If you’re coming from less exotic parts of the world, Mallorca sure seems like an amazing place to be for New Years Eve. With mild average December temperatures of 16°C you could be celebrating in merely a t-shirt (or at night, more likely a light coat).
Palma is a city brimming with culture and historic architecture and an ideal spot to welcome the New Year in a low key, yet sophisticated style.
Below are some useful tips on how to make the most out of your stay and what to look out for when planning your trip.
What To Expect
Unlike Ibiza and other party capitals of the world, spending New Years in Palma is a slightly more quiet affair. In fact many of the restaurants will be closed for private events.
The main highlight of festivities is the street party, which usually starts around 23:00. This is when people flood out to the fairly-light-clad Passeig del Born and Plaza Rey Juan Carlos I with friends and family to celebrate. At Plaza Rey Juan Carlos I a stage with live music keeps people entertained and, of course, that is where the big countdown happens.
But what would New Years be without fireworks! The city puts on a display over the Cathedral, which is best watched from the nearby Parc de la Mar.
Best Way To Spend the Evening
If you’re going to Palma as a group, I’d say the best plan of action is to get a house or apartment in town on AirBnb with a kitchen, where you can have dinner with your friends or family to start off the evening.
There are many great places you can buy delicious local food (like the Mercat de l’Olivar), but if you are looking for a one stop shop that is a little more fancy, El Corte Inglés shopping center has a supermarket where you can stock up.
Don’t forget to get an ensaïmada for dessert – it’s a delicious, traditional Mallorcan pastry (although made with lard, so not vegetarian). You will most certainly see people walking around with something akin to large pizza boxes – those are the large ensaïmadas usually bought for dinners and celebrations. There are many places you can get them. The locals tend to each have their favourite place that they swear by and are very loyal to.
The Big Countdown
As mentioned, for the countdown head to Passeig del Born around 23:00 to join the street party festivities. Make sure you bring some bubbly and… grapes!
Yes, eating grapes on New Years Eve is a thing and a long-standing tradition dating back to the late 19th century. At 12 the gong will strike 12 times and for each strike you have to eat a grape. This will be happening very quickly, but if you do manage, the coming year will generously bestow all kinds of luck on you. Shops will sell special, smaller and seedless grapes for this occasion, which should increase the chances of gulping down all of them significantly. As grapes are in high demand at this time, buy early to avoid disappointment.
After the clock strikes 12 crowds disperse rather quickly. However, if all this is too low key and you’re in for a night of intense partying there are a few nightclubs around. The most famous one is Tito’s. Established in the 1950’s and host to a myriad of celebrities over the years, this is the premier venue in town.
On the 1st January most things will be closed, so do check holiday open times in advance if you’re interested in doing anything specific.
There will be a few bicycle hire places open, so you can always take a nice ride along the coast. The seaside cycling highway towards El Molinar, Gentilicio and Ca’n Pastilla makes for a great leisurely ride. Do bring your own food with you, as finding an open restaurant on the 1st can be a real challenge.
If you’re staying on until the 5th make sure to catch the Three Kings Day parade (Els Reis) – a very lavish affair, where the three kings Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar disembark from a sailing boat in Marina Moll Vell and and follow a route through the city joined by performers, musicians and dancers in costume.
What is your favourite New Years destination? Share with us in the comments below.