San Sebastián
Culture & History

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Our most recommended San Sebastián Culture & History

San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

1. San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

Join a curated San Sebastian pintxos tour to discover the city’s best pintxos bars in the old town while you learn the local ways of dining out and how to enjoy the Basque way of eating (and drinking!) Along the way, learn the fascinating history of the region’s complex and unique cuisine and culture, as you weave in and out of its mystery-filled streets. Begin the evening in true local style with some crisp local cider and delicious seafood pintxos. Move on to acorn-fed Iberian ham, as well as the local variety. Taste the best anchovies in the country, the most delicious local beef, seared local cod, suckling pig, and more. Dive into hand-picked hidden taverns serving delicious and unique house specialties– from traditional local favorites to gourmet modern creations - you’ll try them all. Wash the pintxos down with excellent local wines, ciders, and more. Gain an understanding of the local culture and history– which is plentiful in the Basque Country and San Sebastian as you fill your mind as well as your belly. Receive a free mini-guide, which is packed with all of the guide's favorite places to eat and drink in the city, so you’ll be eating well for the rest of your stay!

From Bilbao: Getaria & San Sebastián Guided Tour

2. From Bilbao: Getaria & San Sebastián Guided Tour

From Bilbao, leave for San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an islet that can only be accessed by a pedestrian path. Make a panoramic tour of the area and learn the area’s dreamlike cliffs, a feature of the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones. Continue to the Guipuzcoan town of Getaria, where we will enjoy a guided tour of its historic quarter, and where we can admire its traditional fishing port, the church of San Salvador, and the monument in honor of Juan Sebastián Elcano, a sailor who turned the world and that he was born in this small town. Take a moment to eat in one of its many restaurants at Getaria. Enjoy the gastronomy of grilling local fish and seafood. From here, leave for San Sebastián for a guided tour of the city. See the Church of San Vicente and the Basilica of Santa María del Coro before heading back to Bilbao.

San Sebastián: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Pintxo and Drink

3. San Sebastián: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Pintxo and Drink

Explore San Sebastián like a local on a 2-hour walking tour with a local guide. Meet at the kiosk on Alameda del Boulevard in the morning or late afternoon, depending on your preferred departure time. See 15 of the most significant sites in the romantic Old Town area, and learn more about the people and culture of the Basque Country and the beautiful city along the way. End with a tasting of a typical snack from the Basque Country and experience the pintxo tradition of eating small dishes with a drink.

San Sebastian: Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus

4. San Sebastian: Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus

Explore the Belle Epoque resort town of San Sebastian at leisure with a 1-day ticket to the open-top double-decker sightseeing bus. Learn the history of the Basque city with the complimentary audio guide, available in 8 different languages. You are free to get on and off all day long with the same ticket, while a complimentary guide and map contains all stops on the route to plan your visit. The buses are adapted for people with reduced mobility and have a sliding roof in case of rain. See the sites of the Parte Vieja (Old Town) and the ancient area beyond the Miramar Palace. Admire the grandiose buildings of Constitution Square and marvel at the 19th-century San Sebastián Cathedral and the historic bridges across the Urumea River.  • Aquarium/Paseo Nuevo • San Telmo/Parte Vieja • Plaza Guipúzcoa • Estación de tren-bus/Tabakalera • Gros • Playa Zurriola/Kursal • La Concha • La Perla • Playa Ondarreta • Peine del Viento • Funicular Igueldo • Barrio del Antiguo • Palacio Miramar • Catedral Buen Pastor

From San Sebastian: Camino de Santiago Hike to San Pedro

5. From San Sebastian: Camino de Santiago Hike to San Pedro

Hike a section of the legendary Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) and experience San Sebastian from a fresh perspective. Stroll along the seafront, and follow the path up through the woods of Mount Ulia. Walk in the footsteps of the medieval pilgrims who followed the path to the shrine of St. James in Santiago de Compostela.  Marvel at the beautiful surroundings and get stunning views of the city from the mountain. Learn about the watchtower at the summit, from where whales can be seen in the Bay of Biscay. Make your way over the clifftops and through lush valleys and fill your lungs with the fresh sea air. Pass the remains of a Roman aqueduct, and see the 19th-century La Plata lighthouse that guided fishermen to port. Descend through pine forests to the fishing village of San Pedro, and stop to taste the local seafood tapas with wine, beer, soda, or water. Drive back to San Sebastian at the end of your amazing experience.

