Spain is a fascinating country. There’s so much to see, from La Sagrada Família to La Rambla, and so much to eat like gazpacho, pulpo a la gallega, and bocadillos. But there is also so much to learn! Whether you are moving to Spain, visiting on a vacation, or simply learning how to speak Spanish, it’s always a good time to brush up on your knowledge about the country’s history, culture, cuisine, and more.
To help you get to know more about this European country, we’ve highlighted 57 interesting facts about Spain. Our list of fun facts about Spain covers all kinds of information, such as sports, religion, festivals, and traditions.
Check out our list of Spanish culture facts to test your knowledge and learn a thing or two.
57 Interesting Facts About Spain & Spanish Culture
- Our first fact about Spain is that not all Spaniards are native speakers of (Castilian) Spanish. Believe it or not, there are four official languages in Spain (Castilian, Catalan, Basque, and Galician), three unofficial regional languages (Asturian, Aragonese, and Aranese), and several more dialects.
- The Spaniards have a completely different life rhythm from other Europeans and those in the United States. They typically have lunch between 1 and 3 pm, and dinner around 10 pm. Check out this guide to learn more about life in Spain vs. life in the U.S.
- When it comes to Spanish culture facts, it’s important to note that this country’s culture greatly influenced modern art from the late 1800s, with artists like Antoni Gaudí (Art Nouveau), Pablo Picasso (expressionism, cubism, surrealism), Joan Miró (surrealism), and Salvador Dalí (surrealism).
- Flamenco is not actually a dance; it’s a musical style, which sometimes has dancing in it.
- Fancy a vacation to Spain? Join the club! 58 million tourists go to Spain every year, making it the fourth most visited country in the world.
- Spain is renowned for its lively festivals, including San Fermín (“running of the bulls”) in Pamplona and Tomatina (“tomato battle”) in Buñol.
- One interesting fact about Spain is that more than 150,000 tomatoes are usually thrown at La Tomatina. This food fight festival is actually a religious celebration meant to honor the patron saint San Luis Bertran and the Virgin Mary.
- The official name of Spain is “Kingdom of Spain.”
- Although many country’s national anthems have lyrics, Spain is an exception. The national anthem of Spain has no words.
- Here’s one odd fact about Spain: There are no laws about public nudity in the country.
- Move over, Italy and Greece! 43% of the world’s olive oil production is done in Spain.
- From 2008 to 2013, the Spanish national football team was named FIFA Team of the Year.
- One especially cool fact about Spain is that it won its first World Cup football title in 2010, which made the country the 8th country to have ever won.
- Ready for a cool fact about Spain? The tooth fairy is a mere rodent in Spain, referred to as Ratoncito Pérez. Though he’s a rat, he still leaves gifts under children’s pillows in exchange for the teeth they lose.
- Our favorite of all the interesting facts about Spain – Breaks, free time, and siestas are a huge part of everyday Spanish culture.
- Spain was the world’s third most popular tourist destination in 2013 (after France and the US).
- Don Quixote, the famous book written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in 1605, was voted the “most meaningful book of all time” in 2002 by a panel of top authors. Not only that, but many historians believe it is one of the world’s first modern novels.
- Traditionally, you have two surnames in Spain – the first surname from your father, and the second from your mother.
- Another fun fact about Spain is that Spaniards celebrate the New Year by eating one grape with their family for each bell strike of the clock. Known as las doce uvas de la suerte, these grapes are meant to provide good luck and prosperity in the new year.
- The quill pen is thought to have originated in Spain about 1,400 years ago.
- The Spanish often use gestures with, or to substitute for, words. Flicking the teeth with the thumbnail, wiggling fingers from the nose, and grabbing the left arm with the right while making a left-handed fist are all thought to be offensive.
- There are fewer marriages in Spain than in any other EU country, except Sweden.
- The divorce rate in Spain is 17% (relatively low compared to over 50% in the USA).
- Madrid is in the physical center of the country and the plaza Puerta del Sol is the exact center of the country.
- Feeling thirsty? Spain has the second-highest number of bars per inhabitant. Yes, even more than Ireland!
- Do not be alarmed by a dirty floor in a bar. It is completely acceptable and normal to throw things on the ground in bars. Most of the time a dirty floor means a good bar!
- Tortillas in Spain are not the same as tortillas elsewhere. Tortilla española refers to a very popular egg and potato dish. Spaniards use the word “tortitas” to refer to flour/corn tortillas.
- One Spanish food fact is that most households buy fresh bread every day. Traditionally, they are long baguettes called barras or pistolas. Bread is present (and required) with nearly every Spanish dish.
- When it comes to Spanish history facts, this is an interesting one. Apparently, tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, tobacco, and cacao (for chocolate) were all imported into Europe by Spain.
