Experiences on your to-do list for your next trip
San Sebastian is famous for being one of the most beautiful and stylish cities in Spain. As you stroll leisurely around the city, it'll become clear that this reputation is more than deserved. Walking around La Concha Bay, looking at the Comb of the Wind, wandering around the old town, discovering the palaces and theatres from the Belle Époque. Here are 10 ideas for a San Sebastian getaway:
Take a refreshing dip on La Concha beach
Strolling along the beach, taking a picture with the iconic white railings... And you'll be even luckier if you catch a glimpse of the sunset. What better than to take the opportunity to go to what is considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
See how the Comb of the Wind tames the city's air
Perhaps the greatest symbol of San Sebastian. These outdoor sculptures by Eduardo Chillida can be found at the end of the Ondarreta beach, at the foot of Monte Igueldo. Seeing how the pieces of steel “converse” with the wind and the waves on the sea is truly magical.
Climb Monte Igueldo in a funicular that is over 100 years old
That way you'll get to see the best panoramic view of the city. The experience of ascending in a funicular with wooden carriages, which harks back to when people used to go to casinos and dance halls decades ago, has a certain romanticism and charm. One you reach the top, the views are truly unique. There is also an amusement park with traditional rides.
Wander around and eat pinchos in the old town
One of the greatest gastronomical pleasures in this city is to try txakoli wine with their famous pinchos—small culinary creations that you’ll find on counters in bars. It is more than a gastronomical tradition, it is a social custom that they like to share with others. The pleasure of eating is combined with strolling around the cobblestoned streets to find places such as the lively Plaza de la Constitución and monuments such as the Santa Maria del Coro basilica and the San Vicente church. Anyone interested in learning how to make their own pinchos should take note that there are several workshops that teach how to make them.
Feel like a member of the royal family at the Miramar Palace
This is the royal family's former summer residence. Although the palace only opens on occasion, you can walk through its wonderful gardens and enjoy views of the bays and the island of Santa Clara just in front.
Admire the Kursaal from the La Zurriola bridge
The cubes designed by Rafael Moneo for the Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium have now become an emblem of San Sebastian. It is an extra special site as it is the location of the city’s famous Film Festival. It catches your eye during the day, but is even more impressive when lit up at night. Close to the bridge you will also find two legendary buildings which would make anyone feel like a film star: the glamorous and historic Victoria Eugenia Theatre—it is well worth going to one of its shows—and Hotel María Cristina, inspired by the Belle Époque, where we highly recommend having a drink with a view of the theatre.
Discover the city’s past by climbing up Monte Urgull
If climbing up Monte Igueldo appeals to you, then Monte Urgull definitely will too. From the top you can see the three beaches of San Sebastian. There are also remains of the wall and cannons, as well as the Museo de la Historia, if you would like to learn more about the city.
Relax in La Perla
This thalassotherapy centre is over 100 years old and is one of the best places in the city to let yourself be taken care of. The building was designed to accommodate European nobility and has views out over La Concha bay. The beneficial properties of the seawater do the rest. Note: there are also two terraces and a restaurant with views.
Sail the seas
In a city so connected to the sea, sailing is a must. You can go on a catamaran trip, take the boat to the island of Santa Clara or sign up for a whale watching expedition... Once back on dry land, the colours at sunset are incredible from the port. The city's Aquarium is also located in the bay.
Go to a restaurant with Michelin stars
The figures speak for themselves: San Sebastian is one of the cities in the world with the most Michelin stars per square metre. It also has four restaurants with three stars each: Akelarre, Arzak, Azurmendi and Martín Berasategui. Therefore, you will not just eat well, but rather phenomenally in this city. Trying any of the creations in one of the best restaurants in the world is likely to be an unforgettable experience. Anyone interested in Basque cuisine can visit one of the traditional cider houses in the area or one of the stylish bodegas such as Marqués de Riscal (in Elciego) and Ysios (in Laguardia), which are both in Álava.