Wrapped around three glorious beaches - the perfect bays of La Concha and Ondarreta, as well as less visited Playa la Zurriola across the Urumea River - San Sebastián is already a privileged local. Add exquisite Isla Santa Clara, with its own pretty coves at low tide (swim across, or take a small boat), and epic mountains all around, and you have the finest setting for a city imaginable.
San Sebastián lives up to its surroundings with absolute pleasure. The colorful nightlife districts, lining the sea, attract the majority of revelers with fine wine and the Basque Country's best cuisine. Architecture and history buffs will enjoy the Old City, with neighborhoods dating to the Renaissance, and newer but no less lovely churches and municipal buildings.
The atmosphere is festive, the setting absolutely stunning, and the scene a mix of the modern and traditional. This is definitely the Basques' top spot for a classic beach vacation.
San Sebastián is a major destination for Western Europeans looking to enjoy a beautiful beach holiday involving pinxtos (Basque-style tapas), and kalimotxo, a cocktail involving red wine and Coca Cola.
Tiny Aeropuerto San Sebastián (Fuenterrabía; EAS), about 20km (13mi) east of the city proper, lies right on the French border. Three train companies offer service to Paris, Madrid, Bilbao, and elsewhere. A useful network of buses and roads connects San Sebastián to the rest of Spain, France, and the Basque Country.
If you're crossing borders, be sure to specify that you are headed to San Sebastián, Spain (or Donostia-San Sebastián; Donostia is the city's Euskara name), as there is also a San Sebastián, France.
Tours & Tickets
Follow the highway towards the east, into the province of Gipuzkoa. On the way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, you will be able to admire the areas of inner Basque ... Read more
Location: Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)
Combine the sights of San Sebastián with visits to three of the city’s beloved ‘pintxos’ (Basque tapas) bars on a 2.5-hour, leisurely paced walking tour. ... Read more
Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)