We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

One Day in San Sebastian

Exclusively commissioned by TripAdvisor

95%
Found this guide helpful

The luxurious coastline of San Sebastian in Northern Spain is the country's premier spot for fine dining. Some of the world's greatest restaurants all reside within the city or its hilly green environs. Come here for the most memorable meals of your life — though you may sustain a potentially hefty hit to your pocketbook.

Good for
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveller

10 Places

3 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

Bridge of Maria Cristina

Bridges

Parte Vieja

Neighbourhoods

La Concha Beach

Beaches

Buen Pastor Cathedral

Churches & Cathedrals

Plaza de la Constitucion

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Monte Urgull

Mountains, Lookouts

Ondarreta Beach

Beach & Pool Clubs, Beaches

Iglesia de San Vicente

Churches & Cathedrals, Sacred & Religious Sites

Parque Aiete

Playgrounds, Parks, Bodies of Water

Arzak

Restaurants

Scott K's City Tips

  • If you're driving, signs will appear in Basque, the native language in this part of Spain, and in Spanish. If you don't have a guide, be sure to bring along a GPS to help navigate.
  • Tourists may populate the sands of the iconic La Concha beach, but you'll still find it is a hub of activity around which most cultural life is lived.
  • San Sebastian is the perfect city to get around by foot. Compact and scenic, you'll find Donostia is best enjoyed when you're traipsing along its beachfront property in trainers, not on tires.
  • Bridge of Maria Cristina
    Bridges
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • For a scenic run you will not soon forget, begin at the La Concha Beach then head southeast toward the Bridge of Maria Cristina.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • nice bridge 15/11/2018
    • Beautiful bridge 27/10/2018
    • Bridge of Maria Cristina
    Address:
    Paseo de Urumea
    San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
  • Parte Vieja
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Unlike in Madrid or southern Spain, you will most likely have to pay for both the drink and the pintxo when you place your order.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Romantico 21/03/2019
    • Essence of the city 13/03/2019
    • Parte Vieja
    Phone:
    +34 943 42 94 43
    Other:
  • La Concha Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • In spring and summer, get to the beach around 10 or 11am to beat both the crowds and the heat.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • MY SAN SEBASTIAN!!! 19/03/2019
    • Beautiful beach and views 13/03/2019
    • La Concha Beach
    Address:
    De la Concha Ibilbidea
    San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
  • Buen Pastor Cathedral
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Buen Pastor Cathedral is open every day between 8am-12.30pm and 5-8pm, Monday through Friday. On the weekends the church is open at various times for mass.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning Exterior Architecture 05/03/2019
    • Beautiful cathedral 18/02/2019
    • Buen Pastor Cathedral
    Address:
    Plaza del Buen Pastor
    San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 943 46 45 16
    Other:
  • Plaza de la Constitucion
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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'.)

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • If you are in San Sebastian around January 20, Plaza de la Constitución is the epicenter of the city's annual street festival celebrating the Feast of Saint Tomás.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The centre of la Parte Vieja in Donostia 13/03/2019
    • Enjoy a beer 27/02/2019
    • Plaza de la Constitucion
    Address:
    Plaza de la Constitucion
    20003 San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
    Other:
  • Monte Urgull
    Mountains, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • For a wonderful, if somewhat arduous, afternoon, take a hike up to the Castillo de la Mota atop the Monte Urgull. Trails can be reached via the Plaza de Zuloaga.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Spectacular views after a climb 18/03/2019
    • Breathtaking views of city. . .. 12/03/2019
    • Monte Urgull
    Address:
    Subida Al Castillo
    San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
    Other:
  • Ondarreta Beach
    Beach & Pool Clubs, Beaches
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • Ondarreta Beach provides visitors with changing rooms, showers, and a cafeteria.
    • After a spell on the beach, take a jaunt over the gardens of the Palacio Miramar, an English-style mansion located to the east of Ondarreta.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful beach 13/03/2019
    • Great beach to take the family 13/01/2019
    • Ondarreta Beach
    Address:
    Avenida de Satrustegui
    San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
  • Iglesia de San Vicente
    Churches & Cathedrals, Sacred & Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The church is open Monday to Friday, 9am-1pm and 5-8pm.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Gold Altarpiece 06/03/2019
    • Worth a short visit - and free 18/02/2019
    • Iglesia de San Vicente
    Address:
    San Juan Kalea 15
    20003 San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 943 43 35 96
    Other:
  • Parque Aiete
    Playgrounds, Parks, Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Like most activities in San Sebastian, visitors can easily walk to Parque Aiete on foot. The park is a 30-minute walk to the south from La Concha.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 72 things to do in San Sebastian - Donostia
    • Park for everyone: runners, families, and singles! 02/11/2018
    • A hidden corner of donosti 17/06/2018
    • Parque Aiete
    Address:
    Paseo Aiete, s/n
    20009 San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 943 48 10 00
    Other:
  • Arzak
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    Scott K Says:

    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.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Luxury Traveller
    Tips
    • Order a "menú de degustación," or tasting menu. This meal will give you a thorough sampling of the best Arzak has to offer — from appetizers all the way to digestifs.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 731 restaurants in San Sebastian - Donostia
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • One of the best meals of my life 14/03/2019
    • Unforgettable dining experience 12/03/2019
    • Arzak
    Address:
    Avenida Alcalde Jose Elosegui, 273
    20015 San Sebastian - Donostia
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 943 27 84 65
    Price range:
    US$160 - US$182
    Hours:
    Tue - Fri
    20:45 - 22:30
    Tue - Sat
    13:15 - 15:15
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo