35 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

Every country has something that foreign people might find unique or weird while visiting, so here is my list of things I am more than sure will surprise you when travelling to Spain.

21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

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Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

1. Spanish people are very friendly:

This is something you will love about Spain. Spanish people are so friendly you will feel at home straight away.

You won't have any difficulties making new friends, don't be shy to ask for directions or any advice because they will be more than happy to help you.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

2. Siesta exists:

And you will love it.

Having a siesta will be part of your travel while in Spain because most shops are closed for a few hours during the afternoon so why don't you rest after lunch too?

In this way, you will be more energized to party in the evening.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

3. Spanish public transports are excellent:

You can go everywhere you want by public transport. Spain is so well connected that if you're going to explore more areas or have a tour by yourself without renting a car, Spain is the perfect country.

I travelled solo for more than 20 days around the south of Spain, and I moved almost only by bus and by train, and I found it very easy and at an excellent price.

If you want to look at buses prices and routes, click here. If you prefer to travel fast and save time, click here to check trains prices and routes.

croquetas on a plate spain

4. Madrid has the oldest restaurant in the world:

In Madrid, you cannot miss dining at El Restaurante Botin. Founded in 1725 is the oldest restaurant in the world and also part of the Record Guinness.

At El restaurants Boti n you will find the real typical Spanish cuisine. In my opinion (and not only mine) a place you absolutely have to book when planning a visit to Madrid.

glass of sangria with orange, apple, and rosmary

5. Spain has more bars than any other country in Europe:

A good glass of Sangria or Cava anyone? Even better with some delicious local tapas to taste?

One thing you can be sure of when visiting Spain is you won't have any problems finding a good bar where to relax and enjoy the local culture.

spain flag

6. Spain was the World's First Global Empire

The Spanish Empire is also known as the Spanish Monarchy. And it was one of the largest in history, becoming the first global power in the world after the Reconquista.

valencia festival

7. There are amazing and famous Festivals to attend in Spain:

There are so many festivals to attend in Spain, from the Holy Week or Semana Santa, the August Fair in Malaga, San Fermin, and the Fallas in Valencia, you can never get bored while visiting Spain.

alhambra granada, unesco heritage site

8. The third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites are in Spain:

There are 48 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Spain. It will take a lot of time for you to see them all, but trust me that is going to absolutely worth it. I have seen only 12 so far, and those ones I have seen were absolutely pieces of art.

9. Over 570 million people speak Spanish around the world:

This is absolutely a good reason for you to learn a bit of Spanish. If you love travelling, always make sure to speak more than one language, it will help you in every kind of situation.

ibiza island, beach blue water

10. Spin has beautiful islands to visit:

Most the foreigners (mostly not from Europe) plan to see only the mainland, but keep in mind that Spain has also more than 60 beautiful islands to visit. Some of them are perfect for a honeymoon, some are party islands, some are nature reserves, and some are uninhabited.

These are the most famous Spanish islands in the Mediterranea Sea:

  • Majorca,

  • Minorca,

  • Ibiza,

  • Formentera,

These are the most famous Spanish islands in the Atlantic Ocean:

  • Tenerife,

  • Lanzarote,

  • Gran Canaria,

  • Fuerteventura,

  • La Palma,

  • La Gomera,

sagrada familia, barcelona

11. The Sagrada Familia is not finished yet:

The Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia (but you can just call it Sagrada Familia) is a huge and beautiful unfinished basilica in Barcelona. It is also known as the largest and unfinished Roman Catholic church.

Designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, it is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its works began on 19 March 1882 and it should be complete after 2026.

12. Spanish people eat 12 grapes during the last 12 seconds of the year:

Each second of the last 12 seconds of the year, Spanish people eat 1 grape to celebrate the new year (you have to eat fats to be lucky all new year).

13. The first novel was written by a Spanish writer:

Haven't heard about "Don Quixote"?

Don Quixote is a wonderful Spanish novel written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in two parts. One in 1605 and the other one in 1615. The full title is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha.

I read this novel when I was at school and then I saw the ballet in three acts performed by the famous Bolshoi Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London.

14. Spain has a Royal family:

The Spanish Royal Family consist of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, and their son King Felipe VI, his wife Queen Letizia and their two daughters, Leonor, Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofia of Spain.

food market valencia

15. In Valencia, you will find the biggest Food Market in Europe:

The biggest food market in Europe is in Valencia and it is called the Central Market. There you will find literally everything you wish to eat and even more.

It is an unmissable place to visit when in Valencia.

16. Spanish is not the only language spoken in Spain:

Spanish is spoken by everyone in Spain but there is also Celtic in Galicia, Catalan and Occitan are spoken in Catalonia, Balearic Islands and Valencia.

17. Their Tooth Fairy is a Mouse called Ratoncito Perez:

If for the rest of us, it's a charming fairy who leaves some money under the bed or under our pillow every time we lose a tooth, in Spain, they have a little cute mouse called Ratoncito Perez.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

18. Spanish people are very loud:

Spanish people love to be loud and make other people hear them. But don't get scared. They are not arguing. That is only their way to communicate. They are loud. They love to talk, sing and dance (mostly girls).

If you are going to make some friends while in Spain, don't be surprised if when they see you, they will raise their voices to greet you, it means they are happy to see you, so be happy about it.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

19. Spanish people love to be spontaneous:

This is something you might find weird if you come from a country where you used to plan everything.

In Spain, they decide what to do at the last moment, they will tell you to meet up in the evening without telling you what time to meet till almost the last moment, and you will decide what to do and where to go only when you meet up.

But don't be worried, they are locals so they will surely take you to the best places to show you their city.

Do you want to know more about Rome?

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Spain" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

20. Spanish people like to party even if they work the next day:

But you will be on holiday so who cares. You can sleep till midday the day after.

Many people find this weird while visiting Spain because they would probably never party till 4 or 5 in the morning if they have to go to work the next day, but in Spain, this is normal so enjoy their company and have fun while partying all night.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

21. Outside the most significant cities, only a few people speak English:

This is an excellent reason to learn some basic Spanish sentences.

In Madrid and Barcelona, you will indeed find a lot of Spanish who speak English. Still, outside the biggest cities, only a few will understand you so learn some Spanish before visiting Spain, in this way you will surely make friends and travel will be much easier.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 21 Things That Will Surprise You About Spain

22. Spanish people are very relaxed:

And they are right. Why be stressed when you live in a beautiful country with delicious food and lovely people?

This is something I liked about Spanish people. They are so friendly and stress-free, you will love to be in their company.