Things to Do in San Sebastián - Complete Travel Guide

San Sebastián
Andrea Huls, Unsplash
January 17
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover the best places and activities to do in San Sebastián. Plan your visit with our complete travel guide.

San Sebastián, also known as Donostia, is a beautiful coastal city in the Basque Country, Spain. With its historical charm, stunning beaches, and delicious cuisine, San Sebastián is a destination you can't miss.

If you're planning a trip to San Sebastián, we've prepared a comprehensive guide with the best places to visit and things to do in this beautiful city. From strolling along the picturesque La Concha Bay to trying the famous pintxos in the Old Town, San Sebastián offers a variety of unique experiences.

Discover the magic of San Sebastián, enjoy its breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in its rich culture, and savor its exquisite cuisine.

1. La Concha Bay in San Sebastián

Natural Spaces and Parks
green trees near body of water under white clouds and blue sky during daytime
La Concha Bay in San Sebastián / Ion Flecha, Unsplash

La Concha Bay is one of the most iconic and beautiful places in San Sebastián, located on the northern coast of Spain. Surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches, this bay offers breathtaking panoramic views of the sea and mountains.

San Sebastián, known for its famous film festival and delicious gastronomy, is the perfect destination for those looking for a beach getaway and a unique culinary experience.

In La Concha Bay, you can engage in a variety of water activities such as swimming, surfing, kayaking, or simply relax on the shore and soak up the sun. You can also take a stroll along the famous La Concha Promenade, a picturesque seafront promenade with magnificent views of the sea and Santa Clara Island.

2. Mount Urgull

Historical Monuments and Architecture
big island
Mount Urgull / David Vives, Unsplash

Mount Urgull is a must-visit for anyone in San Sebastián. With its strategic location in the city center, it offers stunning panoramic views of the sea and the city.

This iconic site features a wide range of cultural and recreational activities. You can visit the Castle of La Mota, which dates back to the 12th century, and discover its fascinating history as you stroll through its walls.

The mount also houses another prominent point of interest, the Monument to the Constitution of 1812, which commemorates Spain's first constitution. Admiring this iconic sculpture is a unique experience you shouldn't miss.

3. Miramar Palace

Historical Monuments and Architecture

You can't miss Miramar Palace in San Sebastian!

This impressive palace, built in the early 20th century, is considered an architectural jewel of the city. Located in a privileged setting, surrounded by beautiful gardens and with panoramic sea views, Miramar Palace is a dream-like place.

With its stunning neo-Gothic facade, Miramar Palace is a testament to the splendor of the Belle Époque. Its spacious and elegantly decorated halls will transport you to past times.

4. Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium

Entertainment and Pop Culture

The Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in San Sebastián. Located on the famous La Zurriola beach, this impressive building stands out for its modern architecture and cultural relevance.

Known as the city's most important congress center, the Kursaal hosts numerous events and activities throughout the year. From concerts and exhibitions to conferences and film screenings, this place has become a cultural reference both nationally and internationally.

If you're looking for things to do in San Sebastián, you can't miss the opportunity to visit the Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium. Immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere and discover everything this place has to offer.

5. Mount Igueldo

Natural Spaces and Parks

Mount Igueldo is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in San Sebastian. Located on a hill with panoramic views of the Cantabrian Sea and the city, Mount Igueldo offers visitors an unforgettable experience.

From the top of the mount, you can enjoy breathtaking views of La Concha Beach and the old town of San Sebastian. In addition, the mount features thrilling attractions, such as the famous wooden roller coaster.

If you're looking for things to do in San Sebastian, Mount Igueldo is a must-visit. Don't miss the opportunity to ride the historic funicular to the top and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

6. San Telmo Museum

Museums and Art Galleries

The San Telmo Museum is a must-visit attraction in San Sebastián. Located in a former convent, this museum offers a comprehensive view of the region's history and culture. Here, you can explore its permanent and temporary exhibitions, which cover everything from prehistory to the present day.

At the San Telmo Museum, you'll find a fascinating collection of art, historical objects, and testimonies of everyday life in San Sebastián throughout the centuries. Immerse yourself in the past and discover how the city has evolved over time.

