Where to live a magical New Year, full of charm and things to do but without the crowds deafening the cold of London or Paris? Seville! The pearl of Andalusia is the ideal destination for those who would never give up celebrations but don't like excesses.
New Year's Eve in Seville, called nochevieja in Spanish, is a different experience from the usual New Year's Eve in the capitals, more intimate and suggestive. Traditionally it is celebrated with the family, but now many Sevillians leave home before midnight to exchange greetings in the square and eat grapes as the local custom dictates.
You can join them in the fine temperatures or spend the whole night in an elegant restaurant admiring the splendid views of the city while toasting with glasses of champagne. Younger or hard-core partiers will find discos open late to continue the celebration.
Parties in the square and fireworks
The nerve center of New Year's Eve celebrations in Seville is Plaza Nueva, where locals and tourists gather to exchange greetings at the stroke of midnight. Traditionally, the city does not organize a fireworks display, but people arrive armed with fireworks and firecrackers for which colors and noise are equally guaranteed.
It is a fairytale setting to experience the transition from the old year to the new. Plaza de España, Seville's magnificent square and one of the city's most famous tourist attractions.
Where to have New Year's Eve dinner
For Sevillians, New Year's Eve dinner is a family affair: tradition has it that on the night of the 31st everyone gets together and waits for midnight by eating typical dishes prepared at home. As a result, many restaurants and almost all tapas bars are closed on New Year's Eve.
The good news is that restaurants in upper-middle class hotels offer special New Year's Eve menus, as do some classy restaurants. Below you will find the 4 Best restaurants for New Year's Eve dinner in Seville: reservations open weeks in advance, make yours as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
The top restaurant for New Year's Eve dinner in Seville is the HotelAlfonso XIII, a luxurious property synonymous with class and refined extravagance. Every year it offers a fabulous dinner menu washed down with glasses of champagne followed by a cocktail party that lasts until 5 am.
Abades Triana is considered one of the best restaurants in Seville for its spectacular views over the city and its refined cuisine. The New Year's Eve menu is no exception: chef's delicacies, quality wines and discreet background music, usually jazz, await you.
If glamour and ostentation or bills of several hundred euros are not for you a better solution is the less sumptuous but excellent quality restaurant of the EMECatedral Hotel with a breathtaking view of the Giralda. Dinner is served on the panoramic terrace, followed by a party on the rooftop bar.
Many tourists dream of a dinner with a flamenco show for their New Year's Eve in Seville. Unfortunately on this particular date the most famous flamenco tablaos are closed, but you can opt for the popular New Year's Eve party at the Museo del Baile Flamenco, exceptionally open also at night.
The tradition of grapes
Throughout Spain, the quintessential New Year's Eve tradition is the eating of 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. In the main town squares, including Seville's, the clocks on the city towers mark the arrival of the new year with twelve chimes: at the sound of each chime, tradition has it that a grape is eaten as a good omen.
If you are in a restaurant, the bunch of grapes is surely included in the menu, but if you celebrate in the square, remember to bring it with you to live this ancient tradition to which the Spaniards are still very attached today.
Nightclubs where to spend the New Year in Seville
The nightlife areas of Seville are the Barrio de Santa Cruz and Calle Betis: even on New Year's Eve here you are sure to find nightclubs open late, music, drinks and lots of fun. But why not aim for the best and book a party in one of the most famous discos in Seville? Here are the right addresses!
Jefe is one of the most exclusive discos in Seville, with a strict selection at the entrance: if you want to celebrate here don't forget to pack your most elegant clothes. The music genres are very varied, but the usual clientele is more interested in elegant and futuristic decoration, refined cocktails and ostentation. The right address for glamorous nightclubs.
The place to wear shoes and dance non-stop until morning is theAntiqueTeatro, a club with DJ sets and live music in a large open space.
Club de diversión is an alternative venue next to the gardens of the Alameda de Hércules. The musical proposals are very varied and depending on the evening may include jazz, hip hop, international dance and rock.
Santuario is a discotheque with thematic decoration in the center of Seville: as can be understood from the name, it is decorated in ecclesiastical style but the rites celebrated inside are all dedicated to the profane rather than the sacred. This small club attracts a mixed clientele of students and professionals and is appreciated for its special atmosphere.
How to organize New Year's Eve in Seville
Organizing New Year's Eve in Seville on your own is easy and saves you the costs of tour agencies and tour operators.
How do you do it? Book your flight first: start looking early and book as soon as possible to get the best prices.
The second thing to do is to decide. Where to sleep: find out about the different areas of the city and look for your hotel in the one that best suits the type of vacation you want to do.
Third step: whether you want a dinner of a thousand and one nights or you just need to put something in your mouth to get by, booking the restaurant is highly recommended because, as already mentioned, dinner is experienced as a family affair and therefore many restaurants close.
Arriving in Seville without a table reserved for the 31st is likely to waste the night looking for something open or with a table available: a very frustrating experience that could ruin your vacation.
Finally, when organizing your trip, don't neglect the activities to do before and after the night of the 31st: visits to museums and monuments, river cruises, guided tours of the city. Find out in advance about opening hours and closures.
Also at this time of year it is good to buy tickets online for the most famous attractions: this way you save time in the queue at the ticket office and save a little.
Tips for celebrating New Year's Eve in Seville
Many tourists return disappointed from a New Year's Eve in Seville because they think they will find massive celebrations with crowds of people in the ocean or packed clubs even before midnight. It would be a shame to ruin your vacation, but don't worry: if you go knowing what to expect, you won't be disappointed and you will have a memorable New Year's Eve.
For a satisfying experience it is important to know the local culture and adapt: whether you want to celebrate in a crowd of thousands or dance in a 5-story megaclub, the right city in Spain is Madrid.
Seville is suitable for those looking for a more intimate atmosphere or a more favorable climate. Remember that for Andalusians the big parties are the ferias, which usually take place between spring and summer. New Year's Eve is an opportunity for everyone to get together as a family and is mainly experienced as an event to spend at home.
For this reason, New Year's Eve nightlife in Seville usually begins when the family gatherings are over: the children and the elderly go to bed, the adults stay up to chat and the young people go to the discotheque. Don't expect to find the discos full before 2 or 3 in the morning; on the other hand, however, you can keep dancing until the morning.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the shortage of cabs in service during the night between December 31 and January 1. So plan ahead if you can't walk back to the hotel.
Weather and temperature on New Year's Eve
One of the main reasons to choose Seville as your New Year's Eve vacation destination is its climate. Even in winter the temperatures are mild, on average much higher than a typical winter. You can expect to find temperatures around 10°, and if you are lucky, it could even reach 16-18°.
Precipitation is scarce and snow is virtually never seen. Of course, temperatures also drop during the night in Seville, but they never reach extreme levels and therefore it is possible to enjoy the festivities in the square without getting cold.