New Year’s Eve Plans for Madrid
Are you thinking to pass New Year’s Eve in Madrid?
Fantastic! But be careful. Unlike other cities, in Madrid there is no massive central free event in a square as such. So if you come, you’d better come prepared.
The main activity in central Madrid is usually to spend the midnight in the central square, Puerta de Sol, eat 12 grapes in the few minutes before that and celebrate all together. No live music, no fire works.
1 . Why is new year’s eve in Madrid so lame?
Bear in mind that everyone generally has dinner at 10pm in Spain, and this is every day of the year. This makes midnight extremely close to the end of dinner time to be just out and about partying. Generally everyone dines with their families and they around 1 or 2 they meet outside and party hard till late.
2 . Ok, but what if I’m a foreigner visiting?
I suggest you to simulate and do the same. There are many restaurants in the center and around it that offer great NYE dinner menus at a closed price, great also so you know exactly how much you will be going to spend and what you will get for it.
Have dinner until 23.45 in a place you choose(make sure you book as early as you can as the good ones can be booked even 2 weeks in advance) and then rush to the square. It will be probably very packed by that time, especially but other foreigners like us as I said before, so try to find your way more centrally or simply get there by 23.30 and you’ll be fine.
There is also a ball, similar to the one in Times Square that in the same way falls down right on the midnight. Which forms the main attraction. A few national main TV channels also film the event creating a strong Hype around this ball fall.
3. If you don’t like over crowded situations, don’t go to Puerta de Sol
Puerta de Sol is the most central square of Madrid, but it isn’t particularly wide and big. Rather narrow streets flow towards it and a lot police officers try to regulate the flow of people towards it.
Coming to Madrid for New Year is still a good idea. Not too cold, generally sunny and definitely much cheaper than most european capitals. It also offers you a great opportunity to visit other great spanish cities right before or after the main change of the year.
But do stay away of this plaza if you dont like overcrowded pushy wooshy situations.
4. No Fireworks.
Well, yeah. That’s it. No majestic fireworks organized from the city organization. That’s it. Bring your fire crackers!
So to summarize, spending the new year’s eve in Madrid can be fun, over crowded at times and way cheaper that most of any main other european capital. You should prepare a bit before though.
Book a nice central restaurant as soon as you can, double check the price and the menu as you want to avoid surprises.
There are so so many after parties that start from 1 am if you fancy dancing a bit. Madrid is a super lively music scene, so live bands in private venues are also very popular. Make sure you book your ticket in time and that you absolutely DO NOT wait until the last minute to decide on where to go.
We generally post each year a list of the best plans that are off the beaten track. Make sure to check our blog from December and to stay tuned on our Social Networks for more content.
Malasana and La Latina are good options to find a more quiet but proper restaurant and still be close to the main square. Mainly you have to decide early on if seeing the ball go down in Puerta de Sol is something that you wish to do or not. Don’t consider it as a must as literally most spaniards watch it on tv while they comfortably finish they desserts. Going out around 1am presents a second advantage. Most families with kids will go back after the midnight and most people will also redirect towards wherever they plan to go, leaving most of the pedestrian and streets available for you to wander.
If you want some specific tips for your trip to Madrid or Spain for New Year’s eve, feel free to write us, we will be happy to assist for your trip!