What is Spain Famous For? 19 Things You Didn’t Know

Spain is often celebrated for its vibrant culture, awe-inspiring sights, and passionate people – but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

This country is also the birthplace of some of the world’s most famous artists, writers, and athletes.

In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through Spain’s rich history and culture as we uncover 19 facts about Spain you’ve probably never heard of!

1. Running of the Bulls

Running of the Bulls is an annual festival in Pamplona every July and attracts thrill-seekers from all over the world.

Steeped in tradition, this event has been a part of Spanish culture for centuries.

Here’s how it works: every year, a group of bulls is released into the streets and participants run alongside them. The goal? To make it to the finish line without getting gored by a bull’s horns.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for the challenge, it’s an experience you’ll never forget!

Gueirua beach Asturias Spain
Gueirua beach Asturias Spain

2. Natural Beauty & Landscape

Spain is full of surprises – not just in what it has to offer but also in terms of its striking geographical diversity!

From the rugged mountain ranges of the Pyrenees to the sandy beaches of Costa del Sol, even the pickiest traveler will certainly find something they love.

3. Siestas

The siesta is a beloved Spanish tradition that involves taking a midday nap.

Although not as popular as it once was, it’s a great way to recharge your batteries and enjoy some downtime during your Spanish adventure!

So, next time you’re in Spain, don’t be afraid to embrace the siesta lifestyle.

Find a cozy spot, close your eyes, and let yourself drift off into a peaceful slumber.

You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day.

READ NEXT
14 of the Best Party Hotels in Barcelona

4. Alhambra

Spain has an eclectic history and no shortage of things to be famous for, but one of the most remarkable things about this country is the illustrious Alhambra.

Built back in 889 as a small fortress, it was eventually converted into a royal palace for the king in 1333.

Today, this majestic masterpiece is a beautiful testament to two cultures merging – breathtakingly combining Christian and Moorish art styles.

Guided Walking Tour of the Alhambra in Granada
Guided Walking Tour of the Alhambra in Granada Photo by Viator

5. Football

Football may be love-it or hate-it activity, but when it comes to Spain, the passion of the fans cannot be denied!

It’s no wonder that some of the world’s greatest players have come from this beloved country; with Xavi Hernandez and David Villa as two shining examples.

So why not join in on all the fun during your visit to Spain? If you’re lucky, you might even get to witness these sporting giants create more magic moments on the pitch.

6. Sagrada Familia

Spain is no stranger to fame, but if there’s one site that really encapsulates Spain’s incredible heritage and culture – it’s the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi back in 1882, this stunning basilica has been slowly taking shape ever since, with still no completion date in sight!

With its spectacular architecture and traditional decor, this incredible monument is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Spain.

7. Flamenco

Spain is world-famous for Flamenco, an art form that sizzles hotter than a paella pan.

One look at a determined dancer stomping and clapping and you’ll be caught up in the contagious energy of one of Spain’s most distinctive traditions.

Join in the thrilling music, mesmerizing costuming, and captivating storytelling – it’s just the thing to get your holiday vibes going!

Sangria with Barcelona Sunset
Sangria with Barcelona Sunset

8. Wine & Sangria

Make sure to bring your appetite and thirst along with you when you visit Spain – it’s famous for its rich wines and sangrias that deserve more than one toast!

As a wine connoisseur, you’ll never be far from tried-and-true bottles in shades of white, red, and rosé.

READ NEXT
14 of the Best Party Hotels in Barcelona

9. Gaudi’s Masterpieces

“Sculptures everywhere” could rightfully be the slogan for Spain – with renowned architect Gaudi’s fantastical creations leading the way!

Everywhere you go in Barcelona, there is something new to admire. Whether winding your way around Park Guell or taking a selfie in front of Casa Batllo, a riot of color and unique shapes greets the eye.

Don’t miss out on traversing through Gaudi’s spectacular playground in Spain!

10. Olive Oil

Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil, and the country’s rich and flavorful oils are a staple of their everyday diet.

This Mediterranean paradise produces over 1 million metric tons of oils every year, and its unique blend of warm climates and optimal soil have made it a go-to producer for premium oils.

Not only is Spanish olive oil incredibly tasty, it’s also known for its medicinal benefits, including heart health and anti-aging effects.

