Where to Stay in San Sebastian: Top Picks for a Memorable Experience


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Nestled along the northern coast of Spain, San Sebastian is a picturesque Basque city that has stolen the hearts of travelers from around the globe. With stunning views, delectable pintxos, and a rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder that this charming destination is on many must-visit lists. When planning a trip to this vibrant city, one of the most important aspects to consider is where to stay. So, let’s dive into finding the perfect accommodations for your unforgettable San Sebastian experience.

Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels with breathtaking views, budget accommodations while backpacking, or chic boutique options, San Sebastian offers a variety of fantastic places to rest your head after a full day of exploration. From the picturesque waterfront of La Concha Bay to the bustling streets of the Gros neighborhood, charming bed and breakfasts to modern hotels, there’s something to cater to every traveler’s taste and budget.

As you venture through this enchanting city, you’ll find there’s no shortage of incredible experiences to enjoy—from savoring gourmet pintxos to soaking up the sun on its pristine beaches or strolling through its vibrant streets. To make the most of your time, choose a well-located accommodation to serve as your home base while you uncover the countless delights that San Sebastian has to offer. Happy travels!

Popular Neighborhoods

Old Town

Old Town, also known as Parte Vieja, is the historic center of San Sebastian. It’s full of narrow streets, quaint squares, and traditional pintxo bars. Staying here gives you a taste of the city’s lively atmosphere and rich history. One of the best accommodations in this area is Pensión San Jerónimo which offers good value rates and is just a five-minute walk from La Concha Beach.

Fun Fact: Old Town is home to the city’s oldest church, San Vicente, which dates back to the 12th century.

Things to Do: Explore the historic streets, try local pintxos, and visit the aquarium and the San Telmo museum.


Gros is known for its laid-back surfing vibe and the popular Zurriola Beach. It’s a great place for those who want to enjoy the beach life while still being within walking distance from the city center. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops in this area.

Interesting Story: Gros was once an independent town before it merged with San Sebastian in 1863.

Things to Do: Catch some waves at Zurriola Beach, stroll along the promenade, and enjoy the local cafes and bars.


Antiguo is a charming residential neighborhood located near the famous Ondarreta Beach. It offers a relaxed atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for families and those who prefer a quieter stay. This neighborhood provides easy access to Mount Igeldo, which offers beautiful views over the city and the bay of La Concha.

Fun Fact: Antiguo is home to the Miramar Palace, a beautiful historic building that once served as the summer residence for the Spanish royal family.

Things to Do: Relax on Ondarreta Beach, visit the Miramar Palace, and take a ride on the Funicular de Igeldo for stunning views.


Centro, or the city center, is perfect for travelers who wish to be at the heart of San Sebastian’s main attractions. This neighborhood offers a wide range of accommodation options and is surrounded by vibrant communities like the Área Romántica. Staying in Centro puts you within walking distance from the Old Town, La Concha Beach, and many popular shopping areas.

Fun Fact: The city center showcases beautiful examples of Belle Époque architecture, with many buildings dating back to the 19th century.

Things to Do: Enjoy the bustling atmosphere, shop in the local boutiques, and take a stroll along the beach promenade.

Accommodation Types

San Sebastian offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. In this section, we will explore some of the most popular types, such as hotels, hostels, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts.


San Sebastian is home to several fantastic hotels, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious options. Some highly recommended hotels include the Lasala Plaza Hotel for a luxury experience with breathtaking views of La Concha Bay, and the Hotel TRYP San Sebastian Orly for great value and fair prices.

Other notable selections are the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra and Hotel SANSEbay which are both centrally located and provide easy access to the city’s top attractions.


Hostels are a great option for budget-conscious travelers who prioritize socializing and meeting new people. San Sebastian has several hostels in prime locations around the city, with comfortable shared accommodations and communal areas.

Vacation Rentals

For those who seek privacy and the comforts of home, vacation rentals can be a perfect choice. San Sebastian offers a wide range of apartments and houses available for rent through popular services such as Airbnb and Vrbo. These options provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and live like a local during your stay.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts in San Sebastian offer a cozy and personal alternative to larger accommodations. Many of these establishments are family-owned and provide a warm atmosphere, often including a homemade breakfast in the mornings.

Fun Fact: San Sebastian is not only known for its beautiful beaches, but also for its vibrant culinary scene. The city has a high concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants, making it a food lover’s paradise.

Interesting Story: San Sebastian’s unique and picturesque Old Town, also known as Parte Vieja, dates back to the 19th century and is filled with narrow streets, historic buildings, and lively pintxo bars serving small bites and drinks.

