So you’re planning a Barcelona New Year’s Eve: an idea as sparkling as champagne.
Really, what could go wrong spending NYE in the temperate weather of one of Europe’s biggest party cities?
You’re on the right track but here’s some great things to do to make sure you don’t get derailed.
Spending the New Year in Barcelona – Basics
- Like most places it’s a time of overpriced parties and unmet expectations – make sure the festivities are in addition to some of the many attractions in a good Barcelona itinerary.
- It’s a busy time so buy your attraction tickets online to save money and avoid lines.
- Barcelona during new years is a pickpocket’s dream – take precautions.
- Make sure you find lodging in one of the best areas to stay.
- Make your New Year’s bookings at top hostels or luxury hotels way in advance if possible.
Barcelona New Year’s Eve Weather
It’s cold but not freezing and if you’re here for three days you’ll likely experience rain in some form. Leave the beach clothes at home and bring a decent jacket, a scarf, and a sweater.
- The average high/low is 14°C (57°F) and 6°C (42°F).
- There are 6 hours of daily sunshine
- Monthly precipitation is 32 mm (a 28% chance any given day, usually light rain).
What to Do in Barcelona for New Year’s Eve 2018
The Official Party at Plaça Espanya
A wholesome music and light show in Plaça Espanya, one of the city’s emblematic squares. This is the best place to spend New Year’s Eve in Barcelona for families.
Since over 80,000 spectators attend every year make sure you arrive early at 11:00 pm to ensure getting a spot for the show. For 2017-2018 the spectacle starts at 11:30 pm and lasts until 12:15
Tip: to partake in the tradition of eating twelve grapes at midnight make sure to buy them at a supermakret or fruiteria. The ones packaged specially for the celebrations will be 10 times more expensive.
Metro: Espanya (red line L1 or green line L3).
The Plaça Catalunya Street Party
This one is more for young people wanting excitement: like the midnight bottle toss.
At midnight a large space in Plaça Catalunya is cleared and people throw their wine bottles into the square. It’s a pretty impressive (if dangerous) sight to see hundreds of bottles flying through the air and smashing into bits.
From here you’ll find rowdy crowds filtering down into the famous La Rambla and bar-heavy confines of the Gothic Quarter – if you’re not looking for an expensive club night but want a proper night out at cool bars this is the option for you.
Get there around 11 pm.
Metro: Catalunya (red line L1 or green line L3).
Have New Year’s Eve Dinner in Style
First off you can’t go wrong by choosing anything from my list of the best restaurants in Barcelona. Just make sure you book well in advance and are prepared to shell out premiums for set menus.
If you want New Year’s dinner menus then check out the Andilana Restaurant Group.
Traditional foods during new years include escudella amb carn d’olla (a clear and strong meat broth with sausage, meatballs, and snail-shaped pasta shells), stuffed chicken, or roasted lamb.
You wouldn’t dare finish a meal without cava (a sparkling white wine) or turrón (a type of nougat).
Partake in Local Traditions
We’ve talked about the grape-eating but there are a few more Barcelona New Year’s traditions tourists might want to get into. Number one, it’s tradition to wear red underwear when you celebrate the new year in Barcelona.
If you didn’t pack any there’s plenty of shopping spots to pick some up.
Secondly, when doing your midnight cheers you should be putting a ring or something gold in your cava glass. This ensures wealth and prosperity in the coming year.
Feeling adventurous? Then head down to the Playa de San Sebastián for the first swim of the year. It starts at noon sharp in front of the Club Natació Atlètic Barceloneta. It won’t cost you anything and is one of the great free things to do in Barcelona.
Barcelona New Year’s Eve Clubs
Fiesta Poble Espanyol
13 Francesc Ferrer i Guardia | Metro: Espanyol (green and red lines L1/L3) | Website
For 29 years people have gathered in this makeshift Spanish village to bring in the new year.
Three pavilions offer tons of options: the central one hosts up to 5,000 people dancing to a mix of 70’s/80’s/90’s dance as well as current music; a smaller space hosts up to 1,500 people dancing to electronic music.
