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San Sebastian


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Move over Barcelona, this is Spain's true foodie heaven

San Sebastián is rightfully known as one of the most beautiful cities in northern Spain. It flourished in the early 20th century as a holiday resort for aristocrats and to this day attracts visitors to its famed beaches. The city boasts 3 urban beaches; La concha is the biggest and the belle epoque handrails and lampposts that surround it have become a symbol of the city. But San Sebastian is not only known for its amazing beaches…


San Sebastian is also a haven for foodies. A landmark for gastronomy, San Sebastian has more Michelin Star restaurants per capita than anywhere else in Europe! But it’s not all about white tablecloths and silver service. The bars in the quaint Old Town have the most delicious pintxos – the local take on tapas – which you must try while in San Sebastian. San Sebastian’s best-kept secret might be its cider houses. The cavernous sidrerias are where the locals can be found of an evening. In addition to spectacular beaches and food, if you are a movie lover, keep in mind that the most important and glamorous International Film Festival in Spain takes place here every September.

Popular Tour Itineraries Featuring San Sebastian

Spend some time in San Sebastian on a tour that takes in other cities in Spain and neighboring countries. Our vacation packages including San Sebastian and other destinations throughout Spain and Europe hassle-free. We take care of getting you from place to place, accommodation, excursions and activities.

Where to stay in San Sebastian

In recent years the range of accommodation options in San Sebastian has increased significantly, giving visitors a nice variety of hotels to choose from. Now we are able to offer anything from a lovely, centrally located three-star hotel, to a luxurious five-star property. In fact, San Sebastian is home to one of the most charming hotels in Spain: the famous five-star Maria Cristina Hotel, designed by the same architect of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. San Sebastian is a small and very walkable city, so you can be sure that all of the hotels we offer are walking distance from the main highlights you will want to see. Once we start preparing your customized itinerary we will present our recommended options for you to select from.
Historic luxury hotel
San Sebastian's grandest hotel, with over a century of elegance and VIP guests.
Historic beachfront hotel
Beachfront luxury hotel with a glorious past.
Historic boutique hotel
Charming villa with classic luxury feel.

Things to do in San Sebastian

Enjoying the amazing gastronomy this city offers is probably the number one activity for most visitors. However, besides the wide range of restaurants and bars, the city also has a very interesting cultural offer. Inaugurated in 2015, the Tabakalera is a remodeled tobacco factory that has been converted into an international center for contemporary culture. Be sure to stop by and enjoy one of the many exhibitions. Art lovers will also appreciate taking a walk along the bay to see Chillida’s Comb of the Winds sculptures. Another fun option is a boat excursion to enjoy seeing the city from the water and also get a chance to visit Santa Clara island. San Sebastian’s proximity to the Rioja wine region is certainly something to be taken advantage of with a day trip, and trendy Bilbao, just along the Biscay coast is another worthwhile diversion. When we send you your customized itinerary you will be able to choose additional excursions to include in your vacation package or consider adding later.
La Rioja Wine Region Private Tour
Bilbao and Biscay Coast Private Tour
San Sebastian Walking and Pintxos Private Tour

Frequently Asked Questions about travel to San Sebastian

How many days should I spend in San Sebastian?
A culinary and surfers' heaven, San Sebastian and the Basque Country is a place to settle for three full days. Take a tour or discover sights for yourself, conquer the waves or the neighboring lookout points, travel to the French section of the Basque Country, to Biarritz for even more famous food. Immerse yourself in the daily life of locals at the markets and become part of this unique local culture in San Sebastian for three memorable days.
Do they speak Spanish in San Sebastian and the Basque Country?
Spanish is spoken in San Sebastian, but in addition to Spanish, Basque is also an official language in the Basque Country. Don’t be surprised if you see signs in both languages. The origin of Basque or Euskara is uncertain, but most experts agree that it is not related to any other language in the world. 
How much should I expect to spend person per day?
You can expect to spend 35-40 EUR/person/day (40-45 USD) for food, beverages, transportation, and random leisure needs (spontaneous visit to a museum). If you plan to attend excursions, the average cost may rise to 100-120 EUR/person/day (110-130 USD). Day trips usually include transportation, some food, and drink.
What are some cultural highlights of San Sebastian?
San Sebastian hides treasures for culture-seekers. The San Telmo Museum, partly in a 16th-century Dominican monastery with a recently reconstructed modern section, is a stunning combination of ancient and contemporary, symbolizing the history, tradition, and presence of Basque people in the northern tip of Spain. Okendo is not a single institute. It is a network of cultural spaces that aim to transmit artistic impressions on a local level.
Any souvenir shopping tips for San Sebastian?
There might be endless reasons why you will feel San Sebastian/Donostia so special. Is it the people? Is it the city? Is it the design and style? Maybe all of these, but undoubtedly there is a unique flair that distinguishes Donostia from the other cities in Spain. Go for a stroll combined with window shopping, and you will understand that small local shops dominate over international brands.
How do I get around San Sebastian?
San Sebastian is well connected by the local public bus service, D-Bus, which can easily get you to the main points of interest in the city. A one-way fare is EUR 1.70 and buses run roughly from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm. After that, there are a limited number of night buses that continue until about 4 am.
What are the options in San Sebastian for people with dietary restrictions and intolerances?
The Mediterranean diet is on the menu all around the country! Spanish cuisine uses a lot of rice and chickpeas that make the life of a gluten-intolerant easy-peasy. Milk is not a popular ingredient either, which is good news for lactose intolerants. Should you have any specific restrictions, feel free to turn to the waiter, who will helpfully assist you with the right choice of meal.
Where's best, easiest and safest to get some local currency in San Sebastian?
ATMs are safe to withdraw cash in Spain, but be sure to decline the offered conversion – your bank's rate is always better. You can use your credit card in most restaurants, cafés, and bars. For some hidden or street-based souvenir shops, you might need cash, but it is very seldom. In case using your credit card, please always require payment in the local currency, which is EUR in Spain.
Is San Sebastian safe?
San Sebastian, a small city that stretches lazily in the safety of the Bay of Biscay on the northern tip of Spain, is a surfers' paradise. It attracts many active tourists and fans of water sports, but it does not have any negative impact on its safety. There is a low crime rate in town, but you should be precautious, as at any other place popular with fellow travelers.
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