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NYE and New Year’s Day Trip report

Since this topic has come up before, I thought I’d give updated information on NYE and New Year’s in Spain. Obviously different cities will have different customs, but this was my experience the past few days. Spent NYE in Valencia. Some sights closed early, but all were open in the morning. Dining options were limited and most that were open only had a special NYE menu ($60-90) which required a reservation and almost everyone was already full when I got there on the 29th. There were a few places open in the tourist areas. I went to Cappuccino, which is right on the cathedral square. It did close at 8PM, which is technically before Spanish dinner time, so even they were “closing early”. All grocery stores and other shops were closed by late afternoon.

New Years Day I was still in Valencia in the morning. All tourist sites were closed of course. But I was surprised by the number of cafes that were open. I would say that in the old town you could find something to eat within a five-minute walk.

In the evening of New Years Day I was in Seville. This was even more of a shock to me. At least half of the restaurants were open regular evening hours. This may have only been in the city center where all the tourists are, but there were many options near the cathedral and in Barrio Santa Cruz. I thought I would be hunting for scraps. One word of caution for Jan. 1 dinner time. Because about half the restaurants were closed, the ones that were open were absolutely packed. Come earlier than usual.

Hope this helps future travelers!!

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Bill, thank you for posting this. I was looking for this type of information when planning our trip this year, and I'm guessing others will be in the same boat next year. I'll add our experience - we were in Seville on NY Eve and went to Granada on New Year's Day. I had understood from previous posters to expect the city to mostly shut down by mid-afternoon on NYE and that was our experience. One exception is that all of the flamenco sites were open on New Year's Eve, which was nice. In the neighborhood we were in there was only one cafe open that evening and it was packed!

What I think was surprising to some of the other visitors we talked to is that the main tourist sites (e.g., cathedral, etc.) list New Year's Day as a closed holiday, but not that they would close early on New Year's Eve. So there were I think some disappointed people expecting to visit sites on the afternoon of NYE. I would caution trip planners to expect not just shops and restaurants but also sites to close NYE afternoon, even if it's not listed as a closure at the TI! We stopped in at the TI and they didn't have listed the early closures on NYE.