69 Fun Facts About Spain

Due to the immense popularity of my 69 fun facts series (69 Fun Facts about Germany has a staggering 150,000+ page views!) I’ve decided to continue the tradition, and bring some more 69 fun into the world. And what better country to choose than Spain? Not only is it one of the countries I’m most excited to visit this year, but let’s face it – if any country deserves 69 fun facts, it would be Spain.


1. the name Spain diverged from the word Ispania, which means the land of rabbits.
2. Spain has over 8000 km of beaches.
3. There is no tooth fairy in Spain but rather a tooth mouse called Ratoncito Perez.
4. They have highest number of bars out of all the countries in the EU.
5. Barcelona’s city hall provided 1 million euro to fund the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
6. Christopher Columbus (the famous explorer) is Spanish, but they have no idea where he was buried.
7. Spain has the lowest population density in western Europe (excluding Scandinavia)
8. Spaniards are famous for their contributes to art, with famous Spanish artists including Dali, Picasso, gaudi, el Greco, and Goya
9. Spain was not part of the first or second world war.
10. 40% of Spanish people between 17-24 smoke.
11. Spain is the country closest to Africa.
12. Spain produces 44% of the world’s olive oil.
13. Spaniards own more cars than cell phones.
14. Over 98% of the population used to be roman catholic… presently it is around 76%
15. The Spaniards aren’t known for very many inventions…but they did invent the mop.
16. …and the beret!
17. …and Chupa Chups! The famous lollipops that line cash registers across the world were initially created by the Catalonian Enric Bernat in 1958.
18. Juan Mica claims that his family were the first to invent the drink, called Nuez de Kola Coca’, which he then took to the US and sold the recipe.

Famous (and sexy) Spaniards:

19. The tennis player Rafael Nadal first picked up a racket at the age of 3.
20. There’s a Facebook group called “I worship Rafael nadal’s biceps”
21. Nadal originally showed promise as a soccer player but gave it up at 12 to focus on tennis
22. In 2003, a newly discovered asteroid belt was named 128036 Rafaelnadal, in his honor.
23. Javier Bardem was the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar.
24. Penelope Cruz was the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar for best supporting actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
25. Cruz and Bardem got married in 2010 and have a son named Leo.
26. Many of the paintings by the Catalan artist augsti pugi appeared in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
27. Enrique Iglesias is half Filipino, half Spanish.
28. Enrique’s favorite movie is Raiders of the Lost Ark.
29. Antonio Banderas was a soccer player until he broke his foot at the age of 14 and instead became a famous movie star (not a bad alternative)
30. Also, in Spanish, Banderas means “flags”.
31. Nadal is messy at home, and when he was a teenager in Majorca, his mother used to complain about his room.
32. Nadal is naturally right-handed, except when it comes to playing tennis, which he does left-handed.
33. Nadal was featured in Shakira’s music video “Gypsy”
34. Nadal’s favorite movies are Titanic and The Gladiator.
(Yes, there are a lot of Nadal facts – but really, who can complain?)

The language of romance:

35. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.
36. There are 329 million native Spanish speakers in the world.
37. Spanish is spoken in 44 countries (with at least 3 million native speakers in each).
38. After Latin, the language that has the largest influence in Spanish is Arabic.
39. Spanish is expected to be the first language of 50% of the population of the United States within 50 years.
40. Spanish is the most popular foreign language to learn in America and Europe.
41. Approximately 100 million people speak Spanish as a second language.
42. There are two types of Spanish – European Spanish and Latin American Spanish.
43. There are more native Spanish speakers than English.
44. The Spanish language began on the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar.

45. Every hour of every day over three thousand pedestrians stroll through Fontanella-Portal del Àngel.
46. Spain is the only country in Europe that produces bananas.
47. Spain is the only country that has the sports bull fighting counted as a sport.
48. Nearly 75% of the world’s saffron flower is grown in Spain
49. Tomatoes, potatoes, avocadoes, tobacco, and cacao, were all brought to Europe (then spread around the world) by the Spaniards from their American colonies
50. Spain was one of the first European countries to ban smoking in workplaces and bars (2006)

Love and Sex:

51. 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.
52. Same sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005.
53. 90% of prostitutes in Spain are illegal immigrants.
54. Teenagers in Spain normally start dating in groups when they’re 14.
55. The divorce rate in Spain is 17% (relatively low compared to over 50% in the USA).
56. In Barcelona, on St George’s Day (23 April) it was custom to exchange a book and a rose with the person they loved.

