San SebastianSpain

Image for San Sebastian which includes a city, a bay or harbour and a coastal town

Visit San Sebastian

Vibrant Basque culture and one of Europe’s finest city beaches combine to make San Sebastian a highlight of Spain’s northern coast.

This European Capital of Culture has an irresistible mix of natural beauty, historic districts and a dining scene that rivals better-known Spanish cities. Enjoy a morning relaxing on the soft white sands of Playa de la Concha, one of the best city beaches in Europe. And an evening trawling the city’s atmospheric bars is a holiday must, so you can try some of San Sebastian’s famous pintxos – the Basque version of tapas. Plan your holiday in San Sebastian for festival time and join in the boisterous celebrations of jazz and film or San Sebastian’s patron saint.

During your holiday in San Sebastian, stroll through the lively streets of the old town, Casco Viejo, with its imposing Baroque churches and charming squares. Discover Basque Country’s rich history at San Telmo Museum, which is in a 16th-century former Dominican convent. Carry on to Monte Urgull, where you can enjoy panoramic views and impressive sunsets at the summit. Pop into the small museum in the 12th-century Castillo de la Mota to catch up on 800 years of San Sebastian’s history.

Take a holiday wander along the beautiful Playa de la Concha, where you’ll pass the English-style palace and gardens, once the holiday home of the Spanish royal family. You’ll soon reach the other headland which shelters the beach, Monte Igueldo. To save yourself the climb, hop on the funicular and take in the sweeping views at the top. Have a bit of old-fashioned fun in the amusement park perched on the headland.

With the French border so close, extend your San Sebastian holiday and take a bus or a train to some of France’s prettiest Basque towns, including the fishing village of St-Jean-de-Luz. Just beyond is Biarritz, a royal resort, which is also one of Europe’s most popular surf-holiday destinations.

San Sebastian’s historic streets, sheltered beaches, mountain scenery and buzzing restaurant scene make this Spanish coastal city an alluring choice for an unforgettable city break. It’s one of the most appealing places to soak up Basque culture – and fill up on innovative and renowned Basque cuisine.

Where to stay in San Sebastian

Maria Cristina Bridge featuring a bridge, a city and a river or creek

San Sebastian Centro

4/5Very Good!(85 area reviews)

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. 

San Sebastian Centro
San Ignacio Church showing a church or cathedral and heritage architecture

Gros

4.5/5Wonderful!(14 area reviews)

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.

Gros
Old Town showing street scenes as well as a small group of people

Old Town

5/5Exceptional!(23 area reviews)

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

Old Town
Miramar Palace featuring a coastal town, flowers and general coastal views

Antiguo

4.5/5Wonderful!(15 area reviews)

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.

Antiguo
Hondarribia showing general coastal views

La Marina

5/5Exceptional!(3 area reviews)

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

La Marina
Plaza Gipuzkoa which includes heritage elements

Hondarribia Historic Center

5/5Exceptional!(3 area reviews)

Hondarribia Historic Center is noteworthy for its historical sites, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Plaza Gipuzkoa and Castillo de Carlos V.

Hondarribia Historic Center

Top hotels in San Sebastian

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Axel Hotel San Sebastián - Adults Only
Axel Hotel San Sebastián - Adults Only
4 out of 5
Calle Amara 26, San Sebastian
£51
per night
Feb 17 - Feb 18

Located in San Sebastian Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Concha Promenade and Concha Beach. Ondarreta Beach and Basque Culinary Center are also ...

4.2/5Excellent! (13 reviews)
Perfect stay

"Amazing hotel, very new and clean. Close to the beach and topo station. Very friendly staff and they upgraded me which made me very happy."…"

Reviewed on 7 Jan 2020

Axel Hotel San Sebastián - Adults Only
Lasala Plaza Hotel
Lasala Plaza Hotel
4 out of 5
Plaza Lasala, 2, San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa
£91
per night
Feb 2 - Feb 3

Located in Old Town, this beach hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Goikoa Palace and Concha Beach. Ondarreta Beach and Monte Igueldo are also within 3 miles ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (208 reviews)

"The lighting system was insanely complicated!! Go back to good old analog and you will be a winner! Loose the complicated and user unfriendly lighting system in your rooms. Other than that the Lasala Hotel is fantastic"…"

Reviewed on 17 Dec 2019

Lasala Plaza Hotel
Hotel Zenit San Sebastián
Hotel Zenit San Sebastián
4 out of 5
C/ Antonio Mª Labaien nº 1, San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa
£47
per night
Feb 16 - Feb 17

Located in San Sebastian Centro, this romantic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Concha Beach, Ondarreta Beach and Miramar Palace. Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium ...

