San Sebastian

San Sebastian on Spain’s Bay of Biscay is a picture-perfect getaway offering one of Europe’s best city beaches, beautiful churches and the best of Basque cuisine.

Beyond the famous culinary attractions, you’ll find a city steeped in culture, tradition and character.

Getting Around

San Sebastian Airport is around 22km from the centre, with plenty of buses or taxis to get you there in 30 minutes. Hire a car if you want more flexibility – or why not rent a bike? The city’s main attractions are close enough together to explore on foot.

Language

Spanish

Time Difference

1 hr ahead of GMT

Currency

Euro

Neighbourhoods To See

Old Town

The strollable historic quarter in the centre offers a welcoming blend of cafes, bars and shops around cobbled streets. Head for the bustling Plaza de la Constituciòn and admire the stunning Santa Maria del Coro Basilica and San Vicente church.

Gros

Its beaches are must-go destinations for surfers, especially Playa Zurriola, but this dynamic neighbourhood also appeals with its lively social scene, packed with pintxo bars and quirky shops.

Egia

Soak up a heady mix of arts and nature in this fashionable district with pretty parks, great pintxo bars, concert halls and the impressive Tabakalera centre for contemporary culture.

Essential Sights

San Sebastián Aquarium

Established in 1928 as Spain’s first natural science museum, it’s now one of Europe’s best oceanariums. Walk the tunnel under the largest tank for a 360° view of sharks overhead.

San Telmo Museoa

The oldest museum in the Basque Country focuses on preserving the area’s heritage through exhibitions covering its history, social changes, technology and art – including paintings by El Greco, Alonso Cano and Rubens.

Guggenheim Bilbao

Just an hour away, this extraordinary building fronted by Louise Bourgeois’ towering Maman spider sculpture adds something truly spectacular to the skyline over Ria de Bilbao. Inside you can browse contemporary art, paintings, sculpture and more on display.

Monte Igueldo

Take the wooden Funicular up the mountain for the very best views of San Sebastian, then enjoy the fun-packed amusement park at the top.

Food And Drink

Seafood dominates the cuisine in this ocean-side city, so expect fish restaurants offering everything from anchovies to kokotxas (fish cheeks), a local delicacy. Pair it with the local Txakoli sparkling dry white wine – or taste it at source on a vineyard tour!

Get stuck into pintxos – these tasty appetiser-type dishes arranged into mini masterpieces are a quintessential part of the local culinary scene. You’ll find pintxo bars and stands on every corners all over the city.

Events

AUG | Semana Grande

The huge festival of Great Week is jam-packed with activities, including live music, sports events and street theatre, plus the International Firework Competition where companies compete with dazzling displays.

SEPT | San Sebastian International Film Festival

Since 1952, this globally renowned event has grown and grown, featuring upcoming films, talks and workshops. Some of the industry’s biggest names have been honoured with its prestigious Donostia Award for film lovers, makers and producers across the world.

OCT | San Sebastian Gastronomika

A world-famous food festival celebrating contemporary gastronomy, with international restauranteurs coming to exhibit dishes and give talks amid a huge gastronomic EXPO.

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