Many people have heard about how beautiful San Sebastian is. If you are one of them, this article is for you, here are 9 things must do in San Sebastian!
Bay of La Concha
Of course, this top 5 starts with THE PLAN. If you are coming to San Sebastian for the first time you will surely have a concept in your head: the bay of La Concha. San Sebastian is a beautiful city marked by an impressive geographical feature. Our recommendation is that you cover the entire bay on foot, from Alderdi Eder, to the famous sculpture of Eduardo Chillida “Peine del Viento“. In just over 2 kms you will know our greatest treasure from side to side, always accompanied on your walk by the railing of the shell icon of the city. With this walk you can admire the “pearl” of the shell, the Santa Clara island. You can feel like a noble man of the early twentieth century in the Miramar Palace gardens and you can dip your feet in the Bay of Biscay in two different beaches: La Concha and Ondarreta.
San Telmo Museum and Maritime Museum
If what you are interested in your trip is to know the Basque culture, you cannot miss the following places. The first is the San Telmo Museum, located in the old part of the city, in the building that once occupied the monastery of the same name. It is a building of great architectural workmanship that today houses an ethnographic museum, where you can learn about Basque culture in a place that will leave you speechless with its beauty. But if something has characterized the Basque people in its history is its relationship with the sea. To learn more about this aspect of our culture come to the Maritime Museum located, as it could not be otherwise, in the harbour. A nice tour of this small museum will teach you a thousand and one curiosities that you did not know about our adventures at sea.
Know the most local San Sebastian
Is it your thing to get lost in the city? To visit the less touristic neighborhoods? where the locals live? Perfect, you’re one of us! The best way to do it in San Sebastian is without a doubt by bike because the city has a lot of bike lane kilometers, which we call Bidegorris (in Basque bide = gorri = red way) because of its color. If you like this plan, rent some electric bikes and ride around every corner of our city without getting tired at all.
San Sebastian International Film Festival
If you happen to visit us in September and you notice a strange atmosphere, with cameras everywhere, people with an accreditation around their necks, big movie posters in the city center and people that remind you of movie stars in the street, don’t worry. It’s normal, you have coincided with the San Sebastian International Film Festival, a world-class event where we are visited by stars of international and national cinema, while San Sebastian is dressed in its best clothes. Congratulations, you have come to visit us in one of the coolest moments of the year!
Go have pintxos
One cliché, quite true, is that San Sebastian is a great place to eat and being as it is a great truth, go out for pintxos could not miss this top 5 of things to do to . Pintxos are the tapas of the Basque Country, morsels of our gastronomy that will make your stay more pleasant. There are good pintxo bars scattered throughout the city, although the Old Town neighborhood is famous for its hundreds of bars and restaurants, but you can not miss a good pintxo in other neighborhoods such as the Center, Gros or the fantastic Easo street. As a piece of advice, do not be shy, ask the waiters for the house specialty, which are usually the best of each establishment. Eat the pintxos accompanied with a pote (the name we use here for the drink that always accompanies the meal) and after finishing them, move to another bar to repeat the move.
Eat an ice cream
After you have tasted a good batch of pintxos, you can’t miss the dessert, and none is better than an ice cream! Donostia is full of ice-cream parlors with an endless supply of flavors, and discovering them is a plan itself. Always leave some room in your stomach to enjoy one of these cold pleasures and eat every last piece of wafer as you stroll through our streets to wash down your meal.
Ulia, Igeldo and Urgull
If you want to enjoy the beauty of San Sebastian at a simple glance, put on some comfortable shoes and climb one of the three mountains that surround Donostia. Each of them seems purposely designed for different travelers. If hiking is your thing and you want to be surrounded by a natural environment that brings together the forest and the sea, go to Ulia, which is part of the northern Camino de Santiago. You can try to reach its top and enjoy the views of the Cantabrian Sea, or take the Silver road to the nearby fishing village of Pasaia. If, on the other hand, you are a fan of vintage, go to Mount Igeldo and take its 1912 funicular, which will take you to the Mount Igeldo amusement park, built in the middle of the belle epoque of San Sebastian. This funicular also offers one of the most famous panoramic views of the city, a breathtaking view of the Concha. Finally we have the smallest of the three mountains, but not the least important, Mount Urgull. Located in the Old Part, it was for centuries the military fort that defended San Sebastian against invaders, although today it is an absolutely incredible public park. A place where you can enjoy its 360º panoramic view, the History House museum or simply a little corner of peace and quiet in the middle of the city.
See the sunset
One of the most local plans, especially in the summer, is to finish the day having a drink with your kuadrilla at the Sagües wall. Where is this wall? Very easy, you just have to go to the Zurriola beach, famous for its surfers, and start walking for the entire length of the beach, at the end you will find a wall next to a large sculpture in the shape of a pidgeon. When you see it’s because you have arrived, now you just need to get something to drink, find a spot on the wall and sit down to enjoy one of the most famous and beautiful sunsets in Donostia. There is something magical about being with your feet on the beach and having the sun hiding behind Mount Urgull and the city of San Sebastian in front of you. A plan that you cannot miss.
Come to one of our Free Tours
Apart from discovering Donostia, do you want to know its history and secrets? You’re in the right place! Come with us to one of our Free Tours and we will tell you everything you need to know about San Sebastian, its history, culture and more importantly, how we the donostiarras live our city, so you feel one of us while you’re here.
We love to be the best ambassadors of our city!