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Things to do in San Sebastián

This Spanish coastal town offers sunny beaches, a charming old town, and scores of Michelin-starred food.

Our most recommended things to do in San Sebastián

Bilbao: San Sebastián & S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Guided Tour

1. Bilbao: San Sebastián & S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Guided Tour

Explore the Basque Country with a guided tour starting in San Sebastian around the old town to see San Vicente's Church and the Basilica of Santa María del Coro. Step back in time as you learn about the local history and visit important sites such as the Plaza Mayor, Plaza Gipuzkoa, and Town Hall.  Enjoy the atmosphere of San Sebastián as you stroll around Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Constitución. Arrive at the port, one of the most important places in the area. Learn about the fires that devastated a large part of the town. Get your camera ready for photos of La Concha Bay.  Walk around the Town Hall, one of the finest buildings in the city, until arriving in the Ensanche de San Sebastián. Visit the city's lungs, Plaza Gipuzkoa and Plaza Okendo, greenspaces that are surrounded by the Urumea River. After the guided tour is finished, you will have some free time to explore or purchase some of the typical pintxos, or small plates. The tour will end in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an islet that can only be accessed by a pedestrian path. Go on a panoramic tour of the area and discover the area’s dreamlike cliffs which were featured in the HBO series, Game of Thrones.

San Sebastian: Guided Food Tour with Pintxo Tasting & Wines

2. San Sebastian: Guided Food Tour with Pintxo Tasting & Wines

Immerse yourself in the charming Parte Vieja (Old Town) of San Sebastian on a guided food tour. Discover the best pintxos in town, paired with 5 Spanish wines from different regions and local cider. Taste the best gastronomic creations combined with delicious Spanish wines. Learn the history behind each turn of the picturesque Old Town as you stroll to the five eateries with your guide. Choose between a shared or private option, and feel free to ask your guide for any recommendations on where to eat or drink during your stay.

San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

3. San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

Join a curated San Sebastian pintxos tour to discover the city’s best pintxos bars in the old town while you learn the local ways of dining out and how to enjoy the Basque way of eating (and drinking).  Along the way, learn the fascinating history of the region’s complex and unique cuisine and culture, as you weave in and out of its mystery-filled streets. Begin the evening in true local style with some crisp local cider and delicious seafood pintxos. Move on to acorn-fed Iberian ham, as well as the local variety. Taste the best anchovies in the country, the most delicious local beef, seared local cod, suckling pig, and more.  Dive into hand-picked hidden taverns serving delicious and unique house specialties– from traditional local favorites to gourmet modern creations - you’ll try them all. Wash the pintxos down with excellent local wines, ciders, and more. Gain an understanding of the local culture and history – which is plentiful in the Basque Country and San Sebastian as you fill your mind as well as your belly.  Receive a free mini-guide, which is packed with all of the guide's favorite places to eat and drink in the city, so you’ll be eating well for the rest of your stay.

From San Sebastian: Hondarribia, San Pedro & San Juan Tour

4. From San Sebastian: Hondarribia, San Pedro & San Juan Tour

Visit some of the most beautiful and charming coastal towns on the Basque coast from San Sebastian. Venture to Hondarribia, San Juan, and San Pedro, take in panormic views from Mount Jaizkibel, and discover the Bay of Pasaia on this tour. Depart San Sebastian and first stop at Hondarribia, a medieval town where the sobriety of its old town contrasts with the joy felt the fishermen's quarter. Then, make your way to Mount Jaizkibel for panoramic views of the area. See the Bidasoa River that separates France and Spain. Finally, make your way to the Bay of Pasaia, with San Juan on one side and San Pedro on the other. Enjoy time exploring these villages before returning to San Sebastian.

San Sebastian: Boat Tour with Stop at Santa Clara

5. San Sebastian: Boat Tour with Stop at Santa Clara

See amazing sights at La Concha Bay as you head to Santa Clara Island. Along the way, you'll be able to see beautiful views of the Town Hall, the famous La Perla Spa, Mount Urgull, the Miramar Palace, and the Peine del Viento. The 30-minute journey will take you to Santa Clara Island. There, you'll be able can sunbathe, take a bath, enjoy the beach at low tide, visit the cliffs, and have a drink at the bar. Return boats to San Sebastian from Santa Clara depart every 30 minutes or every hour depending on the weather. If you do not wish to stop on the island for some free time the whole trip will take about 40 minutes in total.

San Sebastian: Guided E-Bike Tour

6. San Sebastian: Guided E-Bike Tour

Feel like a local as you pedal through San Sebastian on a guided e-bike tour. Cross the city's extensive network of bidegorris (bicycle lanes) and see all the highlights before heading to the south of San Sebastian, a less touristy but equally interesting area. Meet your guide in town and get ready to explore Donostia in a sustainable and safe way thanks to the city's network of bicycle lanes, which spans over 30 kilometers. Learn about the local culture and history from your guide as you make your way around this picturesque resort town. Pedal through the vibrant Gros neighborhood and pass by La Concha Bay. Visit the city's less known neighborhoods as El Antiguo or Egia, climb Mount Igeldo and much more. The carefully planned route ends back where your cycling tour started, at the activity provider's office in the heart of San Sebastian. 

