Barcelona is full of light and color during the Christmas season and there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona in Christmas. New Year's eve or noche vieja as we call it is the last night of the year full of symbolism and magic and what best to spend it in Barcelona.
Cities such as London and New York have a very consolidated New Year's Eve event and the Barcelona one although is pretty new has nothing to envy. The official event in New Year's Eve is in Montjuic Magic Fountain and the show is called L'home del Mil·leni.
Official event: L'home del Mil·leni
The very first time L'home del Mil·leni saw the light was in 2013, is a show planned by La Fura dels Baus. There is a structure of a man that is filled in with people in the inside, most of them castellers -human tower professionals- that climb to all parts of the body. All the body structure are white bodies and the heart are people in red, it is quite an impressive show.
The show is for free, so anyone can join, it starts every 31 st of December a 11 pm in the Magic Fountain, one hour before midnight is when the party starts and you will be able to enjoy the lights of the fountain until the show starts.
At midnight when the 12 bells ring, L'home del Mil·leni, helps following every bell ringing, since one of the traditions is to eat a grape in every tone of the bell, so 12 grapes in total, at that time is one the pyrotechnic display starts too
How to get there
To access the Magic Fountain you have different transport options, the best ones since it doesn't depend on traffic might be the metro, L3 and L1 stopping at Plaça Espanya take you there. You can also pick up the bus lines 9, 13,37,48,55,D20 and H12, and also the tourist bus, check the running times since most of the day buses stop working before midnight.
Bear in mind that it is a crowded place, so allow enough time to go before the peak time to the area and the same precautions to leave the area, since all transports will be saturated.Everyone takes the nearest station available for the underground and the bus, it would be a good idea to walk a bit to take the transport two stops down, in the case of the metro it would be good to catch it in Tarragona L3 or in Hostafrancs L1.
Dinner and party In your hotel
Every hotel in the city has a special dinner prepared for New year's Eve, it all depends on your plans and budget. Since it is a special night, they take advantage of that so do not expect to eat for less than 50 euros per person that day unless you go to eat a sandwich or in a very local place. It is very convenient since when you are tired you can come up to your room and you don't have to think about anything else. Book in advance your spot for dinner since it is a busy service on that day and you wouldn't like to miss it just because of the last minute booking.
Local bars and restaurants
If you eat in a local bar or restaurant prices might be a bit cheaper, but it is one of those days that you will see people everywhere and more from midnight onwards. Locals normally have dinner and eat the grapes with their families and after that, they go out to party. Do not assume that everything opens in New Year's Eve either, since many locals eat at home, the ones that eat out are not the majority and some restaurants and bars take the night off.
Nightclubs and organized parties
There are plenty of nightclubs and organized parties in New Year's Eve in Barcelona, again book in advance and you can get discounts on the total price too or extra perks. This is a selection of the parties for New Year's Eve 2015 in Barcelona.
Poble Espanyol: 27 years of organizing the party, mainly for university people is a tradition, with music from the 70s, 80s and 90s and current hits. The entrance costs 35 euros if you buy it in advance and 45 euros if you buy it in the box office. Both entrances include 4 drinks, grapes and cotillón.
Merbeyé: right on the bottom of Tibidabo mountain, the offer is dinner, drinks and a party with dj for 60 euros per person. The menu includes different tapas with cold and hot dishes.
Estraperlo: is a club punk in Badalona, and is free entrance. DJ Unclu Garrot is playing on 31st December.
Razzmatazz: is the biggest club in Europe. You can enjoy their New Year's Eve party for 40 euros, and if you get in after 1am you will get 2 drinks included. For 50 euros you get the New Year's Eve kit that includes entrance from 22:30h with two drinks and the cotillón (party atrezzo) and the 12 grapes to celebrate new year as a Spaniard.
Sala Apolo: has a revival 90s party, with a very cheap entrance price of 18 euros.
CDLC: is one of the trendy places in Barcelona that reminds me of Ibiza clubs. They have a luxury party for 295 euros per person including a tasting menu with expensive champagne. The show includes the Australian rapper Luca G and Chelina Manuhutu.
- Jamboree: If you like hip-hop, R&B and dancehall, Jamboree is your place. On New Year's Eve, the entrance is 20 euros.
Tradition on New Year's Eve in Barcelona
There are many traditions around New Year's Eve and I am sure every location has its own. Probably one that is shared among many cultures is the New Year's resolutions. The time of the year has arrived when you need to think forward what are the objectives you have for the coming year, loose a couple of pounds, learn to play the guitar or travelling to the destination you have been dreaming about.
Most of us we think about our New Year's resolutions on the 31st of December but we never hold us accountable for that.
The twelve grapes is a tradition in every home in Barcelona and the rest of Spain. You need to eat a grape at midnight every time a bell rings, there are 12, one for each. For the nit-picky ones, there are even grapes with no peel and no seeds so you don't need to do the task before the time, you have them all cleaned up and ready.
It is said that if you wear red lingerie you will be lucky next year and your wishes will come true. This tradition might not be as extensive as the grape one but it is funny to see everyone on red pants.