What in Spain are ‘domingueros’?

This colloquial Spanish term is used to describe day-trippers, relaxed activities and also as an insult for bad drivers.

What in Spain are 'domingueros'?
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Wisegie/Flickr

Why do I need to know this word?

It is a useful word that doesn’t exist in the English language. When used as an adjective it describes a way of doing a relaxed activity that one might traditionally reserve for a Sundays such as long lunch, a Sunday drive to the countryside, or a lazy afternoon.

As a noun it can be used to describe a city dweller on a trip to the countryside or pueblo like in this add for a rural property:

Esta bonita casa de campo es ideal para domingueros o alguien que no quieren demasiado espacio. Es acogedor, pero se abre hacia el valle – This pretty cottage is ideal for weekenders or somebody who does not want too much space. It is cozy, yet opens up towards the valley.

But is often used in a derogatory way.

No conoces nada de la ciudad porque eres una dominguera. – You know nothing about this city because you are a “Sunday tourist”.

In coronavirus times, the term has come to be used to describe those people who leave a city where there are high infection rates and raise the risk of contagion to outlying areas, such as the towns in the sierra around Madrid.

This headline in El Periodico is a good example:

“Mayors of towns around Madrid overwhelmed by the arrival of Sunday daytrippers.”

And this one in La Rioja online news site Nuevecuatrouna talks about road blocks to prevent people leaving the restricted zones of the city to head for a countryside village:

Access roads to La Grajera blocked to avoid “Domingueros”.


It is also used as an insult to describe a bad driver.

El dominguero que me llevó al aeropuerto estuvo a punto de chocar por lo menos dos veces.

The Sunday driver that took me to the airport almost crashed at least twice.

But when used in a positive way it can mean dressing up in Sunday best (vestido dominguero), enjoying a lazy Sunday or doing something as a hobby.

Mi plan dominguero ideal es ver películas y pedir pizza – My perfect Sunday plan is watching movies and ordering some pizza.

Iremos por nuestro tradicional aperitivo dominguero con amigos – we’ll go out for the traditional Sunday aperitvo with friends.

Sólo soy un pintor dominguero, como otros miles. – I'm just a Sunday painter like a thousand others.

It can be used a verb 'dominguear' –  meaning 'to Sunday' –  to describe doing something at a relaxed pace or to have a chill, fun Sunday.

This headline in El Espanol sums it up:

Two brunch plans to have an enjoyable Sunday in Madrid.

So if you are someone who enjoys lazying around on a Sunday, escapes to the countryside from the city or causes other drivers to curse at your lane hogging, then you may find yourself being referred to as an “dominguero” or “dominguera”. 



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Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

This adjective is essential slang talk in Spain, a word with lots of meanings, all of them fairly negative.

Spanish Word of the Day: Chungo

Chungo is a colloquial way of saying that something is difficult, dodgy or bad. 

It can be used to describe a variety of scenarios and it’s a great way of talking like a native Spanish speaker. 

You can talk about the weather being chungo if there are ominous black clouds up ahead.

If you’re stepping into a dodgy neighbourhood, then watch out because it’s un barrio chungo

If you bought a hairdryer at the rastro (flea market) and it doesn’t work properly, then it’s clearly chungo, and the seller is just as chungo.

Maybe you’ve just sat an exam with complicated questions, you’d call it un examen chungo.

Or if you don’t feel very well, then you’re the one that is chungo

There’s even an expression to say that things aren’t looking good – la cosa está chunga.

All in all, chungo is a very versatile adjective that you can incorporate into most daily speech even though it’s colloquial. 

Here are some examples to help you get used to using chungo.


Está el tiempo un poco chungo, mejor no vamos a la playa.

The weather isn’t very good today, it’s best if we don’t go to the beach. 


¡Ojo! Es un tío bastante chungo así que no te fíes de él.

Be careful! He’s a pretty dodgy guy so don’t trust him. 


Le has comprado un perfume muy chungo a mamá por el Día de la Madre.

You’ve bought Mum a really crappy perfume for Mother’s Day.


El barrio de El Príncipe en Ceuta es muy chungo, ¡ten cuidado!

El Príncipe neighbourhood in Ceuta is very dodgy, be careful!



Me encuentro un poco chungo, con mareos y nauseas. 

I’m feeling a bit bad, I’m dizzy and nauseous. 


¿Dama de honor cuando el novio es tu ex? ¡Qué situación más chunga!

Maid of honour when the groom is your ex? ¡That’s an uncomfortable situation!


¡La cosa está chunga! El Barça tiene que marcar cinco goles para clasificarse.

Things aren’t looking good. Barça have to score five goals to qualify.