So you’re thinking about spending the last night of the year in Barcelona? Or maybe you’ve already booked your ticket and are wondering what exactly the city has in store for you.
Well, let me tell you, you’re about to dive into one heck of a celebration! But hey, don’t just take my word for it…
Having lived in Spain for a number of years and spent quite a lot of time in Barcelona, I’ve had my fair share of New Year’s Eves in this vibrant city. And I’m here to spill the grapes – er, beans (you’ll see what I mean in a moment).
Stick around and I’ll take you through everything you need to know about celebrating the New Year in Barcelona – the traditions, the parties, the fireworks, and even how to navigate the city during the festivities.
Just don’t forget to grab some cava to celebrate!
Planning a trip to Barcelona?
Barcelona is incredibly popular for tourists and so it’s essential to book accommodation well in advance to avoid missing out here. Here are my top picks on the best places to stay for the ideal mix of comfort, convenience and (reasonable!) costs:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best luxury accommodation: Ohla Barcelona – amazing rooftop pool, incredible views, and the perfect location to explore the city
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best mid-range accommodation: Seventy Barcelona – the décor of this boutique hotel is so modern and stylish, the rooftop pool is ideal, plus you’ll be near the main sights the moment you step outside
⭐⭐ Best budget accommodation: Àmfores Boutique Guest House – the rooms are comfortable, the location is superb and the terrace is a great spot to end your day
Where can I celebrate New Year’s Eve in Barcelona?
1. Plaça Espanya
When the clock nears midnight, all roads lead to the Magic Fountain by Plaça Espanya. Since 2013, Barcelona has been throwing the wildest public party that even Sydney, New York, and London would be envious of!
From heart-thumping music and dazzling fireworks, this place has it all. Get ready for an explosion of color and joy, and don’t forget to look skywards as the clock strikes twelve!
(Here’s a taste of a previous year’s show, just to warm you up for what you’re going to see here…)
And following tradition, pop a grape into your mouth with each chime, making a wish for the coming year. Then sit back and enjoy a spectacular 15-minute fireworks display that you can see from almost anywhere in the city.
This show, hosted on Montjuïc, just above Plaça d’Espanya, is a family-friendly bonanza of music, lights, and special effects. Get there early to secure a good spot. It’s free, and the action starts around 11 pm.
But here’s a tip: When it’s time to head home, skip the crowded Espanya metro and walk a bit further to the less chaotic Tarragona metro station.
2. New Year’s Dinner and Party at a Restaurant
If you’d rather clink glasses indoors during those chilly evenings during winter in Barcelona, I’ve got you covered. A plethora of restaurants across the city offer special New Year’s Eve menus brimming with traditional Catalan delicacies.
Imagine feasting on stuffed chicken, roasted lamb, and a hearty meat broth with all the trimmings, washed down with a glass of sparkling Cava and a slice of turrón (nougat) for dessert.
Just remember, advance booking is a must. Places like Els Quatre Gats, Enigmatium, and Bodega Joan are popular for their delicious Catalan cuisine and New Year’s Eve specials.
Make sure you Google for the best options and, once again, book well in advance, as tables at popular places disappear faster than the last piece of turrón. Expect to spend between €80.00-€120.00 per person for these NYE set menus.
3. Plaça Catalunya
For those who prefer a bit more of a party vibe, make your way to Plaça Catalunya. Located in the heart of the city, this square pulsates with life on New Year’s Eve. Here, locals and tourists share bottles of cava, cheer, and embrace the New Year in a lively, spirited atmosphere.
But hold onto your hats because at the stroke of midnight, it’s time for the unique (and slightly wacky) tradition of the bottle toss. Thousands of revelers throw their empty cava bottles into the center of the square!
It’s a sight to behold but be warned, stand well back from the action as let’s just say that most people aren’t professionals when doing this.
Also, don’t worry if you forget your grapes and cava; there are always plenty of entrepreneurial locals ready to help you out…albeit for a small fee.
4. Poble Espanyol
Ah, Poble Espanyol! It’s more than a place; it’s an experience!
Hosting El Fin del Año, the biggest New Year’s fiesta in Barcelona, this Spanish Village on Montjuic hill becomes a party central, just a 10-minute walk from Plaça Espanya. And let me tell you, the view of the fireworks from up there is beyond spectacular!
This wondrous village quickly shifts from being one of the biggest markets during Christmas in Barcelona to opening its doors to thousands of party-goers, with three unique zones tailored to deliver an unforgettable experience. Plaza Mayor, the main square, transforms into a warm, transparent glasshouse, so you can dance under the stars without the chilly winds.
A grand Marquee features a second stage, and hey, for those who opt for VIP tickets, get ready for some top-tier nightclubbing right within Poble Espanyol. Plus, resident DJs will keep the party beats flowing from 10:30pm until 6am.
