Our Favorite Things to Do in San Sebastian in October

When you visit San Sebastian in fall, you’ll miss the summer crowds and slip seamlessly into local life.

Crisp temperatures ranging from 12–18 degrees C (54–65 degrees F) make autumn feel much more present than in warmer, more southerly parts of Spain. Throw in some spooky festivities, and you’ve got all the makings of fall fun with a unique Basque flair.

If you’ll be visiting San Sebastian in October, be sure to add these activities and events to your agenda.

There are so many things to do in San Sebastian in October! If you're heading to the Basque Country, here's what to add to your agenda. #SanSebastian #Spain #BasqueCountry #Fall #Autumn #October #Cider #Halloween

Get spooked at the Horror & Fantasy Film Festival

Throughout much of fall, San Sebastian is a cinephile’s dream destination. After hosting the internationally known San Sebastian Film Festival in September, the city continues the movie fun in October with the Horror & Fantasy Film Festival.

This year’s edition, the 30th, promises to be bigger and spookier than ever before. Horror fans visiting San Sebastian in October won’t want to miss this!

2019 dates: October 26–November 1

Horror fans visiting San Sebastian in October will want to mark their calendars for the Horror & Fantasy Film Festival!
The festival gives fans the opportunity to hear from the cast and crew behind some of the spookiest flicks of the year. Photo credit: Donostia Kultura

Eat your way around the world

If you thought San Sebastian was a top foodie destination throughout the rest of the year, you haven’t seen anything yet.

The annual Gastronomika festival brings some of the world’s top chefs and culinary experts together at one massive event. Here, they present gastronomic creations unlike any the world has ever seen before—and the best news of all is that you can taste some of them.

This year’s event, the 21st, commemorates the 500th anniversary Basque explorer Juan Sebastian Elkano’s circumnavigation of the globe. As a result, special emphasis will be placed on the cuisines and ingredients he encountered throughout his journey. Suffice it to say that we’ll be among the 13,000+ guests estimated to attend the event!

2019 dates: October 6–9

If you're visiting San Sebastian in October, you can't miss the Gastronomika event.
Some of the delicious bites from a previous edition of Gastronomika. Photo credit: Queseria La Antigua de Fuentesauco

Run along 3 beautiful beaches

The bad news: it’s a little too cold to actually go swimming.

The good news: you can still enjoy the beaches in San Sebastian by running along them. The 30th annual Three-Beach Race runs the course of Ondarreta, La Concha and Zurriola Beaches. The 10-kilometer route, as a result, is probably the most breathtaking you’ll ever run.

2019 date: Sunday, October 13

One of the best beaches in San Sebastian for surfers is Zurriola Beach, a fun and youthful hangout with great waves.
Zurriola Beach is famous for its great surfing, but running along it is a fantastic way to work out as well.

Learn something new at a museum

As the unofficial start of fall, San Sebastian in October is characterized by crisp temperatures and greater rainfall than during the summer months. Don’t go canceling your plans just yet, though—the city still offers plenty of great things to do even when the weather isn’t cooperating.

One of our favorite rainy day activities is to duck for cover inside one of the many fascinating museums and spend a few hours learning something new. It’s win-win: you’ll get to experience the best of San Sebastian’s unique culture and history while staying dry!

READ MORE: What to Do in San Sebastian When It’s Raining

Discover the city’s best bites

When it comes to food, we’re spoiled for choice here in San Sebastian. Rustic pintxos bars stand proudly beside innovative Michelin-starred restaurants. Markets and gourmet shops make it easy to pick up fresh, local products no matter where you find yourself in town. Simply put, we pretty much live in foodie paradise, and happily take advantage of any opportunity to enjoy San Sebastian’s many culinary wonders.

One of our favorite things to do in San Sebastian in October (or any time of year!) is to discover the city's incredible food culture. We're talking pintxos bars, Michelin-starred eateries and everything in between!
Nothing beats sharing pintxos among good friends!

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