San Sebastian Travel Guide

Spain  #1 in Best Beaches in Spain
Credit

Courtesy of Krzysztof Baranowski/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in San Sebastian

If you have extra time, Monte Urgull is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Parte Vieja
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    #1 in San Sebastian
    Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parte Vieja, also known as the Old Town, is the heart of San Sebastian. Despite its name, it's actually not the oldest part of the city (that honor belongs to Antiguo), but it is the most lively. Parte Vieja's pedestrian-friendly streets are flanked by centuries-old buildings that house a plethora of restaurants, shops and bars. It's considered the best nightlife spot in San Sebastian, as well as the best place to grab pintxos (the local term for light bites, similar to tapas). These two tend to coincide among locals, who begin their nights out pintxos barhopping.  
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  • #3
    La Concha Beach
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    #3 in San Sebastian
    Beaches, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    You wouldn't be able to miss this attraction even if you tried. La Concha Beach (named after its seashell shape) is located a stone's throw away from Parte Vieja. Situated southwest of Parte Vieja, the beach stretches about a mile wide and offers spectacular views of Monte Urgull, Monte Igueldo and Santa Clara Island, as well as the beautiful architecture that borders La Concha Promenade. This promenade, famous for its decorative, white wrought iron barrier, is a gateway to other points of interest in the city, including Parte Vieja and Miramar Palace, as well as a few beachside parks. 
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  • #5
    Monte Urgull
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    #5 in San Sebastian
    Churches/Religious Sites, Hiking, Museums, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Hiking, Museums, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Monte Urgull is one of two peaks that bookend La Concha (the other is Monte Igueldo). The lush hill makes for a great hike, with incredible views awaiting visitors at the top. Along with the panoramic vistas at the summiy, hikers will find Castillo de la Motad, which dates back to the 12th century and once served as a fortress to protect the city from invasion. 

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  • #6
    Zurriola Beach
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    #6 in San Sebastian
    Beaches, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Located on the other side of Monte Urgull, Zurriola Beach (or Playa Zurriola) differs from La Concha in that it's an action-packed surfing spot. In fact, the waves are so impressive (swells can reach a foot-and-a-half on a regular day), numerous local and international surfing competitions are held here. The best time for surfing in San Sebastian is during fall and winter. That's because waves are the biggest this time of year, reaching 5 to 6 feet in height. Even if you're not a surfer, you can still enjoy Playa Zurriola. The beach features plenty of space to stretch your legs and is completely safe for swimming. 
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