If you are curious about Spain or you plan to travel there in the near future, then it’s time to learn which are the 50 most interesting, weird, and fun facts about Spain!
Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world and many tourists fall in love with it. But what do you really know about Spain and its culture? Let’s find out!
1. The capital of Spain is located in the center of the country
Madrid, Spain’s capital, is geographically located in the center of Spain! The most important Spanish highways start from here.
2. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world
It is estimated that over 585 million people speak Spanish around the world.
3. Spain is a constitutional monarchy
King Felipe VI is currently the king of Spain, even though the title is mostly honorary.
4. Spain is home to 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
In Spain, you can find 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the third country in the world with the highest number of UNESCO sites.
5. The Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist in Spain
There is no such thing as a “tooth fairy” in Spain. Instead, children wait for the tooth mouse, Ratoncito Pérez.
6. Siesta is not just a stereotype
Siesta, the afternoon power nap, is part of the Spanish lifestyle and usually takes place between 2 pm and 5 pm, especially on days off.
7. Spain is the only country in Europe that borders with Africa
During the centuries, Spain has maintained a small outpost on the African continent, and now it borders directly with Morocco.
8. The highest life expectancy in Europe
Data suggests that Spain is the fourth country in the world with the highest life expectancy and the first in the EU.
9. The first novel ever written is a Spanish one
Are you familiar with Cervantes’ “Don Quijote”? The book is not only one of the most important pieces of Spanish literature but it is also considered the first modern novel.
10. The Sagrada Familia is still unfinished
The construction of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece in Barcelona began in 1882. The Sagrada Familia should be finished in 2026.
11. Spanish people love football
Real Madrid FC and FC Barcelona are just two of many popular football clubs in Spain. Football has many fans here, and Spaniards go crazy about it!
12. Spain hosts many festivals
Spain is home to many wacky festivals; you can find bullfights, devils jumping over babies, tomato fights, and many more!
13. Spanish kids get their Christmas presents on January 6
That’s right! Kids receive Christmas presents from Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, the Three Kings, on the 6th of January. It is the last Christmas holiday for Spanish people.
14. Spain weird facts: The dirtier the restaurant is, the better the food
It seems a weird custom, but Spanish people leave their napkins and toothpicks on the floor to show that they enjoyed their meal. If you see a lot of napkins lying around the floor, it must be a good restaurant.
15. Spain was the first global empire
The Spanish empire lasted nearly five centuries; it was a global power. People described it as “the empire on which the sun never sets”.
16. The Romans and the Moors left an important heritage in Spain
The Romans’ and the Moors’ contributions to Spain’s development were truly significant and included language, government, culture, architecture, and infrastructure.
17. Spain sponsored the first circumnavigation of the globe
After the King of Portugal refused to finance Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, he sought royal support in Spain. Ultimately, King Charles I of Spain decided to sponsor his voyage.
18. Spanish people are not as religious as it is said
Indeed, the Catholic religion is rooted in Spanish traditions; however, only 13,6% of people attend church regularly. That said, the major part of Spanish people still identify as Roman Catholic.
19. Spain facts: The biggest food market in Europe
Valencia’s Central Market is the biggest market for fresh food in Europe. Inside, you can find more than 900 stands of food.
20. The Spanish coastline is almost 8.000 kilometers long
Spanish beaches are well-regarded around the world. The country counts 681 Blue Flag beaches!
21. There are 6 official languages in Spain
Spanish is not the only official language in Spain; there is also Catalan, Valencian, Galician, Basque, and Aranese.
22. Spain facts: The biggest producer of olive oil in Europe
Europe is the largest producer of olive oil, and Spain alone produces 35% of world production.
23. Spanish society is very tolerant
Not only has same-sex marriage been legal in Spain since 2005, but Spain is also considered one of the most LGBT-friendly societies in the world.
24. Spain Fun Facts: World’s largest lottery prize
Spanish people hold a special lottery called “El Gordo” (“the fat one”) right before Christmas every year. In December 2019, El Gordo counted a total prize fund of €2.24 billion!
