A weekend in San Sebastián
San Sebastián is the perfect plan for a weekend away at any time of year. This beautiful city is not too large and the best bits can easily be covered in two and a half days. Book a trip and discover everything there is to see and do in San Sebastián over a weekend.
We suggest you quietly explore the old town and then stroll along the magnificent La Concha beach promenade to The Comb of the Wind sculpture in Ondarreta. You can then tuck into some traditional Basque food in one of the many fantastic restaurants, but you’ll need to leave room for some Basque tapas-style pintxos later on. What are you waiting for? San Sebastián is waiting for you!
Itinerary day 1
17:00 – 17:30 h
San Sebastián’s Town Hall is one of the most majestic buildings in the city. Located between the beautiful Alderdi Eder gardens and the seafront, it was a casino in the city’s Belle Époque heyday. Fun fact: The current Council Chamber is located in the old Gran Casino ballroom.
18:00 – 18:30 h
This is one of the principal open spaces in San Sebastián. The large square sits under the proud gaze of the Local Government building, and is where locals come to hang out, feed the swans and ducks in the pond or simply enjoy the gardens.
19:00 – 20:30 h
Considered the best urban beach in Europe, La Concha is surely the most beautiful and symbolic in San Sebastián. There is always somebody walking along it, regardless of the weather. If you don’t fancy getting sandy, just meander along the promenade.
21:00 – 23:00 h
This restaurant is very close to La Concha beach and offers international dishes using local produce. The restaurant is very welcoming, the dishes are well presented and the service is excellent. The tomato salad with salmon, and the beef cheeks in gravy are simply delicious.
Itinerary day 2
10:00 – 11:00 h
Museoa San Telmo is a museum located in a magnificent Renaissance-era building, which was originally a Dominican monastery and then army barracks. It has a spectacular cloister and the old church is decorated with paintings by Josep María Sert, a Catalan mural artist and friend of Salvador Dalí. This museum portrays the evolution of Basque society through fascinating artifacts and artwork.
11:30 – 13:00 h
The Parte Vieja, or Old Town, is where you’ll find the bars, restaurants and gastronomy clubs that are so popular with locals and tourists alike. Make sure you go through Plaza de la Constitución for a truly authentic experience; and don’t miss the numbered balconies. The square used to be a bullring and the numbers indicate the boxes from which spectators viewed the bull fights.
13:30 – 14:00 h
This old market is well worth a visit to stock up on some fantastic local products. La Bretxa dates back to 1870, although the Pescadería (fish-market building) on the other side of the square was built later. Today the market shares its space with restaurants, clothes shops and home décor shops, among others.
14:30 - 16:00 h
You can’t visit San Sebastián without going for pintxos in Parte Vieja. Immerse yourself in the local culture and discover some of the district’s most popular eateries: Bar Bergara (General Artetxe, 8), Borda Berri tavern (Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12), and the restaurants Txalupa (Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 3) and La Espiga (San Martzial Kalea, 48).
16:30 – 18:30 h
Located between the port and the new promenade, San Sebastián Aquarium has become one of the best tourist attractions in the city. It has more than 31 aquariums teeming with sealife from all over the world. One of these tanks is the Oceanarium, an enormous aquarium with a glass tunnel providing a 360º underwater panorama.
19:00 – 20:30 h
When you leave the aquarium, take the opportunity to walk along San Sebastián’s quays. One runs alongside the sailing club and forms part of the marina for pleasure boats. The other was designed for fishing vessels. If you like, you can take a trip aboard the ‘Ciudad de San Sebastián’ to take in the coastline from a different point of view.
21:00 – 23:00 h
This is a typical Basque restaurant that never disappoints. Using the freshest local produce, the dishes are exquisitely prepared. The seafood is always the catch of the day, and includes prawns, sardines and baby squid. The staff are very efficient and always ensure you leave full and satisfied. The food is exceptionally good for the price.
Itinerary day 3
10:00 - 11:00 h
Start your Sunday with a visit to the beach for some fresh sea air. Ondarreta is one of the three best beaches in the city and, possibly, the least busy of all of them. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the bay. You can also meander through the pretty, well-manicured Ondarreta Gardens, or explore the winding streets of the Antiguo district.
11:30 - 12:30 h
Since its unveiling in 1977, this sculpture has become the great icon of San Sebastián. The Comb of the Wind (Peine del Viento) is a set of three sculptures, each weighing nine tonnes, created by Eduardo Chillida to bring nature and art together. It is quite a spectacle on stormy days when the wind whips the waves up and the water is ‘combed’ by the sculptures.
13:00 - 14:00 h
In 2015, San Sebastián’s old tobacco factory was transformed into the International Centre for Contemporary Culture, and is today an emblematic spot in the city. It is worth visiting Tabakalera just to see the interesting building and to take in the amazing views from the Prism on the roof terrace.
14:30 – 16:30 h
This is a quiet, cosy restaurant where the quality of the cuisine is guaranteed. It serves signature dishes and has several vegetarian options, as well as freshly caught local fish. Around 80% of the ingredients the restaurant uses are organic, non-GM whole foods. Tedone Jatetxea is hidden gem in San Sebastián.
17:00 - 18:00 h
Kursaal is a hub for culture and recreation in San Sebastián. Located at the mouth of the Urumea River, it is a bold and striking architectural complex designed by the architect Rafael Moneo. It has two large terraces overlooking the river and Zurriola beach.
18:30 - 20:30 h
The Gros district lies between Kursaal and Monte Ulía, and looks out to sea over Zurriola beach, where you will always see surfers. It is one of the most lively areas of the city, and you are well advised to explore its bars, terraces and enchanting little shops.
21:00 – 23:00 h
Of the eleven Spanish restaurants with three Michelin stars, three are in San Sebastián. Say your final farewell to the city and end your weekend break by booking a special meal in Arzak. Prepare yourself for real culinary creativity and skill.