San Sebastian is home to a lot of wonderful things, such as fabulous pintxos and a rich Basque culture.
Unfortunately, the weather here doesn’t always cooperate with travel plans. Don’t let go of those images of a sunny Spain completely, but don’t be surprised if San Sebastian greets you with dark clouds and downpours. Luckily, there’s still plenty to do here in San Sebastian when it’s raining! Here are our top picks for how to make the most of the city even when the weather isn’t the greatest.
There are some amazing places for shopping in San Sebastian, and two of them are especially great for escaping the rain. Centro Comercial La Bretxa (Alameda del Blvd., 3) and Mercado San Martín (Urbieta Kalea, 9) are more than just two of the best markets in the city. These huge shopping malls in the heart of the city center are perfect for shopping like a local in San Sebastian when it’s raining! Shop to your heart’s content, enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants and maybe even run some errands while you’re at it. Then, head into the market to get a taste of vibrant local life.
Catch a movie
We know what you’re thinking: won’t any movies in San Sebastian likely be dubbed into Spanish or even Basque? While it’s true that the vast majority of entertainment here undergoes the dubbing treatment, it’s still possible to see movies in their original languages. In San Sebastian when it’s raining, we love spending a few hours in a cozy movie theater to watch a show. Local chain SADE Cinemas often shows movies in their original languages, including English, across all of their locations. Check the schedule (look for “VOSE”) to see what’s playing where.
Learn something new at the museum
San Sebastian is home to dozens of fascinating museums just waiting to be discovered. Luckily, most of them are mainly indoor, so it’s the perfect activity in San Sebastian when it’s raining! Learn about Basque history and culture at the San Telmo Museum (Plaza Zuloaga, 1). If you’re a science fan, Eureka! Zientzia Museoa (Mikeletegi Pasealekua, 43) is a must-visit. And if you want to experience a peaceful journey under the sea, you won’t want to miss San Sebastian’s wonderful aquarium (Plaza de Carlos Blasco Imaz, 1). There’s so much to explore no matter what you’re interested in!
Kick back and relax at the spa
You might as well treat yourself in San Sebastian when it’s raining! La Perla Centro Talaso Sport is the most luxurious spa in the city and the perfect escape for a relaxing afternoon. For more than 100 years, this beautiful center has provided relaxation and rejuvenation treatments to locals and visitors alike. Their unique thalassotherapy approach utilizes water fresh from the nearby sea to create an unforgettable experience. The stunning views of nearby La Concha Beach aren’t bad, either!
Address: Edificio La Perla, Kontxa Pasealekua, s/n
Duck into bars on a pintxos crawl
Okay, so this one requires going outside a little bit. However, you won’t be out in the rain for long as you make your way through San Sebastian on a pintxos crawl. With so many fabulous bars in the city, it’s no wonder why San Sebastian is internationally renowned for its exquisite cuisine. Join the locals and escape the rain by ducking into a bar for a pintxo or two and drinks—then move along to the next place!Want 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.