Where to stay in San Sebastian: Best areas and hotels

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 each of these areas and hotel recommendations for different budgets. Also, at the end of the post you have a list of 8 essential things to do in the city.

Table of contents

Where to stay in San Sebastian – Map

Let’s begin! To make your search even easier, I have created this map of San Sebastian with the areas and hotels (and their respective links to Booking) marked on the map:

1. Old Town, best area to stay in San Sebastian

where to stay in San Sebastian
Old town of San Sebastián

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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.

BEST HOTELS IN SAN SEBASTIAN: OLD TOWN

– Low budget: Pension San Jerónimo, Pension El Puerto.
– Average budget: Pension Basic Confort.
– High budget: Hotel SANSEbay.
– Very high budget: Lasala Plaza Hotel.

2. City Center, centric area in San Sebastian

san sebastian
City Center

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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.

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 all 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 SAN SEBASTIAN’S CITY CENTER

– Average budget: Regil Pension.
– High budget: Boulevard Donostia, Room Mate Gorka.
– Very high budget: Maria Cristina a Luxury Collection Hotel.

3. Gros, an incredible area to stay in San Sebastian

where to stay in san sebastian
Gros, San Sebastian

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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.

BEST HOTELS IN GROS

– Hostel: Surfing Etxea.
– Low budget: Pension del Mar.
– Average budget: Pension Ondarra.
– High budget: Hotel Villa Soro.

4. La Concha, where to stay in San Sebastian if you want to be near the best beach

Where to stay in San Sebastian
Where to stay in San Sebastian

Search for hotels in La Concha.

If you are visiting San Sebastian to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying yourself, I recommend staying in front of Playa de la Concha, known as one of the best urban beaches that exist. Hours and hours of beach, walking along Paseo de la Concha, taking a walk to the Old Town to eat some pintxos…

BEST HOTELS IN LA CONCHA

– Average budget: Hostal Alemana.
– High budget: London and England hotel.
– Very high budget: Villa Favorita Boutique Hotel.

Must-see places in San Sebastian

places to visit in san sebastian
San Sebastian, Basque Country

Apart from strolling and getting lost in the neighborhoods already mentioned, don’t miss this post about a 2-day itinerary in San Sebastian. If you like goin on guided tours, take a look at all these organized activities you can do in the city.

A very good way to get to know San Sebastián is by taking a free tour. On this free tour of San Sebastián you will be taken to places suchas Plaza de Gipuzkoa, Alameda del Boulevard, Plaza de la Constitución or Calle Mayor. You can also on a free tour of the Belle Époque in San Sebastián.

2. Spend the afternoon at Concha Beach, one of the most beautiful urban beaches in Europe. One of the most distinctive features of this beautiful city is La Concha Bay and its famous beach. If you visit San Sebastián when there’s good weather, do not hesitate to bathe. If there is no time for bathing, settle for walking along Paseo de la Concha.

3. Try their famous pintxos. Going to San Sebastian and not trying their pintxos doesn’t make any sense. Get lost in the streets of the Old Town and enjoy the best of the city. Carry some money in your wallet because they are not cheap. Of course, your palate will thank you. They are worth the money.

4. Take a day trip to Hondarribia, considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. One of the best trip you can do from San Sebastian is visiting Hondarribia, located just over 20 kilometers from the city. If you have a car, you can do it for free. If not, check out this day trip to Hondarribia, where they also take you to San Juan and San Pedro.

5. Go up to Monte Urgull and Monte Ulía. If you want to go for walk in nature and enjoy good views of the city, I recommend going for a walk through any of these mountains. In Mount Urgull do not miss the Mota Castle.

6. Visit Santa Clara Island, in the heart of La Concha Bay. It is accessed by boat. On the island you will find a small beach, a natural pool and a bar. You can book your boat trip to Santa Clara Island here.

7. Visit the Miramar Palace, one of the most beautiful and striking buildings in the city. It was once the summer residence for Spanish royalty. Do not leave San Sebastián without at least taking a walk through its gardens with views of the sea.

8. If you want to enjoy beautiful views of San Sebastian, I recommend going up to Mt. Igueldo viewpoint. You can get there walking, by car or by funicular.

By the way, if you are going to be in San Sebastian for several days, I also recommend taking a day trip to Biarritz, one of my favorite places in France.

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!

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