Celebrating The New Year in Barcelona

It's the planet's biggest party night and rest assured Barcelona doesn't disappoint when it comes to seeing in the New Year in style - and of course this being Catalonia we do it in our own special way!

Just as Catalonia has some of the weirdest Christmas customs in the world, we've also got several quirky regional traditions that make celebrating New Year's Eve in Barcelona completely unique. The most famous is the eating of 12 grapes on the 12 strokes leading up to midnight, a practice popular throughout Spain! That's one a second and harder than it sounds... they say if you can successfully cram all 12 pieces of fruit in your mouth in time with the chimes, and without spilling any, then you're going to have a great upcoming year.

Another tradition is that of wearing red underwear on the night... the origins of this one are unknown to us at Barcelona Life, but again it's supposed to be lucky, and a good excuse to enquire about the intimate garments of any sexy-looking chic@s you meet on the night! The only other essential tradition to abide by is to drink lots and lots of Cava... aka Spanish champagne!

Another thing that is a bit different in Catalonia is that NYE is a bit more orientated towards the family than in many other parts of the world, at least up until midnight. Most locals will eat dinner first with their families and toast the New Year with Cava at midnight, before heading out to meet friends at bars and clubs in the early hours. That means many some late night spots start their parties after midnight, as the locals won't be joining until a bit later. This is Barcelona remember so nothing will be shutting early and there's no need to hurry!

Since 2013, the city has followed in the footsteps of mega-cities like London, Sydney and New York by throwing a massive public celebration, replete with music, midnight countdown, fireworks display, and even spectacular displays of Catalan cultural traditions like the amazing Castellers (human towers). The action takes place by the Magic Fountain, just near Placa Espanya and is always packed. It usually starts at 11pm and finishing at around 12:30am.

Of course if you don't fancy hanging out in the cold, or not so impressed by pyrotechnics there will be plenty of pubs, bars and clubs throwing epic bashes that you can join in with (hint: you'll find a list of the best below on this very page!), where many of the great Catalan New Year's Eve traditions will be upheld. Even if some locals don't join in until later the large number of resident foreigners, expats and travellers means every major venue will be heaving all night!

Above: Celebrating good times...

New Year's Eve Parties 2016/2017

Now you know the traditions, it's time to track down the action... here are some of our favourite venues in Barcelona, along with what's going on on the night.

See the New Year in in style at this suave lounge bar in the Raval district, a hip meeting place of both international and local revellers. Guest DJ Rodrigo Rivera will be spinning the tunes and your 17 ticket also gets you a welcome Cava cocktail and super fun custom made party bag with goodies such as the traditional grapes for the midnight countdown. Email info@marmaladebarcelona.com for more info and to reserve.

Flaherty's Irish Bar
For a full on introduction to 2017 reserve a spot at Barcelona's favourite Irish pub for a three course dinner and late night party. On the set menu the likes of Mussels Marinata, Angus Beef tenderloin and strawberry cheesecake (vegetarians can opt for glazed salmon or mushrooms and Camembert Wellington as their main), whilst the 38 ticket also includes a bottle of wine between two, and Cava and grapes at midnight. Towards the end of the evening punters will be swilling Guinness and beers and singing along to Auld Lang Syne! Email: bookings@pflaherty.com for more info or to reserve.

SLOW Cocktail Bar
One of the city's slickest cocktail bars, Slow is a great bet for anyone looking for somewhere upmarket yet unpretentious to spend nochevieja (aka New Year's Eve!), and they will be throwing on an exquisite electro new wave music selection by the Mots Radio troupe lead by Ruth Garcia (aka From Hell) and Pedrou. The doors open at 12:30am, and entrance will be 25 with 3 long drinks included in the price. More info here.

Ice Barcelona
Barcelona's Ice Bar certainly knows how to party and this NYE will be no exception. International DJs Simon Boulin from London and Tristan Grooves from Amsterdam will help usher in 2017 in style. Get in contact for advance tickets which will also include the Icebar experience. Email eventos@icebcn.com for more.

Opium Barcelona
Barcleona's most famous nightspot will be inviting its guests to bid farewell to 2016 and welcome 2017 in style at their prime location by the beach. You can start the evening with a special dinner on the terrace of our restaurant, before toasting the new year and continuing the party until dawn at arguably the trendiest club in the city. Dinner, champagne, cocktails, DJs, the beautiful people and lots of partying, all overlooking the sea, will make this one of the best NYE bashes in town. Book your place by contacting frank@opiumbarcelona.com, or via their website.

