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San Sebastian
Travel Guide

San Sebastian featuring a coastal town, a bay or harbor and a city

Fabulous sandy beaches, historical buildings and Basque cuisine make this resort town in northern Spain a compelling place to visit.

The seaside resort of San Sebastián is one of the most popular summer destinations in Spain's Basque Country. The city sits on a circular bay made up of white-sand beaches. Its gorgeous mountain scenery encompasses a fascinating old town. Tour ancient churches, visit a hilltop 12th-century fortress and spend sunny days on a beach.

The shell-shaped Playa de la Concha in the center of the city is where many visitors chose to relax. Sunbathe on this long, pleasant stretch of sand and swim or take a boat to Santa Clara Island, which lies just offshore. San Sebastián has two other city beaches, Ondarreta and Zurriola, popular with surfers.

Behind the beaches lies the old town, where San Sebastian was born. Follow streets leading to churches, plazas, shops and boutiques. Visit the 16th-century San Vicente Church and the 18th-century Baroque Basilica of Santa Maria. Browse the exhibits of the Museo San Telmo, a former convent that now houses a Museum of Basque Society and Citizenship. Stop at one of the cafés in the old town's main square and sample a variety of pintxos. The city is renowned for these tapas-like dishes.

Continue your exploration of San Sebastián with a trip up Mount Urgull, a hill in the heart of the city. Walk to the summit, which is topped by a statue of Jesus Christ and a 12th-century fortress.

For more lofty views, take the 3-minute funicular railway ride from Ondarreta Beach to the top of Monte Igeldo. The journey’s end is the Monte Igueldo Amusement Park, which is filled with old-fashion rides and attractions.

Select from several ways to get to San Sebastián. Fly into the international airport at Bilbao, Spain or Biarritz, France, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) and 30 miles (50 kilometers) away respectively. Alternatively, travel by bus, train or car from other destinations in Europe. Take advantage of the seaside resort’s beaches, history, mountainous scenery and culinary delights.

Where to stay in San Sebastian

Barceló Costa Vasca
Barceló Costa Vasca
4 out of 5
Avenida Pio Baroja 15, San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa
The price is $84 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in San Sebastian Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Concha Promenade and Ondarreta Beach. Concha Beach and Monte Igueldo are also within ...
4.2/5Very Good! (947 reviews)
"it was a nice room, very clean, but here and there needs a bit of makeover, a few things need to be repair, rather than that the check-in at 2 am due to late travelling was excellent. I would recommend this hotel and going back again :)"

Reviewed on Sep 23, 2020

Barceló Costa Vasca
Hotel Urdanibia Park
Hotel Urdanibia Park
3 out of 5
Avenida Jaizubia Hiribidea, 61, Irun
The price is $49 per night from May 9 to May 9
Situated in Irun, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Ecological Park Plaiaundi, Menchu Gal Museum, and Oiasso Museum. Ayuntamiento de Irun and FICOBA Exhibition ...
4.1/5Very Good! (373 reviews)
Okay stay for a quick heads down
"We needed a place to sleep during our long car journey south. This fitted the bill perfectly. Only problem was the bar and kitchen were closed by the time we arrived."

Reviewed on Dec 28, 2020

Hotel Urdanibia Park
Off Beat Guesthouse
Off Beat Guesthouse
2.5 out of 5
Calle 31 de Agosto 16, Planta 1, San Sebastian
The price is $26 per night from May 16 to May 16
Located in Old Town San Sebastian, this guesthouse is steps from San Vicente Church and San Telmo Museum. Monte Urgull and Concha Beach are also within 10 minutes. ...
3.6/5Good! (78 reviews)
Walk to the beach
"Clean and amazing location. Great value is you do not mind sharing a bathroom. There are 2 both with showers."

Reviewed on Jul 30, 2020

Off Beat Guesthouse
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Résidence Mer & Golf
Résidence Mer & Golf
4 out of 5
47 Boulevard de la Mer, Anglet, Pyrenees-Atlantiques
The price is $78 per night from May 7 to May 7
This family-friendly Anglet residence is located on the boardwalk, within a 15-minute walk of Biarritz Golf Club, Anglet Beach, and Miramar Beach. Bay of Biscay ...
3.4/5 (908 reviews)
A bit tired but Comfy
"Comfortable but property is dated and in need of renovation. Unfortunately photos over sell it but it was OK, we were comfortable and warm."

Reviewed on Jan 24, 2021

Résidence Mer & Golf
Résidence Victoria Surf
Résidence Victoria Surf
21 Ter Avenue Edouard VII, Résidence Le Victoria Surf, Biarritz
Located in Biarritz, this beachfront aparthotel is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Imperial Chapel and Bay of Biscay. Miramar Beach and Biarritz ...
4/5Very Good! (57 reviews)
"Like a poor premier in - would have been better of we had booked to stay in a sea view room - the road was so noisy and busy and the room so hot but too noisy to sleep with the windows open - great location though - just book the seaview side"

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2019

Résidence Victoria Surf
Résidence Lagrange Vacances Les Patios Eugénie
Résidence Lagrange Vacances Les Patios Eugénie
4 out of 5
30/32 Avenue De La Reine Victoria, Biarritz, Pyrenees-Atlantiques
Situated near the beach, this spa residence is within 1 mi (2 km) of Paroisse Notre Dame du Rocher - Eglise Saint-Charles and Bay of Biscay. Imperial Chapel ...
4.1/5Very Good! (112 reviews)
"We were greeted by a very impolite receptionist who snapped at us for not knowing there is a 400 euro deposit to be paid upon arrival. Telling us this is written EVERYWHERE. Which is not true, only upon very thoroughly checking the Hotels.com booking did I find that the deposit is mentioned in the ..."

Reviewed on Oct 12, 2019

Résidence Lagrange Vacances Les Patios Eugénie
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in San Sebastian

Top things to do in San Sebastian

Reviews of San Sebastian

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
254
5 - Excellent 83.55263157894737%
4 - Good
46
4 - Good 15.131578947368421%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 0.9868421052631579%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.32894736842105265%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 23, 2020

Beautiful city, gorgeous food!!!! Safe and friendly people.

5/5 - Excellent

yk841pink

Feb 22, 2020

Love this city. So much to offer, the view, food, people, culture we love it there!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 5, 2020

Amazing city. A foodies paradise.Beautiful nature.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 5, 2020

My cousin expressed how beautiful and he was right Very friendly people!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 29, 2019

It is a unique ecperience, the cleanness of the city, very kind and friendly people, beautiful city, to me is one of the nicest places I have travelled to.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 24, 2019

Culinary capital of the world

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