In addition to its collections, the museum hosts various cultural activities and events, such as lectures, concerts, and workshops. Don't miss the opportunity to delve into the history and culture of San Sebastián at the San Telmo Museum.

7. San Sebastián Aquarium

Entertainment and Pop Culture

The San Sebastián Aquarium is one of the city's most prominent tourist attractions, with a great variety of marine species and thrilling exhibits. Located on a beautiful cliff overlooking the sea, the aquarium offers a fascinating experience for kids and adults alike.

Dive into the underwater world and discover the incredible diversity of marine life. From colorful tropical fish to impressive sharks, you'll be able to observe countless species in magnificent display tanks. Watch as they elegantly swim among the marine flora and learn about their natural habitats.

With interactive activities and educational programs, the San Sebastián Aquarium provides a fun and educational way to learn about the oceans and their conservation. Learn about the importance of preserving marine ecosystems and how we can contribute to their protection. Undoubtedly, a visit to the aquarium is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Come and dive into the fascinating underwater world at the San Sebastián Aquarium!

8. Ondarreta Beach

Natural Spaces and Parks

Ondarreta Beach is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in San Sebastián, located next to Monte Igueldo. With its wide stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun in the city.

In addition to its natural beauty, Ondarreta Beach offers a wide range of services and amenities for visitors. You'll find restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can taste the delicious local cuisine.

Don't miss a stroll along the promenade that lines the beach and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Cantabrian Sea. You can also take the opportunity to visit the nearby Miramar Palace, an impressive Neo-Gothic building that offers guided tours.

9. Basilica of Saint Mary of Coro

Historical Monuments and Architecture

The Basilica of Saint Mary of Coro is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in San Sebastián. Located in the Old Town of the city, the basilica is an impressive example of religious architecture.

Built in the 18th century, the basilica features a combination of Gothic and Baroque styles, with an ornate facade and a stunning bell tower. The interior of the basilica is equally impressive, with beautiful stained glass windows and detailed decoration.

Visiting the Basilica of Saint Mary of Coro is a unique experience. Admire its architecture, immerse yourself in its history, and enjoy the tranquility of this sacred place in the heart of San Sebastián.

10. Victoria Eugenia Theatre

Entertainment and Pop Culture

The Victoria Eugenia Theatre is one of the most important tourist attractions in San Sebastián. With its stunning location facing La Concha Bay, the theater has witnessed countless performances and cultural events over the years.

Built in 1912, the theater combines Renaissance-style architectural beauty with modern amenities. Its ornate facade and luxurious interior appeal to both theater lovers and enthusiasts of history and culture.

If you visit San Sebastián, you cannot miss a visit to the Victoria Eugenia Theatre. Admire its elegant design, attend a theatrical performance, or enjoy a concert in this iconic venue.

11. Santa Clara Island

Natural Spaces and Parks

Santa Clara Island, located in the bay of San Sebastián, is one of the main tourist attractions in the city. Known for its stunning views of the Cantabrian Sea and natural beauty, the island is a must-visit destination for visitors.

From the port of San Sebastián, you can take a boat that will take you to Santa Clara Island in just a few minutes. Once there, you can enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for relaxing and sunbathing.

In addition to its beaches, Santa Clara Island also offers trails to explore, where you can walk and enjoy nature. It is the ideal place for hiking lovers and breathtaking landscapes.

12. Peine of the Wind

The Peine of the Wind is an impressive sculpture located on the coast of San Sebastián that has captured the imagination of visitors and locals alike. Designed by renowned sculptor Eduardo Chillida, this incredible work of art combines metal and sea to create a unique experience.

Strolling along the cliffs of San Sebastián, you can't miss this monumental sculpture that enters the sea. It's a perfect fusion of nature and art, with the waves crashing over the steel structures and the wind blowing through the hollow spaces, creating a stunning visual and auditory spectacle.

The Peine of the Wind has become one of the icons of San Sebastián and is a must-visit for art and culture enthusiasts. It's also the perfect setting to watch the sunset, when the golden light illuminates the ocean and creates a magical atmosphere.

13. Maria Cristina Bridge

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Maria Cristina Bridge is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in San Sebastian. This iconic iron bridge, located over the Urumea River, connects the Old Town with the Gros neighborhood.

