New years eve in san sebastian spain: Spending New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian – Devour Tours

Spending New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian – Devour Tours

This blog post was originally posted on November 23, 2017, and was updated on November 28, 2019.

Out with the old, in with the new—and there’s no better place to celebrate than San Sebastian!

With its glamorous beaches and winding streets filled with bars and restaurants serving the best food in Europe, it’s no wonder why San Sebastian is many travelers’ dream destination. The unique Basque culture combined with the Spanish flair we all know and love makes it an especially unique place to ring in the new year.

Grab your 12 grapes (we’ll get to that) and hit the streets—it’s time to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian.

Photo Credit: Sam Howzit, Text Overlay: Devour San Sebastian Food Tours

The 12 New Year’s grapes

No matter where you find yourself on nochevieja (New Year’s Eve) in Spain, there’s one tradition that remains the same across the board. That would be the traditional eating of 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. (We say “eating,” but normally it ends up being more along the lines of “frantically shoving grapes into your mouth as you attempt to eat one for each stroke of the clock.” It’s harder than it sounds!)

On New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian, many families either enjoy the traditional uvas at home, or head out to one of the city’s lively plazas to take part in this celebration with hundreds of other locals and visitors. One popular spot is Plaza Gipuzkoa, which, without fail, always packs to the brim with revelers ringing in the new year.

Can you eat all 12 grapes in time? Photo credit: Jacinta Lluch Valero

On your marks…get set…go!

The grapes are a fun and essential part of celebrating New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian, but let’s backtrack a bit. Every year during the day on December 31, thousands of athletes lace up their running shoes and take part in the annual San Silvestre race.

The 8. 2-kilometer route includes running through the charming city streets as well as sweeping views of the beach. Whether you’re feeling active and want to participate yourself, or you prefer cheering the runners on from the sidelines, it’s a fun and festive tradition on New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian.

What better way to spend the last afternoon of 2019 than by running in a fun race with these views?

Fancy festivities

Think hotels are just for tourists? Think again.

Each year, more and more San Sebastian locals opt for one of the dozens of cotillones, or galas, taking place at the city’s finest hotels. If you’d like to go all out on New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian, you’ll find exclusive events all over the city.

Top hotels like the Hotel María Cristina, Barceló Costa Vasca, Hotel de Londres and more feature gala dinners with generous drink allowances, all-night dancing and world-class entertainment in some of the classiest venues in town. Be sure to book your spot in advance, as spaces at these events are highly coveted.

Keep the cava flowing all night long!

Follow the party!

Can’t decide where and how to celebrate? Luckily, New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian is the definition of a moveable feast. Wander through the gorgeous streets of the Old Town and you’ll find that bar after bar is packed with locals enjoying the fun and festivities. Pop into whichever looks most inviting, enjoy a few drinks, then continue on to the next! It’s the best way to sample a little bit of everything on New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian.

New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian

Every country has its own traditions to welcome the new year, for example in Italy it is usual to have lentils, or in the United States where you should give a kiss at the end of the countdown. So, we want to introduce you to some of the oldest traditions celebrated in San Sebastian, and more generally in Spain, to welcome the coming year during the usual New Year’s cotillions.

We say goodbye to 2018 to welcome the 2019 and we have a great hotel offer to spend New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian. One of the most common traditions is to go to the most emblematic square of the city to celebrate Christmas all together and toast at the end of the twelve strokes. Still, if you have the opportunity to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a secluded place these are the most usual traditions that are carried out year after year.

Every country has its own traditions to welcome the new year, for example in Italy it is usual to have lentils, or in the United States where you should give a kiss at the end of the countdown. So, we want to introduce you to some of the oldest traditions celebrated in San Sebastian, and more generally in Spain, to welcome the coming year during the usual New Year’s cotillions.

We say goodbye to 2018 to welcome the 2019 and we have a great hotel offer to spend New Year’s Eve in San Sebastian. One of the most common traditions is to go to the most emblematic square of the city to celebrate Christmas all together and toast at the end of the twelve strokes. Still, if you have the opportunity to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a secluded place these are the most usual traditions that are carried out year after year.

Another tradition that is less known, is the underwear one. Indeed, traditionally you receive red or yellow underwear as a gift, with the aim of wearing it during New Year’s Eve. Red symbolizes love and yellow symbolizes money. So, in addition to taking the grapes and toasting to have luck, it is also common for people to wear red or yellow underwear, to have a lucky love or financial year.

After the 12 grapes, the cotillion bags are opened which usually contain streamers, wigs and other items that we put on to have a fun-filled holiday look. When the most traditional part is over, meaning the dinner, the grapes etc … people do the “after-dinner”, by spending the rest of the evening chatting, catching up, telling anecdotes and commenting on the resolutions for the following year, later the music starts playing and the night continues.

