New Year’s in Barcelona: traditions and events not to miss
Spending New Year's evening in Barcelona? Great idea! Here's everything you need to know to ring in the New Year in style.
Barcelona is a very festive city so it’s a great destination for New Year’s eve. If there’s one night in the year for partying, it’s 31st December! Dinner, a show and a night out seems like a good way to start the New Year off in style – what more could you want?
- 1 New Year’s traditions in Barcelona
- 2 New Year’s in Montjuïc: Light and sound show at the magical fountains
- 3 New Year’s in Poble Espanyol
- 4 Illuminations of the Torre Agbar
- 5 New Year’s Eve: restaurant options
- 6 New Year’s Eve: staying in
- 7 New Year’s Eve: flamenco shows
- 8 New Year’s Eve: bars and clubs
- 9 Metro (31st December-1st January)
- 10 New year: What about the weather in Barcelona?
New Year’s traditions in Barcelona
Like anywhere else, the night of the 31st of December (called the “nochevieja”, or Old Night) means party in Barcelona. Dinner is with family or friends, and then you drink and dance to the end of the night.
However, there are some specific Spanish traditions that you might want to adopt!
- 12 grapes: This is the best known and the most widely followed tradition. You eat a grape on every stroke of midnight, so one for each month of the year. If you spend New Year’s in a restaurant or nightclub, you will be given grapes. Be careful not to choke!
- A ring in your glass of Cava: In Catalonia, you don’t drink Champagne, but Cava, the local sparkling white wine of which the region is very proud. To attract money and prosperity in the new year you say cheers with a ring inside your glass of Cava. Or at least there’s no harm in trying…
- Red lingerie: according to superstition, wearing red lingerie on New Year’s eve brings good luck and happiness in love.
And finally, don’t forget your resolutions. No doubt you will keep them this year!
New Year’s in Montjuïc: Light and sound show at the magical fountains
The city organises a large arts performance at the Montjuïc magical fountains and a sound and light show at 9pm.
The celebration takes place on avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina and it is free to all.
Be careful of pickpockets…keep an eye on your belongings!
- For more info (in Spanish), click here.
- Be sure to get there early. Although the show is designed to be visible from far away, it’s always better to be close to the action.
- If you are coming and/or going by metro, prepare to queue to get in and out of the station. We would actually advise you to get off at a station before Plaça Espanya and walk the rest of the way. You’ll end up getting there faster.
- How much? Free
- When? 31st of December 9:30pm to 10 past midnight
- Where? Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, metro Espanya (L1, L3)
For a sneak peak at the type of show you can expect, here is a video from New Year’s Eve 2019:
New Year’s in Poble Espanyol
You might already have heard of Poble Espanyol, a unique space in Barcelona, built for the 1929 World Expo. It is like a little village, as its streets and squares are reproductions of particularly emblematic ones from Spanish cities. It’s not the most authentic space but it is certainly pleasant.
- The atmosphere really heats up in Poble Espanyol on the 31st of December: the biggest hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s and today are heard from 10:30pm to 6am.
- You can choose from 4 places: the Plaza Mayor (the biggest square in Poble Espanyol), the main tent, the VIP area and the VIP Premium area.
- Why? For a different kind of party
- How much? General entry: €35 or €40 in pre-sale, €60 at the door. VIP entry €60 or €70 pre-sale. €80 at the door (limited to 200 people)
- When? 31st of December, 10:30pm to 6am
- Where? Poble Espanyol, metro Espanya (L1, L3)
Illuminations of the Torre Agbar
- If you’re in Poblenou and/or you have a view of the Torre Agbar, you will see it is particularly pretty on New Year’s eve, as it marks every stroke of midnight by lighting up in a different way. Which is useful to help you time your grapes!
- However, there is no music or pyrotechnic display to go with it. It’s worth checking out if you can see it from your apartment or hotel room (like at the Silken Diagonal for example).
If there’s one night in the year for partying, it’s 31st December! Dinner, a show and a night out seems like a good way to start the New Year off in style – what more could you want?
New Year’s Eve: restaurant options
The following list should help you choose from the vast array of restaurants Barcelona has to offer. All of the options below offer a special New Year’s Eve menu.
We haven’t tested them all – New Year comes but once a year, after all – but they all have excellent ratings on thefork.com (+9 out of 10).
Prices for New Year’s Eve are very high, but drinks are often included (usually cava, wine, water and coffee), and certain restaurants offer party favours, live music and the traditional 12 raisins for good luck (if you’re wondering why, see our article on New Year’s traditions in Barcelona).
- On this, of all nights, booking is absolutely essential.
- Some places will request a deposit to confirm your booking.
The Top Three:
- Agust, one of our favourites in Barcelona: menu €175 (including drinks)
- SOFIA Be So: menu €275 (including drinks)
- Caelis: menu €325 (including drinks)
The best of the rest:
- Grand Place Bistrot menu €80
New Year’s Eve: staying in
If eating out isn’t an option at these prices, take a look at our selection of articles on food shopping in Barcelona – pick up some supplies and treat yourselves to something special!
New Year’s Eve: flamenco shows
Flamenco is typical of Andalucia, not Catalonia, but there are still top-quality shows to be seen in Barcelona. Following a number of requests, we’ve tracked down a flamenco show held on 31st December. Unfortunately,
Unfortunately, all the places we recommend are off on December 31st. However, they do offer shows around this key date. On January 1st for example!
For more informations, read our article about flamenco in Barcelona.
New Year’s Eve: bars and clubs
All of Barcelona’s biggest clubs hold special events on New Year’s Eve. We recommend booking ahead, otherwise you may end up queueing for hours. It’s also generally cheaper to pre-book than to buy tickets on the door. Prices tend to include one or more drinks, party favours and the all-important raisins!
- Looking for details on Barcelona’s club scene? Take a look at our articles on Opium, Razzmatazz, Apolo, Fira, Jamboree and Bling Bling.
- You’ll find plenty of other addresses in our article on the Barcelona Night Card (but note that the pass isn’t valid on New Year’s Eve).
- If you want even more options, take a look at our unusual bars and music venues in Barcelona category.
Metro (31st December-1st January)
- Good news: The metro runs all night.
- Be careful of pickpockets who tend to circle large public gatherings.
- Alcohol controls are tightened on New Year’s eve so think before you plan to drive. Leave your car in a parking.
New year: What about the weather in Barcelona?
Winter in Barcelona is generally quite cool even if during the day the temperatures don’t go below 13 degrees on average.
- Bring warm clothes, a raincoat and an umbrella but also bring lighter clothes. There is a strong chance of blue skies and you may even want to sunbathe on a terrace or on the beach.
Enjoy and happy New Year in 2020!
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About the author
Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?