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When it comes to exploring Spain, visiting San Sebastian is an absolute must on anyone's itinerary, thanks to its breathtaking landscapes and exceptional cuisine

It’s a beautiful city, which presents a wide variety of things to do all year round and all day long. Often regarded as the "summer capital", a large volume of pleasure seekers flee the heat of central Spain and come to San Sebastian’s more relaxing location, to enjoy its beaches and gorgeous mountain scenery.

Visiting San Sebastian for the First Time 1

Visiting San Sebastian for the First Time

However, like any new destination, it's important to keep a few Dos and Don’ts in mind before embarking on your journey. San Sebastian is a city filled with delightful surprises, and familiarizing yourself with the local customs and etiquette will ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip.

When is the best time to go to San Sebastian?

San Sebastian boasts pleasant weather throughout several months of the year, specifically May through October. July, August, and September offer the warmest temperatures. If you're looking to take a refreshing dip, August stands out as the ideal month for swimming.

Conversely, January and February tend to be the chilliest months, while January, February, and November experience the highest levels of rainfall. 

How to get around San Sebastian

San Sebastian is best explored on foot or by bike. As parking space is scarce and expensive, renting a car is not recommended in this area.

The city centre is compact, offering easy access to all the must-see attractions on foot. Not only does this let you immerse yourself in the local culture, but it's also a fantastic way to burn off some calories before indulging in the delectable culinary delights this city has to offer! 

If you're planning a trip to the breathtaking beaches located on the outskirts, consider renting a bike or an e-bike for a convenient and enjoyable means of transportation.

Alternative travel - Take a Hop On, Hop Off Tour

Indulge in sheer relaxation as you entrust all your planning and logistics to the experts, courtesy of a delightful hop on, hop off tour. Allow them to guide you effortlessly to captivating destinations such as Old Town and Playa de La Concha, where you can explore at your leisurely pace. 

Stay Safe in San Sebastian

Renowned for its exceptionally low crime rate, the city stands out as one of the safest destinations in Spain. Nevertheless, as is the case in any urban area, it is always advisable to exercise caution and safeguard your belongings. 

Avoid storing mobile phones in your back pocket and ensure that rucksacks are positioned facing the front. Stay aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions when walking alone at night.


Situated on the Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian is a real treasure in the Basque Country resort selection, setting itself apart from the mainstream beach resorts.

Playa de la Concha in San Sebastian is a beloved beach destination, boasting the largest expanse for summer swimming and sunbathing. With a captivating bay as its backdrop and verdant rolling hills as its embrace, this beach offers a picturesque setting. 

While there, you can partake in an array of invigorating water activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, parasailing, and sailing. It's the epitome of a beach resort experience!

Adjacent to Playa de la Concha lies Ondarreta, quaintly translating to 'little beach'. Despite being slightly further along from Playa de la Concha, Ondarreta is a delightful haven to relish your days or evenings in. Upgrade your leisure experience at this charming coastal spot.

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Best places to visit

If cultural attractions are what you seek, then be sure to visit the enchanting baroque church of Santa Maria, the captivating Gothic church of San Vicente, and the fascinating Museo de San Telemo. Housed in a former 16th century convent, this museum offers a truly unique experience.

One captivating attraction is the Miramar Palace, also referred to as the Royal Country House of Miramar. Positioned atop the Pico del Loro, which separates Playa de la Concha and Ondarreta, it offers a must-see experience that promises sheer grandeur.

Located at the very heart of the city, Constitution Square holds a historic significance as the original venue for San Sebastian's bullfighting events. The balconies that encircle the square offer a picturesque view, adding to the charm of this cherished landmark.

Sunrise and Sunset

Do not miss out! If you're an early riser or a night owl, you can indulge in the mesmerizing palette of hues as the sun paints the sky during sunrise or sunset. These breathtaking moments promise a spectacle that will leave you in awe.

Mount Urgull is a beloved spot for locals to witness the breathtaking sunset over the Bay of Biscay. Alternatively, enjoy a delectable gelato from the Old Town and take a leisurely stroll down to Zurriola Beach, where the sky transforms into a mesmerizing palette of colours.

If you're an early bird, Mount Igueldo is the spot to catch the sunrise. Or, hit up La Concha for a morning dip before the city wakes up.

The city's nightlife

San Sebastian boasts a vibrant and inviting nightlife scene, with a plethora of bars and clubs that cater to every taste. Whether you're a fan of late-night revelry or prefer a serene stroll along the beach or through the city's old quarter, the twilight hours in this enchanting city promise a truly magical experience.

Eating out

San Sebastián is world-renowned for its Basque cuisine and is home to some of the finest restaurants on the planet. Reservations are highly recommended to secure tables in the summer months.

For a more casual dining experience, the charming old quarter offers a delightful array of pintxos, akin to tapas. Whether enjoyed as a scrumptious snack or a satisfying meal, the choice is always yours! 

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Food/ Wine Tours and Experiences

San Sebastian is a coastal paradise celebrated for its rich Basque flavours and tantalizing food scene. A Pintxos Food tour is an amazing experience and the best way to immerse yourself in the old town, enjoying a little bite and a drink at several spots. 

Our tours at will also take you to popular markets in San Sebastian like Mercado de La Bretxa, Mercado San Martín, and more. 

Take a Day Trip from San Sebastián

If you find yourself spending a week or two in San Sebastian, it can serve as an excellent base for delightful day trips. Highly recommended excursions include visiting the charming village of Biarritz in the South of France or exploring Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country. 

Other popular destinations worth considering are the picturesque Playa de la Zarautz, the captivating Zumaia (also known as the filming location of Game of Thrones' Dragonstone), and the beautiful coastal town of Getaria.

San Sebastian International Film Festival 2023

Taking place from 22nd to 30th September 2023, Sebastian's annual Zinemaldia is a powerhouse among Europe's major film festivals. This bustling event fills the city to capacity with emerging film talents and renowned directors. While hotel rates soar, the lively atmosphere makes it an irresistible time to experience the festival's vibrancy.

Book Food and Drink Experiences in San Sebastian with

When planning food and drink tours in San Sebastian book in advance for an unforgettable experience! Food enthusiasts will adore the exciting tours, cooking classes and wine tasting available on tabl. while indulging in a vibrant culinary culture!

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