60 Interesting Spain Facts, Fun Facts
60 Interesting Spain Facts, Fun Facts
Looking for some intriguing Spain-related information? On this page, you’ll precisely find that.
Learn more than 60 entertaining facts about Spain, including information about its history, geography, culture, cuisine, and much more.
Let’s get right into these facts!
The Best Spain Facts
The first part will consist of the most general and interesting facts on Spain you will love to know about either you live in Spain or travel there.
1. Spain is the second biggest country in the European Union
Continental Spain is quite populous, with almost 47 million inhabitants. Most of them live in urban residential areas.
In the largest cities, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville, there are hundreds of thousands of residents, and sometimes several millions. Only counting these, Spain is already ahead in terms of population compared to a lot of other European countries.
2. More than a third of the world’s olive oil is produced in Spain
A few years ago, in 2016-2017, more than half of the world’s olive oil was produced in Spain. To put that into perspective, just think about the fact that the six next largest producers, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia produced altogether only 70% of Spain’s olive oil.
Now however, around 35 percent of the world’s olive oil comes from Spain, which is still huge.
3. Football is extremely popular in Spain
You already know it, Spain is home to some of the world’s most famous and successful football clubs, like Real Madrid FC and FC Barcelona. On top of that, the national team is also incredibly successful, having won the World Cup in 2010.
Because of that, Spaniards are huge fans of football and sometimes go crazy about it, especially during El Clásico.
4. The vast majority of Spanish people are Catholic
There were lots of different religions and cultures in Spain throughout the centuries. Arguably, the Moors have had the most impact on the country in terms of architecture and agriculture. However, the religion that stuck is Catholicism.
Over 70 percent of the population is Catholic in Spain nowadays, and traditions are an important part of Spanish culture. Don’t miss out on the majestic churches if you ever plan to travel there!
Read more: Learn more about religions in Spain
5. Spain almost has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world
When you think of the history and the heritage of Spain, the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona and the Alcázar of Seville immediately come to mind.
Both of them are part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. There are in fact 48 of them! Spain only comes second to China and Italy, both having 55 of the world’s most important landmarks.
6. Spain was one of the first adopters of wind-powered energy
The windmills of Consuegra are very famous for having appeared in the novel “Don Quixote”. That was a very early use of wind by the Spanish people.
Today, they receive a fifth of their energy from wind sources, and thus proved to all other European countries that wind energy is viable.
7. Spain occupies almost 95% of the Iberian Peninsula
There are three major peninsulas in southern Europe: the Balkan, the Italian and the Iberian. The latter is the westernmost of them.
It reaches France through the Pyrenees, and Africa through Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar. In this peninsula, Spain occupies almost 95 percent of the area, though Portugal does not seem that small.
8. Spain is the only country in Europe with cities outside of Europe
There are only two European cities that are physically outside of Europe, and they both belong to Spain. Ceuta and Melilla share soil with the Moroccan border, on the Mediterranean coast.
There is nothing very interesting to see there, but the cities are at the center of controversy for the huge immigration waves passing through them every year.
9. Flamenco was created in Spain
Dancing is a very important part of Spanish culture. In most traditional events, mostly festivals, there is always at least a little bit of dancing involved.
The most famous of them all, flamenco, was created in Spain. It is a sensual and passionate dance, and is popular worldwide (even the Apple emoji dancing girl wears a flamenco dress!). The Flamenco Madrid Festival is one of the biggest events held in the capital city and you should definitely put it on top of your Spain bucket list.
10. There is a unique tradition in Spain: La Tomatina
Every country has their own traditions, but Spain has some very intriguing and weird ones. This one is one of the funniest ones, though.
La Tomatina takes place in Buñol every year, in August. More than 20,000 attendees take part in the biggest tomato fight in the world for the whole day. What’s most surprising is that it’s a religious celebration!
11. Spain is an pioneer in terms of literature
Some Spanish writers are definitely visionaries. The oldest preserved poem comes from Spain, and it is called “El Cantar del Mío Cid”. It tells the story of the Reconquista, and is very popular.
Another very famous writer is Miguel de Cervantes, author of the epic novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha”.
12. Lots of prehistoric drawings are located in Spain
The Iberian Peninsula has definitely played a very important role in the old world’s history. Today, you can still find several prehistoric drawings there.
The most famous of them is the Altamira cave, and is located near Santander, Cantabria. This cave is very impressive and gathers a lot of various ancient and epic drawings.
13. Both Spanish and Italian kids get most of their Christmas presents on January 6th
In Spain and in Italy, Christmas is a bit different than in most westernized countries. Most of the gifts are actually given on January 6th instead of Christmas, to celebrate the Epiphany and the Wise Men.
This time of the year is usually very important and intense in both countries, and is synonymous with family reunion and celebration.
14. The mop was invented in Spain
Manuel Jalón Corominas was a Spanish air force officer and an inventor. While he lived in the US, he saw how hangars were cleaned and came back to Spain with the idea of the current day mop. He quickly started its manufacture with a new design, adapted to the Spanish market.
