Spain Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Spain Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

Spain Facts

  • Population: 48 million people live in Spain (2019)
  • Capital: Madrid, with 3.3 million inhabitants, is Spain's biggest city.
  • Name: Reino de España (Kingdom of Spain), short form: España
  • Government: Parliamentary Monarchy 
  • Languages: Castilian Spanish 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician, Basque
  • Literacy: More than 98% can read and write.
  • Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 94%)
  • Currency: 1 Euro=100 cents, before 2001 Spanish peseta 
  • National Symbol: National flag and coat of arms, the short-toed eagle (national bird), red carnation (national flower), the bull (national animal). The official Spanish anthem "La Marcha Real" (the Royal March) is one of only four anthems in the world without lyrics. 
  • History: From 711 to 1492 Islamic Moors ruled in Spain. In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovers America and the Spanish rulers start forming their empire. In the 16th century Spanish kings ruled over many European countries, Portugal, Netherlands, parts of France, Germany, Italy and Austria. The Spanish Civil War rages in Spain from 1936 to 1939 when dictator General Franco takes over the country. In 1975 Franco dies and Juan Carlos I becomes King of Spain. In 2014, his son Felipe followed him on the throne when Juan Carlos resigned due to old age.
  • National Day: 12 October (Fiesta Nacional de España)

Where is Spain? - Spain Map

Spain lies in Southern Europe, a flight to Madrid take roughly 2.5 hours from London/England, 7 hours from New York/USA

Spain borders the countries Portugal, Andorra, France, Gibraltar (which is a British Overseas Territory). Spain also shares borders with Morocco, as the two Spanish enclaves (Spanish territories) Ceuta and Melilla are located within Morocco.

Spain is separated from Africa by the Straits of Gibraltar. 

Rock of GibraltarRock of Gibraltar

This passage connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. The narrowest point in the Straits of Gibraltar between the two continents Europe and Africa is 14.3km/8.9 miles wide.

The Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coastline belong to Spain.

The Spanish nation is divided in 17 'autonomous communities' which are regions where people have their own regional government. 

Spain Facts | Geography

Spain lies on the Iberian Peninsula. The country borders the Mediterranean Sea in the South and East and the Atlantic Ocean in the Northwest. Spain is the fourth largest country in Europe after Russia, Ukraine and France.

In the North, the Pyrenees mountain ranges are forming a natural border with the tiny country Andorra and with France. To the west of Spain is Portugal.

Spain Map by Daria I./Shutterstock.comPeninsular Spain Map

Spain is a bit slightly larger than twice the size of the United Kingdom and about twice the size of Oregon.

The climate in Spain ranges considerably between the different regions. In the northern mountainous regions the climate is alpine, while most of the country appreciates a Mediterranean mild climate. The climate in the southwestern parts is semi-arid while the northwestern parts experiences an oceanic climate. On the Canary islands the climate is subtropical and semi-arid.

Spain Facts | Islands of Spain

Here are some more interesting facts regarding the islands of Spain:

Balearic Islands mapBalearic Islands

The Balearic Islands lie roughly 80 km/ 50 miles of Spain's easter coastline in the Mediterranean Sea. The four islands belonging to the Islas Baleares (Balearic Islands) are: 

  • Mallorca
  • Menorce
  • Ibiza
  • Formentera
Canary Islands mapCanary Islands

The Canary Islands lie roughly 100 km/ 62 miles of the African continent's coastline. The seven biggest islands belonging to the Islas Canares (Canary Islands) are:

  • Tenerife (the largest island of the Canary islands)
  • Fuerteventura
  • Gran Canaria
  • Lanzarote
  • La Palma
  • La Gomera
  • El Hierro (the smallest island of the Canaries)
El Hierro landscape - the smallest of the Canary IslandsEl Hierro

There are several other much smaller islands. More than 2 million people live on the Canary Islands.

