1. Local New Year's Eve Traditions
We've already written about Christmas in Barcelona. Now let's take a look at some local traditions and what people usually do here on New Year's Eve.
There are three traditions that are fundamental throughout Spain during New Year's Eve, which are thought to bring good luck for the new year:
- Eat 12 grapes to welcome the new year, one on each chime of the bell at midnight.
- Put something gold, like a ring, in the champagne glass to toast.
- Wear red underwear.
2. The big dinner: At home or a restaurant?
Usually most Catalans stay at home to celebrate the evening with the people close to them. So if you're in Barcelona on holiday, then it's recommendable to reserve your stay in one of our apartments that are ideal for staying during new year with your partner, family, or friends.
If you definitely prefer to eat out, then you're in luck because during New Year's Eve, most of the restaurants offer a menu especially for the night... Of course, it's a bit more expensive than usual and it's recommended to book a table in advance. Always investigate the booking conditions on the restaurant's website or by calling.
Here are some of the most famous restaurants in Barcelona that have traditional dishes:
- Quatre Gats: This is the place where famous artist Pablo Picasso used to hang out. It has been open since 1897.
- Casa Fuster: In this hotel you can find one of the best restaurants in town, letting you welcome the new year with class.
- El Pla: The motto of this restaurant is "Good food and good atmosphere" and nothing could describe it better.
We've spent years eating out at El Pla and we still love it. The truth is that my husband and I fell in love there! It's a charming place with quality service and exquisite food. Highly recommended!19th November 2014, CecileMaminova - Translated from Spanish to English
3. Where to be at midnight?
There are several options to spend the last night of the year in the Catalan capital. Here's everything you can do according to your tastes and interests...
The Midnight Show: The Official Party
In Barcelona there has never really existed a tradition of fireworks until the mid-2010s. In 2014, a 45 minute show of music, water, and pyrotechnics was set up by Barcelona's Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, where castellers gave life to the "Millennium Being", a gigantic metallic skeleton of more than 15 metres in height, with the aim of turning this spectacle into a new iconic show of the city.
Last year 70,000 people attended and this year we're waiting for the next show, as the City Council has already announced that it's going to be repeated to welcome 2017. We're eager to see what awaits us!
4. Time to dance: Clubs and Bars
Many nightclubs organize special events for the last night of the year. Be aware that you might need to book in advance because the clubs get full, plus it's cheaper!
The Metro transport system will be running all night, so you don't have to worry about getting a taxi.
Here are some of the most recommended clubs:
- Razzmatazz: A great club with 5 floors where you can dance to all kinds of music. A place for everyone.
- Mirablau: A bar on the heights with nice views over the city.
- Elephant: A place of luxury that organizes many spectacular parties.
- Poble Espanyol: As every year, at Poble Espanyol there is a mega party where you can choose between a "normal entrance" (€35) and a "VIP entrance" (€50).
It's also highly recommended to go to the area of Vila Olímpica where there are many trendy clubs. Here the real party starts around 2AM in the morning.
5. Other Original Events
As an alternative to the more typical and usual New Year programs, I suggest these original options: ice skating, an exhibition and a festival dedicated to children.
Bargelona: The Barcelona skating rink in Barcelona
You cannot miss this during the Christmas holidays. This year it's located in the heart of l'Hospitalet del Llobregat. This rink is one of the largest in Europe (1200 sq. m). The price is 8 euros per hour. There's also a track located on the Passieg de Sant Joan and another at the Pedralbes Shopping Centre.
Picasso and Romanesque Art
If you're an art enthusiast, don't miss this very interesting exhibition at MNAC in Barcelona , which aims to examine the relationship between Picasso and Romanesque art. It's carried out in collaboration with the Picasso Museum of Paris.
Romanesque Picasso - A MNAC exhibition
Picasso and Romanesque art Exhibition from 17 November 2016 to 26 February 2017 at MNAC.
This fair is designed for children. Games, workshops, sports, music ... The little ones will enjoy it! Take your children, nephews or nieces to spend a day at the Barcelona Children's Festival, a place where all the family will find unforgettable moments.
Barcelona's Children's Festival
Have a blast at the Children's Festival of Barcelona from 27 December until the 4 Janaury!
5. SOUVENIRS AND GASTRONOMY
If you also want to take home a memory of your New Year's Eve in Barcelona then why not choose the sweetest of Christmas candy? Turrón, a type of nougat, is one of the most sought after products of a Catalan Christmas when it finally appears on the table to soften the hearts and push to the limit trouser sizes all across Spain. There are many types of Turrón, including Chocolate, almonds, without almonds, rice and more. They also are either hard or soft. Try them all!
Alternatively, you can start 2017 by walking to the beach or taking a dip in its waters. Every year at the beach of San Sebastián there's the first swim of the year. Find more information here:
First swim of the year in Barcelona
Welcome the new year with open arms in the most original way. Taking a dip in the Mediterranean!