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11 Things To Do and See in San Sebastian, Spain

The beautiful Spanish town of San Sebastian, also known as Donostia in Basque, is located along the water in the mountainous Basque Country. Enjoy the picturesque boardwalk right along the city with endless beach and tapas bars. Once the sun goes down, head to the Old City to enjoy the town late into the night. Explore one of the most culturally rich cities in Europe with our 13km walking guide.

Find all: Hotels in San Sebastian

The best things to do in San Sebastian Walking Map:

Top 11 things to do in San Sebastián in 2 days:

11. Mount Igueldo

Mount Igueldo

The first stop is Mount Igueldo on the west side of the city. You can reach the top by funicular or walking, but it is cheapest if you just take the ride up and walk back down. On top of the mount is a panoramic terrace over San Sebastian and a small amusement park!

10. Peine Del Viento

Peine Del Viento

The Peine del Viento sculpture provides the most iconic image of San Sebastian. This artwork is perched upon several rocks in the bay, juxtaposing the profound power of man and nature,

9. Ondarreta Beach

Ondarreta Beach

At the base of Mount Igueldo is Ondarreta Beach, a calm yet busy beach perfect for families.

8. Miramar Palace

Miramar Palace

Right along the beach is the Miramar Palace, once built as a royal summer home. The building and its surrounding lush gardens are now open and free to the public.

7. Beach of La Concha

Beach of La Concha

La Concha is the most famous and busiest of all three beaches within the city of San Sebastian. Its fine white sand and ornate handrail along the boardwalk make for amazing photos. Catch some waves and get your tan on.

6. San Sebastian Cathedral

San Sebastian Cathedral

Leaving the beach behind and heading into the city, the first stop is the San Sebastian Cathedral. This Neo-Gothic church is the largest in the province and will remind you of the medieval churches in Germany and France.

5. San Sebastian City Hall

San Sebastian City Hall

Heading north you quickly reach the golden San Sebastian City Hall. Built in 1882 as a casino, it served as a stomping ground for Europe’s aristocracy until WWI. After the fall of Francoist Spain, the city council moved into the building.

4. Mount Urgull

Mount Urgull

As far north as you can go before falling in the water is Mount Urgull, the historic center of the cities defence since its foundation in the 12th century. You can hike up the hill to enjoy La Mota Castle including some fortifications and cannons, as well as more panoramic views of the city.

3. Parte Vieja (Old Town)

Parte Vieja(Old Town)

Walking down from Mount Urgull you head straight into Parte Vieja, also known as, the Old Town. Here you can walk around, explore the old city and try some delicious tapas and gastronomic experiences. Within the old town make sure not to miss the following:

  • Plaza de la Constitución
  • Basilica of Saint Mary of the Chorus

2. The Plaza de Gipuzkoa

The Plaza de Gipuzkoa

Walking south out of the old city you reach The Plaza de Gipuzkoa. This plaza is more of a park with its many flower beds, ponds and greenery. Here you can relax and people watch at the steps of the provincial offices.

1. Mount Ulia

Mount Ulia

Crossing the River Urumea head towards Mount Ulia. Busy city streets quickly turn into a beautiful green countryside. Take a break from all the noise of the city and enjoy the flora and fauna of Northern Spain!

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Trees Rotteveel

Monday 27th of February 2017

A good way to start to explore Spain! I enjoyed your article!

Michele Peterson

Friday 21st of October 2016

Although many people go to San Sebastian for the cuisine - it looks as though the beaches are well worth visiting too!

Travel To Blank

Friday 21st of October 2016

Absolutely, there are so many different reasons to visit San Sebastian!


Friday 30th of September 2016

Awesome pictures! I enjoyed reading your article. It looks like a very interesting destination and it's on our bucket list now.

Travel To Blank

Sunday 2nd of October 2016

Awesome! Let us know if you have any questions about visiting Spain.