Tour guide @ San Sebastián Urban Adventures. Just another Basque hoping to explore the world. Passionate gamer, repressed prose writer, and language nerd.
After a month of marathons, locals in San Sebastián can finally stop training for races and take it easy. Thankfully, April brings lots of events to satisfy other interests, from shopping to arts and culture, and more. Here’s what’s happening in San Sebastián in April.
Date: March 31, April 1 and 2
Time: 10:00am – 9:30pm (Opening day at 6:00pm)
Location: Easo Plaza, Amara
If there’s something that defines us Basques, it’s our ability to endure the tough taste and burning sensation of queimada, a hot Galician liquor also commonly called “aguardiente.”
Queimada is made from the Galician spirit orujo, mixed with coffee, coffee beans, sugar, lemon peel, and cinnamon. It is heated with fire, served with burning flames and, according to tradition, a special spell must be chanted so that those who drink it are protected from hexes and evil spirits.
In Basque Country, we love embracing different cultures. In this case, the Moonshine Fair is organised by our fellow Galicians with many gastronomical choices from their unique region. Come try some octopus, a Galician “empanada,” or a Santiago pie while traditional dancers cheer up the fair.
If you are a bit hesitant about queimada, don’t worry! Galicians are also well-known for the quality of their wines and coffee liquors, and you might find those easier to digest. We are telling you, it is definitely a challenge to drink queimada and not feel the impressive effects of that protection potion!
Date: April 1
Time: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Address: Mundaitz kalea, 8
“Mercadabadillo” is a bit of word play between the Spanish word for market, mercadillo, and the name of its location, Dabadaba. Similar to other markets in San Sebastián, it is celebrated the first Sunday of every month.
If you’re into secondhand markets, you might want to wander through the corridors filled with music, clothes, jewellery, books, and antiques. Even the location has a vintage touch, complete with cosy decorations and a charming patio. Have a look at Dabadaba once, and you might be tempted to come back for one of their crazy parties (keep reading).
Dabadaba at night
This concert room is one of the most popular choices for young adults in San Sebastián. Freshly reborn, Dabadaba throws huge parties as well as interesting concerts and DJ sets, bringing artists from all over the country and even abroad to perform for carefree ravers looking for some dancing and socialising. Make sure to check what’s on if you want to listen to some cool bands, DJs and rappers.
The Art Fair, organised by the Artists Association of Gipuzkoa and City Hall, welcomes 25 different artists to the romantic Boulevard in San Sebastián. Drop by the stands to admire drawings, sculptures and photographs. This fair is celebrated once a month and sometimes moves to Plaza Gipuzkoa if it rains.
Some well-known Basque artists who left a trace in San Sebastián and whose art you should admire include the Comb of the Wind by Eduardo Chillida (1924 – 2002) by the end of Ondarreta Beach; the Empty Structure by Jorge Oteiza in Paseo Nuevo Promenade; and the Peace Dove by Nestor Barrenetxea (1914 – 2014) by the end of Zurriola Beach.
Date: April 21
Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Easo Plaza, Amara
Donostia Truk is probably one of the most popular markets for vintage and secondhand shopping enthusiasts. Every third Saturday of the month, Easo Plaza by the Euskotren train station, is packed with locals buying all sorts of secondhand finds.
This April, Donostia Truk will revolve around arts and books. The city’s Environment Department is organising it and will promote the recycling of objects as well as secondhand markets in general.
Location: Plaza Gipuzkoa
San Sebastián’s book fair takes place in one of our most emblematic squares, Plaza Gipuzkoa. Every year, this colourful park brings the charm and romanticism of literature to every corner of the plaza. This is a great chance to get lost among books of different themes, times periods, countries, and local languages. Enjoy the atmosphere that is born directly from the passion for letters in San Sebastián, a city of arts.
How artsy is the town? Well, did you know that Pío Baroja (1872 – 1956), one of the novelists of the Generation of ‘98 group of intellectuals, was actually born in San Sebastián? Famous in Spanish literature, Pío Baroja reflected the moral, political, and social impact of the Spanish-American war through his thoughtful writing.
It is still debated whether Miguel Unamuno (born in Bilbao, 1864 – 1936) could have been one of the members of this group of writers. This Basque writer was mostly an essayist, although he did experiment with other literary forms. He later became rector at the University of Salamanca until general Franco removed him from his position and got him arrested for his “incompatible” ideas.
Discover the oh-so-local way of life in Basque country on a San Sebastian tour, with a local guide. With our tours you can take to the hills and discover the gorgeous coastline of the St. James Way, or get to know Basque food by tucking into some delicious pintxos. When it comes to San Sebastian travel, we’ve got you covered!