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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.