101 things to do in Donostia/San Sebastián
The essential guide to enjoying the coolest Basque city
The most popular local festivals
La Semana Grande
The Big Week takes place annually in the week of August 15, when the entire city puts on its party clothes to enjoy hundreds of activities all around town. To really blend with the locals, tie a kerchief round your neck. One of the most-anticipated events is the fireworks competition, now in its 50th edition. The best place to take it in is La Concha beach.
- 10-17 August
The Basque Festival is held in many towns in the region around these dates at the end of summer. Numerous activities relating to Basque culture take place, out come the Basque costumes, and everyone eats talo and drinks txakoli or cider and dances to the rhythm of the trikitixa (a button accordion).
- 29 August - 8 September
La Bandera de La Concha
On the first two Sundays in September, Donostia/San Sebastián gets the bunting out to celebrate the Bandera de la Concha boat race, which is the most coveted trophy on the Cantabrian circuit. The streets are filled with colour, spectators and an unbeatable atmosphere. The trainera boats are a sporting adaptation of a traditional fishing vessel.
- 29 August / 1-8 September
Celebrated on 21 December, Saint Thomas’ Day is one of the city’s best-loved annual events. The celebration is in honour of the city’s old market, where the farmers of the region used to bring their wares. An ideal day to discover and taste typical Basque products.
- Sun Dec 21