Tomorrow begins the San Sebastian Film Festival (Donostia Zinemaldia) and fans of the seventh art have an appointment in the capital of San Sebastian. In case you are going to take a walk there and want to take advantage of the weekend, these are nine essential things to do and to see on a visit to San Sebastian.
In general, the first thing to note is that San Sebastián is a beautiful city, so you must reserve some time to walk around it and let yourself be carried away by its beauty. Walk and join the city, walking through its streets and gradually discover the wonders it has to offer. These are our recommendations.
What to see and what to do in San Sebastián on a weekend
1. La Concha beach (Kontxa)
La Concha beach is so beautiful that it is difficult to resist contemplating it on any day of the year. Its beautiful promenade, with its centennial railing, is an essential tour for a visit to the city.
Next, to the beach, we find the Miramar Palace, where Queen Maria Cristina, widow of Alfonso XII spent the summer for decades and other mansions of great beauty. Also mythical hotels like the London Hotel and buildings and beach bars that transport us to the glorious era of the city in the 19th century.
Around the beach, there are most of the recommended places as essential, so it will be the axis of your tour of San Sebastián, crossing it from end to end.
2. Santa Clara Island
Located in the center of Playa de la Concha, its vision is a delight. When the weather is nice, it is interesting to approach her by swimming. Here you have some tips if you dare to make that journey but just look at it from the shore or from the Paseo Marítimo to enjoy its beauty. To get comfortable, there is a boat that will take you to the island for 6 euros the journey.
3. The Comb of the Winds of Chillida
Symbol of the city, it is a group of sculptures by Eduardo Chillida, located at one end of the Concha bay, at the end of Ondarreta beach. It is composed of three sculptures made of steel, which are embedded in the rocks and that are whipped by the waves and winds of the Cantabrian coast.
It is one of the most photographed places in San Sebastián, and you can reach its location by walking along the promenade that borders the coast until you can see them. Essential on a trip to Donostia.
4. The Carousel Palace
Located at one end of La Concha beach, in the Alderdi Eder Park in San Sebastián, the Carrousel Palace is a wonderful 1900 attraction that is still in operation as a children’s roundabout. Its decoration and careful maintenance, it is estimated that it is from the year 1900- makes us remember other mythical carousels such as that of the Mary Poppins movie of Walt Disney and makes us smile just by contemplating it.
5. Climb Mount Igueldo
Another essential attraction is to climb Mount Igueldo, which you can access using the funicular to enjoy spectacular views of the Bay of Kontxa. There you can also have lunch or dinner great in traditional places, affordable and with good traditional food.
The funicular route – more than 100 years running – is attractive in itself and the views on arrival are worth it. In addition, on Monte Igueldo there is also a kind of Amusement Park – similar to Tibidabo – that will be the delight of the little ones if you travel with children to San Sebastián.
6. Mount Urgull
Mount Urgull, located at one end of the Concha, is the other interesting mountain to visit on a short tour of San Sebastian and from it, you can also get great views of the city.
At the top is the monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the journey to the top is entertaining, beautiful and with the prize of the views of the city upon arrival that makes the walk worthwhile.
7. Relax at the La Perla Spa
In the middle of the promenade of La Concha beach, you will find the Balneario or Thalassotherapy center known as the Pearl of the Ocean, a place that evokes the era of the Belle Epoque and the high society that was going to take baths on the Cantabrian coast. In the photo, from the beginning of the 20th century, you can see how this building was, which today houses a modern spa where we can hire water circuits, massages or complete treatments, detox, etc.
8. From pintxos in the Old or from Michelin Star
One of the biggest attractions of the city is its gastronomy. Both in a cheaper plan, leaving pintxos in the old part of the city as if you opt for the best Michelin-starred restaurants, the gastronomic offer of San Sebastián is unforgettable.
You can also take advantage and look for food and wine tourism packages and enjoy the beauty with its flavors, aromas, and tastings. You can also get to know the Basque Culinary Center, one of the best gastronomy schools in the world.
9. The Donostia Zinemaldia Film Festival
The streets of the city are filled with references to the San Sebastián Film Festival during the Donostia Zinemaldía and in addition to the Kursaal Palace – Festival venue – and its red carpet, you will find the Victoria Eugenia Theater, and projection rooms and festive atmosphere In the whole city.
If you like cinema and you are fans of actors and directors, the Festival is a good time to take advantage of and go hunting for the autograph, the selfie or just to enjoy the presence of your idols walking through the city.
And there is much more
Although we finished with the Film Festival, which was the one that motivated our return to Donostia, there is much more to see in this city. When you walk, go attentive through the streets because even the street lamps are decorated with motifs as beautiful as those you have on this paragraph. We hope that this guide to visiting San Sebastián taking advantage of the Donostia Zinemaldia or Film Festival will be useful.