84 Interesting Facts About Spain That You Should Know

Last updated on April 15th, 2020

Madrid facts for kids

42. Madrid is one of the most environmentally friendly places in the world.

43. The official symbol or mascot is the bear.

44. People who live in Madrid are often called “gatos” meaning cats because they sleep all day and are out all night.

45. One of the most famous art museums is located in Madrid. It is known as Museo del Prado.

46. Madrid is located on a plateau 650 meters above sea level.

47. The Madrid subway is the second largest underground system in Europe

Spain’s Economy

48. It is the 14th largest economy in the world.

49. France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the U.K. are Spain’s major export partners.

50. Spain’s original monetary unit was the pesetas.

51. Currently, just like the majority of European countries, Spain uses the Euro.

Tourism in Spain

52. The Sagrada familia, a cathedral that is still under construction is one of the most visited buildings in Spain. It is under construction for over 130 years. 

The Sagrada familia
The Sagrada familia, viewed from Parc Guell, Barcelona. Image credit – David Merrett

53. Spain was the 3rd most visited country in the world in 2013.

54. Gaudi’s architectural places are some of the most visited.

55. Spain has the second highest number of bars per inhabitants in the world. Cyprus leads the tally. 

56. Ibiza, an island off the coast of Spain, is one of the most visited places in the country.

57. Majorca is also a very visited destination with over 2,500 restaurants. It sees 6 million tourists every year. It is also visited by 35,000 cyclists each year.

58. About 60,000 animals die every year because of more than 16,000 religious festivals across Spain that are based on animal cruelty.

59. Spain attracts more tourists than any other European country except France.

Portugal and Spain

60. Portugal and Spain share not only a border, but also a peninsula.

61. José Manuel Durão Barroso was the former Prime Minister of Portugal.

62. Even though Spain is not known for having many earthquakes, one of the most severe earthquakes occurred in Lisbon, Portugal.

63. Portuguese is often spoken in northern Spain, in the Galician region.

64. In a festival, people are allowed to hit other people with garlic. Can you imagine the smell?!

65. Just like in Spain, the same sex-marriage is completely legal in Portugal.

Spanish food

Spanish potato omelet called tortilla de patatas.

66. Tortilla de patatas: a potato omelet. It is often in a circular shape.

67. Paella: a rice, vegetables and seafood dish. This dish is very common in the Mediterranean coast of Spain. In many occasions, paella is often made up of different ingredients including chicken and beef.

68. Churros: a typical dessert and breakfast pastry that is made in a circular shape and sprinkled with sugar.

Spanish tapas with slices jamon serrano, salami, olives and cheese cubes.

69. Jamon Serrano: a cured piece of ham that is set to dry for several days. It is salted and cut into very thin strips.

70. Flan: a type of dessert that has the consistency of a tart. It is typically made with either eggs or vanilla and has a top made up of caramel syrup.

71. Gazpacho: a summertime drink that is made up of tomato soup in addition to bread, peppers, onions, and garlic.

Famous People from Spain

Enrique Iglesias: singer and songwriter. He was born in Madrid and is warmly regarded as the king of Latin pop.

Penelope Cruz: actress and model. She made her debut into the acting world at the age of 16 and starred in her first movie the next year.

Javier Bardem: actor and director. He was born in the Canary Islands and is most known for his role in ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘Eat Pray Love’.

Ricky Martin: singer and songwriter. He began his successful career at the early age of 13 singing with Menudo, an all boy group.

Pablo Picasso: artist, painter. He completed his first painting, Le picador, at the age of 9 and his first academic painting at the age of 15.

Francisco Franco: dictator. He was born in El Ferrol and was a career soldier that rose his way through the ranks to become a leader.

Interesting facts about Spain for kids

72. The Bull is the national animal of Spain.

73. Spain also has the world’s oldest existing lighthouse — the Tower of Hercules. It was built in the first century and is operational still today.

The Tower of Hercules
Interesting facts about Spain: The Tower of Hercules. Image credit – Contando Estrelas

74. Spain once ruled 21 countries that are independent today.

75. It is illegal to slander or defame Spain’s royal family. The punishment could lead to two years of imprisonment.

76. Spain is home to one of the oldest living languages in the world–Euskera. 

77. Spain also has a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus.

78. Spain leads the world in regards to organ donation.

Ann illustrative image of assorted whole Italian olives (black, green, red) close up.

79. Did you know that Spain produces 43% of the world’s Olive? This fact makes the country, a leading producer of Olives in the world. It also produces saffron in large quantities.

80. A tooth belonging to human ancestors dating back to more than a million years was found in Spain in 2007.

81. The Eiffel Tower that is in Paris, France, was originally planned to be built in Barcelona, Spain.

82. Pyrenees, Sierra de Guadarrama, Sierra de Gredos, Sierra Nevada are the major mountains in Spain.

View of the Ebro river from the Miravet castle viewpoint, Tarragona Ebro river meanders on a mild winter afternoon.

83. Rio Ebro with 910 km of length is the longest river in Spain.

84. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Spain.

Some useful Spanish words:

  • Buenos dias: Good day
  • ¡Hola!  Hello
  • ¿Que tal?  How are you?
  • adios: bye bye
  • gracias: thank you
  • Te quiero: I love you

Want to learn Spanish? Visit this incredible resource here.

In conclusion, Spain is known for being one of the most diverse countries in the world. Not only is Spain filled with beautiful and amazing architecture, but it is known for also being filled with various types of art that go back in history.

Also, despite the controversies that have surrounded Spain in general over the past couple of years, Spain is still one of the top leaders in not only education, but also in political and education leaders. Furthermore, due to the variety in music and art, Spain is also a top contender for various music and art festivals.

Related: Fun facts about Germany

Spain – the country at a glance

Capital CityMadrid
(40°26′N 3°42′W)
Largest CityMadrid
(40°26′N 3°42′W)
Total area505,370 sq km
Population50,015,792 (July 2020 est.)
Literacy ratetotal population: 98.4%
DemonymSpanish, Spaniard
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Official LanguageSpanish
BordersPortugal, France, Andorra, Morocco and Gibraltar
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Life expectancy at birth82 Years (2020)
Climatetemperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Terrainlarge, flat to dissected plateau surrounded by rugged hills; Pyrenees Mountains in north
Mean elevation660 m
Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest pointPico de Teide (Tenerife) on Canary Islands 3,718 m
Natural resourcescoal, lignite, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, uranium, tungsten, mercury, pyrites, magnesite, fluorspar, gypsum, sepiolite, kaolin, potash, hydropower, arable land
Agricultural land54.1%
Government typeparliamentary constitutional monarchy
MonarchFelipe VI
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Birth rate8.7 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio0.976 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
National colorsred, yellow
National symbolsPillars of Hercules
National dayNational Day (Hispanic Day), 12 October (1492); note - commemorates COLUMBUS' arrival in the Americas
National anthem"Himno Nacional Espanol" (National Anthem of Spain)
Industriestextiles and apparel (including footwear), food and beverages, metals and metal manufactures, chemicals, shipbuilding, automobiles, machine tools, tourism, clay and refractory products, footwear, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
Exports$313.7 billion (2017 est.)
machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
Imports$338.6 billion (2017 est.)
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semi-finished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments
GDP - per capita (PPP)$38,400 (2017 est.)
Internet country code.es
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on theRight
Calling Code+34
Table last updatedMarch 25, 2020