San Sebastián: Essential Guide

Aerial view of San Sebastian, Spain
Aerial view of San Sebastián, Spain - © Horváth Botond -


San Sebastián: guide with the most important things to see, its beaches and the best activities to do.

San Sebastian is considered one of the most charming cities in Spain and one of the most beautiful in Europe.

The three beaches in the center of the city make it a special place to visit.

Although the best time of year to visit is without a doubt the summer, you can enjoy San Sebastian at any time.

It is a perfect city to be visited on a weekend or on a long bridge.

All the main things to visit in the city are just a few kilometers away as we can see in and it is very easy to walk, although it is true that it is very important to have a hotel that is well located to save time on the move.

How to get to San Sebastián?

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Plane: if you live in Madrid y Barcelona, the best option to get to San Sebastian is without a doubt the plane. The problem is the limited connections that the Hondarribía airport (San Sebastián airport) has with these two cities.

Another alternative to go by plane is to fly to the airport Bilbao, which is a short hour from San Sebastian and from there take a bus that leaves every hour to Donosti. If your city has connections with Bilbao it is an option to consider.

Train: the train is another option, but like the plane, the connections are not very good either.

Bus: of the options of public transport it is perhaps the most recommended in terms of options. There are many connections and the city's stop is very well located, a few minutes walk from the city center.

Car: If you decide to travel by car, the road is quite good and you will not have any problem. The biggest problem will be getting the car parked in the center. The whole city has limited time and payment parking, so it is best to make sure before your hotel has parking to leave the car or hire one upon your arrival.

What places should be visited in San Sebastian?

View of the city hall of San Sebastian, Spain
View of the city hall of San Sebastián, Spain - © davidlorente78 -

As we have said, the best thing about the city is that everything is very close and you can easily see the city in a few days.

  • Playa de la Concha: it is the most famous beach in the city and well worth a walk by it. The most daring will bathe in it without taking into account the time in which you visit ...
  • Palacio Miramar: former Royal residence, today is a public building with a great park from which you get a great panoramic view of the entire bay.
  • Monte Igueldo: At the top of the mythical mountain is the amusement park, a very old park but that will serve to pass the time and also take some of the best photos of your trip.
  • Cathedral of the Good Shepherd: it is the cathedral of the city. A Gothic cathedral that presides over the most important pedestrian street in the city and down to our next stop.
  • Parte Vieja: a must for all those who come to Donosti. The best thing without a doubt is to get lost in its streets and try the pinchos of the infinity of bars that you can find in it. As a recommendation, you can not miss: Bar Goiz-Argi, Cuchara de San Telmo, Borda Berlin, A Black Fire ...
  • El Puerto: a charming place to take a walk at sunset and end up having dinner in one of the restaurants that you will find in it.
  • Aquarium: the aquarium of the city is one of the most distinguished nationally. It has a huge aquarium crossed by a glass tunnel that is well worth visiting.
  • San Telmo Museum: another of the museums that is worth visiting, not only for its exhibition but for the beauty of the old convent that it was.

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Beaches of San Sebastian

As we have already commented before, the main beach is the one of La Concha, It is the one that gives name to the whole bay and the most representative of the whole city.

Besides this, you also have the beach of Ondarreta, which is a continuation of the previous one and the beach of the Zurriola.

This last one is the surf beach, where many surfers come to catch some of the best waves in the area.

Every year a large number of international championships and prizes are held on this beach.

It is increasingly common to find foreigners on the beach who come exclusively to San Sebastian to catch waves on this beach.


Where to eat in San Sebastián?

Detail of the city of San Sebastian, Spain
Detail of the city of San Sebastián, Spain - © Horváth Botond -

If something is not going to have problems in this city is when choosing a place to eat. It is the culinary city par excellence and you will not have any problem finding a place to snack or eat something.

What you have to try without any doubt one of the days is "go pintxos". It consists of touring the main tapas bars in the city and try each of them one of the recommended pinchos, true works of art in miniature cuisine.

If your thing is to eat or have dinner sitting, you will not have a problem either.

In this city you will find some of the most famous restaurants in the world and if your wallet allows you, you can try the menu of some of the most prestigious chefs that exist today such as Arzak, Akelarre, Berasategui, Mugaritz ...

But calm, if what you are looking for is something cheaper, you will always find a suitable place to your pocket that will leave you fully satisfied.

Shopping in San Sebastián

If what you want is to go shopping, the main stores of the city are in the center, in the area of ​​the San Martín market, the Plaza del Buen Pastor and Avenida de la Libertad. Here you will find from multi-brand stores with the new collections of each season as well as the main low-cost fashion franchises that you can find in any other city.

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