Welcome to San Sebastian, Spain!
At the edge of Spain’s mountainous Basque region, sets the chic seaside city, San Sebastian. Locally known as Donostia, it’s adored for its irresistible stretch of golden sand beach and a picturesque coastline. San Sebastian is a proud city that exudes an authentic and vibrant Basque culture while showcasing seaside charm. Easily accessible via the Barcelona to San Sebastian train, there’s no reason not to visit this remarkable city. This is a worldwide local’s guide to help you navigate through the city’s quaint streets and elegant buildings.
Hike Monte Ulia
The city is perched between the sea and lush rolling hills, making the urban scenery beautifully diverse. Hike up the imposing Monte Ulia for breathtaking views of the surrounding area. From magnificent vistas of the mountain ranges in the countryside to the sweeping sights of the sea and the city, scaling Monte Ulia gives a wonderful perspective of the gorgeous city. The mountain is a significant part of the city’s history, previously being used as a strategic lookout for invaders. Today, it is perfect for observing whales in the nearby waters.
Worldwide Local Tip: San Sebastian has one of the prettiest urban beaches in La Concha, but during the peak seasons, when the San Sebastian weather is at its best, the beach gets very crowded. Instead, venture east of the city to a lesser known beach in the Gros neighborhood. Zurriola Beach attracts few and local crowds and is also a great spot for surfing.
Eat Like a Local in the San Sebastian Restaurants
San Sebastian prides itself as one of Spain’s best gastronomic cities. It has an exciting food scene, along with excellent regional wines that complement the delicious array of local delicacies. Due to the city’s close proximity to the sea, it is no surprise that seafood is king in San Sebastian. From the popular finger food that is Pintxos to restaurants boasting a Michelin star rating, the best way to experience San Sebastian’s culture and traditions, is through your taste buds.
Worldwide Local Tip: Head to La Cuchara de San Telmo for a great selection of tasty pintxos at a reasonable price. The small hole-in-the-wall has a rustic atmosphere while providing a new menu every day. Alternatively, you can go to Arzak for a more up-market dining experience, where they serve up the freshest local seafood. Listed as the world’s top 50 restaurants, it offers an exquisite gourmet treat and has been around since 2006.
Art and Culture in San Sebastian
A growing local art scene, within San Sebastian, lies a disused tobacco factory that’s been converted to an art gallery known as the Tabakalera. Located in the Gros neighborhood, it is still relatively unknown to tourists who visit the city. It holds a colorful compilation of paintings from local artists promoting the fascinating Basque culture, while also displaying exhibitions and workshops.
Worldwide Local Tip: A great way to see San Sebastian is by bike. Interesting bike trails take you through the city’s main attractions, from the glorious Old Town to the charming bayfront promenade. Enjoy some exercise while seeing the beauty of the city.
Enjoy Your Stay!
San Sebastian is not a typical Spanish city; so you won’t find flamenco or bullfighting. The gem of the Basque region possesses an alluring elegance and entices visitors with its own unique culture. Steeped with history, scattered with impressive architecture, and packed with natural beauty, enjoy San Sebastian as a worldwide local to discover its wonders.