San Sebastian City Guide
San Sebastian Location: Northern Part of Spain (Pais Vasco)
A cosmopolitan city if ever there was one, (the border with France is only 25 km. away), San Sebastián has a French feel to it in the design of the streets and buildings of the city’s Romantic district. If you walk through the Plaza de Gipuzcoa, or along Calle Prim, with its surprising modernist houses, or contemplate the block formed by the Victoria Eugenia Theater and the María Cristina Hotel, which overlooks the river Urumea, you are taken back in time to late nineteenth-century Paris.
The city center stretches along the La Concha Bay, a stunningly beautiful sight. During the warm spring and summer days, this beach area is a favorite destination for locals and tourists who want to relax and enjoy the sun. It is said that San Sebastián has the nicest city beach anywhere in Spain. The area next to the beach is full of vendors, bars, and restaurants. To one side of the bay is the old fishing port, which today is still used by the local fisherman. Overlooking the bay to each side, are two mountains, both of which provide excellent views of the city and the bay.
One of the most charming parts of San Sebastián is the Parte Vieja. This area, surrounded by the monumental Sagrado Corazón and the fortified remains of Urgull hill, centers around the secluded fishing port and the Plazas Constitución and Trinidad. The latter plaza is tucked away in one of the oldest corners or “txokos” of the city, which contains not only a small ball court, but a special area used for the ever popular stone dragging competitions (oxen are used in this event). Close by, visit the Old Casino, once the summer residence of the Spanish Monarchy, and which today houses the Town Council. Another interesting spot is the Miramar Palace, the former meeting place of Spanish Nobility.
Though the past is gone, San Sebastián and the Parte Vieja are still alive and kicking. Throughout the area you will find hundreds of bars, small inns, and restaurants stretching along the narrow and winding streets. Each location is very inviting, so make sure you drop in to one of these places and sample some of their world-famous tapas. The Parte Vieja is also home to some of Spain’s finest craftsman and artisans who specialize in wonderful Basque country products such as leather works and basketry.
San Sebastián is an ideal destination for someone who wants to visit a part of Spain that is very different from the rest of the country. You will enjoy the friendly, intimate way of life this provincial capital offers, while still enjoying the wealth of cultural activities normally associated with the larger Spanish cities.
For someone who wants to experience a part of Spain less traveled, San Sebastian is an excellent choice!
Things To See And Do In The Area
- Visit the Parte Vieja
- Relax on the beach
- Participate in a variety of water sports
- Enjoy the local cuisine
- A nice nightlife scene
- Explore the city
- Go to Bilbao or head to France for the weekend
- And much…much…more!
We are confident that learning Spanish at the San Sebastian Spanish School will be a wonderful experience!
Getting To San Sebastian, Spain
- There are a limited number of direct international flights to San Sebastian
- Fly into Madrid and take a flight or train to San Sebastian
- Fly into Bilbao and take a bus to San Sebastian
- Fly into Barcelona and take a flight or train to San Sebastian
If you have questions about how to arrive into San Sebastian, Spain please do not hesitate to contact us.