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What to Do in San Sebastian Spain

If you’re looking for what to do in San Sebastian, I recommend walking everywhere with an appetite for everything! Between the beaches and the sights, you’ll find plenty to eat and drink. It may be a small city, but there is so much packed into those 25 square miles. Just start walking!

What to Do in San Sebastian: Sightseeing

San Sebastian (also known as Donostia and spelled as San Sebastián) is a city in the Basque Autonomous Community. Just 12 miles from the French border, the city has transformed from a strategic location to a tourist destination over the past few centuries.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in San Sebastian, Spain

Cathedral of the Good Shepherd (San Sebastian Cathedral)

The San Sebastian Cathedral was completed in 1897, and is the largest in Gipuzkoa province. It was built in the neo-Gothic style and designed by architect Manuel Echave. You can visit from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m. Be sure to check out the organ when you visit – it’s the largest in Spain!

The carousel in Alderdi Eder Park is a must see in San Sebastian!

Alderdi Eder Park

Just down the street from the San Sebastian Cathedral is Alderdi Eder Park. You can enjoy some of the most Instagram-worthy views from anywhere in this park! And in addition to the gardens and San Sebastian City Hall, there’s a carousel for all ages.

Parte Vieja is the Old Town in San Sebastian, where you'll find pintxos, cider, and music

Parte Vieja

Parte Vieja (the Old Town) is full of life that you just can’t miss! As you navigate the streets, you’ll find a cacophony of food, music, shops, dancing, and drinks. You can easily spend the entire day walking around Parte Vieja and never get bored.

Looking for what to eat in San Sebastian? Check out my previous post about bar hopping!

Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro

As you wander through Parte Vieja, you may stumble upon the Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro. In fact, you can walk straight down the road from the San Sebastian Cathedral to the Basilica! Its impressive, Baroque style portal faces the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

The climb up Monte Urgull to Mota Castle is a must to do in San Sebastian, Spain

Mota Castle on Monte Urgull

From Mota Castle at the top of Monte Urgull, you can see the entire city. But this fortification wasn’t always just for beautiful views – it was a strategic outpost for the military. Not only did it have an all-encompassing view of the area, but it’s quite a hike to reach! Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes when you visit Mota Castle.

What to Do in San Sebastian: Beaches

San Sebastian has three beaches, all of which are perfect for relaxing at between meals. And unlike the beaches in the Greek islands, you don’t necessarily have to rent an umbrella or cabana.

Enjoy the longest stretch of beach - Play de La Concha!

Playa de la Concha

You can easily find a spot to lay out on the longest of the three beaches. And for additional beach activities, Playa de la Concha also has water slides and diving boards set up in the water!

Ondaretta beach is smaller than Playa de La Concha, but it still shares the same bay

Playa de Ondarreta

Playa de Ondarreta shares La Concha Bay with Playa de la Concha, but offers a slightly different experience. It’s a bit smaller and has more activities on the beach, such as volleyball and beach tennis.

Zurriola Beach is perfect for laying out and catching some rays

Playa de la Zurriola

If you enjoy surfing, this is your destination! Just across the Urumea Itsasadarra, this beach is not as recommended for swimming, but great for just relaxing on the sand.

Before you finish planning what to do in San Sebastian, be sure to watch my video about what to eat!


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