Oiartzun For Ice Cream Pastries An Coffee
Taking a stroll along the Boulevard while eating an ice cream is an obligatory summer evening tradition in San Sebastián. Various ice cream shops line the shaded avenue, but Oiartzun stands out for its artisanal, made-from-scratch flavours like torrija and New York cheesecake.
Sit at the counter at the back of the shop and order like the locals a cafe con espuma and a little palmita heart-shaped pastry.
Area 4 Centro San Martin The Elegant District
On the place where in earlier centuries old artisans gathered outside of the original city walls, architecturally homogenous buildings of high quality replaced the original constructions. This area is a vibrant shopping area. Avenida de Libertad is home to all favorite Spanish brands.
If you want a bit of everything stay in the Centro, as La Concha, Gros, and Parte Vieja and the beach are within walking distance. This part of the town is rather quiet at night.
San Sebastián lies at a beautiful bay where surfers enjoy the waves in front of the medieval town. A lovely contrast of ancient and modern times.
Where to Stay in Centro San Martin District
Try The Unique La Gomera Cuisine
A Spanish friend in London told me about a couple of dishes that are synonymous to the Canaries that I had to try. Papas arrugadas are small wrinkly potatoes that are boiled in salt with their skins on then finished off in the oven.
They are served with mojo pepper sauce, either Mojo Picon or Mojo Verde made with fresh peppers, garlic, and spices.
Mojo sauce is EVERYWHERE. Instead of bottles of tomato sauce on restaurant tables, there were little dishes of Mojo. You can add it to almost anything and it is popular to eat with bread as a starter. I loved it!
Another dish I tried while on La Gomera was a dish combining local palm honey made from the sap of Canary Island palm trees and fried sheeps milk cheese. I also added mojo sauce to it and although it sounds like these three elements wouldnt work well together, let me assure you: they were delicious.
I also ate a lot of freshly caught seafood and zesty salads during my stay on La Gomera, and overall I was very impressed by the food.
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Area 6 Egia Former Food Supply Farms
On the hills where old farms supplied food to the city slumbers one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Sebastiàn. Originally apart from the town center, its now part of it with streets which reflect the names of the old farmhouses, providing attractive and affordable housing for families.
In 2016 San Sebastiàn became the European Captial of Culture and many cultural activities were carried out in this family-friendly neighborhood which is only a 20 minutes walk from the beaches and the city center. A very special place to stay in the Hotel One Shot Tabakalera House in the refurbished 1913 old tobacco factory.
Surf At Playa De La Zurriola
This well-known surfers’ beach is in a commercial district of San Sebastian that has many sports shops, large department stores, and art galleries. The Playa de la Zurriola draws surfers from all over the world because of its challenging waves and surf competitions.
With its broad shoreline of golden sand, this beach is also a favorite destination of sports enthusiasts, who come here to play beach volleyball, football, and beach tennis.
The beach is found between Monte Ulía and Monte Urgull, and is backed by a wide promenade with benches for admiring the picturesque landscape and sea views.
At the western end of the Playa de la Zurriola is the Centro Kursaal, which has an auditorium for music concerts and space for cultural events. Architect Rafael Moneo designed the center to blend into the beachfront geography, and the building has been awarded several architectural prizes including the Mies van der Rohe Contemporary Architecture Prize.
Also nearby is the Puente de la Zurriola, a Modernist bridge with a wide pedestrian concourse that leads to the Old Town.
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Seaside Splendor in Santander: Tourists looking for more gorgeous beaches on the shores of northern Spain will want to visit the laid-back coastal town of Santander, home to a variety of golden-sand beaches, as well as historic landmarks and excellent museums.
Cultural Attractions of Bilbao: Located about halfway between Santander and San Sebastián, the cultured city of Bilbao is renowned for its museum and Basque cuisine. Bilbao’s initial fame came with the construction of the Guggenheim Museum, and the city’s popularity has grown as visitors discover its other museums and interesting neighborhoods.
Beautiful Biarritz: San Sebastián sits close to the French border, and less than an hour’s drive along the coast to the east is the fashionable seaside resort town of Biarritz. Here, you will find stunning beaches, regal mansions, and elegant boulevards full of shops and restaurants.
Barcelona To San Sebastian Where To Stop
My husband and I will fly into Barcelona and head towards San Sebastian. Searching for advice on where to stay along the way/and on the way back to Barcelona. We love mountains, beautiful scenery, small towns, good food/wine.
Considering staying in San Sebastian vs. Hondarribia vs. Pamplona on the first leg. And somewhere near the pyrenees closer to Barcelona on the way back? Maybe in the catalonian pyrenees? Is this all doable in 7 nights?
