San Sebastian Tourism

San Sebastian is a coastal city located in Spain that lies a mere 20 km away from the French border. The first evidences of human settlement in San Sebastian as far as 24,000 to 22,000 BC. It later became a Roman territory.

Now, it is famous for being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain owing to its pleasant oceanic climate and rich culture. The city has been selected as European Capital of Culture for 2016, a title it shares with Wroclaw in Poland. Whether it’s the San Sebastián Jazz Festival or the International Film Festival, the city boasts of great, well-attended events all year round that celebrates arts.

Whether you’re in the mood to relax and unwind on one of its many beaches, or have an adventurer’s soul and want to trek up the hills to see the beautiful views that the city has to offer; San Sebastián’s interesting topography will give you plenty to do over the course of your stay.

The city also has some gastronomic surprises in store for you. According to a 2013 ranking, two of the world’s top ten best restaurants can be found in this quaint city—Akelare and Arzak. The tapas and pintxos at ParteVieja will leave you craving for more!

A relaxing ambience or a fun-filled setting—San Sebastián has got that and more! So go and have a memorial experience in the city that has it all!

Essential travel information and San Sebastian tips for your visit

  • Since precipitation is near constant, remember to carry an umbrella.
  • There are no duty-free shops at the San Sebastián airport. Also, there is no WiFi.
  • A town in France is called Saint Sébastien. Don’t be confused while booking your tickets.
  • Parking is very costly in the downtown area, costing as much as €20/day or more. Also, parking spots are underground and can be difficult to find. It is advisable that you used a map.
  • If you are staying for a longer period, you could buy the Kutxa chip card from the Kutxa Bank’s main office which will give you bus tickets at a discount.
  • If you have brought a bike card, remember to return it before the end of the day otherwise you will not get your deposit back. Also, you can use one bike for a maximum of 4 hours non-stop.
  • There is a local app available on both Android and IOS that tells you bus arrival times for any bus stop selected.
  • There are many WiFi spots in the city that are free to access. Check your phone for the sign.

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of San Sebastian

San sebastian
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  • Do most hotels have heating in bedrooms for the winter months?

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    • Yes, most of the mid-range and luxury hotels have a heating system. You can check hotels in San Sebastian, use different filters to optimize the search result, and choose the best one that suits your budget and preferences. 

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  • Know the pollution level of San Sebastian before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 14.58 (Very Low)
    • Water Pollution 16.67 (Very Low)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 41.67 (Moderate)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 16.67 (Very Low)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 4.17 (Very Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 25 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 13.89 (Very Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 16.67 (Very Low)
  • How safe is San Sebastian for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in San Sebastian.

    • Burglary and Theft 30 (Low)
    • Mugging and Robbery 20 (Low)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 20 (Low)
    • Corruption and Bribery 35 (Low)
    • Car Stealing 17.5 (Very Low)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 27.5 (Low)
    • Attacks 20 (Low)
    • Drug offense 27.5 (Low)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 90 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 82.5 (Very High)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 20 (Low)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 15 (Very Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 27.78 (Low)
  • Quality of Life Index of San Sebastian is 188.07 (Very High)

    • Safety Index 78.37 (High)
    • Climate Index 96.56 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 18.73 (Very Low)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 49.67 (High)
    • Cost of Living Index 64.77 (Low)
    • Health Care Index 93.75 (Very High)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 13.62 (High)
    • Purchasing Power Index 91.55 (Moderate)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in San Sebastian

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.12 USD
    • International Movie per seat 9.09 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 35.99 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 85.24 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 89.03 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ​and subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo