Top 10 Places to Visit & See in San Sebastian (Donostia) + Tips

Places to see in San Sebastian are very impressive. San Sebastian offers great sights and points of interest for its visitors. Of course it is not possible to mention all the best sights in the city, but here you may find the top 10 places to visit and the most fascinating and the ones that you won’t want to miss on your San Sebastian visit.

Top 10 Places to Visit in San Sebastian (Donostia)

La Concha beach

La Concha Beach is one of the most popular beaches in San Sebastian Donostia and is known for its stunning views and soft, golden sand.

The water is calm and ideal for swimming, making it a great choice for families. La Concha beach is also one of the best beaches in Spain.

San Sebastian Old Town

The San Sebastian 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.

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.

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The New Promenade (Paseo Nuevo)

The New Promenade, or Paseo Nuevo, is a stunning architectural marvel that offers some of the most breathtaking views of San Sebastian’s seaside. The promenade is situated between the Old Town and the iconic La Concha beach, and was constructed in the early 20th century as part of the city’s modernization project.

The walkway stretches along the base of the Urgull mountain, providing a stunning perspective of the coastline and the city. The promenade is especially beautiful in the evening, when the sun sets over the water and the lights of the city begin to twinkle.

The Mount Igeldo Attraction & Amusement Park

Monte Igueldo is a classic amusement park located on a hill overlooking San Sebastian. It offers a range of rides and attractions, including a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, and a haunted house. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of the city and the bay from the top of the hill.

  • Address: Monte Igueldo, Paseo del Faro, 1, 20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
  • How to get there: To get to Monte Igueldo, you can take bus number 16 from the city center of San Sebastian. The bus stops at the entrance to the park. Alternatively, you can take the funicular railway from Ondarreta Beach, which provides a scenic route up the hill to the park.

The Mount Urgull

Mount Urgull is one of the most iconic and historical landmarks in San Sebastian. Located at the eastern end of La Concha Bay, the hill offers breathtaking views of the city and the sea, and provides an exciting hiking and outdoor activity experience. The hill stands at 123 meters high, and it has been an important fortification and watchtower for centuries, guarding the city from enemy invasions and pirate attacks.

Today, the Mount Urgull has become a popular attraction for both locals and tourists. There are many hiking trails and paths that lead to the summit of the hill, offering magnificent views of the city and the surrounding landscapes. The most popular trail is the “Camino del Faro,” which starts at the base of the hill and leads to the lighthouse at the top. Along the way, hikers can discover the ruins of the old fortifications, military bunkers, and cannons that were used in the past.

In addition to hiking, there are many other activities to do on Mount Urgull. Visitors can explore the many museums and exhibitions that are housed in the fortifications, including the San Sebastian History Museum, the Museum of the Basque People, and the Aquarium. The hill is also a popular spot for picnics, birdwatching, and enjoying the scenic views.

The Miramar Palace

Miramar Palace is a former royal residence that has been converted into a museum dedicated to the history of the palace and its surroundings.

Visitors can expect to see a range of objects, including furniture, artwork, and historic documents.

  • What to expect: Historical exhibits
  • What is exhibited: Artifacts related to the history of Miramar Palace and its surroundings
  • How to get there: The museum is located on the outskirts of San Sebastian Donostia and is best accessed by car.

The Constitution Square

Constitution Square, also known as Plaza de la Constitución, is one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in the heart of San Sebastian. Located in the Old Town (Parte Vieja), the square dates back to the 19th century and is surrounded by traditional Basque architecture.

Today, the square is home to a variety of cafés, bars, and restaurants, making it an ideal spot to relax and people-watch. During the annual San Sebastian International Film Festival, Constitution Square is transformed into an open-air cinema, showcasing some of the best films from around the world.

Visitors can also enjoy the many shops and boutiques that line the surrounding streets, which sell a variety of local crafts and souvenirs.

El Buen Pastor Cathedral

El Buen Pastor Cathedral, located in the heart of San Sebastian, is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built in the late 19th century, the cathedral’s striking Neo-Gothic architecture and imposing spires dominate the skyline of the city.

The cathedral’s impressive facade is made of pink sandstone and features intricate carvings and stained glass windows. Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the cathedral’s exterior before stepping inside to explore the ornate interior.

Inside, the cathedral boasts a vaulted nave with soaring ceilings, colorful stained glass windows, and numerous religious artworks.

Basilica of Santa Maria

The Basilica of Santa Maria is one of the most notable landmarks of San Sebastian, located in the heart of the Old Town. This impressive Gothic-style church dates back to the 16th century, and its towering spires and ornate architecture make it a must-visit destination for those interested in religious or architectural history.

The basilica features intricate stained-glass windows and a stunning altar, which have been beautifully preserved for centuries. Visitors can also climb the narrow staircase to the top of one of the towers, which offers sweeping views of the city and the surrounding countryside.

San Telmo Museum

The San Telmo Museum is one of the most popular museums in San Sebastian Donostia, and is located in a beautiful 16th-century building.

The museum features a permanent collection of art and artifacts related to Basque history and culture, as well as temporary exhibitions.

  • What to expect: Historical exhibits
  • What is exhibited: Art and artifacts related to Basque history and culture
  • How to get there: The museum is located in the Old Town, which is easily accessible by public transportation.

Aquarium Donostia-San Sebastian

The Aquarium is a popular attraction in San Sebastian Donostia that features a range of marine life from the Bay of Biscay.

Visitors can expect to see a range of sea creatures, including sharks, rays, and octopuses.

  • What to expect: Marine life exhibits
  • What is exhibited: A range of sea creatures from the Bay of Biscay
  • How to get there: The aquarium is located near the port of San Sebastian Donostia, which is easily accessible by public transportation.

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