Built in the 20th century, Maria Cristina Bridge is a true symbol of the city. Its elegant architectural designs and metal structure make it an engineering gem.

Walking across Maria Cristina Bridge offers incredible panoramic views of San Sebastian. From here, you can admire La Concha Bay, Urgull Hill, and Miramar Palace. It's the perfect spot for capturing stunning photos!

14. Gros Beach San Sebastian

Natural Spaces and Parks

Enjoy the coastal paradise of Gros Beach in San Sebastian. Located in the bay of the same name, this charming beach with golden sand and crystal clear waters is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.

The lively atmosphere of Gros Beach makes it a must-visit for surf and water sports enthusiasts. Its consistent waves attract surfers from around the world, creating a vibrant and exciting atmosphere.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore the picturesque neighborhood of Gros, which is located right next to the beach. Here you'll find a variety of bars, restaurants, and shops, where you can enjoy delicious local cuisine and take home a unique souvenir of your visit to San Sebastian.

15. Good Shepherd Cathedral

Historical Monuments and Architecture

The Good Shepherd Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of San Sebastián, is one of the most emblematic places in the city. Located in the heart of the city, this impressive building is a symbol of religious architecture of the time.

Designed by architect Manuel de Echave and built between 1888 and 1897, the cathedral combines Gothic and Neo-Gothic elements in its structure. Its main facade stands out for its imposing rose window and the sculptures of the patron saints of San Sebastián.

Inside the cathedral, you can admire its magnificent stained glass windows, the ornamental details of its high altar, and the serene atmosphere that fills its central nave. In addition, you can enjoy sacred music concerts and other events that take place in the temple throughout the year.

16. Old Town of San Sebastian

Historical Monuments and Architecture

The Old Town of San Sebastian is one of the most authentic and fascinating corners of the city. Located in the historic center, this area is full of narrow streets and charming squares that will transport you to another era.

Known as the Parte Vieja, this medieval neighborhood features impressive monuments, such as the Church of San Vicente and the Town Hall, which stand out for their architectural beauty. Stroll through its cobbled streets and admire the colorful buildings in baroque and Gothic styles.

In addition to its historical richness, the Old Town is famous for its gastronomy. Here you will find a wide variety of bars and restaurants where you can taste pintxos, typical Basque dishes, and delicious desserts.

17. La Perla Spa

Entertainment and Pop Culture$$$

La Perla Spa is a must-visit place in San Sebastián. Located in a beautiful historic building on La Concha Beach, this spa offers a wide range of services and treatments for your well-being.

Immerse yourself in the thermal pools, relax in the saunas and steam baths, or enjoy a rejuvenating massage. La Perla Spa is the perfect place to unwind and recharge.

In addition to its extensive range of services, La Perla Spa also offers spectacular views of the beach and sea, creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Don't miss the opportunity to visit this wellness oasis in San Sebastián.

18. Alde Zaharra

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Alde Zaharra is the historic and cultural heart of San Sebastián. Also known as the old town of the city, this charming neighborhood is a true treasure full of medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and charming squares.

A stroll through Alde Zaharra will transport you to bygone times, with its historical buildings, such as the Church of San Vicente and the City Hall of San Sebastián. These impressive monuments bear witness to the city's rich history and are a must-visit for architecture and culture enthusiasts.

Don't miss the experience of getting lost in the narrow streets of Alde Zaharra, filled with picturesque shops, bars, and restaurants. Here, you can enjoy traditional Basque cuisine, such as the famous pintxos, in the emblematic bars of the old town.

19. Alderdi-Eder Park

Natural Spaces and Parks

Alderdi-Eder Park is an oasis of tranquility located in the heart of San Sebastian. With its panoramic sea views and strategic location next to the old town, it is a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.

This park features spacious green areas, well-maintained gardens, and beautiful sculptures, making it an ideal spot for walking or simply sitting and admiring the views. Additionally, various cultural events and festivals are held in the park throughout the year, making it a meeting point for the local community.

With its picturesque charm and privileged location in the heart of San Sebastian, Alderdi-Eder Park is definitely one of the city's top tourist attractions that you shouldn't miss.