Sightseeing in San Sebastián: what to see


It is impossible to resist the charms of San Sebastián, probably the most elegant and sophisticated city in Spain. Zealously protected by the Igueldo, Urgull and Ulía mountains, and built around the magnificent bay of La Concha, its aristocratic spirit permeates its palaces, boulevards and façades.

If you are considering a visit to this jewel of the north, at Renfe we have prepared a list of what you cannot miss in San Sebastian. What are you waiting for?

San Sebastián: leisure tourism

San Sebastián is a gem brimming with exquisite details, such as the lanterns in the gardens of Alderdi Eder and its Carrousel Palace, the La Perla spa, the monumental Maria Cristina bridge and the Victoria Eugenia theatre (with a cultural programme, by the way, of the highest standard).

The city's 19th-century town planning, especially in the area of La Concha and El Ensanche, is a true wonder.

Donosti and its beaches: must-sees

San Sebastian is the perfect destination for beach lovers, and it's no wonder why! The city of Donosti is home to 4 beaches. One of the essentials when visiting the city is Playa de La Concha. This treasure is considered the most beautiful urban beach in Europe, thanks in part to the elegant modernist promenade that borders it. But in addition to La Concha, San Sebastián is home to 3 lesser-known beaches that are well worth a visit:

  • Playa de Ondarreta, the perfect beach for having a good time with the family on account of its location, its waters and the wide range of activities on offer here.
  • La Zurriola is the ideal beach for surfing, as the waves enter the Sagüés section directly. This beach has even played host to international surfing championships.
  • Santa Clara is a beach that is only visible for a few hours a day, as the rest of the day, it is submerged by the tide.

The home of pintxos

Speaking of eating and drinking, did you know that San Sebastián is the city with the most Michelin stars per m2 in the world? Not to mention its famous 'pintxos' (tapas)! Getting to know the Parte Vieja (historic quarter) by visiting its bars and restaurants, with their 'zuritos' (beers), 'txikitos' (small, squat glasses of wine), peppers stuffed with 'txangurro' (crab) and 'gildas' (an anchovy with pickled green chilli peppers and olives on a toothpick), is a delicious experience in every way.


Get your calendar at the ready: the city has several unmissable events which have seen San Sebastián crowned one of the main cultural destinations in Spain ... and it's no wonder!

Starting with the world famous San Sebastián International Film Festival. Each September, this occasion brings together national and international stars, which see the city dressed up to the nines.

If you are passionate about fashion, remember that the GdM San Sebastián Moda Festival shows take over such iconic buildings as the Museo Balenciaga (museum) or the San Telmo museum in May and October.

Another very different style is the one we find in the Egia district. Nicknamed 'the SoHo of Donostia', it has housed a lot of new cultural spaces and has become the trendy neighbourhood over recent years.

You will enter it as you leave the station and you will be fabulously welcomed by the exhibitions of the Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture (climb up to its roof for incredible views!). A very lively neighbourhood, full of bars, legendary Donostia nightclubs, well-priced restaurants, and—on Fridays—the famous 'pintxopote' (tapas route) and an unparalleled atmosphere.

Visiting San Sebastián? Then go by train!

At Renfe, we have prepared a list of Larga Distancia (long-distance) train routes to make your trips faster and more comfortable and sustainable. Don't put up with a single traffic jam more and choose Renfe!

Also, check out our San Sebastián Cercanías (commuter) timetables and lines to really discover everything the province has to offer.