Spain Facts | Geo Superlatives

  1. Longest river: Rio Ebro with 910km/566 miles. Please note that the Tagus which is the longest river on the Iberian peninsula only passes through Spain over 716 km/ 446 miles.
  2. Highest mountain of Spain: El Teide on Tenerife (Canary Islands) with 3,718m/12,198 ft. El Teide is a dormant volcano.
  3. Highest mountain on the Spanish mainland: Mulhacén with 3,479m/11,414 ft.
  4. Largest island: Mallorca (which is part of the Balearic Islands)
  5. Largest natural lake in Spain: Lake Sanabria
  6. Largest saltwater lagoon: Mar Menor, which is also considered as the largest salt lake in Europe
  7. Westernmost point of Spain: Kap Finisterre 
  8. Largest city: Madrid
  9. The five biggest cities in Spain are:
  • Madrid with 3.3 million inhabitants
  • Barcelona with 1.5 million inhabitants
  • Valencia with roughly 800 000 inhabitants
  • Sevilla with about 700 000 inhabitants
  • Zaragoza with more than 600 000 inhabitants

10. Southernmost point of Spain and the European mainland: Punta de Tarifa

Tarifa in Spain - southernmost point in continental EuropeTarifa in Spain

Spain Facts |Animals in Spain

In Spain you easily encounter mules and merino sheep especially in the highlands and in many place you will see are lizards and wall geckos.

Iberian Lynx

The Mediterranean or Iberian lynx, however, is almost extinct, there are only a few surviving mammals left in the south of Spain and Portugal. The lynx is the most endangered cat in the world.

Other protected animals are the Iberian wild boar, the Iberian fox, the Iberian wolves and the Cantabrian brown bear.

The short-toed eagle is Spain's national bird. The region of Andalusia is home to the Andalusian horses which are known for their speed and strength.

Andalusian horseAndalusian horse

Spain Attractions for Kids

  • Madrid: Spain's capital city is known for the royal palace and the Prado museum which is on the most important fine arts museums in the world. There some of the greatest paintings of European artist are shown. Plaza de Cibeles with its fountain is another one of the main landmarks of the city.
Royal Palace in Madrid - used for state functions
  • Barcelona: Explore the amazing buildings designed by artist and architect Gaudí such as the iconic landmark Sagrada Familia, the unfinished basilica, or the colourful mosaics in Park Guëll. 
Sagrada Familia by Mapics/Shutterstock.comSagrada Familia basilica

The beach is close to the city centre and the Barceloneta is the most popular beach suburb of Barcelona. More than 500,000 visitors from all over the world visit this popular beach every summer. Did you know that Barcelona is ranked as one the best beach cities in the world?

Barceloneta Beach by Nito/Shutterstock.comPopular Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona
  • Valencia: The city which was once founded by the Romans, is famous for the annual Las Fallas spring festival in March which feature giant puppets, fireworks and the Spanish national dish called Paella. The futuristic 'City of Arts and Sciences' complex is much worth a visit as well.
Arts and Sciences Museum Complex in Valencia
  • Santiago de Compostela: The university town in northwestern Spain is famous for the shrine of St James the Great. Over 200 000 people take the pilgrimage on the 'Way of St James' every year.
  • Granada: The city located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains is known for the majestic Alhambra palace and fortress. At this UNESCO world heritage site you can learn about Spanish history and the Spanish Islamic art while admiring the Arabic decorations and colourful mosaics.
Alhambra in SpainAlhambra with the Sierra Nevada in the background
  • The Pyrenees: The high mountain range in northeastern Spain are popular for hiking and skiing.

There are so many great places in Spain to visit, just to many to mention here. We will show you more places on a special page here soon.

Spain Facts | Spanish People

The Spanish people have their own royal family who lives in the royal place, the 'Zarzuela Palace', outside of Madrid. The Royal Palace, Palacio Real, in the city of Madrid is the place where official functions take place. On 19 June 2014, the son of former king Juan Carlos , Felipe VI, was crowned the new king of Spain. Juan Carlos retired due to old age. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia have two daughters.

Many Spanish people are soccer fans. The top soccer clubs are: Real Madrid and Barça (FC Barcelona).

Spain is known for its flamenco dance. In Andalusia, in many towns and villages people dance the flamenco for special festivities. Some of the best flamenco dancers are said to be the Romani people ('gitanos' in Spanish). The gitanos arrived to Spain in the XV century and still conserve their own language and traditions. In the image you can see girls performing the flamenco at a fiesta in Seville.

