What do you know about Spain, besides the Spanish language?
You plan to go to Spain…but do you know anything about its culture? What about its history?
Without further ado, here are 50 interesting facts about Spain that you might be surprised to learn while travelling…
Interesting Facts on Spain and Spanish Culture
All Spanish people are native speakers of Spanish (Castilian). There are four official languages in Spain (Castilian, Catalan, Basque, and Galician), three non-official regional languages (Asturian, Aragonese, and Aranese), and several other dialects.
The Spaniards have a completely different pace of life. They usually eat lunch between 1 and 3 pm, and dinner is around 10 pm.
Spanish Culture greatly influenced modern art in the late 1800s, with artists such as Antoni Gaudí (Art Nouveau), Pablo Picasso (Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism), Joan Miró (Surrealism), and Salvador Dalí (Surrealism).
Flamenco is not really a dance; it is a musical style.
58 million tourists go to Spain each year, making it the fourth most visited country in the world.
Spain is famous for its lively festivals, including San Fermín (“bull run”) in Pamplona, and Tomatina (the “tomato battle”) in Buñol.
One of the major events in Spain is the bull run.
More than 150,000 tomatoes are usually thrown at La Tomatina.
The official name of Spain is the Kingdom of Spain.
The national anthem of Spain is speechless, just an instrument.
There are no laws on public nudity in Spain.
Spanish people know how to have fun! Ole Ole!
43% of the world’s olive oil production is in Spain.
From 2008 to 2013, the Spanish national football team was named FIFA Team of the Year. Football is a religion in Spain.
Spain won its first World Cup in 2010.
The “little” mouse is called Ratoncito Pérez in Spain.
Breaks, free time, and naps are part of Spanish culture.
Spain was the third most popular tourist destination in the world in 2013 (after France and the United States).
Don Quixote, the famous book written by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in 1605, was voted the “most significant book of all time” in 2002 by a panel of 100 authors.
Traditionally, you have two surnames in Spain – the first one is your father’s, and the second your mother’s.
The Spaniards celebrate the New Year by eating a grape with their family for each sound of the bell.
The goose quill was probably native to Spain around 1,400 years ago.
Spaniards often use gestures (such as Italians) to accompany their remarks. They also speak very loud!
There are fewer marriages in Spain than in any other country in the EU except Sweden.
The divorce rate in Spain is 17% (relatively low compared to more than 50% in the US).
Madrid is in the physical center of the country and the Puerta del Sol Rambla is at the exact center of the country.
Spain has the second largest number of bars per inhabitant. In the evening, Spaniards (of all ages) love meeting up in neighborhood bars/restaurants.
In Spain, you can throw your garbage on the floor in bars and restaurants.
No trashcans in Spain’s restaurants.
Spaniards use the word “tortitas” to refer to flour/corn tortillas.
Most households buy fresh bread daily.
Tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, tobacco, and cocoa (chocolate) have all been imported to Europe by Spain.
Although Spain is more famous for its red wine than its white wine, the majority of its vineyards have white grapes.
Spain is one of the world’s largest producers of saffron, an important ingredient in the paella recipe.
The Madrid Metro is the second largest underground system in Europe and the sixth largest system in the world.
The family is at the base of the social structure. In Spain, Sunday family meals are sacred.
Owning one’s house is very important for Spaniards, and about 80% of Spanish households own property.
The majority of Spaniards are Catholics. With Ireland and Italy, Spaniards are the most practicing countries in Europe.
Important people are often referred to as Don or Dona.
If you are invited to a meal with Spanish people, the tradition is that you bring a gift to the mistress of the house.
At the business level, the Spanish prefer to meet face-to-face rather than via e-mails or the telephone.
The beret was worn first by the Spaniards!
It is not usual to tip in Spain, especially for cheap meals.