Make the Most of Spring: Visiting San Sebastian in May 2019

An ideal antidote to both chilly, gray winter and crowded summer, springtime in the Basque Country is laid-back, relaxed, and utterly idyllic.

May is easily one of the best times of the year to visit San Sebastian if you truly want to make the most of everything the city has to offer (and trust us, it has a lot). Pleasant weather, fascinating events and more make San Sebastian in May the ideal time and place for the vacation of your dreams. Here’s everything you need to know before you visit.

If you're visiting San Sebastian in May, you're in luck. There's so much to do this time of year, and you'll beat the summer crowds!

Weather in San Sebastian in May

Springtime in San Sebastian is just about as pleasant as it gets. It’s still a little chilly to enjoy a swim at one of the famous beaches in San Sebastian, but the weather is perfectly ideal for sightseeing as well as other outdoor activities. Here’s what to expect from the forecast before you head out and about.

  • Temperatures in the high 50s-low 60s Fahrenheit (mid-high teens Celsius)
  • Up to 13 hours of perfect Spanish sunshine per day
  • 14 possible rainy days throughout the month (this is the Basque Country, after all!), but most precipitation tends to come in the form of a light mist or a quick shower.

Sound good? Let’s get right to it—these are our favorite activities and events for San Sebastian in May.

1. Discover top trends at the San Sebastian Fashion Festival

It’s no surprise that chic, sophisticated San Sebastian is one of the most stylish cities in Europe. For the first week and a half of May, dozens of acclaimed designers and models from the international stage will descend on the city for the San Sebastian Fashion Festival, a whirlwind celebration of style and elegance. Get ready for 12 full days of fashion shows, pop-up shops, workshops and so much more. Events will take place throughout San Sebastian and the surrounding region, with the four main venues being the San Telmo Museum, the Mercado San Martín, Tabakalera and the Balenciaga Museum in nearby Getaria.

2019 dates: April 29-May 10

Fashion fans visiting San Sebastian in May won't want to miss the fashion festival.
This is one event that fashion gurus won’t want to miss.

2. Enjoy terrace drinks

Springtime is here, and you know what that means: terrace season is officially on. There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of sitting outside on a sunny day, enjoying good drinks, good vibes, and good views. Head to one of the most beautiful terraces in San Sebastian to experience all of the above and more, just like the locals do.

Visiting San Sebastian in May? Take advantage of the (mostly) nice weather to enjoy drinks with a view.
Bonus points if your spot comes with a beach view.

3. Dance your heart out at the Agata Tango Festival

No, you don’t need to go all the way to Argentina to experience one of the most iconic and passionate Latin dance styles. The 18th annual Agata Tango Festival will bring this beautiful art form to the Basque Country, and the best part is that you don’t have to be an expert to get in on the fun. A seamless blend of Argentinian and Basque cultures, the event includes workshops, fabulous catered meals, cider tastings, and—of course—plenty of opportunities to tango your heart out, with music provided by some of the genre’s top DJs.

2019 dates: May 2–5

Dance lovers visiting San Sebastian in May shouldn't miss the Agata Tango Festival.
The Agata Tango Festival brings Argentina to San Sebastian.

4. Get moving

Here in the Basque Country, we’re all about getting out and about—whether it be by running, biking, surfing, or anything else. It doesn’t really matter how you do it—it really just comes down to getting active and taking advantage of the beautiful natural scenery that surrounds us. With such lovely weather in San Sebastian in May, it’s the perfect time of year to rent a bike and head out of town, or lace up your running shoes and hit the trails.

If you're visiting San Sebastian in May, be sure to take some time to get moving by running, biking or hiking!
Hike up Mount Ulía for stunning views of the city and sea. Photo credit: Kent Wang

5. Discover culture at Olatu Talka

One of the most unique events taking place in San Sebastian in May is Olatu Talka, a true festival created by the people, for the people. In the space of just three days, the entire city transforms into a creative cultural space in order to help foster a sense of community among participants. With exhibitions, live music, workshops and so much more, it’s one of the can’t-miss festivals in San Sebastian that will make you feel like a part of something bigger than yourself.

2019 dates: May 31-June 2

Be a part of something special at Olatu Talka, one of the best festivals in San Sebastian in May.
The spirit of community is present throughout Olatu Talka. Photo credit: Donostia/San Sebastian 2016

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