Spain/Portugal/Gibraltar - New Years 2007-08 in Madrid
Dec 7, 07, 6:59 am
I'll be in Madrid for New Years - would appreciate any tips or places to go for the celebration. Also, any non-museum tourist stops that would be fun. I'm in my 20's and speak enough Spanish to be able to function pretty easily in local spots. Thanks!
Dec 7, 07, 7:56 am
The traditional thing to do is the massive celebration at the Puerta del Sol.
I don't have enough local knowledge to sufficiently comment on bars/clubs to continue the fun!
Places to celebrate depend on what kind of person you are.
You could head out to Puerta del Sol with 12 grapes (very important the 12 grapes - don't forget! And don't leave off getting them until the last minute as many shops sell out of them) and a bottle or two of cold cava. Most homes in Spain will be watching Sol for the countdown
Share your cava around, kiss and hug lots of strangers and then just go with the flow visiting lots of nearby bars.
That would be the classic experience.
You could pay to go to a year end party - the prices are pretty steep but they mostly have 'barra libre' which translates as unlimited drinks. (Queues for the bar will be massive though!)
Here's a list of just some of them - http://nochevieja.salirdecopas.com/asp/nochevieja.asp
What's hot and what's not in the world of clubs changes a lot from year to year and I'm now out of the loop (haven't been for a while) and, obviously, your tastes are likely to be different from mine anyway.
There'll be youtube clips of many of Madrid's larger clubs showing the kind of atmosphere they have - hunt around and see what you like the look of. The most popular ones may already have sold out.
If you want to enjoy the gay scene then head for Chueca.
My advice is to be very friendly with the people you meet, make friends and go with the flow.
If there's a particular music style you like it's usually a good idea to go to an independent record store as soon as you arrive, chat to the people there and find out what's going on this way.
- Apart from at Sol (which will be heaving with people around midnight) you may find there is little going on to begin with. Many people don't leave their families until 1am or so and some clubs might not kick off until later. Many people will still be partying on the afternoon of the 1st in basement clubs all over the city.
- But my real advice is don't get offended or take issue with someone who is cranky or argumentative. A considerable portion of the people your age will have taken drugs. Walk away from any confrontations immediately. If you can do this, I'm sure you'll have no problems at all. (Also drugs can be much stronger than what you might expect. Please don't be tempted to take a full pastilla of an unknown substance - many tourists get messed up this way - I was a volunteer interpreter in a Spanish hospital when I lived there)
As for 'fun' things to do. Fun is completely subjective. There are lots of Christmas/New Year/3 Kings Day celebrations going on at Parque Warner - just outside Madrid if that's your kind of thing.
Nearly forgot! Be sure to have churros con chocolate the next morning before heading back to bed - another ingrained Spanish tradition.
Dec 7, 07, 4:17 pm
Were headed to Madrid too, but have to bail back to the states on the 31st (Got to get those last ditch 1K eqms). So basically I have nothing insightful to add, but will happily lurk for any good recommendations :)
Dec 10, 07, 9:39 pm
Be aware the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol will be completely full, similar to Times Square. You won't be able to move and it will seem like everyone in the country is there.
This is a very late night in a country which adores late night fun, and the parties will really not start until after midnight.
As you are tourists, I would agree with LapLap and say that your best bet really might be to fall through the door of various bars you like the look of (you can always just go next door if you don't like where you are.) NYE is probably not the night to go to the megaclubs or the poshest ones as a tourist, it will be a hassle to get in.
If you are in your 20s the smaller places around Plaza de Santa Ana and on Calle Huertas are probably a decent bet (close to Sol, tourist friendly, no hassle getting in) These are not posh but will give you a nice party, a very Spanish vibe and are used to some tourists but will not be overrun with foreigners either.
El Viajero in La Latina might be a good choice for a (sort of) low key, casual way to spend the entire night, having dinner and dancing a bit after.
If you are interested in continuing the party past 5am, which will be very possible, the big clubs are probably your best option as a tourist rather than the sketchier "basement" type of places.
Let us know if you want recommendations for very late night or posher venues and have a great time a very party oriented city!