At Christmas time, San Sebastian turns into a fairytale land full of beautiful lights and magical Christmas markets.
If you’re planning a trip to this northern Basque city around Christmastime, you can’t avoid the contagious holiday atmosphere that takes over the town in December. San Sebastian is known for the many local Christmas markets where you can find everything from delicious gourmet products to local craft and art work.
What could be a nicer way to remember your loved ones than bringing a part of the local culture back home? We gathered up our recommendations for Christmas market shopping in San Sebastian, so you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
Gabonetako Azoka Mercado de Navidad
This is the classic, must-visit market if you’re visiting San Sebastian around Christmastime.
Every year, Paseo de Urumea right by the river Urumea hosts up to 50 stands and 10 food trucks, all offering typical Christmas products from the different regions of the Basque Country. The Gabonetako Azoka market definitely offers something for every taste: local art, fashion, crafts, typical Basque pastelería, food and drinks!
This market is packed with locals all December long, and even in between the major winter holidays—it’s a perfect spot to spend a relaxing afternoon with friends and family.
While parents can sample local craft beers and wines paired with typical Basque pastries and foods, there’s something special for the smallest members of the family too. Every year they put up a winter slide which is a favorite among the young and young-at-heart alike.
Even if you’re not into Christmas shopping, a walk by the river and the market area under the Christmas decorations is worth it––the river and Puente de María Cristina bridge are famous for having the most beautiful Christmas lights and decorations in town.
2019-2020 dates: December 4–January 6
Lur Kolektiboa local craft market
If you’re looking to bring home something especially authentic and unique, we definitely recommend the Lur Kolektiboa Christmas market.
Lur Kolektiboa is a group of local artisans and craftsmen from San Sebastian, founded to preserve the local ways and traditions that express the culture. Their artisanal market is already an essential part of Christmastime in San Sebastian.
Perfectly located right behind the cathedral, Lur Kolektiboa’s Christmas market is a great stop on a walk around the Centro area, and after shopping you can stop by one of the many great bars and restaurants in the neighborhood.
2019-2020 dates: December 6–January 5
Christmas Market of Convent Garden
Convent Garden, located in the Centro area of San Sebastian, has one of the most beautiful patios in town, where different kinds of events are held all year round.
Right before the holidays, the patio gets decked out for Christmas just in time for the annual Christmas market on December 22.
The stands offer products all related to Christmas, so this is a perfect place to do some last-minute shopping right before the holidays! The variety ranges from sweets to books and from crafts to local art.
2019 date: Sunday, December 22
…and something for the little ones!
Are you exploring San Sebastian with your family? This year, Convent Garden is also organizing a special market and event for the smallest members of the family on December 14 and 15.
Besides the market itself, the days will be full of fun activities, such as courses, workshops and theatre performances for children. This is without a doubt a must if you’re traveling with kids!