The best sport in the world…

57. Club president Joan Laporta, a self-proclaimed nationalist, requires all foreign Barça players to learn Catalan.
58. Fans of FC Barcelona are known as culés, the Catalan word for ‘ass’
59. The two most successful Spanish football teams, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are also fierce competitors. The rivalry stems from Franco’s dictatorship; Barcelona represented an opposition to Franco while Real Madrid was a symbol of nationalism and was favored by the regime and Franco.
60. FC Barcelona is the biggest privately owned stadium in the world (seating 100,000 people)
61. The 1992 summer Olympics were held in Barcelona.
62. Soccer is the most important sport. It’s also pretty much like a religion.
63. Real Madrid is the most popular club in the world with over 228 million supporters
64. Real Madrid is also the richest club in the world.

Miscellaneous fun:

65. The name Madrid comes from the arabic “magerit” which means ‘place of many streams’.
66. Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than almost any other city in Europe.
67. The population of Madrid is just over 6 million…which is more than the population of some countries, such as Norway, Ireland, Scotland, denmark.
68. In Ibiza, tourists spend about 1430 million euros each year.
69. One in every five citizens registered in Ibiza lives in an isolated house in the country.

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82 Comments

  1. March 9, 2012 / 4:13 am

    40% of Spaniards smoke!? That is a shocking figure!

    I got to see an FC Barcelona soccer match when I was visiting and it was epic! Complete with a fight breaking out after the game, ha!

    xxx
    Jenna

    • michelle
      March 30, 2012 / 12:38 am

      I am SOO going to as many soccer games as I can when I’m in Europe! 🙂

      • vince greco
        October 31, 2013 / 2:29 pm

        69 facts really helped

  2. ludovic
    March 29, 2012 / 7:20 pm

    Spain has more beaches than Brezil?

    • michelle
      March 30, 2012 / 12:37 am

      yes :O

  3. April 6, 2012 / 5:58 pm

    “45. Every hour of every day over three thousand pedestrians stroll through Fontanella-Portal del Àngel.”

    I live right near there and had no idea there were so many people there! It’s one of the main shopping streets in Barcelona, so it’s always busy, but that’s crazy. Thanks for a fun post!

    • Michelle
      Author
      April 8, 2012 / 4:14 am

      It must be amazing to live there! It looks like a lovely area 🙂

    • Silmi
      April 10, 2013 / 4:54 pm

      One of my friends live in barcelona too!I used to live in MADRID!!!!

  4. jimmy
    May 22, 2012 / 1:30 pm

    weirdddddddd.

  5. July 6, 2012 / 10:24 am

    Believe me, Spain is a huge country but didn’t realise that it had 8000 kilometres of coastline, unbelievable!

  6. The Mystic Travels
    September 9, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    This has helped with my coursework loads
    I love to backpack across europe.

  7. yasmin elize croxford
    October 27, 2012 / 7:57 am

    love spain half come from there i love it sooooooo muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  8. November 8, 2012 / 7:30 pm

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    again thanx

  9. November 9, 2012 / 12:18 am

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  10. ayashastyles
    November 25, 2012 / 10:16 am

    thanks a lot.it helped with my stupid geograpgy homework )))

    • james
      September 8, 2013 / 9:07 am

      love it lots

  11. Shannon
    December 2, 2012 / 4:44 pm

    thanks did my geography homework no one will guess that i picked Spain

  12. felix
    December 11, 2012 / 1:27 am

    Christopher Columbus is not from spain but from the Republic of Geneoa at that time, but which is these days part of italy.

    S

    • RYK
      January 15, 2013 / 4:00 am

      Sorry to say that Columbus was actually spanish…he pretended to be from Genoa because he fought in a revolution against the spanish monarchy when he was young and now needed money from them to fund his trip to India taking the opposite direction…

      And Columbus name is a bad translation of the italian name…his real name is Colon…

      • Cee Truth
        May 5, 2013 / 8:15 am

        Actually Colón is a name from Catalunya/Mallorca/Aragón Kingdom, but this mystery about where he was born still does most exciting.

