Get Ready to Party Spanish Style, Nochevieja is Almost Here!

New Yar in Spain

new year in spain

Think you already know just how much the Spanish like to party? Check again! Nochevieja, literary, “old night”, the last night of the year, is an extra special fiesta in Spain and comes with its own exciting festivities and quirky customs. Here’s a quick guide of where to go and what to expect…new year spain


Puerta del Sol, Madrid, is the very heart of the New Year’s celebrations in Spain, as thousands congregate here for midnight celebrations. The festivities from del Sol have been broadcast live on TV since 1962 and are watched by millions of Spaniards all across Spain with the square’s famous clock tower dictating the pace of the notorious grape-eating tradition (but more on the grapes later).

The crowds start gathering around 9pm with the main celebration at midnight, followed by one of the best firework displays in Spain. Festivities carry on in true Spanish style way into the early hours of New Year’s Day. Beware the Sol metro station closes between 9pm and 12:30am so avoid arriving or leaving between these hours. New year in Spain

new year in Spain

Barcelona New Year in Spain

Celebrate Cap d’Any in Catalan style in the beautiful city of Barcelona for a New Year you’ll never forget! One of the most popular places to be for the midnight hour is around the enchanting Montjuïc Magic Fountain which in addition to its usual light and music show goes all out adding fire to the to line up. Festivities kick-off around 11pm with a live performing of the spectacular arts show Son et lumière, finishing up in time to hear the 12 bells chime at midnight. Then it’s over to the fountain for the pyrotechnic display. And afterwards you can carry on the celebrations in some of Barcelona’s best bars and clubs.


The city of Palma on the gorgeous island of Majorca will be hosting a street party close to the Town Hall with free music, festivities and fireworks. For a more glamorous night, try one of the city’s luxury hotels for a set course meal complete with champagne, music and fireworks. Two in particular we recommend are the swanky boutique hotel St Francesc Hotel Singular and the plush Valparaiso Palace hotel.


Granada’s annual New Year’s party will be held in Plaza del Carmen with live music and fireworks plus party bags, known as ‘cotillónes’ containing grapes, party hats and horns so you’re fully equipped for the festivities. new year in spain

For those who are visiting Granada, you’ve selected a great time as New Year’s Day is followed by another holiday, the Toma of Granada, so you’ll be treated to a double helping of celebrations. They’ll be a one-hour honorary service at the Town Hall followed by a military parade across Central Square.
New Year Spain


With sunny blue skies and temperatures of around 15 degree there could be worse places to see in the New Year. And should you find yourself on this beautiful island you’ll be spoilt for choice of fantastic New Year’s Eve fiestas! There are street parties, live music events and firework displays taking place right across the island, including in the capital Santa Cruz and popular tourist spots Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz. One of the best places, however, is Costa Adeje in South Tenerife with a fantastic open-air party in La Caleta. In fact, the party is so good here it is often shown on Spanish TV! Again there are live bands and DJs and of course fireworks, with the party starting around 11pm.

To escape the tourists and experience a more authentic Spanish New Year head to the small hillside town of Adeje where some of the more traditional events take place.

Wherever you decide to spend your New Year in Spain make sure you embrace some of the country’s wacky and wonderful customs….

1) Don’t Forget Your Grapes

The most famous tradition of Nochevieja is that of the 12 green grapes where families and friends throughout Spain head into local town squares or crowd into their living rooms to watch the clock strike midnight. Each grape, representing each month of the coming year, is eaten on every chime of the clock’s bells, to bring good luck for the New Year; 12 in total for a full year of good luck. While it might sound like a simple ritual, the frantic race to consume all 12 grapes before the bells stop provides a fun-filled and hilarious start to the New Year.

2) Red Underwear

If you’re hoping 2017 is the year you’ll fall madly in love then be sure you’re wearing your finest and brightest red underwear in time for midnight. In some parts of the country this bizarre custom, said to bring love, only works if the red underwear was a gift. While in other places you’ll have to give your lucky red panties away by the end of the night in order for the charm to take full effect.

3) A Golden Toast

Rather than just good luck, if you’re hoping the New Year brings in a good fortune of money then, like many Spaniards, you’ll need to drop a gold object into your glass of cava for your New Year’s toast. Make sure you keep the object inside until the glass is finished otherwise you might be stopped short of your lucky fortune in 2017.

4) Get the New Year Off On the Right Foot

According to Spanish traditions to get your New Year off on the right foot, you actually have to use your right foot! For some, the custom is that your first step after the midnight chimes should be with your right foot. While for others on returning home after your New Year celebrations, it’s the first step into your home that should be on your right foot. And for others still, it’s your first step out of the house on New Year’s Day. Better still maximise your chances and embrace them all!

Whatever you do and wherever you go this New Year, Feliz Año Nuevo from all at UK Spain Life!

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