About Scott K
Lives in Madrid, Spain
Since Apr 2015
Churches & Cathedrals
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Beach & Pool Clubs, Beaches
Churches & Cathedrals, Sacred & Religious Sites
Playgrounds, Parks, Bodies of Water
Bustling with cars, pedestrians, and bike riders, the Maria Cristina Bridge is a transportation hub for San Sebastian. This is the perfect place to go to for either a run or leisurely walk through the city. It leads almost directly into San Sebastian's central train station and, heading west, connects directly into the heart of the city's most celebrated areas.
If you go to San Sebastian, there is very good chance you will end up at the Parte Vieja, or Old Town. A clump of plazas and narrow boulevards situated to the east of La Concha Bay, Parte Vieja holds a wealth of dining and late night options. Many bars in the neighborhood serve remarkable, if rather pricey, pintxos, or large tapas.
La Concha Beach has long been held as one of the treasures of Spain. By day, the beach is populated with sunbathers. By night, as the tide rolls in, tourists can enjoy a late-night stroll along the wide paseo that stretches along the perimeter of the beach head. This sandy shore is located near San Sebastian's Parte Vieja, making it a premier tourist attraction and a must-see for any first-time visitor to Donostia.
Located to the east of La Concha Beach, Buen Pastor Cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of San Sebastian. The 19th-century neo-Gothic cathedral is a centerpiece of historical religious architecture in the Basque Country. For tourists, it is worth a quick visit for a peek inside.
The Plaza de la Constitucion is the showpiece square of San Sebastian's Parte Vieja. This sprawling plaza was constructed in 1817 after a devastating fire four years earlier. Today, it is still used as stage for civic functions and remains a central meeting place for locals (who call it 'La Consti'.)
Monte Urgull is a vertiginous mountain that overlooks the Parte Vieja of San Sebastian as well as La Concha Beach. Monte Urgull is now the site of the Castillo de la Mota, a former mountaintop fortress that houses three brilliant chapels. The castle also has some of the best and most iconic views in all of Spain.
Lying just to the west of La Concha Beach, the small Ondarreta Beach is younger and sportier than its neighbor. Ondarreta is known as the place for beachgoers to go for a game of beach volleyball, football, or if the weather is right, surfing or bodyboarding.
The oldest religious temple in San Sebastian and a marvel of Gothic architecture, the Iglesia de San Vicente is a perfect place to see while strolling through the Parte Vieja. Built in the 16th-century, the church features an ornate altarpiece that depicts scenes from the Passion. Particularly during a walking tour of the city as a whole, the church is a special sight to see.
For a brief escape from the beachside urban chaos that is San Sebastian, head to the Parque Aiete. A vast park to the south of La Concha Beach, the park and the palace on its grounds used to play host to such illustrious historical figures as Queen Victoria of England and Queen Maria Cristina of Spain. A trip here rewards the visitor with a walk through romantic gardens and ornate homesteads — a perfect depiction of the splendor of the sophistication of San Sebastian.
A legend in the worldwide foodie community, Arzak is a as much culinary experience as it is a place to have dinner. But this is not cheap eating. Diners should come expecting to pay hundreds of euros, however, you can expect a meal that will astound, confound, and resound, long after you have left Arzak's elegant confines. Make reservations well in advance of your trip, as tables can be justifiably hard to come by.