The Old Town of San Sebastian, also known as Parte Vieja, is a charming historic district located at the foot of Monte Urgull. With its narrow streets, traditional architecture, and lively atmosphere, the Old Town is one of the most popular destinations in San Sebastian for visitors and locals alike.
Top Things to Do
San Sebastian’s Old Town is a must-visit place for anyone visiting the city. From its winding streets and historic buildings to its delicious food and charming markets, there’s something for everyone in this place.
Explore the Streets
One of the best ways to experience the Old Town is simply to wander through its winding streets and alleyways. Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling district and marvel at the many historic buildings, shops, and restaurants.
Visit the Churches
The Old Town is home to several beautiful churches, including the Gothic-style San Vicente Church, the Baroque-style Basilica of Santa Maria, and the small but charming Iglesia de San Telmo.
Try the Pintxos
The Old Town is known for its many pintxos bars, where visitors can sample traditional Basque small plates of food. From fresh seafood to local cheeses and meats, there’s no shortage of delicious and unique dishes to try.
Browse the Markets
The Old Town is also home to several outdoor markets, including the Mercado de la Bretxa and the Mercado San Martin. These bustling markets offer a wide range of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other local products.
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Visit the Museums
The Old Town is home to several small museums, including the Museo de San Telmo, which showcases Basque culture and history, and the Museo Naval, which explores the city’s maritime history.
Admire the Views
For stunning views of the city and the coastline, take a walk up Monte Urgull, the hill that towers over the Old Town. From the top, you can see the entire city and the Bay of Biscay.
Top Places to See
Here are some of the top places to see in the San Sebastian Old Town:
Plaza de la Constitución
This charming square is the heart of the Old Town and features a lively atmosphere, outdoor cafes, and historic buildings with beautiful balconies.
San Telmo Museum
This museum is dedicated to Basque culture and history and is housed in a beautiful 16th-century building.
Iglesia de Santa Maria
This beautiful Baroque church is located in the heart of the Old Town and features stunning frescoes and beautiful sculptures.
This small museum explores the city’s maritime history and features models of ships, maps, and historical artifacts.
This hill towers over the Old Town and offers stunning views of the city and the Bay of Biscay. It is also home to several historic fortifications and monuments.
Mercado de la Bretxa
This bustling market is a great place to shop for fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other local products. It is located in the heart of the Old Town and is a must-visit for foodies.
Basilica of Santa Maria
This beautiful Gothic-style church is located in the heart of the Old Town and features stunning stained glass windows and beautiful sculptures.
Calle 31 de Agosto
This lively street is one of the best places in the Old Town for shopping, dining, and nightlife. It is home to many bars, restaurants, and shops.
The Old Town is home to many small shops and boutiques selling everything from traditional Basque clothing and handicrafts to modern fashion and accessories. Some of the best shopping streets in the Old Town include Calle Mayor, Calle 31 de Agosto, and Fermin Calbeton.
The Old Town is a foodie’s paradise, with numerous pintxos bars and restaurants offering a variety of Basque and international cuisine. Some of the most popular pintxos bars in the Old Town include Bar Goiz Argi, La Cepa, and La Viña. For a sit-down meal, check out Borda Berri, Ganbara, or La Cuchara de San Telmo.
The Old Town is known for its lively nightlife, with many bars and clubs open late into the night. Some of the most popular spots include Bar Txurrut, Atari Gastroteka, and La Fabrica. For a more relaxed atmosphere, check out the wine bars and music venues along Calle 31 de Agosto.
The Old Town has a variety of lodging options, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious boutique hotels. Some of the most popular options include Pension Larrea, Pensión Garibai, and Hotel Maria Cristina. For a more unique experience, check out the numerous apartment rentals available throughout the Old Town.
How to get to the Old Town?
San Sebastian’s Old Town is located in the heart of the city and is easily accessible by a variety of transportation options. Here are some ways to get to the Old Town:
- By foot: The Old Town is located within walking distance of many of San Sebastian’s major attractions, so you can easily reach it on foot. The streets in the Old Town are narrow and winding, so walking is often the easiest and most enjoyable way to explore.
- By bus: San Sebastian has a comprehensive public bus system that covers the entire city, including the Old Town. You can check bus routes and schedules on the Dbus website.
- By train: The Renfe train station is located in the center of San Sebastian, and the Old Town is just a short walk from the station.
- By car: If you have a car, you can drive to the Old Town, but parking can be difficult in this area, especially during peak hours.
- By taxi: Taxis are widely available in San Sebastian and can be a convenient way to get to the Old Town. You can hail a taxi on the street or use a taxi-hailing app like MyTaxi.
- By bike: San Sebastian has an extensive bike-sharing system called DonostiBizi, which is a great way to explore the city on two wheels. There are several bike stations located near the Old Town where you can rent and return bikes.