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Magic Fountain, Barcelona | © MariaRosaFerre/Wikimedia Commons
Magic Fountain, Barcelona | © MariaRosaFerre/Wikimedia Commons
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The Best Places To Spend New Year’s Eve In Spain

Picture of Esme Fox
Updated: 29 November 2016
New Year’s Eve, or Nochevieja as it’s known in Spanish, is a time for celebration, and no one knows how to celebrate quite like the Spaniards. Featuring spectacular firework displays, live shows, fancy dress parades and beach parties – and of course those 12 lucky grapes – here are the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in Spain.

Puerto del Sol, Madrid

Spain’s capital is a great place to spend New Year’s Eve. In ‘the city that never sleeps,’ partying goes on until the very early hours of the morning, even when it’s not New Year’s Eve. During Nochevieja (literally meaning ‘old night’), thousands of people gather at the Puerto del Sol to see in the New Year. When the clock strikes midnight, it is tradition to eat 12 lucky grapes (one on every strike) before reveling in the party atmosphere. After the New Year is in and the fireworks are over, the whole square bursts into life with music, colored streamers, poppers and fancy dress.

New Year's Eve Madrid | ©JPPuerta via Wikimedia Commons
New Year’s Eve in Madrid | ©JPPuerta via Wikimedia Commons

Plaça d’Espanya, Barcelona

Spend New Year’s Eve in Barcelona and you’ll congregate in front of the Magic Fountain at Plaça d’Espanya. As well as the usual traditions of eating the lucky grapes and watching fireworks, Barcelona puts on a full multimedia spectacle. From large water, fire and musical displays, to moving images, dancing and singing, this is much more than your usual New Year’s Eve affair – one year even featured a giant metal puppet with moving, glowing figures inside it.

La Mercè Festival, Place Espanya, Barcelona | WikiCommons
La Mercè Festival at Plaza España, Barcelona | WikiCommons

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Forget wrapping up warm and sipping on hot chocolate while waiting for the fireworks to begin. Spend New Year’s Eve in the Canary Islands and you can enjoy a breezy evening on the beach. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is also one of the island’s top clubbing destinations, ensuring a great party atmosphere too.

New Year's Eve Cava via Pixabay
New Year’s Eve cava | Pixabay

Pamplona

Pamplona (yes the city where they hold the Running of the Bulls festival) may not seem like an obvious choice to celebrate Nochevieja, but in recent years, they’ve turned New Year’s Eve into a kind of carnival, with fancy dress parties and street processions. Don’t forget to prepare your costume well in advance to compete with the locals.

fancy dress costumes | ©skeeze via Pixabay
Fancy dress costumes | ©skeeze via Pixabay

Plaça de Cort, Mallorca

In Palma, Mallorca’s main city, locals and tourists alike head to the ayuntamiento (town hall) on Plaça de Cort to enjoy the city’s free New Year’s Eve party. Featuring DJs, dancers, fireworks and light shows, it’s a big celebration.

Nochevieja grapes | © Chris Oakley/Flickr
Nochevieja grapes | © Chris Oakley/Flickr

Plaza del Carmen, Granada

Granada may feel like a small-town place with a laid-back atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t know how to do New Year’s Eve. Young and old congregate in front of the city’s town hall on Plaza del Carmen to enjoy live music and fireworks. Some years, the town hall also distributes free party bags filled with lucky grapes, party hats and streamers.

New Year's fireworks | © Ondrejk/WikiCommons
New Year’s Eve fireworks | © Ondrejk/WikiCommons