Things to do: While visiting San Sebastian, some must-see attractions include La Concha Beach, the picturesque streets of the Old Town, and the stunning views from Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo. Additionally, be sure to participate in a traditional pintxo crawl, where you can hop from one bar to another, sampling delicious local cuisine.

Budget-Friendly Options

San Sebastian offers a variety of budget-friendly accommodation options that won’t break the bank. If you’re planning a trip on a tight budget, here are some options to consider for your stay.

Pensión Aldamar is a well-rated budget hotel located in the heart of the city. It offers basic, clean rooms and is situated near many of San Sebastian’s popular attractions.

Another option is Pension Del Mar in Gros. The hotel provides modernly decorated and soundproofed rooms with flat-screen TVs and hardwood floors. Its convenient location also grants easy access to various bars, restaurants, and notable sights within walking distance.

San Sebastian is also home to budget-friendly hostels, such as A Room in the City, which offers both dormitory-style accommodations and private rooms.

For those seeking a more local experience, consider staying in the Egia neighborhood. According to Discover Donosti, this area is a budget-friendly alternative and provides an authentic local vibe.

Here’s a quick recap of budget-friendly options:

  • Pensión Aldamar
  • Pension Del Mar
  • A Room in the City
  • Staying in the Egia neighborhood

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

During your stay in San Sebastian, be sure to check out the famous La Concha Beach. The beach is known for its picturesque and distinctive shell-shaped bay, which has become a symbol of the city. The promenade surrounding La Concha is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride.

Things to do

There is no shortage of fun and engaging activities to do in San Sebastian. A few highlights include:

  • Visiting the historic Old Town, which is filled with narrow streets and lively tapas bars
  • Exploring the Aquarium, one of the oldest and most impressive in Spain
  • Hiking to the summit of Mount Urgull, where you’ll find a remarkable statue of Christ and sweeping views of the city

Remember to enjoy your budget-friendly stay in San Sebastian while exploring all the exciting things this vibrant Spanish city has to offer!

Luxury Stays

San Sebastián is a beautiful city full of luxurious accommodations for travelers seeking an upscale experience. One of the top luxury hotels in the city is Lasala Plaza Hotel, which boasts an excellent location and incredible views. The rooms are elegantly designed, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay.

Another excellent option is Hotel Arima & Spa – Small Luxury Hotels. This Scandinavian-styled hotel is situated within Guipuzkoa Technology Park and is known for its seasonal outdoor pool as well as its relaxing spa facilities. Just a short distance from The Basque Culinary Center, you’ll be in the perfect spot for a gastronomic adventure.

For a more traditional ambiance, consider staying at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra. With majestic views of La Concha Bay and the beach, this grand hotel offers generously proportioned rooms with private balconies. The on-site restaurant is renowned for its superb Basque cuisine, making it an excellent choice for food enthusiasts.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that San Sebastián has a vibrant culinary scene that extends beyond just upscale dining establishments? The city is actually known for its “pintxos” bars. Pintxos are the Basque version of tapas and are a popular way to enjoy local cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore some pintxos bars during your stay and enjoy the unique blend of flavors and textures with your loved ones.

Things to do

While you’re enjoying your luxury stay in San Sebastián, be sure to check out some of the many activities and attractions the city has to offer. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque promenade of La Concha Beach, or visit the historic Old Town where you can soak in the charm of the narrow streets and stunning architecture. Alternatively, take a funicular ride up to Mount Igeldo for some breathtaking views of the city and a delightful amusement park, perfect for visitors of all ages.

Family-Friendly Accommodations

When planning a trip to San Sebastián with your family, it’s essential to find accommodations that cater to everyone’s needs. Luckily, there are numerous family-friendly hotels and rentals in San Sebastián that offer amenities and services tailored for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

One such option is Zenit Convento San Martin, which is located in the heart of San Sebastián, just 500 meters from La Concha Beach. This beautiful hotel provides an excellent base to explore the city’s attractions while ensuring your family’s comfort.

Another popular choice for families is Hotel Arbaso. This hotel offers spacious, modern rooms with contemporary amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Its central location allows easy access to San Sebastián’s beaches and attractions.

If you prefer a home away from home, consider renting a beachfront apartment in La Concha. These apartments are ideal for families who require more space and privacy. They also offer stunning ocean views from their terraces.

Looking for budget-friendly options? Don Cecilio Guesthouse and Sercotel Codina are affordable family hotels in San Sebastián worth considering.

