Best Time to Visit San Sebastian

The best time to visit San Sebastian depends on what you want to see and do during your stay. The city sits on the north coast of Spain in the Basque region, around an hour north of Pamplona and 30 minutes drive from the French border. The city was once a summer retreat for the nobility who enjoyed relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches and wandering through parks and historic streets of the Old Town. Today, San Sebastian is a charming city with a rich history. It’s also a culinary nirvana with several Michelin Star restaurants and a whole host of pintxo bars!

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We travel across Spain in our motorhome, Speedy, and update TravelSpain24 with fresh content, practical tips, and personal stories from the road. Our goal is to help you experience Spain beyond the typical tourist trails.

Average weather of San Sebastian

Average High and Low Temperature in San Sebastian

San Sebastian is blessed with changing seasons. It is mostly warm and pleasant in spring and summer, and cooler (and occasionally wet) during the fall and winter months. The hottest months are July and August and the rainiest month is in November.

Below, I’ve detailed the weather by month to help you plan your upcoming trip to this fascinating region of Spain.

Temperature and rainfall in San Sebastian

MonthTemperature in Degrees (Low/High)Temperature in Fahrenheit (Low/High)PrecipitationWeather Condition
January6°C / 12°C43°F / 54°F3.1″Tolerable weather
February6°C / 13°C43°F / 55°F2.9″Tolerable weather
March8°C / 14°C46°F / 57°F2.4″Tolerable weather
April10°C / 16°C50°F / 61°F2.7″Tolerable weather
May14°C / 20°C57°F / 68°F2.2″Tolerable weather
June18°C / 24°C65°F / 75°F1.9″Good weather
July21°C / 29°C70°F / 84°F1.1″Good weather
August20°C / 28°C68°F / 82°F1.3″Good weather
September17°C / 24°C63°F / 75°F2.2″Tolerable weather
October13°C / 20°C55°F / 68°F3.2″Tolerable weather
November9°C / 15°C48°F / 59°F3.9″Tolerable weather
December6°C / 12°C43°F / 54°F3.2″Tolerable weather

The chart above should give you a great idea of the best time to visit San Sebastian, but if you want to learn more, read on for what to do in the city month by month.

San Sebastian Outside Temperature

Dawn at Beach, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, Beach of La Concha,

The warm season lasts just over three months in San Sebastian from mid-June to mid-September – great for beach days. Temperatures can peak at 29°C (84°F) in July, but even then, the temperatures are comfortable for walking around and exploring the historic sites. The mildest months are May, June, September and October, with pleasant and warm temperatures. The coldest times in the city are December and January, when the temperature drops to 12°C (54°F) or lower. Don’t despair, though – these are great times to visit and sample the fine dining and cultural opportunities San Sebastian has to offer!

San Sebastian Precipitation (rainfall)

The wet season lasts throughout fall, through the winter into early spring, although showers are usually quick to disperse. November is the rainiest month averaging around 10 days of rain. It’s a great time (and a cheap month) to explore the historical attractions of San Sebastian and feast on pintxos and cider, but do bring a waterproof jacket and an umbrella for when you’re venturing outdoors.

San Sebastian Sunshine Hours

If you’re seeking sunshine on your vacation, travel between May and early September when daylight hours are longer and the weather is warmer. The city has 15 hours of daylight in June compared to nine hours in December.

San Sebastian Humidity

Humidity varies during the seasons in San Sebastian, but the muggiest times are between late June and late September when humidity levels reach just below 30%.

Weather and climate in San Sebastian

The helpful guide below shows when is the best time to visit San Sebastian based on the local weather, your interests and preferred activities. I also take a look at some of the events available in the city.

January in San Sebastian

San Sebastian, Spain - 22 Jan, 2022: Winter along La Concha Bay & the beachfront promenade

Ok, there’s a good chance of rain in January, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. There are many events in San Sebastian at the start of the year. Firstly, the Three Kings Parade takes place early in the month, and everyone comes out to see the procession; plus, it’s San Sebastian Day on the 20th – a 24-hour party with food, live music and good vibes. It’s a fabulous time for cheap hotel deals (once the festive season is over) – city museums and landmarks are open to visit, and it’s also the beginning of cider season!

