What’s on in Spain: Top ideas for New Year’s Eve

What's on in Spain: Top ideas for New Year's Eve
Tourists in Madrid try out the Spanish tradition of swallowing 12 grapes to mark the beginning of the new year. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP
Still not sure where to spend New Year's Eve? Then check out The Local's guide to the best places in Spain to usher in 2015 in style.

Spaniards tend to start off their New Year celebrations at home with family before heading out to bars and clubs after midnight so don’t be alarmed if places are a little bit quiet in the run up to the magic moment. 

If you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain your best bet is to go to one of the bigger cities where you’ll likely be surrounded by like-minded revellers. And if you're keen on doing New Year's Eve the Spanish way, enjoy a nice meal with friends or family before heading out into the night to ring in the new year. 

Don't forget your grapes! 

In Spain it is traditional to eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of midnight, which will bring you prosperity and good luck for the year ahead.

Some people also believe it is good luck to wear red underwear on New Year's Eve so make sure you're all set before heading to some of the best places in Spain to celebrate New Year's Eve:  

Revellers bring in the new year at Madrid's Puerta del Sol. Photo: GERARD JULIEN/AFP

Puerta del Sol, Madrid

The very heart of the Spanish capital celebrates New Year’s Eve to the max. It is also home to the famous clock tower which dictates the pace of festive grape eating — one at each stroke of midnight. New Year's Eve celebrations from Sol have been broadcast live on Spanish television since 1962 so why not join the thousands who gather in front of the town hall to bring in the new year, grapes and cava in hand? Be careful not to choke on those grapes though. 


With sunny weather and temperatures of 20C forecast for New Year’s Eve in Santa Cruz, why not escape the chilly weather of mainland Spain and head to the Canary Islands for a balmy New Year's Eve. And if all that sun gets to upset you can always take a trip up amazing Mount Teide for a dose of snow the next day.


Celebrate Cap d’Any (New Year’s Eve in Catalan) by visiting the Magic Fountain of Montjuic’s New Year’s Eve countdown then party the night away in some of Barcelona’s best clubs including Razzmatazz, spread over five rooms. With all kinds of music, the club it's perfect if you're heading out in a big group of people with diverse musical tastes.

Monjuic's magic fountain in Barcelona. Photo: Shutterstock 


Head to Placa Cort, near Palma Town Hall where from 11pm on 31st December there will be a free New Year’s Eve party, including DJs, light shows and dancers. 


Granada’s Town Hall organizes a big party every New Year’s Eve on Plaza del Carmen with live music and fireworks. This year more than 3,000 party bags, known as ‘cotillónes’ will be distributed from 10.30pm, each containing 12 grapes, party hats and horns. 


If you’re planning on catching some powder this New Year’s Eve, head to the Formigal ski resoirt in the Spanish Pyrenees, which will be holding its annual New Year’s Eve party, complete with DJs, a torchlight parade and fireworks. 


If you want to welcome in 2015 in a different style, head to Pamplona, where the city’s traditional New Year’s Eve carnival sees residents dress up as all kinds of characters. It is not unusual to stroll past astronauts, fairies, kings or witches on New Year’s Eve in Pamplona so you can be whoever you want to be to welcome in the new year. 

La Coruña

If big-time boozing is not your style, or you just need an excuse to feel good about yourself before a big night out on the town, why not put on your running gear and join the 2,5000 people who taking part in La Coruña's San Silvestre Rialto 7.7 kilometre (4.8 mile) fun run. The La Coruña event is actually one of around 200 such 'San Silvestre' runs in Spain with other big runs taking place in Madrid (San Silvestre Vallecana) and Barcelona (Cursa del Nassos).       

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