San Sebastián is the capital of Basque luxury par excellence. An historic holiday destination for the wealthy and the aristocracy, it has succeeded in maintaining and nurturing its status over the centuries and taken it
to another level: a perfect balance between culture, lifestyle and hospitality. The past, present and future go hand in hand here and make our city somewhere that is unique.
There are some places that visitors shouldn´t miss. Maybe not all of them are included here, but all of these are worthwhile:
La Concha, one of Spain’s most famous and instantly recognisable beaches, which is fascinating at any time of the year.
Monte Urgull, located on one of the estuaries in the bay of La Concha, with one of the most spectacular views in all San Sebastian. It houses the Castle of La Mota and its museum, the old cannon batteries that protected the city, and the well-known English Cemetery.
El Peine de Los Vientos (The Comb of the Wind), a sculpture by Eduardo Chillida, which is even more spectacular when the sea is rough.
The Plaza de la Constitución, a square laid out in a neoclassical style and the meeting point for the city’s popular gastronomy. An interesting fact: the balconies are numbered, as they were used as boxes during the bullfighting festivals that used to hold there.
The catedral del Buen Pastor (The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd), built in a neo-Gothic style in the late nineteenth century, has a spectacular organ. If you get the chance, don’t miss the opportunity to go and listen to a concert there.
The port, originally built during the second half of the fifteenth century, is the place where the city’s entire seafaring tradition comes together: fishing, trade, restaurants and sports.
The Miramar Palace (or Royal Palace), built in an English style, was the residence of the Spanish royal family in the early twentieth century. It is worth a visit and a stroll through its gardens.
The Victoria Eugenia Theatre, located in the heart of the city and recently refurbished, has been part of San Sebastián’s cultural soul since its inauguration in 1912. It currently has an extensive programme of theatre, dance, music and cinema events.
El Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium, the nerve centre of events in the city and the venue for the San Sebastian International Film Festival. A stunning feature at the end of the river, it is lit up like a lighthouse at night.
If this isn’t your first visit, you’ll be asking yourself another question: which one should I go back to?
High level GASTRONOMY
The city’s restaurants have 18 Michelin stars, which are just a taster of the expertise of San Sebastian’s gastronomy. These are just a sample, because in addition to the winners, there are hundreds of places – many of them proudly hidden from the eyes of outsiders – that make eating in San Sebastian a sublime experience. It will be a pleasure to advise you at our reception.
One of the most popular specialities, which each house prepares in its own way, are the internationally known “pintxos”, small works of gastronomic handicraft. Baked “txangurro” spider crab, hake cheeks in green sauce, Donostiarra-style hake and the increasingly rare Aguinaga eels are some of our most typical dishes.
Just bear two things in mind: eat seasonal dishes and be guided by your waiter. They are very unlikely to make a mistake.
and the surrounding area
Gipuzkoa is a wonderful region to discover. If you’re travelling by car or have the opportunity to rent one, don’t just stay in San Sebastian. These are some places to visit less than an hour away.
For lovers of nature
The Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park in the Goierri region is a hiker’s paradise at any time of the year. These highlands contain meadows with flocks of latxa sheep, mountains and small towns with a medieval atmosphere. Perhaps the most spectacular point of this area is the Peña Aia massif.
On the opposite side, in the Urola Kosta region, is the Basque Coast Geoparkea (Geopark). This 13-kilometre stretch of spectacular cliffs with Flysch rock formations shows us more than 60 million years of Earth’s history. A worthwhile visit by land or by sea, which can be complemented by visiting the charming town of Zumaia.
San Sebastian is surrounded by beautiful towns that are well worth visiting. Pasaia, the nearest charming town (just 15 minutes away), has picturesque colourful houses that stand at the bottom of a natural harbour. Hondarribia has the well-deserved fame of being the most beautiful town in the province, as well as offering its own and visitors delicious “pintxos”. Getaria, just 30 minutes from the city, is known for its excellent txakoli wineries. Going north, across the border, Biarritz, a former summer resort for European royalty that has not lost an iota of its glamour. Lastly, we couldn’t forget to recommend a crash course in the depths of Basque art: Hernani, which is home to the Chillida Leku museum It is a pleasure to wander through its gardens.
Do you need an exclusive visit or excursion? Be sure to ask at reception.