      • Paola
        June 15, 2014 / 9:24 am

        Columbus was Italian, not Spanish! His actual name was Cristoforo Colombo, “Colon” is just the Spanish translation! At least get your fact straight before you post them online…

        • alejandro
          February 26, 2016 / 12:08 pm

          i am sorry but cristoball colon was italian only he didnt felt like and wanted to be spanish, we paid his trip to india and discovered america not like english say that they conquered it

          • alejandro
            February 26, 2016 / 12:11 pm

            and discovered it anyway i really liked ti and i am waiting for the next 69 funny fact of what ever u do it

  13. micheal
    January 10, 2013 / 9:35 am

    it helped me with a project about cats ;p

    • Silmi
      April 10, 2013 / 4:52 pm

      Hey,How the hell did this help you with cats?????

  14. Patrick
    January 17, 2013 / 12:18 pm

    I just want to say that one of your facts is wrong… Portugal also produces bananas, in one of its islands (Madeira), where the tiny banana is not only a symbol of that region but also a delicacy appreciated all over the world. Get your facts straight 😉

    • freday
      April 10, 2013 / 4:54 pm

      im from barcelona

  15. February 1, 2013 / 2:19 am

    Thanks a lot it helped so much with my geography homework. This is faster and easier than a textbook and I luv it so yeah……………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. February 6, 2013 / 3:06 pm

    awesommmmmmmmmmme i love to hear more and love to learn more

  17. February 6, 2013 / 3:08 pm

    *this is a coooooool state im coming to visit love yall comments lol*

  18. Angela
    February 8, 2013 / 6:26 am

    “I’ve decided to continue the tradition, and bring some more 69 fun into the world.”
    Haha get it ? 69 . Get it ?! Haa . You wanna bring ’69 fun into the world’ . L O L ! Get it ! To funny . :’D
    Anyways .cx
    Really interesting thanks (:

  19. Igor
    February 13, 2013 / 8:30 pm

    this really helped me with my homework i developed much and
    i learn t lots of facts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. February 18, 2013 / 5:10 pm

    really good really helped me this sit is brill

  21. LeDoingSomeHomework
    March 9, 2013 / 4:34 pm

    Hellow :3 Well thank you so much! Like a lot!!! This helped me make my homework project about Spain *-* Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  22. PASB student
    March 13, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    This website is helping me a lot with my Spanish fact flag project.

  23. PASB student
    March 14, 2013 / 11:42 pm

    I got an A+ after using this website!

  24. March 17, 2013 / 7:02 pm

    sorry but Columbus was Italian, not Spanish

  25. March 17, 2013 / 7:03 pm

    Ans Spain has 4964 kilometers of coastline….sorry

  26. angeline
    March 18, 2013 / 11:40 am

    i am working on my spain project i really helped me

  27. meaghan
    March 25, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    this was very helpful with my school project on spain. thanks abunch!!!!

  28. yazr
    April 8, 2013 / 8:54 pm

    lol

  29. Rebekah Primrose
    April 11, 2013 / 6:17 pm

    I’M THE BIGGEST ENRIQUE IGLESIAS FAN EVVVEERRRR!!!!

  30. ilinaraybans
    April 12, 2013 / 1:36 am

    Christopher Columbus is Italian and was buried in Seville, Spain

  31. YGGP Student
    April 13, 2013 / 8:36 pm

    I thought you can speak English in Spain. I love Spain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Sphesihle
    April 23, 2013 / 2:05 pm

    i love the facts. One day i’ll go to Spain (EXCITED)

  33. May 15, 2013 / 5:58 pm

    My course work is done !thank you

  34. the lorax 52
    May 20, 2013 / 4:51 am

    this should help me with my homework…

  35. Adela
    July 24, 2013 / 9:50 pm

    Christopher Columbus was Italian, he only worked for Spain (they funded his explorations). Great facts though.

  36. londura
    August 16, 2013 / 3:19 pm

    Hi! Liked a lot the post but i;m very surprised you didn’t mention that in Spain there are 4 proper languages wich are Spanish,Catalan, Euskera (basco in Spanish) and Galician, wich shares roots with the portuguese. is one of the things that most of the people feel surprised about.

  37. lolbox
    September 4, 2013 / 7:13 pm

    I like spain, it good and nice and fun! Go spain 4 the win!

