Enjoying late summer in San sebastian

I just spent one beautiful one in the charming city of San Sebastian. It’s impossible not to fall for the Basque charm of San Sebastián, known locally as Donostia. In addition to its reputation for culinary excellence, the city boasts a unique landscape thanks to its coastal scenery and mountainous surroundings. Here are the best things to see and do.


Playa de la Concha


he “shell beach” is one of the city’s three beaches and is renowned as one of Europe’s most beautiful urban shorelines. Its perfect arch made it popular with Queen Regent María Cristina, leading her to declare it the summer capital of Europe. Its charming promenade along the Cantabrian Sea offers a tranquil atmosphere and beautiful scenery. While surf lovers head to nearby Zurriola Beach, Playa de la Concha is filled with mixed crowd of locals and visitors seeking to cool off in the blue water.

Museo de San Telmo


The Museo de San Telmo is now the biggest museum dedicated to Basque history from prehistoric times to modernity. It was first inaugurated in 1902 and is the oldest museum in the Basque Country. San Telmo is located at the foot of the hill Urgull and exhibits more than 26,000 historical artefacts. The original part of the museum consists of a Dominican convent, dating back to the 16th century, complemented by a modern extension. The mixture of Renaissance, gothic and contemporary design creates a fascinating play of architectural styles, and the extensive collection of Basque artefacts provides an exciting insight into the region’s history.

Ayuntamiento de San Sebastian (Donostia).


Constructed between 1882 and 1887, the Ayuntamiento – San Sebastián’s city hall – is an architectural landmark. It stands proudly between Concha Beach and the historical quarter, alongside the marvellous Alderdi Eder Gardens. Originally home to a casino, it later became the site of battles between nationalists and republicans during the Spanish Civil War, and in the summer of 1936, armed citizens rose up against the forces of General Franco here. Bullet holes can still be found in the facade, which also features Doric columns and sculptures representing the opera, tragedy, comedy and drama. Since 1947, the grand building has hosted the city council.

Monte Iguelde


High up on the west side of town, Monte Igueldo offers a dazzling panorama over San Sebastián’s bay. To get to the top, climb into one of the wooden carriages on the antique funicular railway, which first opened in 1912. Once you’re up, gawp at the imposing El Torreón, a crenellated 16th-century tower that you can climb up for a small fee: at the top you’ll find a superlative 360 degree view and an exhibition with historic photographs. Igueldo also has an old-fashioned amusement park with rides that children will love, including bumper cars, paddle boats, huge slides, a carousel, and a log flume.

La Catedral del Buen Pastor


The cathedral was inaugurated in 1897 and was influenced by the style of medieval German and French churches. Today, it is home of the diocese of San Sebastián and considered one of the most significant religious buildings in the Basque Country. The organ consists of more than 10,000 whistles, making it one of the biggest in Europe. The neo-Gothic architecture shows the artistic prowess of its builders, and the tower is a popular symbol for San Sebastián. A marvellous feature, The Cross of Peaceby the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, can be found on the facade.

Santa Clara Island


Right in the middle of Concha Bay is Santa Clara Island, which can be accessed via ferry from May to August. The tiny island offers a small beach with great views over the city. Santa Clara tends to be isolated, but it features a small cafe and a charming lighthouse. Despite its small size, the island offers a lifeguard service, so you can safely go for a splash in the cool water. With its position between the Montes of Urgull and Igueldo, Santa Clara represents one of the most idyllic spots in the city and is perfect for a picnic.

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