Our Best Tips for Spending New Year’s in San Sebastian

About to travel to the north of Spain after Christmas? There’s no better plan than celebrating the new year in San Sebastian!

Wondering where to eat dinner on New Year’s Eve and where to head on New Year’s Day? Whether your preference is loads of glitter and bubbly, or a cozy dinner with some amazing local food, there’s something for everyone in San Sebastian.

Make sure to plan your special night well in advance and step into 2020 with our recommendations for celebrating New Year’s in San Sebastian. 

Celebrating New Year's in San Sebastian guarantees a party you won't soon forget.

New Year’s Eve dinner

Good news: one of our favorite new places in San Sebastian, Rita, keeps their doors open on New Year’s Eve. At Rita, delicious Spanish and Basque flavors take on a modern touch, and their New Year’s Eve’s menu guarantees that your night will be a success. 

Ending 2019 with some fine dining doesn’t sound too bad either, right? And there’s no better place for that than San Sebastian, a city full of famous chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants. Eme Be Garrote is one of our all-time favorites, and their nochevieja menu was created by the legendary chef Martin Berasategui himself. 

Feel like dancing?

Feel like dancing? So do we! There are plenty of great after-dinner plans on New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian, such as Be Club with its great cocktails, or classic nightclub Victoria Cafe

Victoria Café is hosting one of the biggest New Year's Eve parties in San Sebastian.
Victoria Café is a longtime favorite on the local nightlife scene. Photo credit: Victoria Café

One of greatest events is the futuristic Cripta party at Convent Garden. With four cocktails included in the ticket price and some other specialties, it is one of the best deals in town. 

One of our favorite terraces in San Sebastian is Convent Garden’s lovely patio. There’s no better place to enjoy a sunny day!
The terrace at Convent Garden is home to some of the most legendary parties in town, and New Year’s Eve is no different. Photo credit: @angieluna.photography for Convent Garden

No matter where you end up, be sure to toast with your co-fiesteros with a glass of cava—or as a local option, try txakoli, a slightly sparkling Basque white wine. 

Relax on New Year’s Day

After a night of celebrations, a relaxing New Year’s Day is well-deserved. We’ll kick off 2020 in the best way we know: with great food.

For traditional Basque food and never-failing quality, try Zumeltzegi. On their menu, you’ll find local specialties such as jamón ibérico, spider crab and monkfish or the famous txuleta (t-bone steak) if you’re a meat lover.   

Iberian pork cheek
One of our favorite dishes at Zumeltzegi: the mouthwatering carrilera ibérica (slow-cooked Iberian pork cheek). Photo credit: Zumeltzegi

Prefer a classy dinner with a sea view? La Brasserie Mari Galant at the Hotel de Londres won’t let you down with its carefully planned menu. After dinner, the best way to digest all the food is to take a walk on the iconic La Concha Promenade nearby. 

Don’t forget the traditional grapes!

It’s not only a legend—eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s is an essential tradition for many Spaniards, and without it, the evening is not complete! So, if you want to take part of this somewhat comical but very local ritual, make sure to buy those uvas.

We should warn you, though, swallowing one grape with every stroke of the clock is not an easy task. Most locals have been practicing all their lives but still end up shoving their mouths (too) full of grapes. But if nothing else, you’ll end up starting the year with a good laugh!

Eating the 12 grapes at midnight is an essential part of celebrating New Year's Eve in San Sebastian!
The 12 midnight grapes are arguably the most important part of the evening. Can you beat the clock? Photo credit: Chris Oakley

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