Conversion: Kilos, Commas and Decimals

This is not a section on the history of Seville and the Inquisition, nor some history of my religious but rather converting the many numbers you'll have to deal with while in Seville, Spain or Europe. If you are coming to Seville from the U.S., you of course will need to get used to the metric system in order to understand how hot it is (well, Celsius is not really metric, is it?), how fast you're going, how long a journey may be or how much your food will weigh or cost. Some of this information is most helpful to people coming from the U.S. or other areas which do not make use of the metric system. So think back to high school or whenever it was when you learned the metric system. A warning: many of the mathematically gifted will find this page useless.

Topics in this section

General Uses

Usos generales

There are some changes you'll need to get used to in terms of writing numbers which are not necessarily conversions. Much of this change is fairly obvious, but some of it can be confusing when seeing it for the first time:

  • Again, temperature here is in ° Celsius
  • Were you in the military? If so you'll have no trouble understanding the time. AM and PM don't exist here, and it shouldn't be too much of a problem to learn that 20:00 is 8pm.
  • The decimal point is used for thousands instead of the comma. i.e.: a length of 1,000 meters becomes 1.000 meters.
  • The comma is used instead of the decimal point, for things like for cents, or centimos, i.e.: $1.50 becomes 1,50€ (if only the exchange rate were that good now).
  • Speed is in kilometers per hour (kph) and distance in kilometers (km) or meters.
  • Weight is in kilograms (kg) or grams (grs).
  • Prices are sometimes listed in Pesetas (ptas.) along with the Euros (€).

The topics below are starters for conversions and naming conventions so you can get an idea of what is what. For converting anything to anything I found a page, Online Conversion, which is helpful and very user friendly.

Street Addresses in Spain


If you've already visited some of my other sections you'll see addresses where the numbers and abbreviations may not be familiar. Below is a quick list of common abbreviations which take away some of the mystery.

full name English
c/ Calle Street
Avda. Avenida Avenue
Paseo Main Avenue
Crta. Carretera Highway
Rda. Ronda Loop (city hwy)
Plz. Plaza Plaza/Square
Blq. Bloque Block
S. (Sta.) San (Santa) Saint
Edif. or Ed. Edificio Building
Apto. Apartamento Apartment
Local Local Storefront
Esq. Esquina Corner
Ptl. Portal Entrance
Pta. Puerta Door
Izq. Izquierda Left
Dcha. Derecha Right
Número Number
s/n sin número no street number
1°, 2°, etc. primera planta, segunda planta 1st floor, 2nd floor, etc.
Bjo. Bajo ground or street level
Mod. Módulo Module - office group
Dpto. Departamento Department
S.L. sociedad limitada Corporation (LLC)
S.A. sociedad anónima Company
Prov. Provincia Province
C.P. Codigo Postal Zip Code
Tlf. Teléfono Telephone
D.N.I Número de Identificacion Passport or DL Number


In general this is how a full address is written:

<type of street (sometimes not included)> <street name>, <street and or apt. number> <location>

Example: c/ Bustos Tavera, 15 - 1° Izq. means Bustos Tavera Street number 15, first floor on left side. Often you will see it without the "c/", so the street appears simply as "Bustos Tavera"



The best place to start for conversions is the temperature. Whether you want to know how hot it is outside or what temperature to set your oven when using a recipe, this chart below should come in handy. A quick side note when thinking about using your oven: you may not have one! Many Spanish kitchens do not have ovens, although they are becoming more and more common now. If you want to know why, try turning up the oven on a hot summer day and see how comfortable your house is...

° C ° F
5 41
10 50
15 59
20 68
25 77
30 86
35 95
40 104
45 113
100 212
125 257
150 302
175 347
200 392
225 437
250 482



The second most common conversion need might be weight of produce, meat, or yourself:

unit equals...
1 lb. 0.45 kg
1 kg. 2.2 lbs.

When ordering at the deli, fish or meat counter you might need to know the info below. For many weights below a kilo will be asked for in fractions, i.e.: tres-cuartos (3/4) de kilo, medio (1/2) kilo or cuarto (1/4) kilo. It is also very common to order by grams, or gramos. Often when I order any kind of deli meats as in ham, turkey, chorizo, etc., I will indicate the number of grams: cien (100) gramos, (200) doscientos gramos, etc. So the math is easy, it's just saying it correctly that may present a problem.

kilograms (kg.) grams (gm) pounds (lbs.)
1 1,000 2.2
0.75 750 1.65
0.5 500 1.1
0.25 250 0.55



There are speed limits in Spain even if many happily ignore them in the city and on the highways. So just how fast will they let you go? Thanks to those 10K races and the 1500 meter runs many of you probably have a good idea of the kilometers to miles ratio. Here are some typical speed limits, and their approximate equivalents in miles-per-hour, if you choose to drive:

kph mph
30 19
50 31
80 50
100 62
120 75



Now for distance. How far do you need to walk when they say it's about 100 meters down the street? Or like my recent problem, what size sheets should I buy in the U.S. for my bed I just purchased in Spain? If you are an American football fan you likely know that there are approximately 3 feet to a yard, and a yard is about a meter. Below are some basic conversions:

unit equals...
1 inch 2.54 cm
1cm 0.39 inches

unit equals...
1 foot 0.305 meter
1 meter 3.28 feet

unit equals...
1 mile 1.6 km
1 km 0.62 miles

PS: A Queen bed is 150 cm wide by 200 cm (2 meters) long...



If you plan to rent or buy an apartment, the size of it or various rooms will likely be listed in square meters. You may be used to square feet when coming from the U.S. Some helpful conversions for area:

sq. meter sq. feet
1 10.76
30 323
40 431
50 538
60 646
70 753
80 861
90 969
100 1076
110 1184
120 1292
130 1399
140 1507
150 1615

Currency: Euro and the Peseta


There is more information on exchange rates and currency in the Money section. I mention currency conversion in this section because it's good to know how to convert pesetas to euros, much more so than euros to pesetas. That's because prices of many items are often listed in pesetas, or the first price out of a shopkeeper's or estate agent's mouth may be in pesetas. The need to convert comes up most often when talking with Spaniards, especially items like houses, cars, salaries and other larger ticket goods. Switching from one currency to another doesn't mean the mentality of the peseta has changed as well. When you have earned, saved and purchased all of your life in one currency it will take more than a few years to erase it from your monetary thoughts. Keep in mind the two conversions below so you will know what everyone is talking about!

unit equals...
100 pesetas 0,66 €
1€ 166 pesetas
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