ONCE A SLEEPY BASQUE PORT, SAN SEBASTIÁN HAS BECOME ONE OF THE WORLD’S PREMIER GASTRONOMIC DESTINATIONS.

Perched on the Bay of Biscay, in the heart of Basque Country, lies San Sebastián, Spain’s renowned gastronomic capital. A relaxed metropolis, San Sebastián comfortably bridges old world and new with its world-class artwork, architectural marvels, vibrant cultural festivals, and modern design.

Euro
Spanish, Basque
San Sebastian Airport (EAS), Biarritz Parme Airport (BIQ), Pamplona Airport (PNA), Vitoria Airport (VIT), Bilbao Airport (BIO)

DISCOVERIES

ISLA SANTA CLARA
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Just a quick boat trip from the city center and Playa de la Concha, this tiny, uninhabited island in middle of the bay is a popular destination for hiking excursions and festive picnics. Clamber around on its rugged, tree-lined shores, dangle your feet in the water as you snack on local treats, and snap postcard-perfect pictures of the city beyond.

KURSAAL
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Two cubes of translucent glass rest upon the sandy shores of the Bay of Biscay, reflecting and blending with their natural surroundings. Inside this famed cultural center and event space, auditoriums and exhibition halls witness the crescendo of a symphony orchestra, the pas de deux of ballet dancers, and the quiet hush of a crowd as the opening movie of the San Sebastián International Film Festival begins.

MOUNT URGULL
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Rising as a protective barrier between San Sebastián’s Parte Vieja and the sea beyond, Mount Urgull has been the heart of the city since a fort was built there it in the 12th century. Hike up to the top to visit artist Federico Coullaut’s 12-meter-high El Sagrado Corazón sculpture – and to admire panoramic views of the harbor below. On the ocean side of the mountain, Paseo Nuevo is a popular seafront promenade for locals.

OLD QUARTER
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Known as the Parte Vieja, San Sebastián’s tiny Old Quarter was entirely rebuilt after the fire of 1861. Here, narrow, cobbled streets wind between arched colonnades, tiers of balconies overlook the umbrella-shaded cafés of Constitution Square, ruins of ancient walls hide in plain sight, and colorful shops and tapas bars beckon. Be sure to spend an evening on a txikiteo: hopping between the many pintxo bars, sampling the city’s traditional flavors.

PEINE DEL VIENTO
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Created by the sculptor Eduardo Chillida and the architect Luis Peña Ganchegui, El Peine del Viento embodies San Sebastián’s dedication to public art. Perched on the rocky coast below Mount Igueldo, this modern-art sculpture doubles as an open-air museum and meeting point for both locals and tourists.

SAN TELMO MUSEUM
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Nestled just below San Sebastian’s Mount Urgull stands the striking San Telmo Museum, once a 16th-century Gipuzkoan-style Dominican convent. The region’s oldest museum devoted to Basque culture, the institution houses a comprehensive permanent collection of archaeological artifacts, alongside paintings and sculptures. A recently opened, eco-conscious annex made of an aluminum-and-lichen exterior was designed by Neito Sobjeano Architects and the artists Leopoldo Ferrán and Agustina.

VICTORIA EUGENIA THEATER
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Facing the Hotel Maria Cristina, this magnificent Belle Époque building seems a picture of old-world San Sebastián, designed by architect Francisco de Urcola in 1912 and adorned with Doric columns and dramatic, Renaissance-inspired bas-reliefs. And yet, its programming is more modern: the theater hosts many of the city’s renowned jazz, film, and theater festivals.

ZURRIOLA BEACH
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While Playa de la Concha may be San Sebastián’s most famous and popular beach, Zurriola Beach – in the Gros district, adjacent to the old quarter – is where the locals and surfers go. The site of the city’s renowned international surf competition, the beach is a constant center of activity, from beach volleyball and soccer games to sand-castle competitions and surf lessons.

FEATURED EVENTS

EPICUREAN

EXPLORERS

Old Town

Dine on the city’s signature pintxos and cider as you explore the Old Town’s streets at night.

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STAY

The Perfect Ending: Join SPG

Join the Starwood Preferred Guest program and end every journey with a reward, including points for exclusive offers and free nights at exceptional hotels and resorts worldwide.

Exterior View of Illuminated Hotel and Pool
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