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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 06 February, 2024
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Begun in 1953, the San Sebastian International Film Festival is a sophisticated, established highlight of the global film calendar.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the town’s La Concha beach, SSIFF is a truly international affair, showcasing new movies from around the world.

It’s also one of the most accessible festivals around, with scores of tickets for new and classic film screenings available at reasonable prices.


Price from: £5
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
Frequency: annually
When: 3rd week September
Duration: One week

Getting there & doing it

The main venue, the striking, Brutalist Kursaal Centre, is across the river from San Sebastián’s historic centre. Tickets are available in person at the Kursaal Centre, or online in advance – they go on sale about two weeks before the festival. Book early for the best screenings. Seats aren’t numbered, so come early to get a good spot.

When to do it

The festival runs annually for one week during the third week of September.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

San Sebastian

Basque Country, Spain

Concha beach with beachfront hotels

A grand but charming beach resort in northern Spain famous for its glut of Michelin-recognised restaurants and superb pintxos. Thie foodie destination is also a short hop from the world-class wines of La Rioja.

Basque Country

Basque Country, Spain

External view looking to the entrance. The curvy building has mountains behind

Fascinating ancient traditions, world-famous gourmet treats, Spain’s finest wine region and a gorgeous golden coastline.