Friday, November 11, 2011

New Years in Barcelona and What to Expect

Experience the traditional Spanish party atmosphere with a New Year’s break to Barcelona this year! Whilst many of the city’s tourist attractions are closed during the day, the night is when the city will come alive each New Year’s eve. Here’s a bit on what to expect from New Years in Barcelona:

Midnight Grapes
Start your New Year’s Eve celebration by trying the odd Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes on the 12 chimes of midnight. If you succeed, it’s custom to make a wish! This tradition dates to as far back as 1895 and originated in Madrid, with links to the Puerta del Sol tower clock.

Lively Street Parties
Most of the locals start their evening celebrating with family and friends and a hearty Spanish feast, it’s after midnight that they’ll head out onto the streets to celebrate with neighbours and visitors to the city. Vibrant celebrations take place in Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya and young Barcelona residents usually head to the beach.

New Year’s Night Clubbing
New Year's Night Clubbing Spot
New Year’s festivities continue well in to the early hours of the morning, in fact clubs don’t usually open until 2am on New Year’s Eve. Favourite clubs with tourists and locals include: Razzmatazz, Jamboree, Catwalk, Sala Apolo and Shoko.

Arena Dance Parties
There are numerous indoor arenas which hold New Year dance parties for those who want to keep active during the celebrations, these usually sell out months before however, so do your research and book in advance to join in the fun.

Glamour Dress-Up
The people of Barcelona aren’t as obsessed with style as the Spaniards in Madrid, however New Year’s Eve may just be the one time of year when they really glam up! Whether you’re heading for a quiet evening dinner or hitting the town, it’s the perfect excuse to dress up and let your hair down.

Tapas with Friends
The restaurants on New Year’s Eve can be very busy, but if you are able to book a table then enjoying a traditional Spanish meal is highly recommended. Don’t forget to wash your dinner down with a glass of Sangria… or two!

Head to the Bars
Another place to go on a Barcelona New Year’s eve is the Gothic or Raval areas of Barcelona where you’ll find many bars in which to enjoy a drink and get to know the Barcelona people. Sometimes you’ll find you need to pay a large fee to get in, but check, there may be a free bar inside!

The ‘San Silvestre’ 10k Run
Looking for an unusual way to spend New Year’s Eve? In the day why not challenge yourself to the San Silvestre run, or at least watch it unfold. At around 5.30pm over 8,000 runners take part on this energetic tour of the city. If you get sponsored you could make money for charity too!

R. Hunt is a travel content writer for the easyJet holidays website and writes about city breaks to Barcelona and ideas for New Years breaks

Photo credit to Jim Reilly from Quebec

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