Celebrating the New Year in Madrid: what to expect

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In this post, you’ll find out about celebrating the New Year in Madrid and what to expect from it.

In the very beginning of this post, I must say, that the New Year celebration in Madrid was probably the biggest New Year’s disappointment in my life. Wanna know more? Keep reading.

You know, sometimes there are moments when you just want to start a new life or make a significant change in your life. There’s a famous saying: the way you will celebrate the New Year, the way you spend your year. And that’s true…but only to some extent. Anyway, don’t want to immerse in the world of self-persuasion or psychology. I wanted some changes in my life, that’s true, but even more I wanted to celebrate the New Year in an amazing way
I’ve been celebrating my New Years in Saint Petersburg, Russia (my hometown), Germany and Austria, but I wanted something more cheerful, energetic and lively. So I decided to go to the capital of Spain, Madrid with my friend, Kate to have the biggest New Year celebration of my life.

Just before heading to Madrid, we decided to visit Sevilla – one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. I wish we had stayed there for the New Year, too. But, unfortunately, we supposed, that since Madrid is a capital, the celebration there will be a blast.

Poor we. So naive.

So we arrived in Madrid on the 29th of December and rented a room in a centrally located flat. I somehow managed to get a good poisoning, so the next day I spent laying in bed. However, I managed to recover just before the new year, so we went to celebrate.

The main celebration happens on the Plaza España, which has sort of enough space for all the willing to celebrate there. One thing that already worried me before the celebration – Madrid wasn’t decorated, at all. As if it was just a normal time of the year, February or something. Nothing could remind you of the New Year’s Eve.

The plaza España wasn’t decorated much either. But at least it was full of people, so you couldn’t immediately realize that the celebration will take place there.


So we arrived there 1 hour before the New Year. The square was quite crowded, but it was possible to walk there. It was full of people illegally selling beers, grapes, and some shining plastic stuff. We were standing there next to the bear statue (the famous bear picking berries) and doing nothing because there wasn’t any concert, light show or anything at all. However, 5 minutes the New Year they started broadcasting the square on TV. Nothing for the general public. Finally, some second before the new year they started the final countdown. The crowd finally woke up and started counting with the TV host. And eating 12 grapes (famous Spanish tradition). And then it turned 12 and it was already the next year.

That’s pretty much it. No fireworks, no campaign and private fireworks. Nothing. The crowd stood at the square for 1-5 minutes and slowly started to dissolve. So disappointing of the New Year in Madrid! There was nothing else in the city, the bars didn’t seem to be full or working at all. Only some Chinese shops working all night and selling stuff like noodle pots for 3-5 euros.

So we walked a little bit and returned back to our room in order to wake up early next day and head to Toledo.

I must admit, that it was my most disappointing new year celebration ever. I hope that not every New Year in Madrid is like that but I wouldn’t recommend you to celebrate the new year there at all.

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