Holidays in
San Sebastian

Pintxos by the beach

With a great, golden bay and some of the best food in the world, San Sebastián on the Bay of Biscay in Spain is irresistible. The Spanish royal family started taking San Sebastián holidays in 1845, and its bubbling atmosphere, excellent beaches and mouthwatering ‘pintxos’ (small snacks) have kept it hugely popular ever since.

Despite this, it rarely feels overwhelmed by visitors. That’s partly down to its great sweeping beaches, which feature spots for both swimmers and surfers, and are great for going on seaside strolls. It’s also partly because, with its charming Old Town alleys and squares stuffed with numerous restaurants and bars, there’s always a new gastronomic experience to seek out on holidays to San Sebastián. The seafood is delicious, but there are plenty of other options on the menus to explore. Around town, museums, churches, an aquarium, a hilltop amusement park and a forested headland with great views give you the opportunity to work up an appetite.

Your San Sebastián questions, answered

Pintxos are the Basque equivalent of tapas. They’re generally a few euros for a small plate – you’ll see some sitting ready on the bar, while others are ordered from the menu.

Cool in winter and warm in summer. The Basque Country is wetter than southern Spain, but you’ve a good chance of beach sun all year round, and there are rainy-day activities to keep you entertained.

Spanish and Basque have joint official status. You’ll see the Basque language on menus across Euskal Herria (Basque Country), but Spanish is understood everywhere, too.

Best things to do in San Sebastián

Hit the beach

Playa de la Concha is a great, glorious curve of sand, perfect for swimming or sunbathing. The windier Playa de Zurriola, meanwhile, is popular with surfers.

Go on a pintxo crawl

It feels like there’s a pintxos bar around every corner in the Old Town. An evening sampling them with beer or wine is the definitive San Sebastián night out.

Climb Monte Urgull

A wooded park climbs the hill above the sea just north of the Old Town. You can stroll along the waterfront or walk up to La Mota Castle to gaze back across the city’s beautiful bay.