City Guide San Sebastian, Spain

Visiting San Sebastian

One of the most beautiful areas in Northern Spain’s Basque country, San Sebastian is the place to go if you’re looking to mix sandy beaches with great sights, local culinary delights and lots more. The atmosphere here is laid-back, and even though the city is home to over 183,000 people, it still has a really welcoming small-town feel.

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San Sebastian Podcasts

San Sebastian - Pintxos: A local specialty

In this podcast, Hostelworld.com’s Rebecca Keenan speaks about pintxos with Gabriella Ranelli from Gabriella’s Kitchen, a cooking school in San Sebastian. Listen to learn more about this local specialty, from the best places to try them out to the top tipples to sip while you eat.

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San Sebastian Videos

San Sebastian - a video postcard

Check out our video postcard of San Sebastian to see some of the city’s top attractions, bars, restaurants and more.

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San Sebastian City Reviews

  • 90%


    Go to San Sebastian!

    I loved this city. It was a mix of Parisian architecture with Portuguese surf culture. I planned three days and ended up extending for a week. I could've stayed for two. There is so much to do here - outdoor activities, cultural things, sports, day trips. I highly recommend it.

  • 80%


    Small but perfectly formed

    Great city, very small, very pretty - amazing food and the best gin and tonics ever! I think if you spend a long time here you'd become bored, especially if the weather wasn't good but I was here for a week at Spanish school and it was just the right amount of time. It felt like I was the only person travelling alone so it's a very social city. Look out for any festivals that are going on - I managed to catch a music festival in an amusement park and a sailing regatta (which was crazy!)

    Insider Tip:Gin and tonic from Gintoneria in Gros! OMG. You have to go there but it's pricey (totally worth it though, best bar I think I've ever been to)

  • 90%


    A great place to enjoy the beach and the local food

    San Sebastian was one of the best cities for me in Spain. You can go to one of the beaches in the morning, which are very clean and are a great place to swim or surf. In the evening, you can enjoy the amazing food in one of the Pitxo bars in the old town and go partying till the early hours of the night.

    Insider Tip:Go to the beach in the early morning when the beach is not too busy while the locals are at work.

  • 80%


    Museums & Arts

    This city I found to be incredibly boring. It is beautiful, however the main things to see include museums and art museums, which I have no interest in. There are many beautiful squares to relax in and seeing Madrid for a day or so is definitely worth it. I don't recommend long stays to those who are not museum types.

  • 90%


    San Sebastian - Best city in Spain?

    I've traveled all over Spain and I've talked to many travelers. When the subject of San Sebastian comes up, I usually hear, "I have not gone, but I heard it's amazing." I have gone and I have experienced that it is amazing. Great climate, sunny but not really that hot as it is on the northern coast. City is very walkable, you don't need the bus for anything. A good variety of locations, from beach to mountains, all of which are walkable. Also, the Pintxos/tapas. Best in the world.

    Insider Tip:-A good place to try out Basque Pintxos is Rojo y Negro. It's not touristy, but they're patient with people who are new to it. The food is great too. -If you're looking for a quiet spot to read, try hiking around the mountain with the big Jesus statue. You'll find a place. -The city can be expensive, but if you play your cards right, you can get by eating Pintxos for most meals for decent prices. Just order one at a time and gauge the place's price. If it's too expensive, eat it and move on.

Spain: Itinerary

The north-eastern Spanish city is among one of Europe's favourite destinations for short breaks and a popular spot with inter-railers going to Spain. It is also home to some of the world's most fascinating architecture thanks to the works of Antoni Gaudi.

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