Thanks for your help!
What time of year is your trip?
Seven nights for Barcelona, San Sebastian, and multiple points in between? It’s certainly not what I would do. For one thing, two nights in Barcelona means really just one day if you’re arriving from North America, due to sleep-deprivation and jetlag. I’d spend the whole time in Barcelona, taking however many day-trips I felt like.
I haven’t seen the Spanish Pyrenees, but folks have reported that the area is lovely. I question whether you really have time to include it, however.
Not terribly far from Logrono is the old hill town of Laguardia. Close to the Rioja area, and complete with wine bars. Very atmospheric. A one-night stopover there would be fine I think it’s too small for longer than that.
I stayed in Pamplona for a couple of nights because I couldn’t find an affordable hotel in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Pamplona is OK there is an historic center to wander around. I didn’t think it was special at all I preferred Vitoria-Gasteiz.
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Monte Igueldo Theme Park
Monte Igueldo, a mountaintop vintage theme park was one of the absolute highlights of our San Sebastian holiday, and Im so glad we went here. You take the funicular railway to the top which takes just 10 minutes you can find timetables and prices for the Monte Igueldo funicular here. At the top there is a range of classic fairground attractions including a big toboggan slide, a beautiful carousel, trampolines, dodgems and a haunted house. Our favourites were the Mysterious River, which takes you on a gentle boat ride around the edge of the mountain offering stunning views across the Santa Clara Bay, and the Swiss Mountain rollercoaster which is so old-fashioned it has a driver at the front! The park is over 100 years old, and one of the best family activities in San Sebastian for sure.
Best Airbnb In Parte Vieja: Unique Factory Loft
Visiting San Sebastian for the first time and not quite sure where you should stay? How about this Airbnb? The loft is located in the heart of the Old Town, close to cute cafes and restaurants. In case youre getting sick of wandering through the streets, you can relax inside your loft, which is an experience itself. With a unique factory design, youll instantly feel comfortable and welcome.
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The Best Thing To Do In San Sebastin: Eat Pintxos
Lets start with some food before going through the list of best things to do in San Sebastián. The city is seen as the gastronomical capital of Spain. One of the reasons for this title is because San Sebastián has no less than nine restaurants with at least one Michelin star. Even though a lot smaller, the city is compared to Tokya and London when on comes to fancy food. If you dont have Michelin star money and/or dont like static restaurants, like us, there are also a lot of options.
The north of Spain is well known for its pintxos the tapas of Basque Country. They can be best described as tapas on a slice of baguette. The region borders France, so that probably has something to do with it. Pintxos have become a trend all over Spain. Everywhere you go these cozy restaurants can be found, but make no mistake, pintxos originated in Basque Country. Besides slices of baguette, they have mini hamburgers, mini paninis, mini croissants, you name it. Each of them made into small pieces of castronomical art.
- Basque: pintxos
- Spanish: pinchos
The pintxo restaurants can be found all over the city. During lunch time they are packed with locals grabbing a bite to eat and drink some wine. Join them and try a bunch of them. When youre done, your bill depends on the amount of skewers that are on you plate. Its customary to take one or two pintxos instead of cramming your plate.
Best Budget Hotel In Antiguo: Hotel Distrito Oeste
The Hotel Distrito Oeste is tucked away from the main action in the Antiguo district but located close to the university. The rooms are modern and fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, soundproofing, and free Wifi access. The also hotel has a nice fitness center and can arrange an airport shuttle on request.
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Where To Stay San Sebastian
My wife and I are planning on visiting San Sebastian as part of our Honeymoon in early June. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on what areas are best to stay when visiting.
Thanks in advance!
6 replies to this topic
for a honeymoon … definitely the Hotel Londres … best and most quietly elegant hotel in the city.
ask for a room on the top floor, looking out on the harbour. magnificent views, especially at night.
and the staff is very considerate and helpful. tell them you’ll be on your honeymoon … im sure they’d be especially considerate.
The Maria Cristina is a 5 star hotel but with no sea view. I would prefer to go for one of 4 stars with a sea view like Hotel Londres or
I have never been to the Londres.
Not arguing about the views, but how is the service?
At the Maria Cristina the service was truly 5 stars, which is what you want for a honeymoon.
The Best Of San Sebastian Spain: Including A Legendary Hotel And A Pintxo Bar Crawl
Old Town, San Sebastian
San Sebastian , near the French border on the Bay of Biscay, is considered the coastal jewel of the Basque region, in northern Spain. This former fishing village became a favorite destination of 19th-century royals and aristocrats, and is now a thriving cultural city known for its love of good food.