- Though Spain is more famous for its red wine than white, the majority of its vineyards have white grapes.
- Time for another Spanish food fact. Did you know Spain is one of the world’s biggest producers of saffron? It’s an important ingredient in paella, a popular dish served around the country.
- The Madrid subway is the second largest underground system in Europe and the sixth–largest system in the world.
- The family is the basis of the social structure and includes both the nuclear and the extended family, which sometimes provides both a social and financial support network.
- Did you know that owning one’s home is very important to Spanish people? Some 80% of Spanish households own their homes.
- The majority of Spaniards are formally Roman Catholic, although different religious beliefs are accepted.
- People are often referred to as Don or Dona and their first name within formal occasions.
- If invited to a Spaniard’s home, you can bring chocolates, pastries, cakes, wine, liqueur, brandy, or flowers to the hostess.
- In business, face-to-face contact is preferred to written or telephone communication.
- Despite the beret being associated with France, the Basques in Northeast Spain invented it.
- It is not customary to tip in Spain, especially for cheap meals.
- Each regional country of Spain – Pais Vasco, Cataluña, Galicia – has its own language, hymn, and flag.
- Barcelona has 15 million visitors per year, while Madrid has only 6 or 7.
- The Madrid-Barcelona route has the highest number of flights per week in the world.
- One fun fact about Spain is that the country has more than 8,000 beaches.
- Although Spain has a lot of beaches, it’s actually quite mountainous, too. In fact, it’s the second most-mountainous European country after Switzerland.
- The name Spain diverged from the word Ispania, which means the land of rabbits.
- Of all the interesting facts about Spain, this one is perhaps the most bizarre. On May 15th all the single women in Madrid visit the chapel called Ermita de San Isidro to prick their fingers with pins and put it in a vessel, in order to find a husband.
- Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005.
- On St. George’s Day (April 23rd) in Barcelona, it’s customary to exchange a book and/or a rose with the person you love.
- Spaniards own more cars than cell phones.
- Spanish people are very fond of food. A famous saying is Barriga llena, corazón contento, which translates to “A full belly and a happy heart”!
- You likely already know that Spain is famous for its bull runs, but did you know the bull is actually Spain’s national animal, too? The more you know!
- Spain is the second-largest country in the European Union after France.
- Interested in Spanish history facts? Spain certainly has its fair share as the country is home to an impressive 47 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third-highest number of sites of any other country around the world. These are definitely some of the best places to visit in Spain!
- When it comes to famous facts about Spain, you might be interested in learning that Spain features the world’s oldest restaurant. Called Restaurante Botín, it dates back to 1725.
- Spain has one of the longest life expectancies in the world. The average Spaniard lives until the age of 82.
- As for a final odd fact about Spain, the first stapler originated in Spain’s Basque country. It was designed for the French King, Louis XV.
For those who are visual learners, here is a fun infographic with dozens of interesting facts about Spain. But if you want to learn even more about Spain and expand your Spanish language skills, it might be time to sign up for Spanish lessons with a private tutor. Here at TakeLessons, we offer both in-person and online lessons, so you can learn Spanish where and when works best for you. Sign up with us today!
Interesting Facts About Spain Infographic –
Do you know any additional interesting facts about Spain or Spanish culture? If so, feel free to leave a comment below and share!
12 thoughts on “50 Facts about Spain & Spanish Culture”
I have read all the 50 interesting facts about Spain and almost all of them are kinda true.
But there are some like numbers 15 or 26 that annoys me a little bit.
Number 15 talk about the “siesta” and all that; let me tell you that the majority of people I know actually, don’t take a “siesta”. And number 26, I can´t deny that is not true. But it make spaniards look like if we were dirty people, and most of us are not.
I just wanted to say how a feel about this statements from a spanish point of view. I hope this might help.Sorry for the errors in my grammar
By the way, I’m a spanish 16 years old girl that is kinda tired of spanish stereotypes.
good to see that you care about your country’s culture.
Hope I will visit Spain soon!!
Really interesting! Muchas gracias!
This is fun!!
How fun is it doing Homework
Probably not fun and is like our homework except Spanish
I’m English and living in Spain. I take a siesta almost every day and find it a great way to recharge the batteries. Un saludo!
That must so nice in the heat but it must be hard to understand what they are saying though
Hi, how can I get a good quality print of the infographic? I would love to display this in my classroom. Gracias
This website definitely helped me with my Spain project i would definitely recommend this
thank you for that it helped me to
«Madrid is in the physical center of the country and the plaza Puerta del Sol is the exact center of the country.»
Wrong! The exact center of the country is traditionally considered to be Cerro de los Ángeles, a hill near Madrid.
But there is small stone slab in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol that sets the Zero Kilometer point, the point from which distances are measured in Spain, specifically, it’s the starting point for measuring the distances of the country’s six national roads.