San Sebastián is on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by a picturesque bay front promenade, and world-renowned restaurants with by innovative chefs. Find upscale shops, vibrant pintxo bars that pair local wines with bite-size regional specialties.
San Sebastián is one of the world’s great dining destinations. This city celebrates the art of eating well – whether snacking on fresh oysters and txakoli at a seaside cafe or lingering over a multi-course meal. Pintxos bars are all along the streets of San Sebastián, and showcase first-rate ingredients with the culinary creativity of Basque chefs. If you are a foodie, then you will love San Sebastian. Read on and plan your San Sebastian Donostia Spain vacation!
San Sebastian Donostia Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit San Sebastian is from May to July. Summer has the least amount of rain compared to the rest of the year. If you are a night owl, plan your visit during August and September, when the city hosts numerous cultural events, including Europe's longest running classical music festival. October is another great time when visitors can experience lower temperatures and less crowds, however this is a time of heavy rainfall. If you are looking for the best deal, winter (with its chilly temperatures) will provide you with lower rates.
Best San Sebastian Donostia Beaches
Zurriola is the surf beach of the city and belongs to the surfer neighbourhood Gros. Every day you will be able to spot some surfers here. You can also try to surf yourself, by taking some classes at one of the several surfing schools. There are more young people attracted to this beach and you can find several cool beach bars here.
This is one of the biggest and most central beaches in the Concha Bay. It has been recognized as the most beautiful beaches in Spain. It is also listed as one of the Top 2o Beach Destinations in the world. It is protected by the bay and the island making it very peaceful with calm water, making it a great swimming beach.
The Ondarreta beach is also located in the Concha bay. The water is calmer close to this beach with Santa Clara Island offering protection against the winds. It's a great beach for families with children. You'll find playgrounds, a beach bar, and a rental service of canoes during summer.
Santa Clara Island Beach
This beach on Santa Clara island is usually called the “4th beach” of San Sebastián. You can only reach it by the water, either by canoe or by swimming to it. There are beach facilities to include showers and a beach bar.
Best San Sebastian Donostia Tours & Activities by Viator
Half-Day Way of St. James Hiking Tour from San Sebastián
Experience San Sebastian’s highlights and lesser-known delights on this small-group electric bike tour. Hop on an easy-to-ride bike and see more than you ever could on a walking tour as you travel along the city's large network of bike lanes. Discover La Concha, the Boulevard, and Monte Igueldo for bird’s-eye views, and explore often-overlooked districts such as the university and sports quarter. Ideal for first-time and short-on-time visitors, with a choice of departures. Visit Here to learn more about the Half-Day San Sebastian Hiking Tour.
Ultimate San Sebastian Pintxos & Wine Tour
Discover the tradition of pintxos (Basque tapas) during this small-group food tour in San Sebastian. See the city through a local’s lens and visit six pintxos bars meeting the families behind them along the way. Taste a variety of snacks and Spanish wine as you stroll through San Sebastian in a group limited to just eight people. Visit Here to learn more about the San Sebastian Pintxos & Wine Tour.
San Sebastián Food Tour: Pintxos and Wine
Discover the esteemed culinary scene of San Sebastián on an evening tour to three award-winning ‘pintxos’ (Basque tapas) bars. Accompanied by an expert gastronomical guide, discover the history behind the miniature morsels known as pintxos and pleasure your palate with samples of some of the city’s best. Tantalize your taste buds with local delicacies like spider crab while sipping fine Basque wines and crisp locally brewed beers. Visit Here to learn more about the San Sebastian Food Tour: Pintxos & Wine.
Basque by Bike Small-Group Cycle Tour in San Sebastián
Explore the Basque history and quirky charm of San Sebastián on this bike tour. Cycle along beaches, rivers, battlefields, and bays with a savvy guide, passing by aristocratic palaces and avant garde pinxto bars along the way. With a relaxed pace and the flexibility to stop often, It's a great way to get acquainted with San Sebastián’s contrasting historic highlights and modern vibe. Visit Here to learn more about the Basque by Bike Small-Group Cycle Tour.
