This blog post was originally posted on October 2, 2018 and was updated on October 2, 2019.
Fall days get chillier and crisper late in the season, but that doesn’t mean you should skip visiting San Sebastian in November!
In fact, if you’re looking for a true autumn experience, it’s the best time of year to come. Fall fans will feel right at home with the cool temperatures and occasional rainfall. Another plus: you won’t be dodging nearly as many tourists. If you visit San Sebastian in November, you’ll get a chance to immerse yourself in an authentic side of the city few visitors get to experience fully.
Basques are notoriously active and love getting out and about. With that being said, it should come as no surprise that one of the best things to do in San Sebastian in November is to take part in one of the two important races.
The first, Behobia (November 11, 2019), consists of 20 kilometers stretching from the nearby town of Irun all the way to Alameda del Boulevard in San Sebastian. Then, a few weeks later, it’ll be time to lace up your running shoes again for the San Sebastian Marathon (November 24, 2019)!
As you can see, visiting San Sebastian in November is all about staying active and moving—you won’t find locals getting lazy despite the chilly weather!
Take a look under the sea
San Sebastian’s strategic coastal location means that maritime culture has played a huge part in its history, as well as its modern lifestyle. Explore beneath the waves while staying totally dry at the International Cycle of Underwater Cinema (also known as CIMASUB).
Organized in part by the Real Sociedad soccer team, this fascinating glimpse at life under the sea will feature spectacular video footage and documentaries highlighting the secrets hidden below the water’s surface. Come learn something new at this free event and see for yourself why the sea plays such an important role here in San Sebastian.
2019 dates: November 14–16
Enjoy the fall foliage
It doesn’t just feel like fall here in San Sebastian in November—it looks like it, too!
Unlike in warmer parts of Spain, here you’ll be able to marvel at the beautiful autumn colors as the leaves change and fall. Head to one of the city’s stunning parks, like Parque Cristina Enea, to relax and enjoy the lovely fall scenery. Bring a book or a small picnic lunch to nibble on and make a day of it. So simple, but easily one of our favorite ways to spend an afternoon in San Sebastian in November!
Devour the San Martín Market at Gastropote
We get it—San Sebastian in November can be chilly and rainy, which doesn’t exactly make for great sightseeing weather. However, if there’s one thing it’s worth braving the cold for, it’s Gastropote at the Mercado de San Martín.
Every Thursday of the year after 7 p.m., the market stalls turn into makeshift pintxo bars, serving incredible bites all made with fresh market products. More often than not, there’s also live music and other activities to round out the fun. Though you can experience this event every week throughout the year, it’s an especially worthwhile way to bring a splash of color to cold, dreary November.
Take a pintxos crawl around town
Can’t make it to the market on a Thursday? No worries. San Sebastian’s hundreds of pintxos bars are ready and waiting to be discovered no matter when you find yourself in town. On a crisp evening in San Sebastian in November, there’s nothing we love more than stepping into bar after bar for a quick pintxo and drink before moving on to the next one. Here in San Sebastian, it’s not just a style of eating—it’s a way of life!
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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.