10 Things to do in San Sebastian Spain – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Nestled along the stunning Basque coastline, San Sebastian, Spain, is a captivating destination that beckons travelers with its unique blend of culture, cuisine, and natural beauty. Renowned for its picturesque beaches, world-class gastronomy, and rich history, San Sebastian offers a myriad of things to do in San Sebastian Spain that cater to every type of traveler. Whether you’re a food enthusiast eager to indulge in pintxos (Basque tapas) at local bars, a nature lover seeking adventure in the surrounding mountains, or a history buff exploring the city’s historic sites, San Sebastian promises an unforgettable experience. Join us as we uncover the top attractions and hidden gems of this enchanting city, and discover why San Sebastian is a must-visit destination for your next travel adventure.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

La Concha Beach:

Essential Information

– Address: La Concha Beach, San Sebastian, Spain
– Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: Half a day
– Ideal for: Families, couples, beach lovers


With its golden sands stretching along the picturesque bay of San Sebastian, La Concha Beach is a must-see destination for visitors to the Basque Country. The beach’s gentle waves make it ideal for swimming and water sports, attracting both locals and tourists alike. The promenade that runs parallel to the beach offers stunning views of the bay and is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing bike ride. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, enjoy a refreshing swim, or simply unwind with a good book, La Concha Beach provides the perfect setting for a day of relaxation by the sea. Don’t miss the chance to experience this iconic Spanish beach during your visit to San Sebastian.

Monte Igueldo:

Essential Information

– Address: Monte Igueldo, 20008 San Sebastian, Spain
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
– Fee: €3 for adults, €1.50 for children
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, couples, and solo travelers


Perched high above the picturesque city of San Sebastian, Monte Igueldo offers visitors a panoramic view that is simply breathtaking. The must-see attraction is a favorite among tourists for its stunning vistas of the Bay of Biscay and the charming city below. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography buff, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Monte Igueldo is the perfect spot to soak in the beauty of the Basque coast.

As you ascend to the summit via the historic funicular railway, you’ll be treated to a journey back in time, with vintage carriages and stunning views along the way. Once at the top, take a leisurely stroll around the observation deck, where you can capture postcard-worthy photos of the coastline and the city’s iconic landmarks. For thrill-seekers, the amusement park at Monte Igueldo offers a nostalgic experience with classic rides that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re looking to unwind in nature, capture stunning views, or enjoy a fun-filled day with loved ones, Monte Igueldo is a must-visit destination that promises a memorable experience for all who venture to its heights.

Monte Urgull:

Essential Information

– Address: Monte Urgull, 20007 San Sebastian, Spain
– Opening Hours: Daily from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and nature lovers


Monte Urgull in San Sebastian, Spain, is a must-see destination for those seeking a blend of history and breathtaking views. This iconic hill offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s past, with remnants of fortifications and cannons dating back centuries. As you ascend the hill, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Bay of Biscay and the charming city below. The leisurely hike to the top is well worth it, providing a unique vantage point to capture memorable photos and soak in the beauty of San Sebastian. Whether you’re a history buff intrigued by the fort’s storied past or a nature enthusiast seeking stunning vistas, Monte Urgull is a captivating site that should not be missed during your visit to this vibrant Spanish city.

Santa Clara Island:

Essential Information

– Address: Santa Clara Island, San Sebastian, Spain
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
– Fee: €6 for adults, €3 for children
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, history enthusiasts


Santa Clara Island in San Sebastian, Spain, is a must-see destination for those seeking a unique blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. The island’s pristine beaches offer a serene escape from the bustling city, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation. Visitors can explore the island’s rich history through its well-preserved structures and artifacts, providing a glimpse into the past of this enchanting place.

With its crystal-clear waters and lush greenery, Santa Clara Island is a paradise for nature lovers looking to unwind in a picturesque setting. Whether you’re sunbathing on the sandy shores or taking a leisurely stroll along the rugged coastline, the island’s charm is sure to captivate your senses. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Santa Clara Island and create unforgettable memories in this idyllic retreat.

San Telmo Museum:

Essential Information

– Address: Plaza Zuloaga, 1, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
– Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
– Fee: €6 for adults, free for children under 18
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and art lovers


San Telmo Museum in San Sebastian, Spain, is a must-see cultural institution that offers a fascinating journey through the history and heritage of the Basque Country. With its diverse collection of exhibits spanning from ancient artifacts to contemporary art pieces, the museum provides visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the region’s rich cultural identity. The interactive displays and multimedia installations make the learning experience engaging and accessible to all ages.