Belushi's Bar
Backpackers and international party people wanting to enjoy a friendly house party style vibe should mosey on down to Belushi's, a spacious bar right by Placa Catalunya known for its hedonistic atmosphere. They kick off at 7pm with an extended happy hours on 2-for-1 mixed drinks and ridiculously cheap bottles of Cava to ring in the New Year. Their resident DJs, Reach Out & F@ck Somebody and Pred Ferry, will be laying down a mix of 2016s biggest tunes and best of all there's no entry fee. So even if you're going somewhere later this could be the best warm up in town! You can sign up to the event on Facebook.

For a more intimate celebration than most of the above options, head over to the cosmopolitan cocktail bar Milk where 17 gets you a welcome cocktail, traditional grapes for the midnight countdown and some fun extras for party games... like whistles and masks. No doubt there'll be a sprig of mistletoe hung up in a strategic place somewhere in the bar! Contact info@milkbarcelona.com for tickets.

Shenanigans Irish Pub
With the cheapest Guinness and gin and tonics in town (just 4 and 5 euros respectively on the night!), buckets of beer and the chance to do battle with their one metre beer tower, those without a plan yet for NYE could do a lot worse than joining in the fun at Shenanigans! Great fun on any night of the week, the 31st promises to be something special... find it just a few minutes walk of Las Ramblas (hint: click the link above and you'll find a location map!). No need to reserve as it's free entry, but do get there early as it promises to be busy.

Le Pop Cocktail Bar
For a classy start to 2017 head down to Le Pop, the cocktail bar in Barcelona's 5 Star Le Meridien Hotel on Las Ramblas. For 50 euros you can party until 3am at their "A Touch of Chic" soiree at one of the city's most exclusive venues. Tickets include three complimentary drinks (wine, beer, Cava, mixers or soft drinks). For 169 euros you can enjoy their NYE Gala Dinner first, whilst 250 euros gets you a VIP table for the night. More info here.

One of the city's best new locales in 2016, Firebug will be celebrating its very first New Year with a fun and friendly party for their cosmopolitan fans. Expect great food, well mixed drinks and an international clientele, with DJ Karl Carlos mixing the melodies. Contact them on info@firebugbarcelona.com to make reservations.

Another of the city's most stylish venues on the Port Olimpic (find it between Pacha and Opium) Shoko is a guaranteed great night out, which is spicing up the 31st by combining celebrations from Mexico, New York and Rio for a quadruple NYE bash! Expect good looking people and booty-shaking music. When you buy a ticket via Xceed.me you get two free drinks. Tickets are emailed directly upon booking.

Big dirty and industrial, if getting messy with the city's hipsters and students if how you want to spend your night then rock up to - and rock out in - Razzmatazz. This former factory is the biggest club in the city, five rooms of pandemonium. The crowd is younger (over 25 year olds will feel old here) and more hedonistic, the beats a mix of rock, pop and electronic. They sell tickets with entrance at 22:30 or after cheaper ones if you're happy to enter after 00:01. Buy online via Xceed and receive your ticket in your inbox.

New Year's Day Brunch

No need to spend the first day of 2017 sobbing in bed with a glass of Alka Seltzer, as Milk, Marmalade and Firebug will all be open for their famous recovery brunch! So nip down for some bacon, pancakes and smoothies to blast the cobwebs of the night before away. Always a good atmosphere and who knows maybe you'll feel well enough after to keep going... in which case keep reading...

New Year's Day Parties

Eclipse Bar at the W-Hotel
In the Catalan capital there's a bit of a tradition to carry on the party into the next day. If carpe diem is your motto then book yourself a table at the elite Eclipse cocktail bar on the top floor of the sensational W-Hotel - the Dubai-esque glass sail-shaped building on the top of Barceloneta Beach. DJ Big Mil will be spinning hip and r'n'b for the city's most stylish citizens - this is the top spot to spy international celebrities and supermodels, so reserve your space (if they haven't sold out yet!) and dress to impress. Tickets will be send to your inbox.

For more places to enjoy festive meals, parties and celebrations check out all our restaurant recommendations and our pubs and nightclubs section.

Drink responsibly, dance wildly and love freely! The Barcelona Life team wish you all an amazing night!

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