February in San Sebastian

February in the city is lively as the Caldereros – Tinker’s Parade takes place in San Sebastian. The city has a fun carnival atmosphere with music, dancing and entertainment taking place on the streets. It’s also an ideal time to visit the 18th-century basilica or pop into San Telmo Museum, to view exhibits dedicated to the Basque country and its heritage. You’ll need a waterproof jacket and umbrella and some sturdy footwear for walking, but it’s a great time to see the city’s historic side and join in with local events.

March in San Sebastian

Flowers and a statue in the Picturesque square De Okendo Plaza, in San Sebastian, Northern Spain.

The temperature slowly creeps up in March and there’s less chance of rain than in previous months. It’s still cool – especially at night; jumpers and warm clothing are advisable. There are several events and races in the city this month; however, I feel that March is a great time to explore the charming Old Town and its shops and pintxo bars. Alternatively, consider hiring a car with Discover Cars and discovering Basque coastal villages, the picture-postcard city of Pamplona, or even pop across the border into France for the day.

April in San Sebastian

In April, we edge into milder temperatures with highs of 16°C (61°F), a moderate chance of rain and low humidity. If Easter falls in April, some weeks of the month may be more expensive for accommodation, so prepare to plan around this if you don’t mind missing out on the celebrations. This is a time for leisurely walks along the promenade – stopping for a morning cafe con leche, to shop for gourmet foods in the 19th century covered Mercado de la Bretxa, or hiking to Castillo de la Mota for incredible views of the city and bay.

May in San Sebastian

In May, the flowers are coming into full bloom and the weather is mild and pleasant for exploring the city. It’s a wonderful time to stroll through Parque de Aiete, a 19th-century park built on the ancient pilgrim’s route – “The Way of St. James”. See one of the city’s major landmarks – Cathedral del Buen Pastor with its impressive 75-meter-high bell tower, or wander along the seafront inhaling the salty sea air as you observe Miramar Palace on top of the hill, once a summer residence of Spanish nobility.

Tours & Tickets 🥾

June in San Sebastian

Old harbor in San Sebastian (Donostia) on a beautiful summer day, Spain

June is warm and a perfect time for relaxing on the beach, with temperatures rising to desirable highs of 24°C (75°F). The peak holiday season hasn’t begun, so you’ll have the golden sands and calm waters of Bahia de la Concha to yourself. Pop into the seafront La Perla Spa for a spot of pampering, or take the funicular railway up the hillside to Monte Igueldo. The mountain offers fabulous vistas at 1184 meters above sea level, so don’t forget your camera and a picnic!

July in San Sebastian

As golden beaches fill up with locals and temperatures climb by several degrees from the previous month, hop on a ferry to Isla de Santa Clara for the day, or you can also book a boat tour with a stop at Santa Clara to enhance your experience. This Historical National Interest Site is sprinkled with cafes, picnic areas and restaurants. It’s free to visit the hilltop Palacio de Miramar with its half-timbered facade and sculpted gardens, or you can immerse yourself in the variety of cultural and sporting events this month, including the annual Jazz Festival and San Sebastian Regatta.

August in San Sebastian

La Concha beach in San Sebastian (Donostia) on a beautiful summer day, in Spain

August is warm and busy, attracting Spanish holidaymakers, music lovers, and culture enthusiasts from all over Europe. It’s the time of year for Quincena – a classical music festival that lasts for two weeks and for the epic Semana Grande – a huge fiesta incorporating games, fireworks, and regattas. If you wish to escape the city for a day, drive to St-Jean-de-Luz in France and en route, spend time exploring the pretty fishing village of Hondarribia, 20 minutes away on the border of Spain and France.

