Updated May 15 2020
Without a doubt, one of the most eagerly anticipated celebrations of the year is that of New Year’s Eve, known as ‘Nochevieja’ in Spanish. In spite of the fact that Barcelona might not be as well-known for its celebrations as, for example New York’s Times Square, London’s Big Ben, Paris’s Avenue de Champs Elysées or Madrid’s Plaza del Sol, this has changed as recently as 2013, when Montjuïc’s Magic Fountain started to host the city’s official New Year’s festivities.
More information about New Year’s Eve in Barcelona
If you’re going to be spending New Year in Barcelona, we’re sure that you would be interested in knowing a bit more about the traditions and customs of the city, as well as those of the rest of Spain, so that you can make this most of the festival.
How and where do people celebrate New Year’s Eve in Barcelona?
If you’re on holiday in Barcelona for New Year’s we hope that you’ll find this up to date information useful. It touches upon how best to enjoy New Year’s in Barcelona, with the full details on the official party to welcome the arrival of the New Year, as well as some recommendations and advice on how to make the most of all that the city has to offer on this special night.
1. Going to the official event 2020 / 2021
Organised next to the Montjuïc fountain, New Year’s in Barcelona is officially celebrated from the 31st December 2013. From 9.30pm the so-called pre-Show starts, which features the Montjuïc Magic Fountain show. Together with other events it allows all spectators to forget about the cold and enjoy the hours and minutes before the New Year arrives. The actual New Year’s Eve show starts at 11.45pm, with a show where the performing arts and fireworks are the main stars. At exactly midnight 12 bells ring, when traditionally 12 grapes are eaten along with the strike of each bell and people, both Barcelona residents and the many tourists present, celebrate the New Year. The show lasts until 12.20am (approximately), with the pyrotechnics show in full swing. Here, the vast majority of people leave the area to head to a bar or club which they have previously bought the ticket for to keep the party going.
Map and how to get there
Place: At pl. (square) Buïgas (next to the Magic Fountain at Montjuïc).
Date: 31st December 2020.
Pre-Show & Magic Fountain Show: From 21:30.
SHOW: From 23:45 to 0:20 (approximately).
Metro: ESPANYA (lines 1 and 3). The Metro runs all night on New Year’s Eve.
Day Buses: lines 9, 13, 37, 48, 55, D20, H12 (which all usually run until around 22:30-23:00), and the tourist bus.
Night Buses: N0, N1, N2, N13, N14, N15, N16, N17 (these buses usually run from 23:00, throughout the night).
On foot: if you’re already in the Poble Sec or Sants-Montjuïc area, the best way to get there is on foot.
After watching the fireworks, if you were planning to catch the Metro straight away we’d recommend waiting a bit, as there are often queues due to the sheer amount of people travelling at the same time. Another option, if you’re catching Line 3 of the Metro, is to walk up to the nearby stop of Tarragona, where the queue won’t be anything like as long. Another option is to walk until Tarragona metro stop (Line 3) or Hostafrancs (Line 1), where there will be less of a queue, these won’t be as busy as the nearby stop Espanya (Lines 1 and 3).
2. At a hotel or other Accommodation
The night of December 31, most hotel restaurants organise a New Year’s Eve dinner and sometimes a party so that all their guests can celebrate this special night. Sometimes they even include a small show or a place to dance to keep the party going into the New Year after the 12 bells ring out. It’s certainly an excellent idea, given the convenience of staying in the hotel and enjoying the celebrations all under the same roof. Although every hotel will have a different way of organising and charging for their events, they will all charge you extra if you’d like to join in their celebrations.
3. Night venues, clubs and New Year’s Eve Parties
Most clubs organise a New Year’s Eve party (usually from 0:30/01:00 onwards). We recommend you buy the tickets in advance to avoid being without a ticket and you can also get a discount for most venues. It is also common to celebrate parties in some of the most iconic public places in the city, such as Poble Espanyol. Sometimes, and depending on the year, a big fiesta will be organised in different spaces around the city that have enough room for a big crowd of people. In any case, we recommend you to buy the ticket in advance.
pg. Marítim Barceloneta, 34.
Hits | Latin | Electronic.
c/ de Guàrdia, 3.
€ 25€ – 35€.
Hits | Disco | Pop.
Soho The Club
c/ de Aribau, 195.
€ 25€ – 40€.