So if you’re looking for a way to add some zing to your meals, the olive oils from Spain can’t be beat!

11. Bullfighting

This vibrant country has certainly earned a place in the spotlight for its passion for bullfighting.

Whether you’re a fan or not, watching a bullfight is an incredible cultural experience and well-known draw for tourists seeking an adrenaline rush.

The southern region of Andalusia is well known for its particular enthusiasm (and controversy) when it comes to this old tradition.

But one thing is certain – if you want to go home with a unique memory from Spain, the arena may be exactly what you’re looking for!

Vermut and croquetas in Sitges Barcelona
Vermut and croquetas in Sitges Barcelona

12. Tapas

Spaniards love to get together and enjoy a good conversation over the grandest of feasts – tapas!

And while those little plates are famous all over the world, they don’t quite convey what makes tapas such an integral part of Spanish culture.

After all, size doesn’t matter – it’s how you enjoy them that counts. Olives and cheese might give you a light snack, but dive into more substantial offerings like croquetas and patatas bravas and you’ve got yourself a feast!

Tapas are so much more than just delicious food; they’re about sharing with those you love in style.

READ NEXT
6 Best Beach Hotels in Barcelona for Your Getaway

13. Paella

LLet’s face it – no trip to this country would be complete without trying a plate of this saffron-infused dish!

Whether you’re a seafood lover or a chicken devotee, paella is a staple of Spanish cuisine and a must-try for any foodie visiting the country.

Don’t brush off this delectable treat ’til you’ve tried it – ask any Spaniard and they’ll tell you it’s worth the hype!

Paella beautifully presented
Paella beautifully presented

14. World’s Largest Tomato Fight

La Tomatina is a festival that takes place in the small town of Buñol, Spain. And you’ll never guess what they do there…they throw tomatoes at each other!

That’s right, thousands of people gather in the streets to pelt each other with ripe, juicy tomatoes. It’s messy, it’s chaotic, and it’s a whole lot of fun.

The origins of La Tomatina are a bit fuzzy, but it’s believed to have started in the mid-1940s as a food fight.

Over the years, it grew in popularity and eventually became an official festival.

Now, people from all over the world come to Buñol to take part in the tomato-throwing madness.

15. Fashion & Shopping

If you’re looking for a fashion destination that knows how to dress to impress, then Spain is the place to be.

Shopping in Spain is as much a cultural experience as it is an opportunity to up your wardrobe game.

From Madrid’s luxury designer stores to Barcelona’s eclectic streetwear, Spain has something for everyone on any budget.

So move over Milan – Spain is here to show you how it’s done!

READ NEXT
18 Best Places to Visit in Spain for First Timers

16. Friendliness of the Locals

Spaniards have a reputation of being incredibly hospitable, and you can be sure to feel right at home when exploring this captivating corner of the world.

Take a chance to strike up a conversation with locals, learn some tips on the best spots in town and, who knows, you might even get invited for dinner!

Either way, you’ll leave Spain with plenty of interesting stories, thanks to the friendly people that call this place their home.

Beach landscape overlooking seaside resort in Ibiza
Beach landscape overlooking seaside resort in Ibiza

17. Ibiza

If you’re looking to have the wildest party in your life, Ibiza is your spot. This internationally famous party hotspot on Spain’s east coast has become a symbol of all-night celebrations for those seeking some fun and music.

Best thing about this island is that you don’t have to search far for drinks and food – the beachfront shacks are where all the action is, with live music being played at every corner.

It’s no wonder why some of the most renowned EDM musicians have defined their sound here!

18. Beaches

Spain boasts some of the finest beaches around, no doubt about it.

Taking a trip to Spain means you can chillax with your toes in the sand, have an impromptu dance off with a few beachgoers on Ibiza’s lively coastline or find yourself completely alone in the secluded coves of Menorca

If the sheer beauty of the Spanish shores doesn’t draw you in, then the crystal clear waters absolutely will!

19. History & Heritage

If an explorer could pick any country to be whisked away to, it would definitely have to be Spain.

After all, where else can you get a trifecta of history and heritage? From the ancient Roman architecture spanning every corner of the Spanish landscape, to the grandiose Moorish castles built in memory of Muslim domination, each step delves deeper into Spain’s glorious past.

That’s not even counting its vast array of stunning cathedrals that bring reminders of its vibrant religious history.