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The center of San Sebastián is known for its elegant buildings that were inspired by France’s Belle Époque and the lively and friendly ambience of its streets.
Discover the City Center, the Romantic Area and the Old Part of San Sebastian. The center of San Sebastián is known for its elegant buildings that were inspired by France’s Belle Époque and the lively and friendly ambience of its streets. The Theatre romantic and commercial area is packed with all kinds of shops, from small boutiques and retailers to big fashion chains.
The Old Quarter is the old walled-in city which didn’t expand beyond the stone walls until the end of the 19th century. The city’s most interesting buildings in artistic terms are found in this characteristic neighborhood. In the Old Quarter you will find the popular market, a perfect place to try some of the delicious local appetizers known as pintxos.
San Sebastian has a population of 186,095 and its metropolitan area reaches 436,500. Locals call themselves donostiarra, both in Spanish and Basque. The city was chosen by the Spanish monarchy to spend summer following the French example of nearby Biarritz. Subsequently, the Spanish nobility and the diplomatic corps opened residences in the summer capital.
San Sebastián has a dynamic cultural scene and is known for its traditional festivals of music, theatre and cinema. The San Sebastián Jazz Festival (Jazzaldia), is the longest, continuously running Jazz Festival in Europe and is held in the last week of July. In September, the San Sebastián International Film Festival comes into the spotlight and is an event with more than 50 years behind it. Each year on 20 January (the feast of Saint Sebastian), the people of San Sebastián celebrate a festival known as the “Tamborrada”. | More info www.sansebastianturismo.com
12 Step Tour Highlights
• Hear tales of events that have shaped the history of San Sebastián
• Learn why aristocrats used to flock to this corner and why surfers still love it today
• See Donostia’s most iconic sites, incl. stunning Old Town & beautiful La Concha Bay
• Get tips on the best things to see and do in the city during your stay
• Enjoy some of the best views of San Sebastián, from recommended lookout spots
Get a taste of San Sebastián’s (also known as Donostia) past, present, and future on the tour of the city’s many faces. Explore areas that have shaped the evolution of the city and learn why it’s a favourite spot for socialites and surf seekers. Visit the Portaletas, one of the most characteristic places in San Sebastián. Located at the crossroads of the Old Town and fishing district, it provides a fascinating glimpse at San Sebastián’s past and present. Visit the battlefield of Monte Urgull, before moving to the modern part of the city to discover where glamour and new world architecture meet.
Explore the Urumea River and visit the Gros district, crossing a bridge that’s got some stories to tell; from the European aristocracy who crossed it to visit the casino, to the Hollywood stars that crossed it on their way to movie festivals. Visit the residential ensanche (city expansion), built when the old city walls where demolished. Mix with the modern-day fashionistas and experience everyday life in a city of the Basque Country. See the cathedral, La Concha Bay, and discover a favorite spot for summer vacations.
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