25. Kissing etiquette in Spain
Spanish people usually greet each other with a double kiss, one on each cheek.
26. More Fun Facts about Spain: Spaniards love sunflowers seeds
Sunflowers seeds (“pipas”) are one of the most popular snacks amongst Spanish people! Spain is indeed one of the biggest consumers of pipas.
27. Spanish coffee culture
28. Spanish tortilla?
Even though many people think that “tortilla” is a flatbread from Central America, in Spain, a “tortilla” refers to a frittata-like dish made up of eggs and potatoes.
29. Late meals: One of the most interesting facts about Spain
Compared to many other countries, Spanish meals take place much later. People have lunch at two or three in the afternoon and dine around ten at night.
30. Home to many famous painters
Spain has undoubtedly left its mark on the art scene, and many famous painters were born and worked in Spain. Among them, we can find Picasso, Dali, Velasquez, Remedios Varo, and Goya.
31. New World food was imported by Spain
New Word food like cocoa, squash, banana, corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and turkey was brought to Europe from the Americas.
32. Spain counts the highest number of bars in the EU
You heard that right! You won’t find another country in Europe with as many bars as Spain.
33. La Tomatina Festival: Weird Spain Facts
Our favorite Spain fun fact is the celebration of this festival. Each year more than 20,000 people attend this huge tomato fight in Buñol, near Valencia! It is estimated that more than 150,000 tomatoes are thrown during this occasion.
34. The oldest restaurant in the world is located in Spain
Restaurante Botín in Madrid has been awarded by the Guinness World Records as the oldest restaurant in the whole world!
35. Ideal for businesswomen
After the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, women set up 800,000 new businesses in Spain!
36. Tuesday the 13th, bad luck!
Spaniards can be superstitious at times. Since Tuesday the 13th is considered an unlucky day, it is advised not to do anything important during this particular date.
37. Spain Fun Facts: Double surnames
One of the most interesting facts about Spain is that Spaniards have two surnames: one is taken from their father and the other one from their mother. Women keep their surname when they get married and do not adopt their husband’s surname.
38. Resting and having fun is fundamental in Spain
You need to come to Spain to discover how rest and recreation can take up to 14 hours a day! That’s just wonderful!
39. Spain stayed neutral during both world wars
It might sound surprising, but Spain did not take part in the conflicts, even though its government was close to the Axis’ ideology.
40. Flamenco was born in Spain
Flamenco is a traditional dance in Spain and represents a very important part of its culture.
41. There was a Civil War
The Spanish Civil War between the Republicans and the Nationalists was fought between 1936 and 1939. It was a bloody conflict that left an indelible mark on the country.
42. Dictator Franco ruled over Spain for almost 50 years
General Francisco Franco took power in 1939 and ruled Spain until he died in 1975. It was Europe’s longest dictatorship.
43. Pioneer of renewable energy
A fifth of Spain’s energy comes from wind sources, making Spain the fifth country in the world with the largest wind energy capacity.
44. So many prehistoric drawings in Spain!
In the Altamira cave, near Santander, there are several prehistoric drawings. People call this place “the Sistine Chapel of prehistory”.
45. Spain’s national anthem has no words
A weird Spain fact is that is only one of four countries with a national anthem without lyrics.
46. Each region of Spain has its own culture
Spain is made up of 17 autonomous regions and 2 autonomous cities, each with a strong identity! In the past, these regions used to be separate kingdoms.
47. Nudism is legal in Spain
Another of the weird facts about Spain is that nudity is not illegal, even though it is confined to just some beaches.
48. Much of Spain’s land is dedicated to winemaking
Over 1 million hectares of the peninsula are used for producing wine! Spain is the second-largest producer of wine in the world.
49. Fun Facts about Spain: The Land of the Rabbits
This is what ‘Spain’ means. España comes from the Roman name Hispania, a Carthaginian word meaning “the land of the rabbits”.
50. Spain rules over many islands
Spain counts more than 60 islands. If you want to get away from touristy places, start exploring the lesser-known Spanish islands!
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