The somewhat lesser known but certainly not less visited place San Sebastian is located in the Basque Country region of Spain. Because it is a bit further north than places like Seville and Barcelona, it is less hot in the summer and therefore a bit more pleasant in terms of temperature. Donostia-San Sebastián as its official name is, is located in a bay and is known as a family seaside resort. There are many shops, including some very chic. San Sebastian is therefore also called a fashionable seaside resort. The old part of the city (parte vieja) is characterized by narrow streets, houses with balconies and the many Pintxos bars where you can enjoy delicious snacks while enjoying a drink. Life often takes place outside and in the evening people prefer to meet each other in the old center. This very gastronomic city has a lot to offer for the tourist who enjoys life.
Top 10 sights of San Sebastián
#1. Plaza de la Constitución
With a visit to the Plaza de la Constitución you will notice that the balconies are accompanied by attractive shutters and a number. This stems from the time the bullfights that used to take place here were very popular. The enormous number of balconies were therefore rented out per number. This gave them a first-class view of the bloody feast. This square is still regarded as the most important and nicest square of the Parte Vieja (old town).
#2. Santa María del Coro
According to Intershippingrates, the beautifully built Basilica de Santa María del Coro dates from around 1750. It was built on the site of a former Romanesque church. The baroque appearance fits perfectly with the atmosphere that San Sebastian generally exudes. No expense has been spared inside either. Pay particular attention to the small details such as in the front porch.
#3. Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo
The mountain Monte Urgull can not be missed because of its thirty meter high statue of Christ on top. This huge statue on Castillo de la Mota bears the name ‘Sagrado Corazón’ which means the sacred heart. The mountain is about 123 meters high and is perfect for a quiet walk. On the other side of the bay of San Sebastian is another mountain called Monte Igueldo. On this mountain you will find a nice amusement park with attractions such as ‘Casa del Terror’. The park is a bit dated but certainly nice. You can ride in the bumper cars, on the trampoline, on a train or take a trip on the water.
#4. Castillo de Santa Cruz de la Mota
This castle is probably the most beautiful place in San Sebastian. In any case, due to its elevated position on Mount Urgull, it has a magnificent view of the sea and the surrounding countryside. King Don Sancho ordered the construction of the beginning of Castillo de Santa Cruz de la Mota in the twelfth century. At the time it consisted of little more than a watchtower with a wall around it. Later in the sixteenth century, the castle acquired much of its current appearance by order of Vespasianus Colonna. Over the years, it has managed to overcome many battles and wars, but despite this, several modifications have been made.
#5. Playa de la Concha
This beautiful and largest beach of San Sebastian is very popular in the wider area. As it usually is in a bay, the beach forms a crescent. Playa de la Concha is well maintained despite the fact that it is busy. It also has a lot of enthusiasm in terms of water sports. In the evening, the long Boulevard is a popular place for a romantic walk. Other beaches of San Sebastian are Ondarreta and Zurriola.
#6. Parte Vieja
The old town (parte vieja) is located at the foot of the Urgull mountain. All historical sites are within walking distance of each other. There are the Basilica of Santa Maria del Cor, the church of San Vincente and the San Telmo Museum. It is almost always busy at the Plaza de la Constitution square. If there’s something to do in San Sebastian, it’s often here. The narrow streets in this old part of town are well filled with shops, small boutiques and of course the delicious tapas bars.
#7. Iglesia de Vicente
Near the river Urumea, at the foot of the Urgull mountain is the very beautiful church Iglesia de Vincente. This authentic Basque church was already built at the beginning of the sixteenth century and later expanded even further. Finally, the baptistery was added. The altarpiece by Ambrose of Bengoechea and Juanes de Iriarte translate a number of stories about the agony of Christ. The church is often closed between 1 pm and 5 pm.
#8. Museo de San Telmo
In this municipal museum of San Sebastian, the history of the city is exposed. Through historical, artistic and archaeological objects you get a good idea of its history and the road it has taken to become the fashionable place it is today. The building in which the San Telmo museum is located is special. It is in fact an old Dominican monastery from the sixteenth century. Architects have succeeded wonderfully well in adapting it to the wishes of today, but without losing much of the original appearance.
#9. Aquarium of San Sebastian
At the pleasant harbor of San Sebastian is a monumental building in which the Aquarium of the city is located. Millions of liters of water fill the basin in this Palacio del Mar in which the deep ocean is simulated. Through a walk through a tunnel that runs under the water, you sometimes really feel like you are at the bottom of the ocean. Sharks, rays and other colorful tropical swim quietly by. The Aquarium of San Sebastian is also involved in all kinds of maritime research, such as that on tuna.
#10. Miramar Palace
Some say that the popularity of San Sebastian started after the construction of the Miramar Palace. Queen María Christina and other royal members lived in this summer residence from 1887. English architects were employed for the country house-like architectural style. The palace has a very special view over the sea, the beaches and the islet of Santa Clara.