It's got what many believe is the greatest club football team ever assembled -- FC Barcelona.
Not to mention one of the planet's greatest collections of art -- at the Prado museum in Madrid.
Then there's the food, which this year we suggested was the greatest cuisine in the world right now.
What makes Spain such a cultural powerhouse?
Size doesn't hurt. It's Western Europe's second-largest country (after France) in terms of area, and the world's third-largest exporter of wine, fruits and vegetables.
But it's the incredible diversity of its people and passions that holds the key to understanding Spain's eternal appeal.
1. There are many Spains
During the grim decades of the fascist Francisco Franco's rule, regional languages such as Basque, Catalan and Galician were banned in Spain.
On the dictator's death in 1975, a new, ultra-liberal constitution broke up Castilian centralism by handing over sweeping autonomy to the 17 regions.
The result was a reinvigorated sense of regional pride that had a ripple effect on every form of culture.
That's why street signs and menus sometimes come in unfamiliar dialects and languages such as Gallego (Galicia), which closely resembles Portuguese; Bable (Asturias); Catalan in Catalonia, the Balearics and Valencia; and Basque (possibly Europe's oldest language), which remains an unfathomable mystery of x's, k's and z's.
2. Bulls are a unifying force
Despite the diversity, Spain has at least one common thread: bulls.
The bull is Spain's iconic animal, and you won't miss seeing at least one -- alive, dead or fake.
They famously thunder through the streets of Pamplona each July and snort and kick round the bull rings of Madrid, Seville and countless smaller towns.
They also appear on hilltops beside motorways and in a decades-old advertisement for Osborne sherry.
Many a stuffed bull's head watches over a bar interior, where aficionados might be glued to a televised bullfight and later scan a review of the fight in the arts, not sports, section of the newspaper.
There are areas of resistance to what some see as a barbaric event.
The popularity of the bloody contest is waning among the younger generation, and Catalonia has now banned the sport completely.
3. Spaniards don't eat when you normally do
Lunch is from 2 p.m. onward, and dinner comes after 10 p.m.
If you're hungry in between or can't reset your body clock, there's help -- tapas and pintxo bars (pintxo is the Basque equivalent of tapas) open around midday and again around 7 p.m.
In some bars, a snack still comes free with a glass of beer, sherry or wine, but some places now charge.
San Sebastian is Spain's gourmet capital, not only for top restaurants but also pintxo bars.
The old town in the city claims the highest density of bars per inhabitant in the world. You can make a meal on exquisite miniature dishes and glasses of txakoli (a lightly sparkling dry white wine), Rioja or cider.