Anyone who’s been to San Sebastian knows that it’s a city rich in culture and history.
In fact, it was named the 2016 European Capital of Culture! Nowhere is the incredible culture of San Sebastian more clear than in its rich variety of museums. From fashion to science to the city’s famous cider, there’s a museum for just about everything! You’re sure to find one that interests you no matter what your tastes are. Here are some of the most fascinating museums in San Sebastian for a culture-packed trip!
1. Casa de la Historia
Discover how San Sebastian’s story began! Located in an ancient castle that overlooks the city, Casa de la Historia is where history comes alive. Step more than 800 years back into the past and see how the people of San Sebastian made the city into what it is today. If you’re looking to discover one of the best museums in San Sebastian, this should be your first stop!
Address: Subida al Castillo Kalea, s/n
2&3. Museo Naval & Aquarium
It’s impossible to talk about San Sebastian’s past without mentioning its rich maritime history. The Museo Naval, or Shipping Museum in English (Calle Del Muelle Ibilbidea, 24), pays incredible tribute to this quintessential piece of local culture. This small but fascinating museum shows visitors how the sea has influenced the daily lives of people in this region for thousands of years.
When you’ve got a solid foundation of knowledge, head to the nearby Aquarium (Plaza de Carlos Blasco Imaz, 1) to check out some of the modern wonders under the sea! Although not part of the Museo Naval, combining both into one trip makes for a fascinating visit. This massive, recently renovated complex is sure to delight kids and adults alike. It’s one of Europe’s most modern aquariums and one of the most unique museums in San Sebastian!
4. Eureka! Zientzia Museoa
Get hands on with science! The Eureka! Zientzia Museoa is easily one of the most fun museums in San Sebastian for all ages. The permanent exhibition features 169 different sights, but if that’s not enough, you can also visit the Animalia area to learn about animals and the ecosystems where they live. And if you want to head to infinity and beyond, the planetarium is out of this world!
Address: Mikeletegi Pasealekua, 43
5. Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa
Everyone has seen Balenciaga’s designs on the red carpet, but did you know the iconic fashion designer was from just outside of San Sebastian? The Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa is a living tribute to the late designer located in his hometown, Guetaria, just a quick bus or train trip away from San Sebastian. The museum features exhibitions displaying some of Balenciaga’s most incredible creations as well as information about the man behind the designs. This is a must for any fashion fan!
Address: Aldamar Parkea Parkea, 6, Guetaria
Don’t let the hard-to-pronounce name deter you from visiting one of the most delicious museums in San Sebastian! Just 15 minutes outside of the city, in the picturesque town of Astigarraga, Basque cider comes to life at the Sagardoetxea. Learn all about the history of this delicious drink and even try making some yourself at hands-on workshops for a museum experience unlike any other!
Address: Kale Nagusia, 48, Astigarraga
7. Museo de la Real Sociedad
If you’re a soccer fan, this is undobutedly the museum for you. The Museo de la Real Sociedad is an homage to San Sebastian’s soccer team. One of the newer museums in San Sebastian, it opened on the team’s 100th birthday on September 7, 2009. The museum represents the club’s stunning history from that date up until today in a unique and captivating way.
Address: Calle Anoeta Pasalekua, 1
After a long day of exploring museums, it’s time to eat! There’s no better way to enjoy the incredible cuisine of San Sebastian than by taking a food tour. Not only will you discover locals’ favorite hidden pintxos bars, but you’ll learn all about this incredible city and its fascinating history. We hope you’re hungry!
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.