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Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Barcelona

New Year’s Eve, also known as Cap d’Any (Nochevieja or Fin de Año in Spanish), is a great time to visit Barcelona. The cozy Christmas atmosphere in the city, the pleasant winter sun with comfortable temperatures, and especially the many fantastic New Year’s parties make Barcelona the ultimate destination to celebrate New Year’s Eve. As a local, I can tell you all about what there is to do during New Year’s Eve in Barcelona and what traditions Spaniards have for the occasion.

Celebrate the New Year in Barcelona

If you’re looking for a fun and sunny destination to celebrate the New Year, Barcelona is the right place. Not only is the weather in December and January very pleasant, but Barcelona also hosts some of the most spectacular New Year’s parties.

Moreover, you’ll have the chance to experience one of the funniest traditions of Christmas in Spain: the twelve lucky grapes!

How is New Year’s Eve Celebrated in Spain?

Spaniards celebrate the New Year with enthusiasm, traditions, and superstitions. We wish everyone a Happy New Year with greeting cards and messages, invariably eat 12 grapes at midnight, and Spanish women wear red lingerie to attract luck for the new year.

Lucky Grapes and Red Lingerie

New Year’s Eve is primarily celebrated with the family. After a lavish dinner, we wait in front of the TV until midnight to eat 12 grapes at each stroke of the clock.

This sounds easier than it is, and it often results in very funny scenes. If you’ve done it enough times or use some tricks (like peeling and pitting the grapes beforehand), you can become quite skilled at it.

If you manage to eat the 12 grapes in time, it is said to bring luck in the coming year. The grapes are called ‘uvas de la suerte’ (lucky grapes) and are an essential tradition in the Spanish New Year’s celebration.

Additionally, most Spanish women wear red lingerie during New Year’s Eve, as it is believed to bring luck in the new year (especially in love).

The Twelve Lucky Grapes on New Year's Eve in Spain
The Twelve Lucky Grapes on New Year’s Eve in Spain

New Year’s Parties

After eating the 12 lucky grapes, the streets of Barcelona fill up with locals who meet their friends and celebrate the New Year together at one of the many cotillones (New Year’s parties).

The parties usually last until the early hours of the morning and often end with delicious warm churros from a churrería.

New Year’s Dive

On January 1st, many Barcelonans also participate in a New Year’s dive, which is said to make you healthy for the coming year. Additionally, we eat an extensive lunch together with the family on January 1st to celebrate the New Year again with our loved ones.

What to Do During New Year’s Eve in Barcelona?

As I said, there is a lot organized in Barcelona during the New Year. If you are celebrating New Year’s Eve in Barcelona this year and are curious about what fun things there are to do, see my tips below.

Below you will find a handy agenda with the most important events and activities you can do during the New Year in Barcelona.

December 31st

10:00 – Home dels Nassos

On December 31st, the ‘man of the noses’, l’Home dels Nassos, goes out on the streets. This legendary figure has as many noses as there are days left in the year. Therefore, on December 31st, he has only one nose.

L’Home dels Nassos appears every year in the streets of Barcelona during a festive parade that runs through the old center to greet the children.

If you are at the Casa dels Entremesos (Plaça de les Beates 2) at 10:00 am, you are sure to see the man of the noses!

17:30 – Cursa dels Nassos

At 17:30 every year, Barcelona’s Sant Silvestre, the last running event of the year, takes place. It is named after the mythical Home dels Nassos.

The 10 km course runs through the city center and the district of Sant Martí and is a great way to end the year in a sporty manner.

21:00 – Dining Out

In the evening, around nine o’clock, people in Spain sit down for dinner. On New Year’s Eve, this is a special dinner that you spend with your family.

As a tourist, you will probably want to dine out at a nice restaurant in Barcelona on December 31st, but not all bars and restaurants will be open. If they are open, they may already be fully booked. It’s best, therefore, to plan ahead and book a nice restaurant online.

Many restaurants also offer a special menu for New Year’s Eve. This is often more expensive but very festive, with cava, 12 lucky grapes, and all.

For a good overview of restaurants in Barcelona that are open on New Year’s Eve, check out the website The Fork, the Spanish Iens; choose your desired date and time and the type of restaurant you want, to easily pick one and book directly.

Check here for a list of my favorite restaurants, but always check beforehand if they are open on December 31st.