San Sebastian: Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus

7. San Sebastian: Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus

Explore the Belle Epoque resort town of San Sebastian at leisure with a 1-day ticket to the open-top double-decker sightseeing bus. Learn the history of the Basque city with the complimentary audio guide, available in 8 different languages. You are free to get on and off all day long with the same ticket, while a complimentary guide and map contains all stops on the route to plan your visit. The buses are adapted for people with reduced mobility and have a sliding roof in case of rain. See the sites of the Parte Vieja (Old Town) and the ancient area beyond the Miramar Palace. Admire the grandiose buildings of Constitution Square and marvel at the 19th-century San Sebastián Cathedral and the historic bridges across the Urumea River.  • Aquarium/Paseo Nuevo • San Telmo/Parte Vieja • Plaza Guipúzcoa • Estación de tren-bus/Tabakalera • Gros • Playa Zurriola/Kursal • La Concha • La Perla • Playa Ondarreta • Peine del Viento • Funicular Igueldo • Barrio del Antiguo • Palacio Miramar • Catedral Buen Pastor

From Bilbao: Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz, San Sebastian Tour

8. From Bilbao: Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz, San Sebastian Tour

Explore Biarritz and the delightful coastal village of Saint Jean de Luz on this full-day guided tour from Bilbao. Feel a salty breeze as you drive with your windows down, marveling at the expanse of the blue ocean en route. Tuck into a tasty local treat before heading into Spain to visit San Sebastian's charming streets. After a pickup from your hotel in Bilbao, begin with a guided visit to Biarritz in the French Basque Country, a summer resort for the European Royalty. Discover the best views of the city and its most famous corners. Head to Saint Jean de Luz, a quaint coastal village where you'll taste a typical local sweet. Finally, stop in San Sebastian for a walking tour into the old town followed by a visit to Mount Igueldo with its spectacular panoramic views over the city.

From San Sebastian: Rioja Winery Tour with Tasting and Lunch

9. From San Sebastian: Rioja Winery Tour with Tasting and Lunch

Enjoy a complete winery experience in the famous La Rioja. Be picked up your hotel and drive to La Rioja Alavesa wine area, surrounded by beautiful scenery. Learn how wine is made, explore a beautiful vineyard and take a tour through a bodega. Refine your palette with a wine tasting session, then indulge in a delicious lunch with local produce, desserts and a range of wines carefully selected from the vineyard's cellar. Relax as you are driven  back to your accommodation later in the afternoon, gastronomically satisfied and equipped with your newly found connoisseur's knowledge.

San Sebastian: Amazing Guided Market & Food Pintxo Tour

10. San Sebastian: Amazing Guided Market & Food Pintxo Tour

Take a guided tour through the old town of San Sebastián and see why it’s known for having some of the world’s best pintxos, the local word for small snacks. Witness the spectacle of pintxos being served in a selection of bars, each in their own special way alongside Local cider and wine.Begin with a stroll through the market full of delectable local produce and stop for a ham tasting. Visit an olive shop to taste the best olives, gilda and oil while you hear the history behind La Gilda, one of the oldest known pintxos, and meet a local vendor who is in the world’s top 4 olive oil shops.Next, head to the old quarter and go bar-hopping like a Basque native. See some landmark buildings and learn about private cooking clubs as you make more stops to taste the most avant-garde pintxos, Rioja Wine, and natural apple cider.Enjoy stories about Basque’s fascinating dishes, language, and heritage as you meet locals in the market and bars.

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Frequently asked questions about San Sebastián

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What are the best day trips and excursions from San Sebastián?

The best day trips and excursions from San Sebastián are:

Bilbao

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in San Sebastián?

Other Sightseeing Options in San Sebastián

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What people are saying about San Sebastián

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 952 reviews

During the journey they gave us a lot of information about the visit. The guide in San Sebastián was very close and told us about the details of some of the most important buildings in the city and its history. A 10!

This was a really enjoyable day trip and a good way to spend a day if staying in Bilbao. There was lots of opportunities to ask the guide questions but also time to spend exploring on your own.

The guide was helpful and informative. We were better prepared to enjoy pintxo throughout the rest of our stay after starting with the tour and understanding the culture.

So grateful we didn't decide to drive ourselves, the wine region was beautiful. The village of Laguardia was an unexpected treat. Thank you for our experience.

We enjoyed wonderful landscapes and nice places - a very pleasent way to spent time near Bilbao after the New Year Eve.