Top 5 in San Sebastian

Top 5 things to do in

San Sebastian

View of La Concha from Monte Urgull

San Sebastian is a popular resort with about 200 000 inhabitants. It has a very charming old town with narrow streets passing by beautiful houses, a lovely promenade along the beach of La Concha (shell in Spanish). It is also the food capital of Spain, some would say the world! Here is our top 5 things to do in San Sebastian.


1. Eat

There are an endless amount of lovely tapas or Pintxos restaurants in the old town of San Sebastian and you will probably be happy no matter which restaurant you choose. Even though most tapas look more or less the same they do differ so do a little check around the offered pintxos before choosing where to go.

We did a mistake being in San Sebastian on a Monday and then all the best restaurants are closed. But we realized that even on Mondays there are plenty of restaurants open.

Tapas in San Sebastian are called Pintxos because they stick a little pin in the tapas. The Pintxos can be hot as well as cold and differ some in price depending on the ingredients. Pintxos with Serrano ham are the most expensive ones. The Spanish people set large pride in their dry-cured ham. The average price for a tapas in San Sebastian is 3 Euros. On the country-side like in Elantxobe or in Getxo the price was 1 Euro.

In San Sebastian you find super famous restaurants like Arzak run by the fourth generation of the family Arzak that serves tasting menus for lunch and dinner. Be sure to check up that even if you are not here on a Monday the restaurant may be closed for vacations in July and November. Prices start at 210 Euro pp plus wine pairing. 

San Sebastian actually has the highest number of Michelin stars per square kilometres, a total of 17 so the story goes on and on. Arzak has three stars. So does Akerlare which is outside San Sebastian in Gipuzkoa. Kokotxa and Zuberoa in San Sebastian has one star each. 

Another restaurant that is a little cheaper is Misura about 2 kilometres from La Concha beach. Misura serves vegetarian tasting menus. Prices start at 58 Euros pp.

2. Discover the old town

The old town of San Sebastian, Parte Vieja, is probably the most visited part of San Sebastian. With the beach Concha to the west, Monte Urgull in the north and Rio Urumeay you will not be lost.

Stroll along the cobbled streets and enjoy tapas in the afternoon.

3. Walk along La Concha and have a swim

The beach La Concha has the shape of a shell and is a must in San Sebastian. The beach is 1,350 metres long and on average the width is 40 metres. All along the beach is a promenade perfect for walking along the beach all the way from the foot of Monte Urgull to Monte Igeldo Mendia.

In the middle of the bay is you see the island of Santa Clara.

4. Hike along Camino del Norte

This lovely 6 kilometres easy hike starts just after Zurriola beach on the east side of the city at the beginning of Avenue Navarre. Look out for a gas station - right there is where the path starts. It can be a bit confusing at first but as soon you see the gas station you are on the right track.

The hike starts a little upward at first but soon you will have magnificient views of San Sebastian and the Atlantic Ocean. Arriving at the end of the path you will have a faboulous view of Pasai de San Juan.

The route is very well marked and you will for sure not get lost. Read more about the hike here.

5. Walk to the top of Monte Urgull

Monte Urgull is right by the Old Town. Going to the top of the mountain is an easy walk uphill for about 20 minutes and it brings a nice view of the beach La Concha.

There is an old castle on top of the mountain - El Castillo de la Mota from the 12th century. There is also a 12 metres high San Sebastian Christ statue with a small chapel.

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