One of the highlights of the San Telmo Museum is its permanent exhibition showcasing the evolution of Basque society, from its origins to the present day. Through a series of thematic sections, visitors can explore the traditions, customs, and innovations that have shaped the Basque culture over the centuries. Additionally, the museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions featuring works by local and international artists, adding a dynamic element to its cultural offerings.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, art lover, or simply curious about the Basque heritage, a visit to the San Telmo Museum promises a rewarding and enlightening experience. Discover the vibrant tapestry of the Basque Country’s past and present at this renowned cultural institution in the heart of San Sebastian.

Miramar Palace:

Essential Information

– Address: Paseo de Miraconcha, 48, 20007 San Sebastian, Spain
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
– Fee: €5 for adults, free for children under 12
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, architecture lovers


Perched on a hill overlooking the stunning Bay of Biscay, Miramar Palace in San Sebastian, Spain, is a must-see attraction for those seeking a glimpse into the city’s regal past. Originally built as a summer residence for the Spanish royal family in the 19th century, the palace boasts a harmonious blend of neoclassical and romantic architectural styles. Visitors can wander through the lush gardens surrounding the palace, offering panoramic views of the sea and the city skyline. The interior of the palace showcases elegant rooms adorned with period furnishings and intricate decor, providing a fascinating insight into the opulent lifestyle of the aristocracy. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply appreciate fine architecture, a visit to Miramar Palace is sure to leave you captivated by its grandeur and historical significance.


Essential Information

– Address: Plaza de Carlos Blasco Imaz, 1, 20003 San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM (Monday-Sunday)
– Fee: Adults €13, Children (4-12) €6.50, Children under 4 free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, marine life enthusiasts


San Sebastian’s Aquarium is a must-see attraction for visitors of all ages. Situated in the heart of the city, this marine wonderland offers a fascinating glimpse into the diverse underwater world. With over 200 species of marine life on display, including sharks, rays, and colorful tropical fish, the Aquarium provides an educational and entertaining experience for both children and adults.

One of the highlights of the Aquarium is the impressive Oceanarium, a massive tank that houses a variety of marine creatures in a simulated natural environment. Visitors can marvel at the graceful movements of the sharks and the vibrant hues of the coral reefs as they explore the depths of the ocean without getting wet.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a science enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun and educational outing, the Aquarium in San Sebastian is sure to captivate and inspire. Don’t miss the chance to discover the beauty and diversity of the underwater world right in the heart of this charming coastal city.

Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium:

Essential Information

– Address: Av. de Zurriola, 1, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
– Opening Hours: Varies depending on events, check website for schedule
– Fee: Admission fee may apply for certain events
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Business conferences, cultural events, music concerts


The Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium in San Sebastian, Spain, stands as a modern architectural gem along the picturesque coastline of the Basque Country. This state-of-the-art complex is not only a hub for business conferences and events but also a cultural hotspot that attracts visitors from around the world. With its sleek design and cutting-edge facilities, the Kursaal offers a dynamic space where innovation and creativity converge.

Whether you’re attending a thought-provoking conference, enjoying a world-class music concert, or immersing yourself in a captivating theatrical performance, the Kursaal promises a memorable experience. The auditorium’s acoustics are renowned for their exceptional quality, ensuring that every note and word resonates with clarity and precision. Additionally, the congress centre’s versatile spaces cater to a wide range of events, making it a go-to destination for both professionals and art enthusiasts alike.

In conclusion, the Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium is a must-see destination in San Sebastian for anyone seeking a blend of sophistication, culture, and entertainment. Plan your visit to this iconic venue and discover why it continues to be a beacon of excellence in the heart of the Basque Country.

Buen Pastor Cathedral:

Essential Information

– Address: Plaza del Buen Pastor, 20005 San Sebastian, Spain
– Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, architecture lovers, religious travelers


Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastian, Spain, stands as a remarkable architectural gem that beckons visitors to explore its rich history and intricate design. The cathedral, with its neo-Gothic style, showcases stunning stained glass windows that flood the interior with a kaleidoscope of colors. As you wander through the cathedral, you’ll be captivated by the intricate details of the sculptures and the grandeur of the high vaulted ceilings.