  38. JCA
    September 16, 2013 / 11:12 am

    I’m a Spaniard myself and but for 4 years I’ve always lived in this country. I must say that bullfighting is NOT considered a sports here (and many of us despise it as an uncalled for way of torturing innocent animals)
    Also, not it is only forbidden to smoke in workplaces and bar – but absolutely anywhere indoors except your own home!
    The Barcelona fans are called ‘asses’ in an old way of catalonian language because the grades of their stadium reached up to the top and from the street it was what could be seeing hanging from the top.
    Barcelona FC did not oppose Franco in its time, but does confront the unity of the Spanish territories nowadays

  39. JCA
    September 19, 2013 / 11:11 am

    As regards the Spanish inventions, there are many others, not only stick-related, such as the automatic-playing chess, the submarine, the helicopter, the guitar, stamps or even world currency or itself! Nowadays, even state-of-the-art investigations come out of this country, such as stem cells, solar systems, or nano-technology

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Spanish_inventions
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/specialsections/40th-anniversary/A-Spanish-Breakthrough-in-Harnessing-Solar-Power.html
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-07/uog-sss071813.php
    http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=47667

  40. September 26, 2013 / 12:54 pm

    they are rely cool

  41. Becky
    November 12, 2013 / 12:27 am

    Hi, loved the article/bullet list/awesomeness etc… but i noticed a mistake on
    “68. In Ibiza, tourists spend about 1430 million euros each year.” Did you mean 430 million or 1.43 billion.

  42. December 12, 2013 / 7:54 pm

    69 facts!
    MY FAVORITE 😀

  43. GULDRIS GONDELLE DANIEL
    February 22, 2014 / 11:12 pm

    Christopher Columbus was burried in three differents parts in Spain and South America but he is know in Spain. We just don’t know from which part of Spain is he originally. Exist the posibility of a Portuguese origin.

  44. April 20, 2014 / 11:59 pm

    hey I just anted to say thanks a lot it helped me with my project I had to do for geography so thanks a lot! 🙂

  45. ThatOneguy
    April 23, 2014 / 3:59 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA 69!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • alejandro
      February 26, 2016 / 12:11 pm

      the magic numberr …

  46. ben
    June 23, 2014 / 9:23 pm

    Christopher Columbus was Italian not spanish…

  47. Yeibi
    November 5, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    Nice blog, but please, check number 59. FC Barcelona rewarded Franco with many gifts, and Franco saved the club from bankruptcy letting them sell some land. During the first ten years of his dictatorship, all titles were won by Bilbao and Barcelona. The town with more people cheering Franco in public appearances was Barcelona. Most of the demostrations against Franco were in Madrid.

  48. M
    January 27, 2015 / 7:33 pm

    English is the most popular second language in Europe, as its only the first language in the UK and Ireland.

  49. Madany
    March 19, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    Fact #47. Bull fighting is not considered a sport in Spain. Regardless of their opinion about it (in favor or against) the one thing Spaniards don’t call bull fighting is “sport”

  50. skyler
    April 8, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    Thanks for this website. It really helped me for my country report on Spain.

  51. V Hargrave
    June 25, 2015 / 9:05 am

    Christopher Columbus is not Spanish, he is Italian and was born in the city of Genoa.

  52. MMMM
    August 24, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    Culés isn’t the catalan word “ass”, CUL or CULO (spanish) are.

  53. GaminGurl
    February 5, 2016 / 3:58 am

    cool

  54. Tom Maentz
    December 5, 2016 / 1:24 am

    Greetings Michelle! As a Spain lover, please check out a fascinating new book entitled ‘The Reign in Spain’ by Galician author W. Kristjan Arnold. This entertaining historical novel examines Spain’s turbulent 20th century. Anyone interested in Spain, history, or politics will enjoy this read. The book is available at the Amazon Kindle eBook Store (google: amazon the reign in spain). Hope you read and recommend! Thomas J – Editor

  55. January 9, 2017 / 9:12 am

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me
    of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this
    write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  56. August 29, 2017 / 4:46 am

    Excellent, what a website it is! This website gives useful information to us, keep
    it up.

  57. Liv
    November 10, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    Spanish homework DONE after hours of looking thnx a lot

  58. emily
    September 9, 2018 / 11:01 am

    hi. I just want to know facts for one leson of Spanish at school

  59. Alexandra
    September 10, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    Thank you for providing me with loads of information about Spain because I have Spanish homework and I needed help and facts for it.

    Alex a.k.a. Chappers

    x

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