Visiting the neighbourhoods of San Sebastian
Although its most emblematic symbol is La Concha Bay, our city has much more to offer and enjoy. This is why today we invite you to visit the neighbourhoods of San Sebastian.
From the most central area to some relatively more distant neighbourhoods, San Sebastian hides plans to enjoy art, sport, gastronomy, shopping and even nature.
The Centre and the Old City
Our tour of San Sebastian’s neighbourhoods begins right outside the door of our unique hotel in La Concha Bay. We are right in the heart of the city, which offers us several plans. You can, for example, enjoy the beach, walk along the Bay, delight with the buildings of the romantic area of the city, go shopping in the centre or go into the Old City to taste its delicious pintxos.
The Gipuzkoa square, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, the Buen Pastor Cathedral, the Alderdi Eder gardens with an elegant carrousel, the lively Boulevard, the Fishing Port and Mount Urgull are some of the must-see places. Moreover, it is in this area where, in a few meters, we find museums such as San Telmo (essential to know the Basque history), the Naval Museum and the Aquarium.
Also very close to Villa Favorita, but turning west instead of east, you will find the Miramar Palace, the summer residence of Queen Maria Cristina. Under its gardens, we will discover the tunnel that separates the Centre of San Sebastian from the Old City and its beach, Ondarreta.
The Miramar Palace is an English style palace. Although the building is closed to the general public, we suggest you contemplate it while enjoying a walk through its spectacular gardens, the work of master gardener Pierre Ducasse.
After a pleasant walk through the gardens that surround Ondarreta beach, we arrive at the Peine del Viento, another of the essential visits in Donostia. One of the best known works of the sculptor Eduardo Chillida. A magical place from which to contemplate the force of the sea in all its splendour.
Then we can near the slopes of Mount Igeldo and discover a funicular railway, with more than 100 years of history, which will take us to the past… and to the next place we propose to visit.
Going up in the funicular from the Antiguo, we arrive at the Monte Igueldo amusement park. Far from what it may seem when reading “amusement park” this is a must see at any age.
At Monte Igueldo we can take a trip to the past, to our childhood. In addition, its panoramic terraces offer the best view of San Sebastian, a world-famous image that we cannot miss.
We still have the sea in front of us. Gros is the youngest and most cosmopolitan neighbourhood in the city, and its Zurriola beach, the wildest in San Sebastian, is a surfer’s paradise.
Gros is one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in the city, which also has many pintxo bars. It stretches from the Kursaal cubes to Mount Ulía, from whose slopes we can enjoy spectacular sunsets sitting on the Sagües wall.
Just a stone’s throw from the centre of San Sebastian, we find a neighbourhood full of personality and contrasts. At Egia, we find the Cristina Enea Park, which we talked about on our route through the Palaces of San Sebastian. A green paradise with its paths surrounded by a multitude of species of trees and flowers, a pond and birds in freedom.
And next to this green lung, we find the perfect fusion between history and modernity: Tabakalera. The old tobacco factory converted into a Cultural Centre. In addition to visiting its galleries and enjoying its works of art, we can go up to the rooftop, a viewpoint that offers incredible views of the city.
Aiete & Miramón
From park to park, and we continue to enjoy green spaces and palaces. At the top of the city, a little further away from the centre, we find the park and Palacio de Aiete.
Its gardens are worth visiting, with ponds, caves, waterfalls and more than 100 species of trees and plants! The palace, of neoclassical inspiration, was built on behalf of the Dukes of Bailen in 1878. It was designed by the French architect Adolfo Ombrecht. For many years, it has been the residence of royalty and nobility and the House of Culture of Aiete. It currently houses the House of Peace and Human Rights.
Between Aiete and Miramón, we find the Katxola farmhouse, a vestige of what used to be the Miramón area, a place full of farmhouses surrounded by nature, which today has become a Technology Park full of modern buildings, such as the Basque Culinary Center, a building whose architecture is as original as it is impressive, bringing together design and nature in such a way that it seems to emerge from it.
Amara-Anoeta, Riberas de Loiola
Walking from the Center, along the Urumea River, enjoying the different architectural styles of its bridges, we arrive at Amara. A neighborhood that, although it does not appear in the tourist guides, enables us to understand the daily life of the people of San Sebastian.
Furthermore, for football lovers, here we find the renovated Anoeta stadium, the Reale Arena.
Nearby, we find the new neighbourhood of Donostia: Riberas de Loiola, where we can see one of the most modern architectures of the city. The Iesu Church, designed by the architect Rafael Moneo. This white church, inaugurated in 2011, surprises with its avant-garde style and minimalist design.
Beyond these tourist attractions
Beyond these tourist attractions, Donostia has corners that only the locals know about: neighbourhoods with the essence of a town, such as Igeldo, Altza or Zubieta, with their Hippodrome and their pelota court; an old fort in Ametzagaina Park, between Loiola, Intxaurrondo and Martutene; a sanctuary hidden in the hillside of Igeldo, the water tanks of Mount Ulia…
Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in one of the neighbourhoods of San Sebastian.
Whatever plans and neighbourhoods you choose; we are committed to providing you with an unforgettable experience in our city. Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.