00:00 – New Year’s Eve in Barcelona

At 12 o’clock, it’s time for the 12 grapes at each stroke of the clock and to uncork the cava. Locals traditionally do this at home with their families, but as a tourist, you can eat your 12 grapes at various places in the city (if you’re not in a restaurant by then).

12 Grapes At Midnight in Spain
12 Grapes At Midnight in Spain

The most popular places for the New Year’s Eve celebration are always the central Plaça Catalunya, the beach, and of course Montjuïc, where a spectacular water, music, and fireworks show takes place.

Additionally, buildings in the city such as the Torre Glòries are specially lit to celebrate the New Year.

At the famous Font Màgica at Montjuïc, on Avinguda Maria Cristina, the biggest New Year’s Eve party takes place, with a dazzling light, water, and fireworks show, the Catalan human towers, and of course the 12 strokes with grapes.

The bell spectacle at Montjuïc is very spectacular and is accompanied by replica erupting volcanoes behind Montjuïc’s magical fountain.

This party is also intended for the whole family: it takes place between 9:30 pm and 12:15 am, and no alcohol is sold. You can bring the grapes from home (they are often ready-to-eat in special packages with 12 grapes for sale at supermarkets).

Please note that it can get very crowded during the New Year’s Eve party at Montjuïc. So go extra early if you want to secure a good spot and try not to get lost in the crowd.

January 1st

01:00 – Party Time

Around 1 or 2 am, Barcelonans themselves go out to meet friends and celebrate New Year’s Eve at one of the many New Year’s parties taking place in the city; the cotillones and macro fiestas. The best thing you can do for such an evening is to buy your ticket in advance, as it is often very busy everywhere and you pay much more for the entrance at the last minute, or there are no tickets to be found at all.

There are numerous events and parties you can go to during New Year’s Eve in Barcelona. One of the nicest and biggest parties takes place in the emblematic Poble Espanyol on Montjuïc hill, a short distance from the aforementioned fireworks show. Tickets cost between €40 and €80 per person (including 4 drinks and grapes) and give you access to a real mega-festival, where party-goers can dance at multiple stages to different styles of music. For more information and tickets, visit www.fiestapobleespanyol.com.

If you want something other than a mega party, check out these websites for a nice overview of fun New Year’s parties: youbarcelona.com and bpremium.com.

The prices of the entrance tickets for New Year’s Eve can vary from €25 to €100, depending on the type of party. However, you usually receive a number of free drinks with your ticket, which is a nice bonus. Buying your ticket online in advance is usually possible and saves a lot of searching.

Expect that going out in Spain will last until the early hours, especially during New Year’s Eve. What many people do after a night out is to buy churros at a churrería before going home, to refuel a bit.

12:00 – New Year’s Dive

The New Year’s dive is also held annually in Barcelona. According to tradition, a dive into the sea on New Year’s Day is good for your health. This event takes place at Sant Sebastià beach at 12:00 PM and is organized by the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta. Participants are warmed up with hot soup after swimming and receive a certificate for their bravery. If you want to participate, you need to register in advance with the Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta.

Furthermore, there is little to do in Barcelona on January 1st. January 1st is a national holiday in Spain, and everything, or almost everything, is closed. The locals themselves are again having an extensive lunch with the family to celebrate the New Year, so the streets are always wonderfully quiet.

Use this opportunity to enjoy Barcelona relaxedly and peacefully. For instance, you can go to the beach or visit one of the many parks in the city. Even at attractions like the Sagrada Família, it is quieter than usual, but keep in mind that most attractions remain closed on January 1st.

Not all bars and restaurants will be open on January 1st, but there will always be some that welcome customers (especially in the center), so don’t worry about that.

Enjoying the winter sun in Barcelona
Enjoying the winter sun in Barcelona

These were my tips for celebrating New Year’s Eve in Barcelona. Have you ever celebrated New Year’s Eve in Barcelona and what did you think of it? I look forward to reading your answers in the comments!

Bon any nou! (Happy New Year!).

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Photo of author
Hello! My name is Marta, and I am a born and raised Barcelonian. I love introducing people to Barcelona, especially the Barcelona known to locals. In Barcelona, I am always looking for fun places and tips that I can then share with you, with the goal of helping you experience Barcelona like a local.

Marta Rubio

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