San Sebastián: Private Walking Historic & Cultural Tour

6. San Sebastián: Private Walking Historic & Cultural Tour

Dress in comfortable clothes and meet youre guide at the kiosk of Alameda del boulevard at 11 a.m. or 5 p.m. if you prefer an evening tour. During these three hours you will visit more than 15 points of interest that have been significant in the history of the city and have shaped Donostiarras way of being. Your guide will tell you everything you need to know about the city's history over the years and he will answer all your questions about other things you might want to learn about. At the end of the tour finish by tasting a traditional pintxo in the old town where the locals like to enjoy themselves every weekend. Do not hesitate and joint this tour to learn everything you need to know about this amazing city!

From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

7. From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

See villages trapped in between mountains like the villages of Durango, Eibar and Elgoibar! Arrive at the core of the province, and after the industrial village of Azkoitia, you will arrive at your first stop, the Sanctuary of Loyola, hometown of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Here you will visit the Basilica and the tower house where he was born and lived. Depending on the time, you may wish to attend a ceremony. Next you follow the route towards the coast on the north, passing through Azpeitia. You will also pass through Zestoa, a famous natural spa village with healing waters that attracted the royalty of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Later you will arrive to the coast at Zumaia, a beautiful village very much appreciated by Basque summer tourists. Following the coastal road you will arrive at your next stop, Getaria. A unique medieval fishing village and hometown of famous figures like captain Juan Sebastian Elcano (the first man to travel around the world by sea), and Cristobal Balenciaga, the famous designer. Then you will pass by Zarauz, a beautiful tourist spot with the largest beach in the province of Gipuzkoa. You will arrive finally to San Sebastian (or Donostia) where you will do a panoramic tour of the city. After lunch, you will do a walking tour into the old quarter visiting the most interesting streets and locations before returning to Bilbao in the evening. Follow the highway towards the east, into the province of Gipuzkoa. On the way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, you will be able to admire the areas of inner Basque Country, combined with rural valleys and industrial

San Sebastian: Guernica, Mundaka, Urdaibai and Bermeo Tour

8. San Sebastian: Guernica, Mundaka, Urdaibai and Bermeo Tour

After being collected from your hotel, your tour kicks off and heads toward Gernika. Your first stop will be to the Guernica Peace Museum, where you will learn all about the tragic bombing that took place there during the Spanish civil war. Following this, you will advance towards Mundaka. Once there you will discover a quaint village on the coastline, famous for it's surfing waves that attract professional surfers from all over the world. Your final stop will be Bermeo, a traditional fishing village that showcases the Basque coastline lifestyle at it's best. Your tour will then end as you are dropped off at your hotel or other location of your convenience in San Sebastian.

Rioja: Private Wine Tasting Tour

9. Rioja: Private Wine Tasting Tour

This tour is designed to guide you into one of the oldest traditional "cave-cellars" in the area, dug 7-8 meters (23-26 feet) deep under the houses. This is a fabulous experience not to be missed! This activity also includes  tasting wines in one of the most famous local wineries. You can also tour 'Marques del Riscal' winery cellar/hotel, which was designed by Frank Gehry, the architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. You will also walk along the medieval streets of Laguardia, one of the most charming towns in La Rioja area, before discovering local home-made food for lunch in an off the beaten track, non touristy restaurant.

From San Sebastian: Lourdes Private Full-Day Tour

10. From San Sebastian: Lourdes Private Full-Day Tour

Departing from Donostia-San Sebastian, you'll visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes in France. You'll have time for the principal mass in the basilica, time to pray, go to see the cave, get some water, walk around the sanctuary and visit Bernadette's house. It will be an exclusive and complete private guided tour and you will be the only people on the tour. Thr driving time is roughly 2 hours in each drection and you'll have around 4.5 hours to spend exploring Lourdes. Departure times can be arranged and adjusted as you wish due to this being a private tour.

Frequently asked questions about San Sebastián Culture & History

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What people are saying about San Sebastián

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 30 reviews

We did this tour on our first night in San Sebastián. It should be the first thing anyone does! It taught us so much about the food/wine and Basque culture. Our tour guide, Natalia was bubbly, interesting and had grown up in San Sebastián. I’m sending my daughter and her friend on the same tour when they arrive on Friday!

Daniel was a great guide - friendly, knowledgeable and informative. He was very flexible in terms of what we did tailoring it to what we wanted. We had a good walk around the old town in Bilbao and the market and then the Guggenheim which was the highlight. I would allow a minimum of a couple hours at the Guggenheim

Hector was a wonderful guide who is passionate about San Sebastian. He was able to mix in the history of the city as we went on our pinxto tour. I can feel Hector's passion about the city and the people there, this is one of the best things I have done in Spain.

Very nice day with a very professional guide who gave us a lot of instructive explanations

Daniel our guide was very nice, the day was beautiful and the wine fabulous