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.