San Sebastian RECOMMENDATIONS See all

3 Days in San Sebastian: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, December 2014

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San Sebastian is a destination of indulgences—with its world-class food, divine beaches perfect for lazing and stunning architecture, this seaside town will leave you feeling relaxed and taken care of after just three days.

Day 1: At the Beach
As the Basque region’s number-one seaside resort, San Sebastian is the proud owner of three pristine sandy beaches stretching around the Bay de la Concha. They fill up quickly with families clustered around the distinctive toldos de sol, blue-and-white striped beach tents that can be hired along the beach.

The sea is calm and clean, warm enough for swimming in the summer months and safe for swimming as it is sheltered by the two headlands Monte Igueldo and Monte Urgull that mark either end of the Bay de la Concha. There are lunchtime options aplenty among the beach bars and restaurants that back the beaches, and canoes to hire so you can paddle out to the tiny rocky islet of Santa Clara in the middle of the bay.

By night it’s a joy to wander around the Old Town (Parte Vieja), where locals and tourists alike can bar hop to graze on the local Basque specialty pintxos (bite-size tapas piled on bread and skewered with a cocktail stick) while sampling local ciders or txakoli wines produced in the Basque countryside. 

Day 2: Get to Grips with San Sebastian
Take time out from the beach to explore the charismatic city of San Sebastian; start off by getting your bearings on a hop-on, hop-off tour of all the sights. Cherry-pick a couple of places to see in the late afternoon and escape the fierce midday heat among the bars and coffee shops of the historic Parte Vieja. 

If you’re traveling en famille, head for the fishy delights of the Aquarium San Sebastian; if you’re feeling active, hike up Monte Urgull to the mirador looking out across the Bay of Biscay; or if you’re in need of culture, catch a show at the contemporary, cube-shaped waterfront Kursaal Palace on Avenida de Zurriola.

Day 3: Head for Hondarribia
At 12.5 miles (20 km) east of San Sebastian where the River Bidasoa meets the Bay of Biscay, Hondarribia is one of the Basque country’s most appealing small towns. Take a day trip to explore its pleasant jumble of fishermen’s cottages with brightly painted wooden balconies, ancient fortified walls, and the medieval townhouses in the labyrinthine Old Town (Parte Vieja).

Bring a picnic, wander around the enticing backstreets, take a swim on the little slab of beach or visit the austere castle built by King Charles V on Plaza de Armas. It’s now a parador (government-owned hotel) so it’s just the place to stop for coffee in late afternoon.

As the sun goes down, look forward to a treat of local tapas in one of the gourmet town’s many pintxos bars; choose from cod, prawn, pork, or garlicky pepper for the toppings for your bite-sized kebabs or settle in a restaurant to enjoy a feast of paella, a dish made of rice, chicken and seafood flavored with saffron.

Tours & Tickets

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San Sebastián Food Tour: Pintxos and Wine

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Visit three of San Sebastián’s award-winning 'pintxos' bars on an evening food tour, led by a food-loving local guide. A Basque Country speciality, ...  Read more

Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $62.22

Half-Day Way of St James Walking Tour from San Sebastián

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Leave San Sebastián and explore the Way of St James (Camino de Santiago), a medieval Christian pilgrimage route that overlooks the breathtaking Basque ...  Read more

Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $62.22

San Sebastián Gastronomic Society Cooking Class: Pintxos and Basque Cuisine

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Become a master of Basque cuisine with a 5.5-hour, small-group cooking class and market visit in San Sebastián. Renowned for its culinary delights, San ...  Read more

Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $180.44

San Sebastian and Biarritz

4.5 star rating: Recommended 34 Reviews

Admire the beauty of San Sebastian on a walking tour of the Old Quarter, before enjoying the food at the typical fishing village of Hondarribia. Delight ...  Read more

Location: Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $105.78

The Sanctuary of Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian

4.5 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

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.)

From USD $105.78

San Sebastian Tour from Puerto Vallarta

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Nestled in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, San Sebastian's remote location and historic appeal have made it one of Mexico's last great getaways. As ...  Read more

Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $91.99

San Sebastian Hop-on Hop-off Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 12 Reviews

Look at San Sebastian from a different point of view. Hop on a double-decker bus and discover the highlights of the city.King Sancho el Mayor of Navarra is ...  Read more

Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $16.49

San Sebastián Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

There is no better way to see San Sebastián than on a double-decker, hop-on hop-off bus! See top San Sebastián attractions on this comprehensive ...  Read more

Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $14.93

3-Day San Sebastián City Break

Experience the delights of coastal Basque Country on a 2-night stay in San Sebastián. Admire the top attractions of this northern Spanish waterside ...  Read more

Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $343.78

8-Day Northern Spain Tour: Barcelona, Pamplona, Logrono, San Sebastián and Madrid

Experience the best of Northern Spain on this 8-day tour from Barcelona to Pamplona, Logrono, San Sebastián and Madrid. Soak up the cosmopolitan vibe of ...  Read more

Location: Madrid, Spain
Duration: 8 days

From USD $1,910.00

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