Last Updated on March 28, 2021
San Sebastian was still but an island connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land and there was a fisherman’s quarter sheltered by Mount Urgull. This is the district named the Old Town of San Sebastian. The old town can be considered as the heart of the city and known for “tradition & gastronomy”.
Travelers may find the city’s oldest buildings, variety of lively bars, restaurants and gastronomic societies at the Old Town.
The Old Town district is also a gateway or starting point for the best attractions and sights of San Sebastian that include; Mount Urgull, the San Vicente and Santa María churches, the San Telmo Museum and the fishing port. Travellers may find many “pintxo” bars and restaurants in every street in the Old Town of San Sebastian.
As for shopping at the San Sebastian Old Town, travellers may find traditional shops and typical souvenirs as well as delicatessens and designer stores.
San Sebastian Old Town Top Attractions & Sights
La Bretxa Market (Mercado de la Bretxa)
Meaning “breach”, the La Bretxa Market is a traditional street market housing great San Sebastian products and also the market that many famous chefs visit almost every day.
A lovely street with many famous “pintxo” bars and restaurants. A stroll along the street is a great attraction and passion for “txikiteo” whcih means hopping from one bar to another and pintxo to other pintxo.
The Constitution Square
The Constitution Square, also known as Plaza de la Constitución is the lively centre of the San Sebastian Old Town. It is the main square of the city. Many parties and celebrations take place here such as the flag hoisting festivity on the 20th of January, the celebration of Saint Thomas’ day and more. A great day out and relaxing at the square is a great attraction.
Calle Mayor Street
It is a famous street with bustling atmosphere. Travellers may find the best tapas at Calle Mayor.
Basilica of Santa Maria
The Basilica of Santa Maria is one of the most popular historical sites of San Sebastian located at the end of Calle Mayor. The church was fitst built in 1522 and restored in 1740. The building is also home of a Diocesan museum with works by El Greco, Jorge Oteiza and Chillida.
Address: Calle Mayor s/n, 20003 San Sebastián
Openin Hours: from Monday to Sunday; from 10:15 to 13:15 and from 16:45 to 19:45
Calle 31 De Agosto Street
Calle 31 De Agosto is another lively street famous for its gastronomic tastes.
Trinidad Square (Plaza de la Trinidad)
Trinidad Square is an open area used as a pelota court, playground and a stage for rural sports competitions and live concerts such as the popular Jazzaldia Jazz Festival.
San Vicente Church (Iglesia de San Vicente)
San Vicente Church is located at the other end of Calle 31 De Agosto. The 16th century gothic church is the oldest building of the city.
San Telmo Museum
San Telmo Museum is the oldest museum of the region devoted to Basque history. The museum is related with the interpretation of Basque society, from prehistory to the present. More than 25,000 items are exhibited at the museum.
Address: Plaza de Ignacio Zuloaga, 1, 20003, San Sebastian
Tel:+34 943 481 580
The Mount Urgull is another mountain bordering San Sebastian. It is also a great historical site of San Sebastian. Visitors may access to the top by walking in 20 mins. from San Sebastian Old Town. The mountain offers spectacular views of San Sebastian, the Mota Castle and the Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart) monument and great natural beauties.
The Old Town has a route out to the sea and ends with a port. The dock of San Sebastian offers variety of traditional seafood restaurants, snack (kiskillas and karrakelas ; prawns and winkles) to nibble. There are also traditional houses of the former fishermen families along the port.
Naval Museum (Museo Naval)
Naval Museum of San Sebastian houses the seafaring history of San Sebastian.
Address: Del Muelle Ibilbidea, 24, 20003, Donostia-San Sebastian
Tel: +34 943 43 00 51
Aquarium Donostia-San Sebastian
The Aquarium Donostia-San Sebastian is a great place to spend time with kids. Visitors may enjoy the marine life here on a huge oceanarium through which a tunnel passes with a 360º view.
Address: Plaza De Carlos Blasco Imaz 1, Donostia-San Sebastian
Tel: +34 943 44 00 99
Santa Clara Island
Santa Clara islet is kind of a haven of the San Sebastian locals and has only been inhabited by the lighthouse keeper. There is a small beach, footpaths, stairways and picnic benches on the island. The views of San Sebastian is excellent from the island. The island is about 400 m. from the Ondarreta Beach for swimmers.
The New Promenade (Paseo Nuevo)
The New Promendade of San Sebastian, also known as Paseo Nuevo, is a perfect place to spend great day out in San Sebastian. It is located at the end of the Port. It is a famous point of interest, the Kursaal Palace is located here.
Which means “Empty Construction”, it is a large sculpture made by Jorge Oteiza.
Royal Yacht Club (Real Club Nautico)
Located just by the sea, the Royal Yacht Club is popular place especially for locals.