4.2/5Excellent! (623 reviews)

"Nice location Good Staff The rooms are clean The parking is free"…"

Reviewed on 2 Dec 2019

Hotel Zenit San Sebastián

Popular things to do in San Sebastian

Concha Beach
Image for Concha Beach

Concha Beach

4.5/5(54 reviews)

Enjoy one of the best city beaches in Europe. This fantastic spot in San Sebastián has an extensive sandy area and clear waters. 

Monte Igueldo
Image for Monte Igueldo

Monte Igueldo

4.5/5(32 reviews)

Go to the top of this great mountain in San Sebastián and visit a traditional amusement park with spectacular views as a backdrop.

Monte Urgull
Image for Monte Urgull

Monte Urgull

4.5/5(19 reviews)

As well as lavish vegetation and panoramic views, this beautiful mountain has historic buildings that played an important role in the history of the city.

Ondarreta Beach
Image for Ondarreta Beach

Ondarreta Beach

4.5/5(32 reviews)

Bring your kids to this family-friendly beach and admire the vista of the outcrops, islands and verdant hills that sprout from beautiful Concha Bay.

Basque Culinary Center
Image for Basque Culinary Center

Basque Culinary Center

4.5/5(14 reviews)

Enjoy the student vibe around Basque Culinary Center, a top university in San Sebastian. Wander the area's beautiful beaches or simply enjoy one of its lively bars.

Donostia-San Sebastian Aquarium
Image for Donostia-San Sebastian Aquarium

Donostia-San Sebastian Aquarium

4.5/5(7 reviews)

See extraordinary marine creatures, learn about life under the sea and get insights into the local fishing history at this aquarium and oceanographic museum.

Top activities in San Sebastian

Charms of San Sebastián Day Trip
Image for Charms of San Sebastián Day Trip

Charms of San Sebastián Day Trip

£60

Discover San Sebastián's cobbled streets, picturesque beaches, and world-renowned culinary scene on a day trip from Bilbao. Take a rousing stroll through the city's historic quarter, revel in a bit of free time to explore on your own, and behold breathtaking views atop lovely Monte Igueldo.

Pintxos Bar Crawl
Image for Pintxos Bar Crawl

Pintxos Bar Crawl

£113

Experience San Sebastian’s rich culinary culture on this tasting adventure through the Old Town. Hop from bar to bar, sampling some of the tastiest pintxos (traditional snacks) in town and enjoying the social atmosphere of some of the locals' favorite bars.

Biarritz and French Basque Coast tour in small groups
Image for Biarritz and French Basque Coast tour in small groups

Biarritz and French Basque Coast tour in small groups

£111

The delights of the French coast can be found close to San Sebastian, Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Pamplona and Logroño.

Rioja Alavesa Wineries and Medieval Villages Private Day Trip
Image for Rioja Alavesa Wineries and Medieval Villages Private Day Trip

Rioja Alavesa Wineries and Medieval Villages Private Day Trip

£515

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Haro, Haro, La Rioja Tasting in some of the most traditional wineries in Rioja. This wineries were founded in the 1860 ́s.

Donostia - San Sebastián City Tour Bus, Hop On - Hop Off
Image for Donostia - San Sebastián City Tour Bus, Hop On - Hop Off

Donostia - San Sebastián City Tour Bus, Hop On - Hop Off

£10

Donostia-San Sebastián City Tour boasts a fleet of buses designed expressly for urban guided sightseeing tours. They travel at a maximum speed of 25 km/h. Our buses have a canopy in case of rain, panoramic windows that provide easy visibility for all passengers and TFT screens with information about different places on the tour.

BIARRITZ, SAINT JEAN DE LUZ, HONDARRIBIA & SAN SEBASTIAN
Image for BIARRITZ, SAINT JEAN DE LUZ, HONDARRIBIA & SAN SEBASTIAN

BIARRITZ, SAINT JEAN DE LUZ, HONDARRIBIA & SAN SEBASTIAN

£59

Guided visit to Biarritz in the French Basque Country. A summer resort for the European Royalty, we will discover the best views of the city and its most famous corners. Saint Jean de Luz will be our second stop, a charming coastal village.

Reviews of San Sebastian

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
94
5 - Excellent 77.04918032786885%
4 - Good
27
4 - Good 22.131147540983605%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 0.819672131147541%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 31, 2019

Good loc

4/5 - Good

ChrissyA

Nov 9, 2019

Great very good value cafe called Foodoo (opposite McDonalds & next to Burger King) was great value and SO tasty! Only stayed in San Sebastián for one night, ate there on arrival & lunch next day before driving onto Madrid!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 9, 2019

Great going out of season to avoid the busy tourist time. Just a shame there are not more flights from the U.K.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 9, 2019

The old city and the food/wine/cider.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Oct 4, 2019

the beach is far better than you would expect

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 11, 2019

Great combination of food, culture & beach.

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