Corominas is also known for having improved the disposable syringe.
15. Spain is reputed for lots of its festivals
You have already heard of La Tomatina before, but Spain is definitely reputed for lots of its weird and astonishing festivals.
It is said that there is always at least one festival going on somewhere in Spain, at any time. Everything can happen in parties in Spain, from bulls to babies, and from devils to coffins!
16. The first modern novel comes from Spain
“Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes is actually more important than you think.
Not only is this epic novel of worldwide renown, but it is also the first ever modern novel! It depicts the story of a noble and his various adventures.
17. Nearly half of Spain is covered by vegetation of some sort
Only a small portion of Spain is classified as dense woodland, mostly in the mountains. However, nearly half of the whole country is covered by vegetation.
The most common trees are pines and oaks. Since the 19th century, there is also poplar and eucalyptus, more and more widespread.
18. Madrid is literally the center of Spain
Madrid is the capital of Spain, and it is located at the center of the country, you already know that.
However, what you might not know is that it is literally the geographical center of Spain. Every major Spanish highway starts in Madrid, at kilometer 0: the “Puerta del Sol”.
And that’s it for the most general facts about Spain. There were 18 of them, but there are still a lot to go. First off, the fun facts:
Fun Facts of Spain
This first specific part will be about the most fun and unusual facts about Spain. Let’s dive into it:
19. It is legal to go nude in Spain. Not recommended, but possible!
I’m not going to lie, it does not happen very often that people walk around without clothes in Spain. However, it is legal to do so!
This is probably due to the weather, extremely hot and dry in the Iberian Peninsula. Being able to go nude is definitely one of the most unique and surprising about Spain.
20. Spanish people drop their napkin when they want to show they loved their meal
This might seem paradoxical, but the dirtier a Spanish bar is, the more successful it is. Spaniards drop their napkins to show they enjoyed their meal.
Not only that, but they also drop anything on the floor, like shells or olive pits. This is an easy way for anyone to spot the most successful places: just look at the floor!
21. The Spaniards have a high average life expectancy
Spanish people live longer than their neighbors, usually. Their average life expectancy is 84 years. Women live on average for almost 87 years, while men live for more than 81 years.
This is actually one of the highest life expectancies in the whole world, Spain being 7th on the rankings. The first one is Hong Kong.
22. The Tooth Fairy is different in Spain compared to most countries
While most countries use the character of the Tooth Fairy for children, in Spain it is different. There is no fairy but… there is a rat.
“Ratoncito Perez” is the one taking kids’ teeth, and giving them presents (instead of money for the Tooth Fairy).
23. Lots of Spanish people have two surnames
The average person in Spain has two surnames. They keep both the surnames of their fathers and mothers, in order to honor both of them. This construction seems a bit weird to most people.
As an example, Pablo Picasso’s actual name is Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and Salvador Dalí’s is Salvador Dalí i Domènech.
24. Chocolate exists in Europe thanks to Spain, just like oranges or potatoes
The colonies established by Spaniards in South America are even more important than you think. They gave Europe some of the most common resources, like oranges and potatoes.
Were it not for Spain, which brought cocoa back to the country, there would not be any chocolate in Europe!
So there you have them, the 6 fun facts about Spain. The next part will be about facts for kids about Spain.
Spain Facts for Kids
While all of the facts listed above are obviously safe for kids, this section is especially dedicated to satisfy the curiosity of the young ones:
25. Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the whole world
There are over 500 million people speaking Spanish worldwide. It is the second most spoken language in the world.
Spanish is not spoken only in Spain, obviously, but also in tons of American countries, like Mexico, Cuba, Argentina and Colombia. The language is official in 20 countries.
Read more: Learn more about the Spanish language
26. There is still a monarchy in Spain, like in England or in the Netherlands
Nowadays, there are not that many monarchies in the major countries worldwide. Some of them include the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Spain.
60 Interesting Spain Facts
In Spain, the title is only honorary, as it is a constitutional monarchy, and the country is ruled the same way as most western countries. The current ruler is King Felipe VI, who came to power in 2014.
27. The capital of Spain, Madrid, is one of the largest cities in Europe
60 Interesting Spain Facts
There are more than 3 million inhabitants in the capital of Spain, Madrid. It is the second most populous city in the European Union since London and the United Kingdom left.
There are tons of things to do in Madrid, from museums to very active nightlife: tourists love this destination.
28. Spain is the least densely populated country in Europe 60 Interesting Spain Facts
Spain’s landscapes and nature are simply wonderful. From pristine sand beaches to snowy mountains, you can find what you love the most in the Iberian Peninsula.
There are actually so many wild areas that Spain is the least densely populated country in Europe!
29. The highest Spanish mountain is not in continental Spain
Most of Spain’s colonies took their independence throughout the centuries, but some of them are still under Spanish rule.
One of them is the Canary Islands. There, you can find Mount Teide, the highest Spanish mountain (3,718 m / 12,198 feet), and it is an active volcano. Because of its eruptions, the beaches there are black!
60 Interesting Spain Facts