Here’s a quick list of family-friendly accommodations in San Sebastián:

  • Zenit Convento San Martin
  • Hotel Arbaso
  • Beachfront apartments in La Concha
  • Don Cecilio Guesthouse
  • Sercotel Codina

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that San Sebastián is famous for its delicious pintxos (Basque-style tapas)? Exploring the city’s pintxos bars is a must-do activity during your family vacation. Kids will enjoy tasting different treats, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Things to do

San Sebastián boasts various family-friendly attractions that will keep everyone entertained. Some popular activities include:

  • Visiting the beaches, such as La Concha and Zurriola
  • Exploring Monte Igueldo Theme Park
  • Taking a boat trip to Isla de Santa Clara
  • Enjoying the green spaces, parks, and playgrounds in the city
  • Visiting the Eureka! Science Museum or the Albaola Sea Factory

No matter where you choose to stay in San Sebastián, your family is sure to have an unforgettable vacation filled with fun activities and lasting memories.

Tips for Booking

When planning your trip to San Sebastian, booking accommodations in advance is crucial. The city is known for filling up quickly, especially during peak season and popular events like Semana Grande and Easter. To ensure you secure the best possible accommodations, start browsing options early and be prepared to reserve rooms several months ahead. Here is a quick list of tips for booking:

  • Book well in advance, as accommodation in San Sebastian fills up quickly.
  • Research various areas in the city, as some neighborhoods might offer lower prices combined with great locations.
  • Be mindful of peak travel periods and special events, and be prepared for higher prices and limited availability during those times.

For budget travelers, consider looking into staying in Pension Del Mar, located in the Gros neighborhood. This hotel offers modernly decorated rooms with soundproofing and hardwood floors, all within walking distance of top attractions, bars, and restaurants.

In terms of mid-range accommodations, Hotel SANSEbay is a great option. This hotel boasts an excellent location and comfortable amenities for a reasonable price.

For those seeking a more upscale experience, consider booking a room at the iconic Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra. This elegant 19th-century building provides a luxurious stay with spacious rooms and an onsite international restaurant.

A charming option for those willing to explore the outskirts of the city is Zarautz, a beachside town just 20 minutes west of San Sebastian. Zarautz offers the longest beach in the area and beautiful Txakoli vineyards to explore while sipping on some local wine.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that the well-known San Sebastian Film Festival started in 1953? It was originally intended to bring international films to the city after World War II. Over the years, it has grown to become one of the most prestigious and oldest film festivals in the world. Be sure to check it out if you’re visiting during September!

Things to do

While in San Sebastian, don’t miss out on the following activities:

  • Visit La Concha Beach, one of the world’s most beautiful urban beaches.
  • Explore the Old Town and its historic streets, sampling pintxos at various bars.
  • Take a hike up Mount Urgull or Mount Igueldo for stunning views of the city and coastline.
  • Attend a cooking class or cider house experience to taste the unique flavors of the Basque region.

Exploring San Sebastian

San Sebastian, a picturesque coastal city in Spain’s Basque Country, offers a variety of experiences for travelers. From beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife to delicious cuisine and rich cultural attractions, there’s plenty to do and see in this charming destination.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that San Sebastian is home to the International Film Festival every September? This prestigious event brings together film enthusiasts, industry professionals, and celebrities from around the world. Keep an eye out for famous faces while you explore the city!

Things to Do


Relaxing and soaking up the sun at one of San Sebastian’s beautiful beaches is a must during your visit. The city boasts three main beaches:

  • La Concha: The most iconic and popular beach in San Sebastian, La Concha offers stunning views and calm waters for swimming.
  • Zurriola: Located in the Gros neighborhood, Zurriola is perfect for surfers and those seeking a more lively atmosphere.
  • Ondarreta: A quieter alternative to La Concha, Ondarreta Beach is situated in the Antiguo neighborhood and offers a more laid-back vibe.


San Sebastian is renowned for its culinary scene, including an impressive number of Michelin-starred restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in delicious pintxos (small bites served on pieces of bread) at local bars, or enjoy a traditional Basque meal at one of the city’s many outstanding restaurants.

Cultural Attractions

There are plenty of cultural attractions to explore in San Sebastian. Some top picks include:

  • Stroll through the picturesque Old Town with its narrow, cobblestone streets and historic buildings.
  • Visit the San Telmo Museum to learn about Basque history and culture.
  • Explore the vast Cristina Enea Park, one of the oldest and largest city parks in the region.

Day Trips

If you have more time, consider taking a day trip to the surrounding Basque Country. Beautiful destinations such as Bilbao or Lekeitio are just a short drive away and allow for a deeper exploration of the region’s unique history, culture, and landscapes.

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