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Top Activities in San Sebastian

See all 208 things to do in San Sebastian

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What to Do in San Sebastian: Must See Attractions

San Sebastian Attractions

San Sebastian, also known by its Basque name Donostia, is a coastal city on the edge of the Bay of Biscay in the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain. The resort-like city draws visitors with its pristine La Concha and Ondarreta beaches, as well as its many enticing restaurants and bars where you can feast on local pintxos and delicious drinks. Named a European Capital of Culture in 2016, San Sebastian is packed with exciting things to do, from exploring history in the old town of Parte Vieja to partaking in its many festival and celebrations, including the San Sebastian International Film Festival, throughout the year.

Areas & Neighborhoods in San Sebastian

The city of San Sebastian can be divided into 3 main areas: Ondarreta, Parte Vieja, and Gros. Within each area are a multitude of neighborhoods, beaches, and streets that together form the vibrant and friendly character of the city.

Antiguo - Antiguo is the original nucleus of San Sebastian and is near beautiful Ondarreta Beach and majestic Monte Igeldo. The historic area is home to Miramar Palace, a 19 th -century palace commissioned by the Spanish Royal Family. The palace features spectacular views of La Concha Bay from its sprawling gardens.

Parte Vieja - Parte Vieja, or the Old Town of San Sebastian, serves as the traditional core of the city and is its second-oldest neighborhood. Set at the foot of Mount Urgull, the area features the San Telmo Museoa and bustling Plaza de la Constitucion, as well as the historic Basilica of Santa Maria and San Vincente Church, 2 of the oldest churches in the city. Visit Parte Vieja for a wide selection of pintxos bars where you can sample delicious dishes and txakoli wine.

Mount Ulía - The minor ridge of Mount Ulia lies to the east of Gros and reaches 797 feet (243 m) at its highest point. Part of the Mount Ulía Park, the natural area is a popular lookout point from which to spot whales, and features the Saint James Way hiking trail along the coast. Take time to explore the Park of Nurseries of Ulía, which is home to 39 tree species as well as fauna like salamanders and birds.

What to See in San Sebastian

Explore the culture of San Sebastian by visiting its many museums. The San Telmo Museoa, housed in a former Dominican convent, emphasizes ancient and modern Basque culture in a global context with the aim to educate visitors. The Balenciaga Museum, located in the nearby town of Getaria, showcases the works and legacy of fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga. San Sebastian is also beloved for its beautiful beaches, such as long Ondarreta Beach, where even stormy weather attracts visitors in the form of surfers and bodyboarders looking to catch a wave. La Concha is the city's most iconic beach-fine white sands lead into pristine waters, and its nearly mile-long shore provides clear views of San Sebastian's a beautiful skyline.

Sightseeing in San Sebastian

A city famous for its food and drink, you can't go wrong with dining in San Sebastian. The city boasts 16 Michelin stars, making it the city with the second most Michelin stars per capita in the world, and prides itself on its traditional Basque cuisine. San Sebastian's Parte Vieja is beloved for its innumerable pintxos bars where you can taste a range of mouthwatering small plates, while you can find excellent

txakoli

wine from the Basque Country and traditional cider through town. Build up your appetite or work off a meal by playing on San Sebastian's gorgeous shores, taking advantage of the sparkling waves to surf, swim, or just people-watch during a stroll. The city also plays host to a number of vibrant celebrations all year around, including the annual San Sebastian International Film Festival-held at the Kursaal Auditoriam and Victoria Eugenia Theater-and the San Sebastian Jazz Festival, or Jazzaldia. Celebrate local culture as well by joining the festivities of San Sebastian Day, also known as Tamborrada, or Basque Week, the highlight of which is a boat-rowing competition where teams from regional towns contend for the Flag of la Concha.

Things to Do in San Sebastian with Kids

There's fun for the whole family wherever you roam in San Sebastian. Here are some family friendly experiences to do together that will make your vacation a blast:

Free Things to Do in San Sebastian

Touring on a tight budget in San Sebastian? Spend time, not your paycheck, on fabulous experiences.

Eureka! Science Museum - Crammed with intriguing objects and exhibits, this gallery is a paradise for curious minds.

El Peine de los Vientos - Feed your passion for arts and culture here and see talent and creativity at work.

San Sebastian City Hall - Detour to this historic attraction and learn something about the cultural heritage of the region.

Plaza de La Constitucion - This is a bustling location where you can absorb the vibe and experience local life.

San Sebastian Technology Park - Widely recognized among local residents, this place is worth visiting.

San Vicente Church - Spend a moment in prayer or meditation at this tranquil religious site.

Zurriola Beach - Devour a good book or listen to some music while you're soaking up those rays.

Monte Urgull - Take your camera and let nature inspire you.

Pagoeta Natural Park - Arrange a picnic date and enjoy a relaxing stroll around the beautiful plants.

Explore The Neighborhoods of San Sebastian

Hondarribia

Near San Sebastián, discover a picturesque town with a charming fisherman’s quarter, a sandy beach, historical sites and excellent restaurants and bars. 

Cultural ActivitiesHistoricalMonuments

San Sebastian Centro

Wander along the charming streets of this district to see some of the oldest buildings in the city, famous landmarks, exceptional restaurants and green areas. 

Poolside BarsBeach ViewSurfing

Old Town San Sebastian

Piece together intriguing Basque stories from the museums and religious treasures and enjoy scenic views of headlands and islands in this historic neighborhood.

HistoricalMarinasCasinos

Gros

An area for the young and young-at-heart describes this active area. Carry a surfboard like many others or just enjoy the charged atmosphere in this part of Spain.

WalkingBeach ViewDining

Antiguo

A beach, amusement park, nightlife, fine cuisine and quiet for sleeping are perfect factors for a family vacation. Stay in this Spanish neighborhood that has it all.

Beach ViewPoolside BarsWalking

La Marina

Visitors to La Marina enjoy its restaurants, and if you want to do some exploring, Calle San Pedro is worth a stop.

PortsPoolside BarsWalking

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in San Sebastian on a sunny day?

What to do in San Sebastian on a rainy day?

What should I not miss in San Sebastian?

Pack your camera, because this trove of wonders is simply waiting to be discovered:

  • Concha Beach
  • Monte Igueldo
  • Monte Urgull

Are there cheap things to do in San Sebastian?

What can you do in San Sebastian for free?

You could store your cash in the hotel safe for the day, because these excellent attractions can be seen for nothing:

  • Concha Beach
  • Monte Igueldo
  • Monte Urgull
  • Ondarreta Beach