Nochevieja, the twelve grapes tradition on the 31st of December

28013 Madrid, Spain

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Celebrate New Year's Eve in Madrid with the Twelve Grapes Tradition

If you're looking for a unique and lively way to ring in the New Year, look no further than Madrid's Nochevieja celebration and the iconic twelve grapes tradition. Every year on the 31st of December, thousands of people gather at Puerta del Sol, the heart of the city, to witness the clock tower's ball drop and partake in this fun and festive tradition.

The Twelve Grapes Tradition

The twelve grapes tradition is a Spanish custom that involves eating a grape with each of the twelve clock bell strikes at midnight. Each grape represents good luck for the upcoming twelve months of the year. This tradition dates back to at least 1895 but became popularized in 1909 when Alicantese vine growers used it as a way to sell their surplus grape harvest. Today, it is believed that successfully eating all twelve grapes will bring prosperity and good fortune for the year ahead.

Join the Festivities at Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol is the epicenter of the Nochevieja celebrations in Madrid. As the clock strikes midnight, the atmosphere becomes electric with cheers, laughter, and the sound of fireworks filling the air. The clock tower's ball drop is broadcasted on national television, marking the official start of the New Year. It's a sight to behold and an experience you won't want to miss.

Tips for Enjoying Nochevieja in Madrid

To fully enjoy Nochevieja in Madrid, here are a few tips:

  1. Arrive Early: Puerta del Sol gets crowded quickly, so it's best to arrive early to secure a good spot. This will give you a prime view of the clock tower and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the festivities.

  1. Dress Warmly: December in Madrid can be chilly, so make sure to bundle up. Layered clothing, a warm coat, and a hat will keep you comfortable throughout the night.

  1. Embrace the Grape-Eating Challenge: Eating twelve grapes in time with the clock strikes may sound simple, but it can be quite the challenge. Practice your grape-eating skills beforehand and be prepared for a bit of fun and chaos as everyone tries to finish their grapes before the last chime.

Explore Madrid's Vibrant Nightlife

After the grape-eating frenzy, the celebrations continue into the night. Madrid is known for its vibrant nightlife, and New Year's Eve is no exception. Head to the city's bars and clubs to dance, toast with champagne, and party until the early hours of the morning. Whether you prefer a trendy rooftop bar or a traditional Spanish tavern, Madrid offers a wide range of options to suit every taste.


Nochevieja and the twelve grapes tradition in Madrid offer a unique and exciting way to welcome the New Year. Join the locals at Puerta del Sol, eat your twelve grapes, and embrace the festive atmosphere. As the clock strikes midnight, toast to the future and enjoy the vibrant nightlife that Madrid has to offer. This unforgettable experience will leave you with memories to cherish and a great start to the year ahead.

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