New Years Eve in Granada
Celebrating New Years Eve in Granada is generally a family affair. In the city centre the main spot to welcome the new year is Plaza del Carmen. The square outside Granada Town Hall. Granada city council or Ayuntamiento usually organise live music in the square. Sometimes a laser light display or fireworks happen around midnight.
Another popular place to see the new year in is at Sierra Nevada ski resort. Unless you have accommodation there you will need to make to get transport back to Granada booked ahead of time. Note: Depending on the weather, you may need chains if there is snow and ice on the road at certain altitudes.
12 grapes at Midnight
In Spain it´s traditional to eat 12 grapes as midnight strikes. Although this tradition goes back sometime it is not actually that old. Since 1882 there are records of this grape eating tradition to welcome the new year. However in 1909 it became widespread due to a bumper grape harvest that particular year. With vendors packaging up 12 grapes for luck ´las uvas de la suerte´ to see in the new year.
To celebrate Spanish style you need to get a dozen grapes ready beforehand. Seedless grapes work best. I can also recommend choosing smaller grapes rather than bigger ones.
If you pop into a supermarket you might find tinned grapes. These ones are peeled, deseeded and already come in tins of 12. This is the best option to be able to eat all 12 within the time.
On each chime of midnight you eat a grape. This tradition is believe to bring good luck for the new year. Each of the 12 grapes represents a month of the new year. Even after living in Spain for so many years I have rarely managed to eat the grapes in time. Its quite a challenge.
New Year 2023 in Granada
As always the main place to see in the new year 2023, is at Plaza del Carmen outside Granada town hall. At 11.30pm on 31st December 2022 people will gather to watch the clock strike midnight and welcome the new year. Usually accompanied by a light show and music or even fireworks. It really gets busy despite the cold temperatures.
Where to celebrate New Years Eve in Granada
Dining out on New Years Eve can be an costly exercise. Most menus include elaborate dishes made of fish or seafood. Many restaurants are closed on 31st December (in the evening) If you intend to eat out you need to plan ahead. Find out the places that are offering New Years Eve Dinner Menus and book in advance. Locals tend to eat together as a family at home.
Expect to pay around 90 euros – 200 euros for a New Years Eve dinner and drinks. If you are staying in Granada over New Years, it is essential to plan ahead. Especially what your will do for dinner on New Years Eve. Make sure you get something that suits your budget and location.
New Year Eve Menus in Granada
Here are three options for celebration dinners on Sunday 31st December 2023.
Hospes Palacio de los Patos is an elegant 5 star hotel located in the centre of Granada. For their celebration dinner on 31st December there have a 8 course meal. You need to book ahead as spaces are limited.
- Welcome drink Champagne Taittinger Brut
- Welcome appetizer
- Riofrio Organic Caviar paired with Grey Goose
- Foie Gras with nougat, organic beer bread and spiced kefir
- King Prawn Soup with Monkfish and Black Garlic emulsion
- Turbot with spinach puntalette and Lecrin Valley orange sauce
- Lamb with papaya chutney and floral honey sauce
- Dulce de Leche (caramel) Coulant with sour cherry ice cream and ginger gel.
- Traditional Christmas Sweets
- Lucky grapes
- Served with White Wine D.O Rueda El perro verde 2021 Verdejo + D.O Bierzo Allende Reserva 2015 tempranillo, water soft drinks, beers, selection of coffees and teas.
Price is 195 euros (inc IVA) per person.
Bookings: (+34) 958 535790 Address: Calle Solarillo de Gracia, 1, 18002 Granada
- Ruta del Azafrán on Carrera del Darro. This restaurante is opposite the Alhambra in the lower Albaicín on Carrera del Darro. Previously their NYE menu was priced at 120 euros for 10 courses including drinks. I dont have info yet for 2023. Spaces are limited here so you need to book ahead.
New Years Day
On the 1st January shops and museums are closed. The Alhambra Palace & Generalife is CLOSED on 1st January 2024. If you want to visit during new year. You need to book your tickets NOW for 31st December or 2nd January 2024.