A visit to Buen Pastor Cathedral offers a glimpse into the religious and cultural heritage of San Sebastian. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or a religious traveler, this cathedral provides a serene space for reflection and appreciation. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the beauty and grandeur of Buen Pastor Cathedral during your visit to San Sebastian.

Tabakalera Cultural Center:

Essential Information

– Address: Mandasko Dukearen Pasealekua, 52, 20012 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
– Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Art and culture enthusiasts


The Tabakalera Cultural Center in San Sebastian, Spain, stands out as a must-see destination for art and culture enthusiasts visiting the Basque Country. This former tobacco factory turned contemporary cultural hub offers a dynamic space where creativity and innovation converge. With its diverse range of exhibitions, workshops, and events, Tabakalera provides a platform for local and international artists to showcase their work and engage with visitors.

Upon entering Tabakalera, visitors are greeted by a vibrant atmosphere buzzing with artistic energy. The center’s modern architecture seamlessly blends with its industrial past, creating a unique backdrop for the cutting-edge exhibitions housed within its walls. From contemporary art installations to thought-provoking performances, there is something to captivate every visitor’s imagination.

Whether you’re exploring the latest exhibition in the gallery spaces, attending a film screening at the cinema, or participating in a creative workshop, Tabakalera offers a rich cultural experience that is both engaging and inspiring. With its commitment to fostering creativity and cultural exchange, this cultural center truly embodies the vibrant spirit of San Sebastian’s artistic community.

Food and Cuisine


Why is it so special:

Pintxos are small, flavorful snacks typically served on a slice of bread and held together with a toothpick. What makes pintxos special is the wide variety of toppings and combinations available, showcasing the creativity and culinary expertise of the chefs. From traditional options like jamón ibérico and anchovies to more modern interpretations with foie gras and mango, pintxos offer a delightful explosion of flavors in every bite.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic pintxos experience, head to the Old Town area of San Sebastian where you can hop from bar to bar trying different pintxos along with a glass of local Txakoli wine. Some recommended spots include Bar Zeruko for their innovative pintxos creations and Bar Nestor for their legendary tortilla de patatas pintxo.

Bacalao al Pil Pil

Why is it so special:

Bacalao al Pil Pil is a traditional Basque dish featuring salted cod cooked in olive oil with garlic and chili peppers until a creamy emulsion is formed. The dish is known for its rich and silky texture, with the flavors of the cod perfectly complemented by the garlic-infused oil. Bacalao al Pil Pil is a true taste of Basque culinary heritage, showcasing the region’s love for seafood and simple yet delicious preparations.

Where to Try It:

To savor a delicious plate of Bacalao al Pil Pil, visit Restaurant Arzak, a renowned Michelin-starred establishment in San Sebastian known for their innovative take on traditional Basque cuisine. For a more casual setting, try Bar Txepetxa, a local favorite famous for their anchovy pintxos as well as their excellent Bacalao al Pil Pil.

Events and Festivals

San Sebastian International Film Festival

The San Sebastian International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, showcasing a wide range of international and Spanish films. Held annually in September, the festival attracts film enthusiasts, industry professionals, and celebrities from around the globe. Visitors can enjoy film screenings, red carpet events, and opportunities to interact with filmmakers and actors.

San Sebastian Jazz Festival

The San Sebastian Jazz Festival is a renowned music event that takes place in July, featuring performances by top jazz artists from Spain and beyond. Held in various venues across the city, the festival offers a vibrant atmosphere for music lovers to enjoy live concerts, jam sessions, and workshops. With a mix of traditional and contemporary jazz styles, the festival appeals to a diverse audience.

Aste Nagusia (Semana Grande)

Aste Nagusia, also known as Semana Grande, is a week-long festival celebrated in August, filled with cultural events, concerts, fireworks, and traditional Basque activities. Visitors can experience the lively atmosphere of the festival by attending street performances, tasting local cuisine at food stalls, and participating in sports competitions. Aste Nagusia is a great opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant culture of San Sebastian.

Interesting Facts

– San Sebastian has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per square meter in the world, making it a paradise for food lovers.
– The city’s iconic La Concha beach is considered one of the best urban beaches in Europe, with its picturesque crescent shape and crystal-clear waters.
– San Sebastian hosts the renowned San Sebastian International Film Festival, one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world, attracting top filmmakers and celebrities annually.

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