10 Best Tourist Attractions in San Sebastian
10 Best Tourist Attractions in San Sebastian – One of the best tourist attractions in Northern Spain, San Sebastian is situated on Biscay Bay just several miles from France. It’s famous for for its fine beaches, but there are also picturesque cathedrals and other attractions there to visit which including an international movie festival. San Sebastian isn’t only the capital but also the Spanish Basque community’s soul. The Basques have their own culture and language, one which is distinct from Spain, but no fewer rich than what is discovered elsewhere in Spain. It’s nearly like getting 2 countries for the one price.
1. La Concha
La Concha is considered as European most beautiful city beach and one of the best on earth. With its golden sands pointing down to the azure blue waters, it is difficult to argue with that idea. In the summer, it’s definitely a busy place, when thousands visit to claim their spot on this beach. La Concha, which is Spanish for shell takes on a party vibe. When the darkness falls and lights go on is a best time to stroll along the promenade to the marina for some beautiful sights.
2. Parte Vieja
Parte Vieja or Old Town is one of San Sebastian’s most visited places, despite it is not the oldest neighborhood, Antiguo is. Structures with their colorful roofs are covered by Monte Urgull from the sea, with the Urumean River on one side. Concha Bay covers the other side. Social butterflies enjoys Old Town, since it’s full of trendy cafes and bars. Some other visitors may just enjoy strolling through its bustling streets to visit the famous churches of the city, the Basilica of St. Mary’s of the Chorus. Until 1863 this historic place was surrounded by a city wall.
3. Monte Igueldo
When picturesque views are significant to tourists, they will go to Monte Igueldo at La Concha Bay’s west end. In turn, at 600 feet (181 meters) high, Monte Igueldo is one of three summits which can be seen from the bay. Getting to the beautiful views the Monte Igueldo is fun as it features a riding on a 1912 funicular railway. Tourists will find two things at the summit. One is an 1855 lighthouse which has been turned into a beautiful viewpoint, the Torreon de Igueldo. The other is an pastime park with rides for children of all ages.
4. La Zurriola
Located on Santa Clara Island, La Zurriola is assumed one of the finest beaches in San Sebastian. La Zurriola is popular with young people and sun-seekers. It also is appealing to surfers who visit for the waves. Month of April is considered the best time for amateurs. Don’t know how to surf yet? They give surfing lessons and even host championships here. La Zurriola is considered the city’s liveliest beach, despite it isn’t the biggest one. For sun enthusiasms who are not couch potatoes, there are beach volleyball, tennis, swimming, and football matches. Walking along the promenade is a famous activity for locals.
5. Monte Urgull
Since its strategic location is on the ocean, since the 12th century, Monte Urgull has been a location to defend San Sebastian. The Mota Castle was attached later, and, a 39-foot (12-meter) tall Christ’s sculpture was added at the top in 1960. Tourists will also find a small history museum there. A good option to get there is to stroll from the Old Town, starting from behind an aquarium or Plaza de Zutoaga; the incredible views of the bay and San Sebastian make the trip beneficial. A visit makes a relaxing rest from the city as well.
6. Peine del Viento
Comb of the Wind or The Peine del Viento is probably the most famous sculptures in San Sebastian. Located at the end of Ondarreta beach, this unique sculpture is one of San Sebastian’s most visited attractions. This ensemble work is considered the best and most famous work of Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida. It consists of three 10-ton steel sculptures which are stuck in rocks. When the wind passes through the holes in the pieces, it will make noise. Many presume those pieces look like a twisted comb, thus its name. Since 1976, the sculpture has been overlooking Concha Bay.
7. Miramar Palace
Located on the shores of La Concha Bay, Miramar Palace is a result of love of Spanish royal family for San Sebastian. It was once a popular summer vacation place for them. In the late 19th century, Miramar Palace was constructed as they needed a summer home. Situated on an estate which once owned a monastery, the palace is quite English from its appearance, probably as it was designed by an English architect. The palace had undergone some changes of ownership and is owned by San Sebastian city at present. It is open to public as a park and party-venue; classes also are hosted here.
8. Plaza de la Constitucion
Old Town’s Plaza de la Constitucion is San Sebastian’s happeningest place. Described as the nerve center of the city, attracts people the whole time, but especially on the saints’ feast days and some other holidays, such as the flag raising on January 20. Tourists must be on the lookout for numbers above the windows which facing the square. The square was once a famous bull-fighting site; the numbers mark seats of the spectators. Constructed in 1817 after a fire almost eradicated the city 4 years earlier, tourists can find cafes and shops where they are able to linger over a glass of wine.
9. Aquarium Donostia-San Sebastian
Considered one of the best aquariums in Europe, the Aquarium Donostia-San Sebastian is allowing tourists to get up close and personal with the marine life. The aquarium is literally several aquariums, some of them devoted to only a specific marine species. A highlight is strolling through a see-through tunnel with two hundred marine life species swimming over and around tourists. And to think it all began in 1928 with a museum which featured skeleton of a whale. Visiting to Aquarium Donostia-San Sebastian will make a fine family picnic since it has unique tanks where children are recommended to touch the fish.
10. Buen Pastor Cathedral
Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, or The Buen Pastor Cathedral is a towering landmark which reaches 245 feet (75 meters) into the sky. Construction began in 1888, when King Alfonso XIII signed documents relating to the construction kick-off insignia just two years old at that time. Until 1953, The church wasn’t designated a cathedral, it was finished 9 years later. It is assumed the most important church in San Sebastian along with its Gothic Revival style. Tourists who have been to this Old Town building praised it for its modest interior compared to the other Spanish churches. They suggest visiting it at night since its remarkable lighting.