Finally, before the end of the night, it is common to see people returning to their homes late and enjoy another tradition: having chocolate with churros. A traditional recipe for all audiences. An excellent way to see the sunrise and to start a new year.

All these customs are part of our festivities and we love to share them with everyone on such remarkable dates as they are. So, if you feel like it and want to try something different, book our New Year’s Eve package in San Sebastian enjoying some of the best views of the city and an unforgettable party.

I hope you enjoy an unforgettable stay at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra en San Sebastián!

If there is anything we can assist you with please do not hesitate to ask our staff.

Best Regards,

Elena Estomba Garín
Assistant General Manager at Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

New Year’s Eve 2020: how it will be celebrated in Spanish cities. Spain in Russian

To celebrate the New Year in a good mood, there is nothing easier and more incendiary than to go to street together with friends and plunge into the noise of the festive crowd. Let’s find out how this will happen in Spanish cities.

Puerta del Sol, Madrid

Puerta del Sol in Madrid is Spain’s main New Year’s Eve square. It is from here that the main television and radio broadcasting channels of the country broadcast the striking of the clock, symbolizing the arrival of the New Year on the territory of the entire kingdom. Fun is warmed up by working cafes, live music, light installations, children’s attractions and fireworks. Madrid throughout the night adequately maintains the title of «Europe’s Hottest Capital». nine0005

More information about the capital of Spain in « Top 10 things to do in Madrid «.

Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, Barcelona

Boulevard La avinguda de la Reina María Cristina de Barcelona «rests» against the magic fountain of Montjuic (Fuente Mágica de Montjuic) and is the perfect place to welcome the new 2020. It hosts a unique multimedia show using light, water, fire and music. The visual effect of light and the magical play of water will not leave anyone indifferent. The only problem may be a large number of people who want to see the light and music performance: the number of visitors on New Year’s Eve rises to 80,000 people. Nevertheless, the meeting of the new year in Barcelona can be called a Holiday with a capital letter. nine0005

For what you need to see in the capital of Catalonia, you can find out in the article « 10 highlights of Barcelona «.

Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Valencia

Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Valencia is the epicenter of the celebration of Christmas and New Year and captivates with its bright decoration. Traditionally, on New Year’s Eve, thousands of people gather on the square in front of the City Hall, waiting for the clock to strike, and after midnight the balcony of the City Hall turns into a music stage where famous DJs perform. Fireworks, music and lights are what will make the holiday on the main square of Valencia unforgettable. nine0005

How to see off the Old New Year in Valencia, read the article « Seeing off the old year will be held on the main square of Valencia».

Obradoiro Square, Santiago de Compostela

Plaza del Obradoiro en Santiago de Compostela — the place where the main goal of pilgrims coming here from all over the world, the famous Cathedral of St. James, is located. Between Santiago Cathedral and Parador Santiago de Compostela gathers thousands of guests of the capital of Galicia to celebrate the New Year to the sound of the bells of the Berenguela tower (Torre Berenguela).

According to tradition, people come here not empty-handed, but with twelve grapes in order to eat them all together with the bells and make a wish. Musical groups maintain a festive atmosphere throughout the night.

Also, read that «Camino de Santiago: a tourist route that attracts more and more travelers from all over the world»

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

Every year on December 31, in the main square of Plaza Mayor de Salamanca, residents and guests of the magnificent old city see off the old, and then celebrate the New Year.

However, Salamanca has another popular tradition associated with both the New Year and the status of a university city in Spain. Here is the oldest university in the country, which, together with Bologna and Oxford, is one of the four oldest universities in Europe. 30,000 students from all over the world study here. nine0005

Already in mid-December, the Plaza Mayor hosts a celebration called Cotillón Salamanca, which celebrates the end of the school year and the symbolic welcome of the coming year. The party gathers from 20,000 to 30,000 people: young people and their friends from all over Spain and other countries. Students eat 12 grapes, and then the fun continues until dawn with sweets and various goodies.

Read about the beautiful university city in the article “ Salamanca — forever young city «.

Plaza del Carmen, Granada

Granada, the heart of beautiful Andalusia, is famous all over the world for its Alhambra palace complex. The City Hall of Granada is located on Plaza del Carmen, in the heart of the old city. This is a white two-story historic building with a figure of a naked horseman on the roof. The unique clock, bewitching with its fight, located under the sculpture, was restored specifically for the New Year 2020. nine0005

Visitors who come to the square on New Year’s Eve will be able to enjoy light and music shows, as well as bright fireworks and the indescribable atmosphere of a wonderful city.

You can find out about the eighth wonder of the world located in Granada by reading the article « Arabic Tales of Granada «.

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