Flamenco dancers

The Spanish are also known for their great festivals, such as the 'Tomatina' and the 'Running of the Bulls'. The 'Tomatina' festival in the small town of Buñol, to the west of Valencia, is the world's biggest food fight, as the people throw tomatoes at each other. The festival takes place every year in August, but the event only takes one hour, as the people throw tomatoes at each other. Another famous spanish festival takes place in the town of Pamplona in Northern Spain. The highlight of the festival is the 'Running of the Bulls'. Six bulls are chasing people who try to run away in front of the animals. Bullfights also are popular events in the arenas of several cities, but are banned in others.

The people of Tarragona gather every two years at the Castells Festival in October to build human towers. 

Tarragona Human Tower Competition - David Ortega BagliettoCompetition in Tarragona - by David Ortega Baglietto

The competition includes four teams of athletes from the city and in total more than 40 teams from all over Spain. Sometimes the human towers reach up to 11 metres! Read more here.

As summers get very hot in the Spanish cities of the inland, many Spaniards flock to the seaside during summer holidays or go tho the mountainous areas in the north of the country.

Spain Facts
Famous Spanish People

Among the most well known Spanish artists are:

  • Miguel de Cervantes - Spanish author of 'Don Quixote'
  • Manuel de Falla - Spanish composer
  • Joan Miró - Spanish sculptur and painter
  • Salvador Dalí - Spanish painter who created surrealist paintings such as this one with the clock faces slipping down.
Salvador Dali: famous paintingDalí painting 'The Persistence of Memory'
  • Antoni Gaudi - see many of his great works in Barcelona, especially in the fascinating Parc Guëll and the still unfinished Cathedral 'Sagrada Familia'. Read more here.
Mosaic Lizard by Antoni Gaudi - Park Guëll

Spain Facts | Spanish Language

Spanish is the world's second-most spoken native language. Spanish is spoken in Spain and in various South American countries, among them Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

Which language is spoken in Spain? Castilian Spanish is spoken in all 17 regions, but other languages and dialects are spoken in various regions of the country: 

  • Castillian Spanish is recognised as 'typical' Spanish and is spoken across the country of Spain.
  • Catalan is spoken in the region around Barcelona, and the province of Cataluña, as well as in Valencia. This language reads and sounds quite different to Castilian Spanish.
  • Basque is spoken in the Basque Country in the north of Spain
  • Galician is spoken in Galicia, in Spain's northwest.

Palabras en Español -
Spanish Words

Here are some useful Spanish words:

  • Buenos días: Good day
  • ¡Hola!  Hello
  • ¿Qué tal?  How are you?
  • adiós: bye bye
  • gracias: thank you
  • Te quiero: I love you

The Spanish language uses inverted question marks and exclamation marks and letter which have symbols, accents, on them, such as the n with an accent called 'tilde' in: España

Spain Facts: Spanish Food

The Spanish main dishes contain: potatoes, rice, fish, meat, beans, chickpeas and fruit.

Here are some typical Spanish dishes:

Spain Food - Paella, typical Spanish dishPaella
  • Paella: A rice dish with seafood or meat such as rabbit, chicken and snails, popular especially in Valencia
  • Gazpacho: Vegetable soup or stew
  • Coca: A sweet bread 
  • Empanada: Stuffed bread or pie
  • Turrón: Nougat sweet cake made with honey and nuts
  • Jamón Serrano: Pork leg ham
  • Chorizo: Pork sausage
Spain Facts: Churros and Chocolate are not only kids' favourite dessertChurros
  • Chocolate con Churros: Hot and very thick chocolate drink with sweet fried pastry (as you can see on the right). A popular weekend breakfast in Madrid.

Spain Facts | Did you know?

Did you know, that Spain is the world's top olive oil producer? Spain produced about 1.8 million tons of olive oil in 2018. The main region for olive oil production is Andalusia. Spain has the highest number of olive trees in the world.

Spain Facts for Kids | Resources

Images on Spain Facts for Kids: shutterstock, sxc.hu, wikicommons and own images.

Thanks a lot to Leyre, Leo and Carla for adding and checking content on this page, when we previously updated in February 2018.

Please continue to share your info and expand this Spain Facts for Kids section. Your support is much appreciated. Contact us here for any collaborations, additions or corrections.

Enjoy learning more great Spain Facts soon!

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