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Opodo Travel Blog
  •   2 min read

San Sebastian makes for an idyllic holiday destination at any time of year. Its culture, and above all, its cuisine, make it a wonderful city to visit in any season. All year round, the Old Town’s bars abound with pintxos, a kind of Basque tapas, providing a draw for anyone visiting the city. Museums such as the San Telmo and the city Aquarium also make cultural visits a sure fire hit.

But if there’s one season when you can really make the most of San Sebastian, it has to be during summer. At this time of year, you can of course relax on the beach and enjoy the sea and its waves. But that’s not all; throughout the entire summer season, the city’s agenda is packed with events.

san sebastian jazz festival
image by El ZoteFunk on flickr

As you can see here, you can enjoy prestigious events such as the San Sebastian Jazz Festival (Heineken Jazzaldia), one of the best known in the country and the whole of Europe, which takes place at the end of July. Every year, the city welcomes many of the biggest names in the world of jazz. The city fills with stages, hosting both free and paying events, and you can easily spend all day listening to your favourite music. The stage erected on Zurriola Beach is one of the most popular, and becomes a real meeting place. With groups of friends and people of all ages gathering there, the atmosphere on the beach makes it one of the best places to enjoy the festival.

san sebastian film festival
image by sarautrera on flickr

If music isn’t your thing and you prefer cinema, the month of September sees the prestigious San Sebastian Film Festival come to town. Like the Jazz Festival, this event is one of the most important of its type on an international level. Every year, many famous faces arrive in the city to present their latest offerings, and San Sebastian is filled with stars for a few days. Most of the artists choose to stay in the famous María Cristina hotel, whilst the film screenings and awards ceremony take place in the Kursaal Auditorium. In the past, the event was held in the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, but a few years ago, it found a new home in the state-of-the-art surroundings of the Kursaal.

san sebastian semana grande
images by Donostiako Festak on flickr

Another unquestionable draw for tourists visiting San Sebastian in the summer is the Semana Grande”. This “Big Week” is in fact the week of the city’s traditional annual fiesta, and each day there are a host of activities, festivities and concerts. The biggest attraction, however, has to be the firework competition which takes place every night over La Concha bay. Every night, starting at 10:45, there is a 20 minute long firework show. At the end of the week, a company is chosen as the winner of this international firework competition, which has become highly prestigious over the years.

As you can see, if you’re planning to visit San Sebastian this summer you won’t be stuck for things to do. During the summer season, the city’s streets fill with people and activity. It goes without saying that you’ll have an unforgettable time in one of the most beautiful cities in Spain.

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