A guide to things to do in San Sebastian
San Sebastian is one of the most famous destinations in Spain, and for good reason. The sophisticated resort town is popular with travellers seeking fine dining, golden beaches and beautiful architecture. Located in the mountainous Basque region of Spain, right on on the Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian offers the perfect combination of beachside relaxation and a lively city atmosphere. If you’re only staying a short time in San Sebastian, things to do and places to visit can be difficult to choose.
Unwind on sweeping sandy beaches
Playa de la Concha is one of the best city beaches in Europe. It’s the number-one spot for sunseekers in San Sebastian to relax and unwind, although as it stretches out for 1.5km, it won’t be hard to find a spot to lay your towel. Playa de la Concha is joined to the west by family-friendly Ondarreta Beach. When the surf’s up, it’s also a big hit with surfers and bodyboarders seeking an adrenaline rush.
For for a quieter, more romantic spot, head to the small but charming Santa Clara Island. The island is located in the middle of Concha Bay and can be accessed by ferry during the summer For for a quieter, more romantic spot, head to the small but charming Santa Clara Island. The island is located in the middle of Concha Bay and can be accessed by ferry during the summer months. Take in the stunning surrounding views of the two mountains, Urgull and Igueldo, to either side of the island. Don’t forget to bring a picnic, or enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe before heading back to lively Concha Bay.
Dine in style
Known for its outstanding cuisine, San Sebastian is a haven for foodies and wine connoisseurs. Checking out the local restaurants is one of the best things to do in San Sebastian thanks to the quality and variety on offer. It’s home to a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, but you don’t have to spend a lot to eat well here. The city offers a wide range of pintxos tapas bars offering traditional Basque food such as creamy baked shellfish, spicy chorizo and delicious cheeses. For insider knowledge of the very best pintxos bars, there’s always the option of joining a tour with a local guide.
Enjoy the bustling nightlife
The nightlife in San Sebastian is diverse, with a mix of relaxed portside bars, cool jazz bars and nightclubs. You’ll find bars perfect for a laid-back beer with great views over the port, as well as venue known for late-night DJ sessions and live music. Whatever your jam and whatever your budget, you’re guaranteed a good night out.^For culture vultures, there’s definitely no shortage of things to do in San Sebastian. The city was voted the European Capital of Culture in 2016, in part thanks to its abundance of historic gems and impressive architecture.
Explore the Parque de Cristina Enea
The Parque de Cristina Enea was a gift from from the Duke of Mandas to his wife, Cristina Brunetti de los Cobos, in the second half of the 19th century. It’s undoubtedly the most beautiful park in the city, with landscaped lawns, exotic plants and winding wooded paths. The Parque de Cristina Enea is the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet after the hustle and bustle of city. Take in the views of the romantic ponds and surrounding architecture, and keep a lookout for the resident peacocks that wander freely.
Visit the Museo de San Telmo
When it comes to things to do in San Sebastian, The Museo de San Telmo is a must. It’s the largest and most notable museum for Basque history, with collections from prehistoric times to modern day. The museum displays more than 26,000 cultural artefacts and pieces of contemporary art, along with some excellent temporary exhibitions. The building itself is also of cultural significance, as part of the museum is a Dominican convent dating to the 16th century. The newer, recently constructed wing merges with the lush green backdrop of Urgull Mountain, making for an inspiring blend of old and new. San Sebastian is a great option if you’re looking for holidays to Spain that offer a little bit of everything. From lazy days at the beach and strolls through nature to indulgent pintxos bars and late-night electro clubs, San Sebastian has you covered. Embrace the depth of culture of this laid-back but vibrant beach-side city for a holiday to remember.