With two days in San Sebastian, branch out beyond the narrow lanes and landmarks in the compact historic center. It’s time enough to taste your way through tapas bars, lounge on sandy beaches, hike the surrounding hills, and visit Basque vineyards in the countryside. Use these planning tips to make the most of a 2-day stay.
Day 1: City Exploring
**Morning:**Discover San Sebastian’s historic center by exploring the key landmarks, from the Buen Pastor Cathedral to the Batería de Santiago. Options include hop-on hop-off tours, walking tours, cycling tours, and more; they’re a great way to discover new places.
**Afternoon:**Whatever the season, head to one of San Sebastian’s lovely beaches for the afternoon, whether you’re bundled up for a stroll, taking a surf lesson, sunbathing, or swimming in the chilly ocean.
**Night:**San Sebastian pintxos—that’s the local term for tapas—are a city institution, with crowds of locals and visitors strolling from bar to bar each evening. Join a tapas tour to discover some of the best places to eat and drink, choosing from specialties that include fresh-caught seafood and plates of Basque sheep cheese.
Day 2: Natural Beauty
**Morning:**Just beyond the city is Monte Ulia, a ridge with beautiful views across San Sebastian and the coast. One of the trail options here is the Way of St. James, a historic pilgrimage route; hike a section on your own or join a guided tour that bundles the hike with round-trip transport and other activities.
**Afternoon:**After an active morning, treat yourself to a wine tasting—Basque country is famed for dry, white wines called txakoli. Guided wine tours can take you straight to the vineyards where txakoli is made, combining a wine tasting with a glimpse of the countryside surrounding San Sebastian.
**Night:**Now that you’ve experienced San Sebastian pintxos, learn to reproduce the small plates in a hands-on cooking class. Whether you’re all about cooking technique or just interested in a fun night of food, wine, and socializing with fellow travelers, choose an experience that’s tailored to you.