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San Sebastian

A Luxury Collection Destination, Spain

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Once a sleepy Basque port, San Sebastián has become one of the world’s premier gastronomic destinations.

Perched on the Bay of Biscay, in the heart of Basque Country, lies San Sebastián, Spain’s renowned gastronomic capital. A relaxed metropolis, San Sebastián comfortably bridges old world and new with its world-class artwork, architectural marvels, vibrant cultural festivals, and modern design.

-°C / -°F Euro Spanish, Basque San Sebastian Airport (EAS), Biarritz Parme Airport (BIQ), Pamplona Airport (PNA), Vitoria Airport (VIT), Bilbao Airport (BIO)

Discoveries

Discover Local Highlights
  1. Isla Santa Clara
    1. Isla Santa Clara

    Just a quick boat trip from the city center and Playa de la Concha, this tiny, uninhabited island in middle of the bay is a popular destination for hiking excursions and festive picnics. Clamber around on its rugged, tree-lined shores, dangle your feet in the water as you snack on local treats, and snap postcard-perfect pictures of the city beyond.

  2. Kursaal
    2. Kursaal

    Two cubes of translucent glass rest upon the sandy shores of the Bay of Biscay, reflecting and blending with their natural surroundings. Inside this famed cultural center and event space, auditoriums and exhibition halls witness the crescendo of a symphony orchestra, the pas de deux of ballet dancers, and the quiet hush of a crowd as the opening movie of the San Sebastián International Film Festival begins.

  3. Mount Urgull
    3. Mount Urgull

    Rising as a protective barrier between San Sebastián’s Parte Vieja and the sea beyond, Mount Urgull has been the heart of the city since a fort was built there it in the 12th century. Hike up to the top to visit artist Federico Coullaut’s 12-meter-high El Sagrado Corazón sculpture – and to admire panoramic views of the harbor below. On the ocean side of the mountain, Paseo Nuevo is a popular seafront promenade for locals.

  4. Old Quarter
    4. Old Quarter

    Known as the Parte Vieja, San Sebastián's tiny Old Quarter was entirely rebuilt after the fire of 1861. Here, narrow, cobbled streets wind between arched colonnades, tiers of balconies overlook the umbrella-shaded cafés of Constitution Square, ruins of ancient walls hide in plain sight, and colorful shops and tapas bars beckon. Be sure to spend an evening on a txikiteo: hopping between the many pintxo bars, sampling the city’s traditional flavors.

  5. Peine del Viento
    5. Peine del Viento

    Created by the sculptor Eduardo Chillida and the architect Luis Peña Ganchegui, El Peine del Viento embodies San Sebastián’s dedication to public art. Perched on the rocky coast below Mount Igueldo, this modern-art sculpture doubles as an open-air museum and meeting point for both locals and tourists.

  6. San Telmo Museum
    6. San Telmo Museum

    Nestled just below San Sebastian's Mount Urgull stands the striking San Telmo Museum, once a 16th-century Gipuzkoan-style Dominican convent. The region's oldest museum devoted to Basque culture, the institution houses a comprehensive permanent collection of archaeological artifacts, alongside paintings and sculptures. A recently opened, eco-conscious annex made of an aluminum-and-lichen exterior was designed by Neito Sobjeano Architects and the artists Leopoldo Ferrán and Agustina.

  7. Victoria Eugenia Theater
    7. Victoria Eugenia Theater

    Facing the Hotel Maria Cristina, this magnificent Belle Époque building seems a picture of old-world San Sebastián, designed by architect Francisco de Urcola in 1912 and adorned with Doric columns and dramatic, Renaissance-inspired bas-reliefs. And yet, its programming is more modern: the theater hosts many of the city’s renowned jazz, film, and theater festivals.

  8. Zurriola Beach
    8. Zurriola Beach

    While Playa de la Concha may be San Sebastián’s most famous and popular beach, Zurriola Beach – in the Gros district, adjacent to the old quarter – is where the locals and surfers go. The site of the city’s renowned international surf competition, the beach is a constant center of activity, from beach volleyball and soccer games to sand-castle competitions and surf lessons.

FEATURED EVENTS

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EXPLORERS

Raúl Diez
Concierge, Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian

My favorite spot – the one I return to as a native of Spain, time and time again, to truly savor the natural landscape – is the Paseo Nuevo. Nowhere else in the city will you come into such intimate contact with nature; stroll along the promenade, soak up the atmosphere, and the sounds and smells of the sea and the spray of the grandiose waves will stay with you forever.

Dine on the city’s signature pintxos and cider as you explore the Old Town’s streets at night.

Enjoy a local Guipuzcoan cider at one of the region's authentic sidrerias.

Catch the sunset during an evening promenade along the shore of the Playa de la Concha.

Share paths with luminous turquoise peacocks as you stroll alongside the River Urumea.
Wander between stalls hawking razor clams and silver sea bass at La Bretxa.

EPICUREAN

Stay

Hotel Maria Cristina
A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian

Paseo Republica Argentina, 4
San Sebastian
20004 Spain

(34)(943) 437600 View Exclusives
Hotel Maria Cristina A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian

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3 EXCLUSIVES
Culinary Traditions Culinary Traditions

Discover the Basque Country's epicurean traditions at our 500-square-foot culinary and wine center, which offers classes in everything from carving jamon Iberico to creating authentic pintxos to pairing wines.

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Society Glamour Society Glamour

Sip craft cocktails and mingle with San Sebastian's cognoscenti at DRY Bar, our elegant Art Deco lounge and its breezy plaza-front terrace.

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Taste of the Basque Country Taste of the Basque Country

Stock up on regional Basque culinary specialties at the San Sebastian Gourmet Shop, our very own gourmet grocery, which sources delicacies from local artisans.

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