New Year’s Eve in Madrid

I have been asked this question so many times now, that I thought I would display the answer on the site. I would also welcome suggestions by other people on the subject, which is:

What can I do and where can I go on New Year’s Eve in Madrid?

This is what I normally end up doing if I find myself in Madrid with my wife, her family and our friends.

Many places in Madrid have private parties on that night – especially the nightclubs. Tickets are not that bad – around 40-60 Euros. However, I have only once been to one of these places and I would
personally recommend that you do the following:
Have a late dinner in a nice restaurant, preferably near the centre of the city as you don’t want to be catching the Metro (I do believe it closes for an hour or two). Try and finish around 11.15  – 11.30. Head as near to the Puerta del Sol as you can. Make sure you buy yourselves a bottle of Cava (Spanish champagne) – I would personally ask the waiter in the previous restaurant to keep it chilled for you. You also need to buy twelve grapes and make sure that you eat them on the stroke of each chime at 12 midnight.

I would then head over to Plaza Santa Ana where you will find plenty of nightlife – and in the nearby streets such as calle Huertas. Try the Moderna, Cerveceria Alemana and Naturbier. You may want to explore the bars around c/ Principe, such as Viva Madrid.  Don’t be alarmed if the bars are closed – this does happen as it gives waiters and bar staff the chance to celebrate with their families. They will open at least by 1 am!

And finally, try and have a cup of chocolate in Cafeteria San Gines – preferably around 6 or 7 in the morning.

These are just some quick thoughts and I would welcome suggestions from other people on where to go in Madrid on New Year’s Eve. Simply add a comment below.

10 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve in Madrid”

  1. Hi Alun….I agree totally. I might just add, do not try to go to any bar for the midnight hour. It is a very family tradition, and even bars in the center will shut down from about 11pm to 1am so that staff can celebrate. That is why Sol is the best option. DO bring your own cava, and do not be afraid of crowds….it can be INSANELY crowded in Sol during countdown. Afterwards, bars pick up around 1ish. But it tends to be a slow bar night in general. Look for a place with a party, 40 to 60 euros as you said, and stay the night.
    Happy Holidays,

  2. As Candy said, its really common for Spanish people to have dinner with their families, eat the 12 grapes as the clock (in puerta del Sol) strikes 12 and then go out afterwards. Of course Puerta del Sol is packed full and the respective metro stops close early, no getting off or on, the train just passes through. If you want to have dinner at a nice place its best to get a reservation, and its not cheap, usually costs aroudn 100 euros per person for a special New Years menu. Many restaurants have dinner around 10pm or so and include cava and grapes at Midnight and a coctail afterwards in the menu price. Its a crazy night to be out, so many people. but it can be a lot of fun if you can get in to a discoteque. And as Candy said, mabye best to stay once you get in since finding another place thats not full is definately difficult. Gut all in all, if you dont mind the crowds its a fun night out! Feliz año nuevo!!

  3. Hi all, we can offer something a bit different, as MADRIDBABEL is organizing an early New Year’s Party on Friday, December 28, our “INTERNATIONAL NO-NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY”, and we would like you all to come along finishing the year full of international activities in Madrid.
    It will be an international night full of fun, good music, and of course, New Year bells, grapes for good luck and champagne, as well as a live concert by Mikel Izal and many other surprises for all of you who wish to come along; all in all, a superb occasion to see each other again or even meet new people in our international environment.
    So, we will be waiting for you and all of your friends on Friday 28 (it’s not an April Fool’s joke!), as from 21:30 pm in El Barbú Club (c/ Santiago No. 3 – undergrounds Opera or Sol).

  4. I was in Madrid for New Year’s and it IS CRAZY. I was staying in a hotel in the Plaza Santa Ana and by New Year’s eve you can barely walk around the crowd is so thick!
    Also, you can buy cava and Champagne and treats in the basement supermarket in the Corte Ingles in Puerta Del Sol.
    If you are there a few days early you may see stalls with wigs and masks. Everyone should buy one! That is part of the tradition.
    I was lucky enough to spend a family New Year’s with my boyfriend’s family in Boadilla Del Monte.
    As to the grapes, they also told me to put your right foot forward as you eat the grapes for added luck in the year to come.
    Also, if you are out for an all-nighter,and the crowd is too thick for you in el centro there are bar and club parties in the suburbs; Boadilla Del Monte, Pozuelo, Majadahonda etc.
    The three towns pooled together and had a fantastic fireworks display at midnight.Then everyone put on crazy wigs and did the cotillion (walking the streets with bottles of cava or more traditional, cidra, drinking, singing and bar hopping.
    They can be reached cheaply by light rail Ask in el metro for tickets.
    Although the light rail closed down early this year,I believe next year they are trying to keep the light rail open all night on New Year’s so access to el centro is easy. The light rail just opened, so the cars are very spacious with large windows.
    If worse comes to worse,you can get a cab back into the city, about $20. But ONLY after 1 am.
    It is very Spanish, almost no tourists, but if you are adventurous and can swing it, I would recommend this as an alternative to el centro.

  5. hi!
    i want to do a spanish new years party this year stateside and am wondering what you would recommend i serve for dinner? what would a traditional spanish meal for new years be? and what can i buy for my friends that’s kind of cheap but fun, i read the post that said masks are popular, what kind of masks?thanks, im looking forward to your response!

  6. HOLA a todos : ) , there is a group of us arriving in MADRID on the 30th of Dec, 2008. We are teachers\students (of Spanish!) from all over Australia. We would like to hear of any other ideas … places to be, what to do on the 31st and 1st of January…when I understand nearly everything is closed. I really liked the idea of the fireworks display just out of town. Does anyone know of any such plans for this year? Churros con chocolate sounds divine . . . By the way, I enjoyed reading comments posted and was encouraged to say HOLA, I will pass them on to all. If I may with respect . . . any GATOS/AS that would like to enlighten us we would appreciate it! Saludos cordiales Gabriela Z. Sydney

  7. Hello there, I´ve read your comments and I wanted to share some other good alternative for New Year´s Eve. There´s a charming restaurant super well located in the heart of Chueca, that I´ve just found out is going to open for New Year´s Eve. I´ve already make reservations to have dinner over there.
    The restaurant is called Ottocento, you can check their website to find out more is:
    Cheers! and happy new year!

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