


Average start time: 18:04

Italians and Spaniards have similar habits on holiday. Italy were the only other nationality to score a whole percentage point for drinkers who start at midnight, with 1.1% admitting to doing so. They also had the latest start time at just after 6pm.

Italians were most likely to acquire an aperol at 8pm, with 16% saying this is when they start, but they were also the most likely group to start in the late evening, with 9% suggesting 10pm was a good start time.


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