Since 1953, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, held in September, has lured movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, and Brad Pitt. And it has encouraged a world-renowned foodie scene, with highly regarded competitions, a famed cooking academy, and more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than anywhere else.
What To See
I started my recent visit with an overview at the Museum of San Telmo, an interactive, three-floor museum, with a 16th-century cloister encircling a small garden.
Among the citys not-to-miss sites: the opulent Victoria Eugenia theater the modern convention center, Palacio de Congresos Kursaal The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, with its wooden statues made to look like stone the Basilica of Santa María del Coro and the 16th-century San Vicente church.
Victoria Eugenia Theater
Enjoy The Views And Visit The Amusement Park On Monte Igueldo
For stunning views of the San Sebastián scenery, head to Monte Igueldo. This steep mount lies just beyond the Playa de Ondarreta at the far end of the beach near the Royal Tennis Club.
Tourists can take a funicular ride up to the top. The hilltop stands 184 meters above the sea, offering sensational panoramas.
A favorite tourist attraction is the Parque de Atracciones de Monte Igueldo amusement park. Families with children will enjoy the charming carousels and roller coasters.
Another highlight is the observatory with an outlook tower. Ascend the tower for magnificent views of the town, the Bay of Concha, and the rolling hills of the Basque countryside.
At the four-star Mercure San Sebastián Monte Igueldo, guests can enjoy gourmet dining and breathtaking seaside scenery at the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant or pintxos bar. The restaurant specializes in Basque cuisine prepared from local, seasonal ingredients. The pintxos bar has an outdoor terrace with incredible views of San Sebastián and its coastline.
Londres Y De Inglaterra City Centre
Start your day by leaning on your balcony, looking out across the perfect crescent of La Concha bay at this landmark hotel, and all will feel right in your world, believe me. Smart but not overly swanky, the Londres y de Inglaterra is a real institution in the city and the bar is a popular place to meet. The chintz has been well and truly chucked in the revamped rooms, where soothing elegance is now the order of the day. The newest and fanciest are on the seventh floor, with terraces big enough for sunbeds. You really get the full-on San Sebastián experience here, with everything within pleasant walking distance.
Casual de las Olas
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Visit Iglesia De San Vicente San Sebastins Oldest Church
Built in the Gothic style, Iglesia de San Vicente was one of the lucky few buildings to survive the fire of 1813 when Napoleons troops set the city alight, which makes this the oldest church in the city. The church is also built on the site of a Romanesque style church built at the end of the 7th century.
The church you see today was built during the first half of the 16th century under the Gothic style. Before entering the church, notice the sculpture of La Piedad, by the artist Jorge Oteiza on the churchs facade. Church of San Vicente is home to one of the best Romanesque altarpieces and highlights of the church, made by Ambrosio de Bengoechea in collaboration with Juanes de Iriarte.
A fun little fact I learned is that those who are christened in here are called koxkeros, after the stones protruding from the church .
Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In San Sebastian
San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful destinations in Spain, and its getting more and more popular every year! Boasting a great location on the Atlantic ocean, it offers great surfing spots, lots of cultural sights, and amazing Basque food. Its easy to see why people love it so much!
If youre still not sure where to stay in San Sebastian, you cant go wrong with Koba Hostel. It offers a quiet and comfortable retreat while being. ashort distance to to pbars, restaurants, and places to visit.
For something more upmarket, check out the Hotel SANSEbay. Situated the old town, it offers comfortable and modern accommodation that will set you up for a great stay.
Have I missed anything you can think about in San Sebastian? Have you tried any of the places mentioned in this guide? Let me know in the comments!
And dont forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. Theyre easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once youve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and youre on your way!
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Best Airbnb In Gros: Entire Flat With Beach View
If you want to enjoy the best of the beaches and nightlife, this is the place for you. The apartment sits right on the beachfront and has an amazing terrace, perfect for pre-drinks. Its located in the fashion district with lots of great bars and pubs around, but dont worry, all youll hear at night is the sound of the waves.
Catch A Ferry To Santa Clara Island
For an idyllic bathing experience, catch the ferry across to Isla de Santa Clara , a tiny 32-meter-wide island floating just off the coast of San Sebastián in Concha Bay.
Considered a Historical National Interest Site, this island offers a peaceful bathing experience paired with a café, restaurant, and picnic areas. Go in search of its natural swimming pools located in hidden nooks around the island before taking a leisurely and scenic stroll up to its charming lighthouse for excellent views.
Scenic boat rides around the bay with underwater viewing plus a trip to the island are available for 6,50 .
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