Everyone who visits San Sebastian falls in love with the city, and it’s no wonder why!
After all, any place with such delicious food and such beautiful surroundings is sure to be a favorite. If you’re heading to northern Spain and want to make the most of your trip, follow our guide of the top things to see in San Sebastian. We’re sure you’ll leave with a new favorite Spanish city!
1. Emblematic La Concha beach
When you arrive in San Sebastian, you may find yourself naturally gravitating to La Concha—don’t fight it! Follow the crowds and take in San Sebastian’s most typical sight. Enjoy the panoramic view of the coastline from the boardwalk, but make sure to spend some time down on the sand as well. Depending on the weather, you may even want to slip off your shoes and stay awhile!
2. An insight into Basque culture at San Telmo Museoa
If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of the Basque people, then this is one of the things to see in San Sebastian that you have to check out! Architecture buffs will love the combination of modern and historical structures, and everyone is sure to learn something! Displays are only in Spanish and Basque although there are some general descriptions of each area in English. Especially if the weather is gloomy outside, this is a lovely place to pass a couple of hours.
Address: Plaza Zuloaga, 1
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 20:00
Insider’s Tip: We recommend visiting on Tuesdays when admission is free!
3. The inside of a packed pintxos bar
If you leave San Sebastian having learned only one new word, let it be pintxo! These relatives of tapas are delicious in many parts of northern Spain, but nowhere does it quite like San Sebastian. Stroll through the old town and this will become abundantly clear when you see locals and tourists alike spilling into the street from the interior of some overflowing bar. For the best pintxos the city has to offer, join us on our Ultimate Pinxos & Wine Tour. We’ll take you to our favorite can’t-miss stops and show you what to try and how to order it. You’ll come out of the experience a changed person, with new Basque vocabulary and a reverence for San Sebastian’s pintxos scene.
4. The waves crashing over the Comb of the Wind
Standing in front of this metal sculpture and watching the waves soak it is almost therapeutic. The Comb of the Wind is a sculpture by a Basque artist and the show put on by the waves and the statue is one of our favorite things to see in San Sebastian. Not just a treat for the eyes, the statue’s interaction with the water also results in a peculiar sound. If it’s a stormy day, the spectacle of the waves is even greater! Spend some time here and enjoy the sound of the water and the refreshing ocean spray!
Address: Paseo Eduardo Chillida
5. A Basque vineyard with a glass of Txakoli in your hand
Txakoli is a dry, slightly sparkling white wine produced in the Basque Country, as well as in Cantabria and northern Burgos. Once you’ve tried it while looking out over the rows of grape vines, you’ll know why this is on our list of things to see in San Sebastian!
Take a short trip outside the city center to visit a coastal winery with stunning views. Tour the vineyard, taste this delicious wine (and bring a few bottles home!). In just around a half hour, you can be at Rezabal Txakolindegia or Txomin Etxaniz sipping on your new favorite white wine while soaking in the vineyard views.
6. San Sebastian from above
Put on your hiking shoes to visit Mount Urgull or hop into the cable car and head for the top of Mount Igueldo. From these vantage points, you will be treated to stunning views of the ocean and La Concha beach below. Spend some time at the top enjoying the ocean air and exploring. Make sure to take photos to remember this picture-perfect view by!
7. Peaceful Parque de Cristina Enea
For an oasis of calm off the beaten tourist track, head to Cristina Enea Park. This peaceful park is full of trees and is a great green space in the city. Pack a picnic or simply go for a stroll on the many footpaths, and you’ll head back into the center refreshed and ready to tackle more of the top things to see in San Sebastian!
Address: Mandasko Dukearen Pasealekua, 66
Once you’ve seen these seven San Sebastian sights, you’ll be well on your way to getting to know the city! But there’s more you can do if you want to experience the San Sebastian like a local: a pintxos tour! Great food and wine are just the beginning on our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour. With a strong cultural element, you’ll start to understand another side of the city, and you’ll meet the proud families who cook, serve and love Spanish food in the bars they’ve been running for generations.