Where to Stay in San Sebastian: Our Local Neighborhood Guide

In a new city, choosing the right area to stay in can make or break your visit. Our neighborhood guide on where to stay in San Sebastian will help you find the perfect place for you.

The stress of organizing where to stay is definitely our least favorite part of planning a vacation. With such a variety of neighborhoods available, each one with its unique feel and atmosphere, it can be very difficult to choose. From beachside areas to local hideaways, San Sebastian has the perfect neighborhood for every taste. Check out our neighborhood guide on where to stay in San Sebastian and make sure you find your ideal barrio.

When visiting a new city, organizing accommodation is always a stress. Find the best neighborhood for you with our guide on where to stay in San Sebastian

Parte Vieja

Parte Vieja, or ‘Old Town,’ is the historic center of San Sebastian. This neighborhood is the perfect place to make the most of the cultural and historical offerings in the city. It’s home to natural monuments like Monte Urgull, the fascinating San Telmo Museum and the La Brexta Market, one of our favorite markets in the city. With so much to see and do, Parte Vieja is a hub of activity day and night.

While there is beautiful architecture around every corner, many of the buildings are very old and haven’t been renovated in a long time. This means it can be noisy inside your accommodation—something to keep in mind before booking. But if you’re researching where to stay in San Sebastian and can handle the hustle and bustle, Parte Vieja is the area for you.

Want to learn more about the Old Town? Our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour explores the area in detail, with plenty of food and drink to enjoy along the way!

Gros

The surfing neighborhood of Gros is the ideal area for young couples and adventure travelers. Centered around the stunning Zurriola Beach, Gros is a surfer’s paradise. It’s also a great area to explore the Basque landscape by bicycle. However, it’s not just a neighborhood for daytime activities. You can also find great places to enjoy an evening drink in Gros. With a vibrant, inviting atmosphere, and all the city’s major monuments within walking distance, it’s a great place to stay.

Insider’s tip: If you like the personalized touch of a boutique hotel, Gros is home to some of the best in the city!

La Concha

Are you looking for the ultimate disconnect vacation? Dreaming of walks along the beach, delicious food and drinks with a view? La Concha is the neighborhood for you! The iconic La Concha beach is the star attraction in San Sebastian and an absolute must-see in the city. There’s nothing quite like a morning stroll along the boardwalk, taking in the crisp sea air before doing a traditional pintxos bar hop through the area.

Local recommendation: If you don’t manage to find a room with a view of La Concha, get comfortable in La Perla Spa and Restaurant and enjoy the view from their terrace drink in hand.

When researching where to stay in San Sebastian, make sure and consider the La Concha neighborhood, right beside the stunning La Concha Bay
The stunning La Concha Beach is one of the highlights of any visit to San Sebastian

Centro

If you can’t decide where to stay in San Sebastian because you just want a little bit of everything, go central! The Centro neighborhood is perfectly located with La Concha, Gros, and Parte Vieja all within walking distance. And what’s more, you will be staying right by Avenida de Libertad, the perfect place to do some shopping. This vast designer shopping street is home to all your favorite Spanish brands—just make sure to leave space in your suitcase!

Expert insight: While there is some nightlife in this neighborhood, it is not as busy other parts of the city. That means you get to return to some peace and quiet after an evening pintxo adventure.

Antiguo

Antiguo (meaning ‘old’ in Spanish) gets its name as it is home to one of the oldest buildings in San Sebastian, surprisingly though, this neighborhood overall is actually one of the newer parts of the city! Home to the university, there’s a young and fresh vibe to the area. With a stunning coastal walk to the city center, Antiguo is also one of the most beautiful parts of San Sebastian. Make sure and take the funicular to catch some spectacular views of La Concha and the sea off to the west of the bay. Also, don’t miss out on the stunning Miramar Palace. The building and its adjoining park are amazing.

Insider’s tip: Traveling with kids? The Ondarreta Beach in Antiguo has a weaker current, meaning it’s safer for young kids. You also have a theme park in the summer for all the family to enjoy.

When looking for where to stay in San Sebastian, don't forget about the Antiguo area, the multi-colourder avant garde Miramar Palace is found in the area
The Miramar Palace in Antiguo is a must-see if you’re staying in the area—so unique and beautiful! Photo Credit: Urko Dorronsoro

Amara

Amara is where the real Donostiarras live! Its unique atmosphere makes it a great place to stay for those travelers who want a true insight into San Sebastian life. Located about a 15-minute walk from the center, Amara is also well connected to the center by public transport. If your search for where to stay in San Sebastian is focused on an authentic, local experience, Amara is the perfect place for you.

Local recommendation: If you’re visiting San Sebastian for a football match, Amara is conveniently located near the football stadium.

Want to learn more about what makes San Sebastian such a hub of top quality gastronomy? Join us on our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour to explore the old town of the city, eating delicious food and trying local drinks along the way.

After studying in Andalusia, Jaimie made sure he was on the first possible flight back to Seville—the day after graduation! Many years later, he is fully immersed in Spain’s culinary world and has shown thousands of guests the secrets of sherry and tapas.

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