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Where to stay in San Sebastian: Best areas and hotels

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They say San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and home to the best pintxos that exist. I find both notions well deserved, and I'm pretty sure you'll agree too after spending a few days in the city. Although first you have to discover where to stay in San Sebastian, that's why you're here!

Below you can find information about the best areas to stay in San Sebastian and hotel recommendations for different budgets. Also, at the end of the post I have included a map in which I have marked the best areas and hotels in San Sebastian.

Table of contents

Where to stay in San Sebastian

Are you ready to discover the best neighborhoods to stay in this city? Let’s start!

1. Old Town, the most beautiful area in the city

where to stay in San Sebastian
Old town of San Sebastian

The Old Town is the most emblematic and visited place in San Sebastian. It is also one of the best areas to stay in San Sebastian. The old town is located at the foot of Mount Urgull, between the Concha Bay and the Urumea River mouth. During your visit you’ll get closer to the history and culture of the city. Not to mention its exclusive pintxos, which you can find on every corner.

Enjoy a walk through its pedestrian streets while you discover some of the most iconic places in Donostia (San Sebastian). Do not miss the Church of San Vicente, Constitution Plaza and the Basilica of Santa María del Coro. The San Telmo Museum is also located in this neighborhood.

On my last trip, I stayed in this area of the city and I really enjoyed my stay. I chose Hotel Sansebay, a place I really recommend since it is very beautiful and has amazing views.

I recommend you do this free tour of San Sebastian, in which you will be able to visit, together with a guide, the attractions located in this area. Take a look at the best free tours in San Sebastian.

Best hotels in the Old Town

2. City Center, best area to stay in San Sebastian

san sebastian
City Center

The city center is another one of the best areas to stay in San Sebastian due to its perfect location. If you stay in the city center, you will be surrounded by the Old Town, Gros and Playa de la Concha, which means that you can visit any of these places in just a few minutes on foot. In addition, the center is much more peaceful than the historic center.

Some of the main attractions in San Sebastian, such as Plaza de Gipuzkoa, the Donostia City Hall, the Buen Pastor Cathedral and buildings such as the Hotel María Cristina and the Victoria Eugenia Theatre are located in the city center. It is also a main shopping area. In streets like Urbieta, Fuenterrabia or Getaria you will find boutiques and international brand stores.

Best hotels in the City Center

3. Gros, one of the trendiest areas

where to stay in san sebastian
Gros, San Sebastian

Gros is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in San Sebastian. In this part of the city you can enjoy pintxos and nice terraces, quiet walks through Sagues, charming shops and a great atmosphere. Also, if you like surfing, this is definitely the best area to stay in San Sebastian for you. Zurriola beach is a great surfing spot in the city.

Other places that you cannot miss in Gros are Mount Ulia, the sculpture of the Dove of Peace, Plaza Catalunya, the church of San Ignacio and strolling through Ramon Maria Lili. If you area going to spend at least 2 days in San Sebastian, it is a great option.

Best hotels in Gros

4. La Concha, in front of San Sebastian’s best beach

Where to stay in San Sebastian
La Concha Beach

If you are visiting San Sebastian to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying yourself, I recommend staying in front of La Concha Beach, known as one of the best urban beaches that exist. Hours and hours spent at the beach, walking along Paseo de la Concha, going to the Old Town to eat some pintxos… You will have a lot of things to do!

Even if you are not going to travel to the city in the summer months, it is still a very good area to stay becasue you will have beautiful views of the sea and, in addition, you will be close to many of the city’s attractions.

Best hotels in La Concha

5. Amara, where to stay in San Sebastian on a budget

Aiete Palace
Source: JoulSauron – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Amara is an ideal option for those who are looking for cheap accommodation in San Sebastian. As you already know, the city is quite expensive but by staying a little further from the center, you can save some money. It is a very quiet and not very touristy area, so it is possible to find cheaper hotels.

There aren’t many tourist attractions in this neighborhood but you will be able to enjoy many green areas and establishments frequented by locals, therefore, you will have the opportunity to experience the city in a more authentic way. To get to the center, you will only have to walk about 15 minutes.

Staying here, you will also be closer to other places, such as the Aiete Palace, which I recommend you visit if you have at least 3 days in San Sebastian.

Best hotels in Amara

Map of the best areas to stay in San Sebastian

To make your search for accommodation in San Sebastian even easier, I have created this map where I have marked the areas and hotels (and their respective links to Booking) that I recommend:

Don’t forget to check my Spain travel guide to keep planning your trip to this country.

I hope that this post on where to stay in San Sebastian has been informative and very useful when planning your trip to this Basque city. If you have any questions, I encourage you to leave a comment or email me. Until next time, travelers!

↠ Book free tours and guided visits on Civitatis or GetYourGuide. I always use these platforms to check what organized activities there are at my destination.

↠ To pay with card in foreign currency or withdraw money from ATMs, I always use this card (there are free and paid plans). It works the best!

↠ Traveling with travel insurance to a destination where you don’t have healthcare coverage is a must. Get your insurance 5% cheaper with this link.

↠ If you want to have cellphone data at your destination from the moment you land and don’t want to waste time, there is nothing like this eSIM. Use the code “comeamaviaja” for a 5% discount.

↠ Check out Booking’s offers, a platform I always use, as I always find very good options thanks to its search engine with filters.

↠ For destinations where I need to rent a car, I always check Discover Cars and Auto Europe search engines. I recommend them!

↠ If you still need to buy flights for your trip, there is no better search engine than Skyscanner (although I always recommend booking the flight on the company’s website).

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