Temptation runs deep in San Sebastián’s old town. With boisterous pintxos bars beckoning you inside, it won’t be long before you find yourself on a spontaneous txikiteo (pintxos bar crawl). The fascinating San Telmo Museoa and the ecclesiastical charms of Basílica de Santa Maria and Iglesia de San Vicente offer a great break between meals.
Catedral del Buen Pastor de San Sebastián
It’s hard to miss the Good Shepherd Cathedral in San Sebastián’s new town with its 75m-high bell tower glimpsed from just about everywhere. Built from slate and stone quarried from nearby Monte Igueldo, this 1897 gem has one of Europe’s largest organs (10,000 whistles) too.
Playa de Ondarreta
These custard-colored sands were popular with the Spanish royal family; their former palace Miramar faces the beach. With its blue-and-white-striped cabanas and umbrellas, Playa de Ondarreta retains a refined air to this day.
Catch the bright red funicular up this mountain for sweeping views over the city and surrounding rugged Bay of Biscay coastline. Traveling with children? Check out Parque de Atracciones, a turn-of-the-century amusement park with bumper cars, retro carousels, haunted house and the world’s oldest steel rollercoaster still in operation.
Plaza de la Constitución
Built in 1817, this handsome square in San Sebastián’s old town was initially used as a bullring – with the balconies of bordering houses rented to spectators. Today it hosts regular festivals such as January’s Danborrada/Tamborrada, where locals march in Napoleonic costumes and dressed as cooks.