And, speaking of prices, a regular ticket will set you back €50 if you prepay, and €60 at the box office. But hey, this comes with four drinks, some novelty items, and the traditional New Year’s Eve grapes.
For the high-rollers, the VIP tickets start at €80, and they give you access to a VIP area, no-line entrance, and the same perks as a regular ticket. Not a bad deal, right?
Now, Poble Espanyol might be close to the Magic Fountains of Montjuic, but it’s a New Year’s world of its own. Each of its spaces creates a unique atmosphere, with pulsating music to keep the energy high.
Just remember that it’s a bit on the outside, so bundle up to stay warm!
5. Night Clubs and Bars
Barcelona is known for its party scene and at no time of the year is that more true than New Year’s Eve here. The city’s clubs put on a range of events which means, if you’re looking to party the night away, one of these is definitely going to be your best option.
You do have to pay for tickets, but you get a bunch of things with them. And as with anything on New Year’s Eve in Barcelona, it’s best to pre-book as far in advance as possible, as tickets sell out fast.
A ‘Bohemian boozer’ with a dash of ultra-hip vibes, Clubhaus is where “food – art – play” come together for an unrivaled New Year’s Eve party. With two dining spaces, multiple entertainment zones, and an onsite nightclub (The Galaxy Room), Clubhaus offers a passport to culinary and nightlife heaven.
Their tasting menu caters to everyone, and a €70 first release ticket gets you access to an open bar until 11pm.
One of Barcelona’s hottest spots, Pacha, is a global clubbing sensation located on the Port Olimpic. Famous for its fantastic interior, beach terrace, and a wild crowd of party-goers, Pacha becomes a party paradise on NYE.
Be ready to experience their list of DJs they have on site tonight while enjoying their special bottle services.
If you’re up for an industrial vibe with Barcelona’s hipsters and students, then Razzmatazz is your place. As the city’s biggest club, Razzmatazz promises a night of chaotic fun with five rooms of rock, pop, and electronic beats.
The crowd is pretty young, so if you’re ancient like me (i.e. over 30), perhaps keep that in mind.
Looking for some glamor? Opium has you covered!
This chic club on Barceloneta beach is the city’s most famous hub of hedonism. With a vast dance floor, awesome terrace, and VIP areas, Opium is the place to mix and mingle with Barcelona’s elite crowd.
Bling Bling is the essence of exclusivity and elegance in Barcelona’s nightlife. If you wish to rub shoulders with the crème de la crème, look no further.
With two VIP areas, cocktail bars, and a night-long music journey from commercial, to Hip-Hop, to electronic, Bling Bling promises a fun dance experience.
One of Barcelona’s classy cocktail bars, Slow, ups the ante with a boutique club upstairs.
Perfect for anyone looking for a fancy yet laid-back New Year’s Eve, Slow keeps the party going until 7am with an eclectic electronic music selection.
For an icy twist to your New Year’s Eve, try Barcelona’s Ice Bar. With DJs spinning house and disco tunes, live percussion, and a chill (quite literally!) vibe until 5am, it’s a unique way to usher in the New Year.
6. Flamenco Show with Dinner
Looking for a cultural spin on your New Year’s celebration? Consider spending your evening at a flamenco concert at El Palacio de Flamenco.
Tickets include a heart-pounding flamenco show, four drinks, and a chance to party until 3am. You can even upgrade your experience with the Gala Dinner option, which includes a festive seasonal menu, or opt for the VIP dinner for that extra special someone.
So why not ring in the New Year with some Spanish flair, a gourmet Catalan dinner, and a flamenco performance that’ll leave you breathless? But remember, check the website and book early or you might miss out on this unique celebration.
7. New Year’s Dinner and Party at a Hotel
If you’re looking to streamline your NYE experience and mix convenience with luxury, how about joining your own party at your hotel? You can celebrate in style and then head straight to bed after all the festivities — no need for taxis or late-night public transport!
It’s the perfect solution for those of you who like to have your cake and eat it too (quite literally!).
Many Barcelona hotels host their own New Year’s Eve celebrations, featuring everything from gala dinners, open bars, and live music to incredible firework views. Every hotel offers something different, so whether you’re looking for a chilled, classy vibe or a full-on fiesta, you’re sure to find a hotel that suits your preferences.
Remember to book your spot ahead of time to avoid any last-minute disappointments. It’s like having your very own VIP section in the heart of Barcelona!
8. Run a 10k Race
Hey, fitness freaks, I see you! Fancy starting your New Year’s Eve with an adrenaline rush? Join in the annual Cursa dels Nassos, a traditional 10k race held every year on December 31st.
The “Race of the Noses” (love the name, by the way) begins at 5:15 pm, just in time to get your heart pumping before the party begins. It’s a scenic route around Poble Nou, along the seafront, down to the stunning Ciutadella Park and back through the lively Poble Nou neighborhood.
The registration fee is around €20, and you can sign up on their website before December 21st. Remember to pack your running shoes along with your party clothes.
Work up a sweat, then reward yourself with some fabulous New Year’s Eve indulgences!
How to get around Barcelona on New Year’s Eve
Black and yellow, black and yellow—you’ll see these Barcelona taxis buzzing around the city all night long. New Year’s Eve may attract an extra fee, so plan accordingly.
Also, keep in mind that it’s one of the busiest nights of the year, so pre-booking your ride could be a game-changer. You’re very likely to experience some traffic, but hey, more time to practice your Spanish with the friendly local taxi drivers, right?
Barcelona’s metro system is a godsend on New Year’s Eve, running continuously throughout the night. However, just like everywhere else tonight, it can get very crowded.
If you’re heading to the fireworks at Plaça Espanya, you might need to hop off at a different stop and stroll over. Likewise, when you’re heading home, it could be worth taking a little post-midnight walk to stations like Hostafrancs or Tarragona to dodge the queues.
Also, and I cannot stress this enough — buy your metro tickets beforehand! It’ll save you from queuing at the ticket machines, which can feel like an eternity when you’re eager to join the festivities.
And remember to watch out for pickpockets. Stay safe!
Barcelona’s bus services, including the handy NitBus night buses, are also running on NYE. Most of these start between 10.40pm and 11.40pm, running until the early hours.
Timetables can change for New Year’s Eve though, so always double-check ahead of time.
You can buy a single ticket on the bus using your smartphone or a contactless credit card (no cash, please!). Or, pick up a transport ticket in advance at any metro station since they’re compatible with both the bus and metro.
Traditions on New Year’s Eve in Barcelona
1. Eat 12 Grapes as the Clock Strikes 12 Times at Midnight
First things first, bring on the grapes! An iconic tradition in Barcelona (and across Spain) is to gobble down 12 grapes as the clock chimes 12 times at midnight.
One grape per second—it’s a race against time! But be warned, it’s trickier than it sounds.
If you manage to eat all 12 grapes without spilling any, you’re destined for a fantastic year ahead.
Tip: Opt for seedless grapes to avoid any choking hazards. And yes, you can find packs of 12 grapes, ready-to-eat, though the price surges as NYE approaches (and the extra plastic is no bueno).
2. Wear New Red Underwear
Next up, don’t forget your red underwear! In Spain, wearing new red underwear on New Year’s Eve is considered good luck.
So go ahead, splurge on that crimson lingerie or those scarlet boxers — it’s for the sake of a prosperous year, after all.
3. Place a Gold Piece of Jewelry in Your Glass of Cava
As you raise your glass to the New Year, make it sparkle with a piece of gold jewelry. Tradition has it that dropping a gold item into your cava brings good fortune and wealth.
Just make sure not to swallow your precious treasure!
4. Eat a Bowl of Black Eyed Peas or Lentils for Lunch on New Year’s Day
On the first day of the New Year, it’s customary to indulge in a bowl of black-eyed peas or lentils.
This heartwarming meal symbolizes prosperity and good luck for the year ahead. Plus, it’s a delicious way to nurse any post-celebration woes.
5. Take Your First Swim of the Year
Feeling brave—or still feeling the party vibes? Start the New Year with a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean.
Join the locals at San Sebastian beach near the W-Hotel for El Primer Bany de l’Any (the First Bath of the Year) at noon. This icy plunge is believed to be the perfect way to kickstart the New Year.
What’s the weather like in Barcelona at New Year?
As December draws to a close, Barcelona adorns a cool and sometimes rainy cloak. With average high temperatures around 15°C (59°F) and lows around 8°C (46°F), be prepared for a chilly New Year’s Eve. The chance of rain is moderate, so carrying a raincoat or umbrella would be wise.
Layering is the way to go for your NYE outfits—think warm coats and scarves. But don’t forget to pack some lighter clothes, too.
If you’re lucky, you might get clear, sunny skies that’ll make your daytime strolls a delight.
Tips For Spending New Year’s in Barcelona
Here are some savvy tips to make your New Year’s in Barcelona a smooth and enjoyable experience:
- Beware of Pickpockets: Barcelona’s public spaces buzz with crowds during NYE, making them a pickpocket’s paradise. Always stay vigilant and keep your belongings close.
- Book Your Accommodation Early: The holiday season sees a surge in bookings. Secure your stay a couple of months in advance to snag a good deal.
- Remember the Grapes: If you forget to buy your 12 grapes, fret not. You’ll find people selling them—albeit at a higher price.
- Dress Wisely: Barcelona can be cold in December. Bring warm clothes, a raincoat, and an umbrella. Pack some lighter clothes for clearer days.
- Comfort is Key: If you plan to party on the streets, wear comfortable walking shoes. After all, nothing should come between you and your fun!
- Taste the Local Sweet Treat, Turron: This nougat-like treat comes in various delicious flavors such as almonds, chocolate, and rice. It’s a must-try when in Barcelona!