Come to San Sebastian for the food (of course), but stick around for the music.
Many visitors to San Sebastian simply don’t know that the city has a lively, thriving music scene. From iconic jazz clubs to gritty, intimate rock venues and everything in between, you’ll be able to find a spot that will feel like home no matter what music you’re into. Whenever we’re in the mood to go out and enjoy some live music in San Sebastian, you’ll usually find us at one of the below venues. Check them out—maybe we’ll see you there!
We can’t talk about live music in San Sebastian without leading off with the most legendary institution in the city: Le Bukowski. Despite its seemingly off-the-beaten-path location in the Egia neighborhood south of Gros, it has drawn hundreds of revelers to its live shows nearly every night since 1988. Up-and-coming bands take the stage most nights, but they also host DJ sets and even small theater performances. A night out on the town in San Sebastian would practically be incomplete without a stop here.
Address: Calle Egia, 18
Altxerri Bar & Jazz
The heart of San Sebastian’s lively jazz scene lies within the underground walls of Altxerri. For more than two decades, up-and-coming local performers as well as international talents have put on spectacular shows in this dimly lit, no-frills basement venue below the Altxerri art gallery. If you’re looking to enjoy excellent live music in San Sebastian in a cozy, intimate venue with great drinks and even better company, this is the place for you. Come check out a show and see for yourself why locals and visitors alike love this place and keep coming back.
Address: Reina Regente, 2
Doka began from humble roots as the passion project of eight local friends who wanted to create a space where alternative music and culture could thrive. More than a decade later, it’s become a point of reference for so much more than just live music in San Sebastian. Yes, you can check out all kinds of incredible performances, but the space also hosts poetry readings, theatrical performances, and so much more. They place a special emphasis on Basque culture, with Basque language events taking place regularly and groups from all over the Basque Country taking the stage as often as possible. It’s open every day, with extended hours on the weekends, when it turns into a nightclub after dark.
Address: Calle Erregezaintza, 20
They don’t make many places like Eiger Edaritegia anymore. Vintage music posters line the wall of this small locale, home to good beer and even better rock music. The place has a bit of an old-school feel (in a good way) and has earned its name as one of the most authentic hangouts for live music in San Sebastian. Its low-key, welcoming atmosphere will make any newcomer feel at home, even as the club itself gets packed to the rafters by music fans on the weekends.
Address: Calle General Jauregi, 6
Most people come to Etxekalte for the great jazz performances and stick around to party until the sun comes up. Open past 5 a.m. on weekends, it’s one of the hottest late-night spots in the Old Town. The venue offers two levels, each with a unique feel. Upstairs, you can enjoy anything from coffee to expertly mixed cocktails at the sleek, contemporary bar. Head downstairs and you’ll find yourself in the throes of one of the most happening venues for live music in San Sebastian, complete with a dance floor. In addition to excellent live jazz shows, they also host resident and guest DJs throughout the week as well.
Address: Calle Mari, 11Want our insider’s guide to eating in San Sebastian? Just add your email address in the form below!
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.