San Sebastián is that special city in the North of Spain by the Cantabric Sea. This city his city can boast of having three names, whether you call it San Sebastián, Donosti, or Donistia, the thing is that it will amaze you but its beauty and its natural surroundings. This city is a must if you are visiting the Basque Country. The city is a true gem and offers quite a few attractions and not only for its famous pintxos that you must try in any bar of the Old Town (Parte Vieja). If you are looking for ideas of things to see and do in San Sebastián while you visit the city, we are going to show you three things to do in San Sebastián which are the equivalent of what you can do in one day in the city.
- Walk around Playa de la Concha, one of the most beautiful urban beaches.
The most beautiful urban beach in Spain and Europe will welcome you with open arms at any time of the year. If you go in summer, get ready to take a quite cool dip in the Cantabrian Sea. Even though the waters are famous for being cold, sometimes when is very hot the water can be perfect for a swimming. Although is not as warm as the Mediterranean Sea, it has its charm, and it is quite refreshing as well in summertime. This part of Spain is characterized by having an Atlantic climate, which means that winters are cold and quite rainy, and summers are warm with mild temperatures. Ho
Another interesting plan in summertime is to take a boat to Isla de Santa Clara, the island right in front of the Bahía de la Concha. This Island is very popular in summertime by the locals and for many tourists that take a boat to get there and expend the day. The island of Santa Clara has a small beach which is popular for swimming. The island has a restaurant as well where you can enjoy some food or drinks. You can get there by getting a return ticket in the boat that takes you there. From Santa Clara island you can relax in the middle of La Concha Bay and enjoy the beautiful view of La Concha.
Walking around the promenade around La Concha is also a good plan. This beach has 1350 metres long and 40 metres wide, and it is a good start point to see the city of San Sebastián. You can start your walk in the Nautical Club and it finish by the gardens of the Miramar Palace. While you walk, take a look at its railing, which has become an icon of the city and this is the only separation between the Paseo de La Concha and the sand. This beach is considered one of the best urban beaches in Europe for its beauty and good integration in the city.
- Stroll through the Old Town.
After enjoying La Concha beach, a good idea is to head to the city center of San Sebastián. The pearl of the Cantabrian Sea has a historic center with a lot of charm and history. A good starting point to get to know the Old Quarter of San Sebastián is starting in the Calle Mayor (Kale Nagusia) and the Basilica of Santa María del Coro.
Then, you can stop for a drink in the Plaza de la Constitución. If you visit San Sebastián between January and April, we recommend you tasting the Basque Ciders. The plan mainly consists of trying the local ciders produced on the area. You can get them in the bars or restaurants of the city. Another popular drink is Txacolín, which is a wine produced in this area of Spain. Txacolín or Chacolí is a wine, usually white, that is produced mainly in the Basque Country, and to a lesser extent in Cantabria, Burgos and in some places in Chile. This is a slightly sour light wine and also a quite acid on the beginning, but you can also find many Txacolíns that are not acid at all.
The last stop in the Old Town before going for some meal or pintxos is at the City Hall building, one of the most charming buildings in the city.
- La Cuchara de San Telmo.
- Paco Bueno….
- Bodega Donostiarra
- La Viña. Restaurant
- Sirimiri Atari Akadem
A pintxo costs around 1 and 4 euros. They are small portions of food and some restaurants really have very elaborated ones. These mini dishes of food are really popular among locals as well and they do often go to bars to eat them.
Parte Vieja, Old Town
- Visit the Monte Urgull
After enjoying the Old Town, you can visit the Monte Urgull as one of the last things to do in your day around San Sebastián. Monte Urgull is located at one end of La Concha Bay and jut in front of the Old Town. It is one of the three lungs of the city, a natural setting that will surround you in an aura of tranquility. Monte Urgull is accessible by car and by walking and it has paved roads, surrounded by exotic vegetation. We suggest stopping at the Mirador and looking at the city of the San Sebastián in at the sunset.
Even though the access to Mount Urgull is closed at night and we recommend checking when it Is open depending on the season. Strolling through Mount Urgull will transport you to an ancient era. Along the way you will find the traces that the different historical vicissitudes have left in the city. You will also discover fortifications and part of the wall that one day San Sebastián embraced and that today is one of the few remaining witnesses of the war battles and sieges it suffered in the 19th century.
Monte Urgull is not very high, barely 125 meters above sea level, but high enough to offer beautiful views and do some hiking. You have several routes that you can follow along its paths and stairs, almost every junction is signposted so getting lost is not likely to happen.