The festivities kick off at 10:30 pm and end at 6:00 am and cost €35.00… with grapes, ‘novelties’, chocolates, good vibes, and 4 drinks included! If you purchase after December 22nd they’ll cost €40.00 (€50.00 on the door).
This is the best Barcelona New Years deal – for this reason I suggest buying the tickets in advance online using the buttons below as it’s cheaper and usually sells out a few days before.
Passeig Marítim Barceloneta 38 | Metro: Ciutadella-Vila Olimpica (yellow line L3) | Website
If you’re looking to go upscale with big leather couches, VIP rooms, and a beachside sea breeze then step into one of the world’s most famous club chains that created Ibiza’s first superclub.
The 2017-2018 version features hip hop, r&b, and top hits being spun by Marshall Knight, Alberto Herrera, and Gerard Serra. Tickets can be bought in advance online.
Entrance: €50.00 with one drink (no-line entry before 4 am).
Time: 11:45 pm to 6:45 am.
122 Carrer Almogavers | Metro: Marina (red line L1) | Website
The biggest club in the city is an electronic music temple and pit stop for famous international DJs.
This year you’ll get down to veteran headline DJs Gato & Amable and Legoteque. If you buy in advance online it’ll cost you €45.00 (two drinks) to enter after midnight and it’ll run you €55.00 for early entry at 10:30.
The 10:30 onwards tickets include a type of New Year’s Eve goodie bag with grapes, champagne, and a cotillon: a type of accessory.
Across the five different rooms expect more than 10 DJs to perform for 2017-2018.
Time: 10:30 pm to 7:00 am.
113 Carrer Nou de la Rambla | Metro: Parallel (green line L3) | Website
Apolo is the second biggest club in Barcelona and have recently offered a 90’s revival night as part of their new year’s festivities – the price of the nostalgia is a wallet-friendly €25.00. Even today you’ll find rock music in their basement room Sala 2.
More recently they’ve run their usual Nitsa Club night featuring all the newest in techno, hip hop, house, and UK bass. This year’s artists include Dj Fra, Marc Piñol, Dj Kosmos, Dafoe, and Shelby Grey.
Time: 1:00 am to 7:00 am.
Other Barcelona New Year’s Clubs
If you’re not looking for big crowds but still want to party without paying inflated door prices you can always check out the small but potent techno club called Moog.
Their New Year’s party features DJs Uroz, 6tmä, David Lost, and Rubén Seoane for only €15.00!
Other well-known clubs rang in the recent New Year with the following prices: Opium €50.00, Sutton €50.00, Shoko €50.00, Sotavento €50.00, and Catwalk €40.00.
If you’re not looking for anything in particular and want a good variety of choices just head down to the Port Olimpic: there you’ll find about a dozen (very touristy and full of young people) nightclubs in a small area.
New Year’s Eve After Parties
Vamos al after! For this you usually need to chat to locals.
Sometimes after parties are held at the clubs themselves, but they could also be in abandoned warehouses or overnight raves… you never know what to expect! If I hear anything you guys will be the first to know.
In the meantime you can’t go wrong with my primary after party suggestion:
For those who drank a couple coffees in addition to the New Year’s champagne I can’t not recommend the after party at elrow – without a doubt the best in Spain and maybe beyond!
It costs €40 in advance before December 12th (going up to €60.00 as the day approaches) but this is some next level stuff! It begins at 9 am and ends at 9 pm on the 1st of January in the seaside town of Viladecans.
To reach Viladecans you’ll need a shuttle. If you’re a fan of madness you won’t want to miss it.
UPDATE: Ugh! The 2017-2018 elrow New Year’s Party is being held in Madrid. You can find more information on the Facebook event page.
Here’s a video from 2015:
Harass Me Into an Early Grave in the Comments
I spent a lot of time researching advice for your new year in Barcelona but I always miss something. Let me know if you had a great time somewhere and it should be added to the list.
Also, don’t forget to write me if you have ANY questions about your Barcelona holiday – I’m here to help.