Let the Christmas spirit seduce you in Donostia / San Sebastián

Christmas in San Sebastian awaits you with thousands of surprises 

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The lights already twinkle on its streets and bridges and a multitude of attractions await families; Basque traditions, its festivities and protagonists, permeate the celebrations; the markets, shops, bars and restaurants are full of the best and most delicious ideas… San Sebastian is ready to welcome Christmas.

Enjoy and share it.

Christmas lights

San Sebastián was lit up for Christmas on 1 December. Now the lights are shining all over the city, we can dive straight into the spirit of this season, in full enjoyment of the plans Donostia / San Sebastián continues to offer us.

navidad lucesFotos: Nicola de polkadotpassport

The magic stretches from the River Urumea to the rest of the city, illuminating emblematic structures such as the María Cristina Bridge, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, La Concha’s clocks, Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, the La Perla Thalassotherapy Unit etc.

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In addition, during all the festivities,you can admire the elegant and striking lighting on Avenida de la Libertad, the 20-meter high fir tree installed next to the Victoria Eugenia Theater, the luminous ceiling of Loiola Street with a spectacular snowfall effect, the great ball of light 12 meters high walkable in the Zurriola, the balls of light on the Boulevard of San Sebastian or solar lighting in the Plaza Ramón Labayen. And of course, a visit to the big Ferris wheel of Alderdi Eder where you can enjoy breathtaking views over the Concha is a must.

We’ll kick off our Christmas trip with a different look at the bay. How about getting on this big wheel and taking in some unbeatable sights from an altitude of 32 metres? This is one of the star attractions of this year's Christmas you simply have to try.

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The big wheel looks out over Donostia's bay, and will be in Alderdi Eder until 31 January.

Bethlehem, Bethlehem ...

If you're out walking around San Sebastián city centre, the traditional "Belén" nativity scene in Plaza de Gipuzkoa is a must-see. In fact, this has been around since 1957, adding its special charm to the garden (which is worth a visit at any time of year) in the square. It was created by the artists Rafael Munoa and José Luis Usabiaga, in association with Gipuzkoa’s Asociación Belenística. Continuing your stroll, you can do a little window-shopping as you go, because many of them are all dressed up in their best finery at this time of year for the Christmas shop window competition.

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Christmas markets and craft markets

We don't have to move very far from the Nativity Scene or the shops to have fun at the Christmas markets. This year, from 1 December to 6 January, home in on the charming market stalls on Paseo del Urumea and Ramón Labayen square. And the craft market at plaza Cataluña.

navidad mercadoFotos: Nicola de polkadotpassport

Want to pick up a little Christmas gift for you or yours at these magic markets?

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Santo Tomás Fair

San Sebastián becomes a country market with a magnificent party atmosphere. Craft stalls, agricultural produce, animals on show, and a scarecrow competition. So put on your farming clothes, and get ready to eat txistorra, drink cider, and dance non-stop.

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Culinary treats

If you're up for some gastronomic homage, you can book lunch or dinner during the Christmas season, and you're certainly in the right place. Donostia has a wide range of cuisine for such a special time of year. Or would you rather stay at home with the family, but still have the chance of eating some classy food? Treat yourself and choose your dinner from one of the many gourmet shops, where you can find some excellent culinary fare for experts like your good self.

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A big welcome for the Olentzero, Mari Domingi, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar!

Olentzero and Mari Domingi will be here on Christmas Eve to hand out gifts. In the morning they'll be visiting districts in Donostia and they'll meet up with the boys and girls at the Town Hall. And afterwards they'll be on their street parade in the city centre.

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And the Three Kings will also be paying a visit to Donostia. On 5 January, the 3 Kings will be visiting different areas of the city. They'll meet up with the boys and girls at the Town Hall and afterwards they'll be on their street parade through the city centre.

Family plans

Our kiddies won't have any time to get bored this Christmas, because Donostia's Christmas is bringing a host of things with it - workshops, concerts, theatre productions, and much more!

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Between 13 December and 6 January there'll be more than 350 activities in Donostia / San Sebastián, in various districts.

All this along with the big wheel, the sleigh slide, and the children's train.

More Christmas treats

If the Christmas spirit doesn't appeal to you, you can still enjoy Christmas with more terrestrial treats, or in a more original format. How about a relaxing thalassotherapy experience at La Perla, or something more adventurous like a surf day or a kayak trip, while someone sings hymns somewhere else?

caprichos navideñosFoto: Nicola de polkadotpassport

This means plans ... ready to tell your own Christmas story? Take a look at our activities

A Christmas agenda brimming with culture

Don't forget to take a look at the agenda for Donostia / San Sebastián!