Walking the UNESCO'S Basque Coast Geopark in Zumaia
Discover some of the Basque Country’s most spectacular scenery on this small-group walking tour from Zumaia. Meet your guide in the town center, and set off on foot (walking sticks and ponchos are provided for your comfort). Your destination is the Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, renowned for its extraordinary rock formations, many of which date back hundreds of millions of years. Learn about the region’s history as you go before winding down with a traditional pintxo and drink at a local tavern. Visit Here to learn more about the Walking Tour Basque coast Geopark.
Best San Sebastian Donostia Restaurants
Mugaritz $ 30 & Up
Mugaritz has a tasting menu that is a 20-course extravaganza. You might be presented with eggs that look like pebbles, a ‘macaroon’ made with pig's blood and almonds, or sautéed sea slugs with ‘vegetable charcoal’ and salad sprouts. Texture almost seems more important than taste. A meal at Mugaritz won't be forgotten. Telephone: 34 943 52 24 55 Web: Mugaritz
Rekondo $ 30 & Up
Enjoy the setting, in a former farmhouse on the way up to Mount Igeldo with views of La Concha bay; the wine cellar, long recognized as San Sebastián’s finest, overseen by world-class sommelier Martín Flea; and chef Iñaki Arrieta, a chef who takes Basque cooking to a higher level. You might find scallops a la plancha with a coriander cream, or carpaccio of carabinero prawns with pistachio vinaigrette, alongside the classic txuleta – a slab of ox grilled over wood embers. Telephone : 34 943 21 29 07 Web: Rekondo
Galerna Jan Eden $ 11 – 30
Creative and invigorating combos include: oysters with a with a hazelnut ajoblanco, roast octopus with spicy and coriander-based mojo sauces, and migas with smoked mackerel, beetroot and truffle. Telephone: 34 943 27 88 39 Web: Galerna Jan Eden
Zazpi $ 11 – 30
This downtown pintxo bar/restaurant may be noisy and brightly lit, but the food, by new-generation chef Paul Arrillaga, is stunning. Dishes, chalked up on a blackboard above the bar, are surprisingly upscale given the restaurant’s friendly down-home setting. Telephone: 34 943 50 67 67 Web: Zazpi
Enjoy this modern eatery to include decorative trappings from the original convent, and a menu that’s into vegetable-centric eating. The dishes feel like modern comfort food: cabbage rolls with demi-glace, a chunk of pancetta over quinoa, roasted eggplant with miso — all served beneath antique candelabras. Telephone: 34 843 68 70 20 Web: Convent Garden
Best San Sebastian Donostia Pintxo Bars
Altxerri Bar is located in the old city on 2 Calle Regente and is a must for music and jazz lovers. Altxerri is one of the best places for live music in the city and one of the most authentic Donosti atmospheres. Telephone: 34 943 42 16 93 Web: Altxerri Bar
Ondara 16 Bis
This bar is located close to beach and its bustling crowd and quality tunes have increasingly made it a popular spot. It has a relaxed vibe and the style of music varies. It also hosts a number of events from jam sessions to concerts and poetry readings. Telephone: 34 688 77 95 28 Web: Ondara 16 Bis
Le Bukowski has been around for over 20 years and offers a variety of music from electro to soul and pop. It also features a variety of gigs and plays, offering entertainment for almost every taste. The bar is located in the Barrio Egia and has great drink prices. Telephone: 34 943 32 11 42 Web: Le Bukowski
Akerbeltz is situated just on the port and you can take drinks outside take in the breathtaking views over the ocean. It is extremely popular among locals. The quirky interior and the music is dominated by rocky vibes or electronic beats. Telephone: 34 943 30 08 46 Web: Akerbeltz
Eiger Edaritegia is one of the busiest places in the city on the weekend and offers a down to earth atmosphere and crowd. The playlist consists primarily of rock and will win over any guitar enthusiast. The bar itself is unpretentious and caters to a more relaxed audience. Telephone: 34 943 42 38 64 Web: Eiger Edaritegia