Hits | Latin | Electronic.
pg. Marítim Barceloneta, 38.
€ 50€ – 60€.
Electronic | House | Hits | R&B.
pg. Marítim Barceloneta, 34.
Hip Hop | R&B | Reggaeton.
c/ dels Almogàvers, 122.
€ 44,5€ – 54,5€.
Techno | House.
c/ de Ramon Trias Fargas, 2-4.
€ 40€ – 60€.
Hip Hop | House | R&B.
c/ de Lincoln, 15.
€ 35€ – 60€.
Hip Hop | Hits | Reggaeton.
Recommended nightclubs, parties and night-time venues
It’s always best to book your New Year’s Eve entertainment in advance, whether it’s dinner in a restaurant, a party in a bar or nightclub, or an organised event. This means you’ll be sure to celebrate New Year’s Eve the way you want to, and by doing so you might also save money. Now the opportunity to spend a fantastic New Year’s Eve in Barcelona just depends on you, so don’t hesitate any more and get planning – we’re waiting for you!
4. New Year’s dinner and celebration in bars and restaurants
After the 12 bells chime, most of these bars and Barcelona’s restaurants play good music and sometimes a place to dance to carry on partying well into the night. If not, you can choose to end the night at one of the many clubs or music venues as almost all of them have an event on to celebrate into the early morning.
Recommended bars, restaurants and venues
Save on your holiday with tourist and / or transport cards
So that you can enjoy the tourist and cultural attractions of Barcelona over the Christmas period as well as saving some money, it’s useful to get one of the tourist and / or public transport cards. Depending on what type of trip and which places you want to visit, the most suitable card for you will be one or the other. Those that offer just public transport (such as Hola Barcelona), those that offer free visits to some of the museums and places of interest in the city as well as transport (Barcelona Card), those that include a visit to 2 of the most important sights in Barcelona, such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, as well as transport from the airport and travel on the tourist bus (Barcelona City Pass), or those just for museums and Art Foundations (ArticketBCN). If you buy any of these tourist cards online you get an automatic discount of between 5 and 10%.
City Pass Barcelona
Sagrada Familia + Park Güell + Barcelona Hop on Hop off Bus + us transfer between the city and the airport
Access to various museums, public transport and discounts
Barcelona Card Express (2 days)
Discounts on admission to museums and other places and public transport included
New year’s eve party video
Five tradition and customs
If we were to compare the traditions of celebrating New Year’s Eve in Barcelona and the rest of Spain with those of various cities across Europe and the rest of the world, we’d find that although there are a few similarities, there are also many differences.
1. New Year’s Eve Dinner
There’s no traditional meal as such for New Year’s Eve in Spain, but it’s normal for the people of Barcelona to dine with family and friends, and it’s the time of year when people decide to treat themselves to something a little more elaborate or expensive, with good seafood featuring wherever the budget permits.
2. The chimes and the twelve grapes
The Spanish tradition of accompanying the midnight chimes by eating twelve grapes appears to have started towards the end of the 19th century, quite possibly in Madrid in 1896, when a group of people decided to go to the Plaza del Sol to re-enact, with a little irony, the custom which was observed by the bourgeoisie – that of accompanying their New Year’s Eve meal with grapes and Champagne. It gradually turned into a tradition in itself, partly due to the coverage in the press, and became an annual event in 1909 when the farmers of Levante, Murcia and Alicante decided to popularize the tradition in order to meet an overproduction of grapes that year, bringing it across Spain, including to Barcelona.
Now it’s said that whoever manages to eat the twelve grapes at the sound of the twelve chimes at midnight without choking will have good luck throughout the forthcoming year.
3. Red lingerie!
Wearing red lingerie on New Year’s Eve is more of a superstition than a tradition. It’s becoming more common, and as the colour red is seen to be synonymous with prosperity, especially in relation to love, it’s seen to bring luck in the year that lies ahead.
4. A ring in a glass of Cava
Another tradition is that of toasting the New Year with a ring inside a glass of Cava. It’s said to bring wealth and prosperity in the coming year.
5. New Year’s Resolutions
Making a wish list of things to achieve or experience in the year ahead is almost an obligation, in order to approach the New Year with enthusiasm and good intentions. Of course making a list isn’t good enough in itself – it comes with the promise to make an effort to ensure that the resolutions become reality.