September in San Sebastian

In September the temperature dips to a pleasant and balmy 24°C (75°F) with a very slight chance of rain. It’s a fantastic time for surfing, or you can relax on quieter beaches now that the tourists have departed. The Euskal Jaiak – a lively Basque festival, also occurs this month. On cloudier days, venture out on a scenic road trip to Getaria fishing port, famed for its fresh fish and Txakoli local wine and spend time at the Balenciaga Museum while you’re there. The fashion designer was born here and the exhibits document his life and work.

October in San Sebastian

The temperature is cooler in October and there can be a few days of rain in the month, but it’s still mild enough for promenade walks and hillside hikes around the city. You can tackle part of the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James), explore prehistoric Caves of Ekain in Deba, or drive just over an hour to the city of Bilbao to see the famous riverside Guggenheim Museum. Book your skip-the-line tickets with a professional guide in case you’re planning to visit the Guggenheim museum, ensuring a seamless and time-saving experience. You’ll need your waterproof jacket this month, but the summer crowds have dispersed and accommodation in San Sebastian is cheaper.

November in San Sebastian

Autumn panoramic view of La Concha beach and Island de Santa Clara in the bay of San Sebastian.
Autumn panoramic view of La Concha beach and Island de Santa Clara in the bay of San Sebastian.

November is the rainiest month in the Basque country of Spain but it’s a cheap time to visit with accommodation becoming more affordable (🏷️ Find Cheap Deals at This month, discover San Sebastian’s museums and cultural attractions including City Hall in the historic quarter. If you’re traveling to Spain with kids, head for Aquarium San Sebastian at the harbourfront. It was one of the first aquariums of its kind in Europe with an underwater exhibition space and 360 views of rare marine life. And, spend leisurely evenings sampling Basque cuisine on Michelin-star tasting menus or feasting on pintxos in a buzzing local bar.

December in San Sebastian

La Concha Beach promenade on a winter day in San Sebastian, Spain
La Concha Beach promenade on a winter day in San Sebastian, Spain

The temperatures in December are cooler with highs of just 12°C (54°F) and there’s a significant chance of rain. However, this is a superb time to browse specialty shops for festive gifts. Try on ‘txapelas’ – traditional Basque berets in the Old Town, sample local cider and txakoli wine in a bodega, or browse jewelry stores for hand-crafted pendants featuring traditional Basque symbols. You can also take a foodie tour, sampling local fish and pintxo dishes, or simply join in with festivities all across the city.

Best Time to Visit San Sebastian to Avoid Crowds

Constitution Square (Plaza) in San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain.
Plaza de la Constitución in San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain.

Visit San Sebastian during the winter months for the best hotel deals (avoiding the holidays). There are fewer people in the city and you can truly immerse yourself in the old-world atmosphere. There may be rain, but if you don’t mind, you can have a blast during these times. Another option is to visit in May, June, September, or October to avoid summer crowds and high prices and enjoy decent weather.

Best Time to Visit San Sebastian: FAQs

Planning a trip to San Sebastian? Let’s find the best time to visit San Sebastian for your unforgettable journey!

🗓️ How many days do you need in San Sebastian?

I’d say 2-3 days are perfect to explore the best of San Sebastian. It gives you enough time to enjoy the beaches, food, and culture!

🌤️ What is the best time of year to visit Basque Country?

I love visiting Basque Country between June and September. The weather is fantastic, and there are lots of local festivals happening during this time!

🇪🇸 Is San Sebastian Spain worth visiting?

Absolutely! San Sebastian is a gem in Spain. From its stunning beaches to the mouthwatering pintxos it’s a must-visit in my book.

🌡️ What is the hottest month in San Sebastian?

July is usually the hottest month, with temperatures averaging around 24°C (75°F). Perfect beach weather!

❄️ What is the coldest month in San Sebastian?

January and February are the coldest months, with temperatures averaging around 9°C (48°F). Don’t forget to pack a warm coat!

☔ What are the rainiest months in San Sebastian?

October through January tend to be the rainiest months, with peaks in November. I would advise you to carry an umbrella with you during that time!

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