Best New Year’s Eve Parties in San Sebastian
Let’s welcome the New Year in San Sebastian! This city’s stunning beaches and bustling streets packed with top-notch bars and restaurants serving up Europe’s finest cuisine make it a dream spot for many travelers. San Sebastian’s blend of Basque culture and beloved Spanish vibes makes it an extra special place to start the new year.
Get ready with your 12 grapes (We’ll explain soon) and get out there—it’s time for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve parties celebration in San Sebastian.
New Year’s Eve Events in San Sebastian hotel
Let’s take a look at the events happening on New Year’s Eve.
The 12 New Year’s grapes
No matter where you are in Spain, there’s a New Year’s Eve tradition in San Sebastian that everyone follows: eating 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight. Well, we say “eating,” but it’s more like trying to stuff all those grapes in your mouth as each clock chime goes off. Trust me, it’s trickier than it sounds!
In San Sebastian New Year’s Eve Celebrations, families either enjoy these grapes at home or head to one of the lively plazas. Plaza Gipuzkoa is a hit—it’s always jam-packed with locals and visitors celebrating the start of the new year together.
On Your Marks…get Set…go!
The grapes add a fun touch to New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian, but let’s rewind a bit. On December 31, thousands of runners gear up for the yearly San Silvestre race.
The 8.2-kilometer route winds through the city streets and offers stunning beach views. Whether you’re up for joining the run or prefer cheering from the sidelines, it’s a lively and festive tradition on New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian.
Hotels aren’t just for tourists in San Sebastian.
Every year, more locals choose to attend the city’s many cotillones or galas held at top-notch hotels. If you want a lavish New Year’s Eve experience in San Sebastian, these exclusive events are everywhere.
There are several bars and ILUNION San Sebastian hotel, and others host gala dinners with free-flowing drinks, dancing all night, and top-notch entertainment in the city’s most elegant spots. These events are popular, so make sure to book ahead—spots fill up fast!
Follow the Party!
Can’t figure out your New Year’s Eve plan? No worries—San Sebastian offers a moveable feast. Take a stroll through the beautiful Old Town, and you’ll see bars filled with locals celebrating. Just hop into the one that catches your eye, have a few drinks, and move on to the next! It’s the perfect way to taste a bit of everything on New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian.
New Year’s Eve parties
Not sure where to dine on New Year’s Eve or where to go on New Year’s Day? San Sebastian has options for all tastes—whether you crave glitz and champagne or a cozy dinner with incredible local dishes.
New Year’s Eve Dinner
Exciting news: there are several top spots in San Sebastian that stay open on New Year’s Eve. They blend Spanish and Basque flavors in a modern way, and their New Year’s menu promises a fantastic night.
Ending the year with a fancy meal sounds great, doesn’t it? And where better than San Sebastian, a city brimming with renowned chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants?
Feel Like Dancing?
Ready to hit the dance floor? There are awesome post-dinner options for New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian. These places offer fantastic cocktails. You can also get tickets that cover multiple cocktails and some other treats—it’s a top-notch deal in town.
Wherever you go, make sure to raise a glass of cava with your fellow partygoers—or for a local twist, try txakoli, a Basque white wine with a slight sparkle.
Relax on New Year’s Day
After all the celebrating, a laid-back New Year’s Day is just what we need. And what better way to start the year than with amazing food?
Want a fancy dinner with a view of the sea? The hotels have a thoughtfully crafted menu. And to digest all that goodness, a stroll along the iconic La Concha Promenade is perfect.
If you’re up for traditional Basque flavors and consistent quality, you can try local delights like jamón ibérico, spider crab, monkfish, or the famous txuleta (t-bone steak) for all you meat lovers out there.
San Sebastian December events
Spain sure knows how to throw a party, and Basque culture is no exception. San Sebastian hosts loads of fantastic festivals on and around New Year. If you want to dive into Basque culture and party like a local, mark your calendar for these events—you won’t want to miss them!
St. Thomas’s Day
Big fan of farmers’ markets? Us too! That’s why December 21 is a standout day in San Sebastian—it’s when the whole city turns into a huge country market at St. Thomas.
Local craftsmen and farmers from nearby villages fill the city with stalls selling fresh produce, wholesome goodies, and homemade crafts. And if you’re feeling peckish, don’t miss trying the txistorra—a local sausage (think Basque chorizo) that’s the go-to snack at this festival.
Olentzero & Mari Domingi
Fall in San Sebastian brings giving gifts and gatherings with loved ones, just like everywhere else. But here in San Sebastian, we add our own touch with Olentzero, a local figure, and his spouse, Mari Domingi. They spread joy by delivering presents to kids all around the province on Christmas Day.
Though the Three Kings are a big deal across Spain, the couple are special to the Basque Country. On December 24, they descend from Mount Urgull and parade across the streets, stopping to meet excited kids who share their Christmas wishes along the way.
Wrapping up our festival countdown in this province is the big one: New Year’s Eve. But hold on, this isn’t your usual end-of-year bash. Here, it’s packed with a beach race, fancy galas, and the iconic midnight grape-eating ritual. Join the locals at Plaza Gipuzkoa for the classic countdown and welcome the new year in style!
Three Kings Day
Kicking off our festival lineup in San Sebastian is a day that kids across Spain eagerly await: Three Kings Day. It’s an even bigger deal than Christmas here. On January 6, children wake up all excited to unwrap the gifts left overnight by the Three Wise Men from the biblical story.
But the real excitement starts on January 5. That’s when the kings arrive in San Sebastian, parading through the city, delighting the crowds that line the streets. Picture extravagant floats, vibrant costumes, and a rain of candy (seriously, watch out for flying sweets!). It’s a festive blast enjoyed by everyone, bringing people together to celebrate the joy of giving.
San Sebastian lights up for New Year’s Eve parties! The coastal city buzzes with a celebration that brings locals and visitors together. As midnight hits, the heart of San Sebastian becomes the epicenter of the festivity. The city dazzles with colorful lights and decorations, setting the stage for special menus and parties at restaurants and bars. From traditional Basque cuisine to live music and themed events, the night brims with energy.
The fireworks display above La Concha Bay steals the show, drawing crowds to the waterfront. San Sebastian bids farewell to the old year and welcomes the new one in grand style.