On the first day of the year many restaurants are closed too. Especially at lunchtime. Some may open on the evening of the 1st January. Make sure you get any supplies on 31st Jan in the morning. Particularly as both the 1st and 2nd January are local holidays in Granada.
Dia de la Toma
On the 2nd January Granada celebrates another local festival. Known as El Día de la Toma it means the seizing or the taking of Granada. This day marks the conquest of the kingdom of Granada. Isabel and Ferdinand, the Catholic kings took over the city on this day in 1492. This celebration is controversial and some local s believe that it is outdated to celebrate this date. The main part of the day is held at Granada Town Hall in Plaza del Carmen at 12 noon.
2nd of January Fiesta
The ceremony is comprised fo a flag being waved from the town hall balcony. Afterwards there is a parade with military and local authorities through the old town. They ring the bell on the Alhambra´s watchtower, Torre de la Vela. In the same way that they would centuries ago. This celebration of the historic date only lasts about 1 hour. However traffic is affected as the city centre is closed to vehicles throughout most of the morning.
A Spanish Christmas
Three Kings in Granada
Cabalgata will be on the evening of the 5th January the three Kings of orient arrive in Granada. The kings and their calvalcade throw sweets as they walk through the city centre. The parade sets off from C/Rector Lopez Argueta. Then it moves along Gran Via and down into centre of town to Puerta Real. To see the exact route check local press the day before.
- Starts: 6.00pm at Plaza Gran Capitán
- Calle San Juan de Dios
- Gran Vía de Colón then down along Calle Reyes Católicos,
- Puerta Real then to Plaza del Humilladero
- Carrera de la Virgen
- Puerta Real and to Plaza del Campillo
- Back to Calle Reyes Católicos and completes the route in Plaza del Carmen or Granada Town Hall. Estimated 10.30pm.
Cabalgata de Reyes
While watching the parade you may want to keep an eye out for umbrellas. Some people open them, turn them upside down, so they may catch more sweets. Some people take stepladders to get a good view too. There are around 20 floats and around 10,000 kgs of sweets throw by hundreds of actors in the Granada parade. This has been going more than 100 years in Granada, one of Spain´s oldest parades. It began in 1912. In that first edition even local Poet Federico García Lorca took part. You will enjoy this lively street parade known as Cabalgata de Reyes Magos and you may even line your pockets with some sweets.
Duende FerminOnce the Cabalgata ends at the Town hall. Duende Fermin appears on the balcony on Plaza del Carmen. He thanks the three kings and warns local children that must go to bed on time. Reminding them to be good so they get their Christmas gifts. After this talk by Duende Fermin, fireworks close the cabalgata celebrations above Granada town hall.
Si es el haba lo encontrado este postre pagarás
más si ello es la figura coronado y Rey serás
Roscón de ReyesShops are open until late on the 5th of January (until midnight) This is a great moment to buy a typical Roscón de Reyes. This traditional cake is for the 5th or 6th of January. A brioche style mixture, topped with candied fruit and sugar. Filling are white cream (nata) or crème patisserie (crema). Other fillings are now becoming popular too such as truffle or chocolate.Watch out for objects inside the Roscón. The Spanish answer to the sixpence or three penny bit is La haba. Inside each roscon you will find a dried broad bean. If you get this in your slice, tradition says you should pay for the whole cake. However you may be a luckier and find the King. If you do, you will be King for the day. Usually you get a cardboard crown to wear. To avoid problems between siblings, parents ask their baker to put one king for each child.On the 6th January there is also a popular Christmas Lottery Draw too. Called El Niño.
Coal for Naughty Children
In Spain the morning of the 6th January is when the Christmas gifts arrive. After the three kings of orient have delivered them the night of the 5th. If you have been naughty, it´s traditional that they leave coal instead of gifts. To make this custom more gentle for mischievous children there is a sweet version of coal. This black sugar based treat is a warning to be good next year.
January Sales in Spain
In Spain the January sales begin at 10am on Sunday 7th January 2024. Shops will open on that day.