City trip to San Sebastián/Donostia over the Easter weekend!

posted in: Destinations, Europe, Spain | 0

The best time here in Germany to make a city trip is the Easter weekend. Due to two public holidays, we have 4 days off in a row. This way you don’t need to take any of your precious days off from work.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Due to our wedding last year in May we cancelled last year’s Easter trip. But this year it was due again and we headed to beautiful San Sebastián in the Northern part of Spain (it’s called Donostia in Basque Country) with my dear parents-in-law.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

 

Flight, Rental Car and  Accommodation in San Sebastián

There are regular flights to Bilbao. From Frankfurt this was no problem at all.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

We also booked a rental car to explore a little bit of the Basque Country (Euskal Herria) and be flexible. The car rental agencies are located directly at the airport of Bilbao, so everything worked without a hitch. It wasn’t expensive at all which is why we definitely recommend you to do as well.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

We booked our accommodation via Airbnb and rented an apartment in the centre of San Sebastián. It’s called Precios Vistas Apartments; the owner’s name is Alex. From our apartment we had a fabulous view over the beautiful landscaped river bank. From our apartment it was just a short walking distance to the Bay of La Concha.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Around the Bay of La Concha

La Concha in San Sebastián/Donostia

The first thing you will find when googling will be the beautiful Bay of La Concha. La Concha means ‘Shell’ in English and got its name due to its shape.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Shortly after our trip Travelbook just put the Beach of La Concha on their list of Europe’s most beautiful beaches (according to Trip-Advisor reviews). We think it definitely deserves to be on that list.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Next to the huge beach area, there are several sights of the city. That’s why La Concha is also the touristic hotspot of San Sebastián.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

There are a few cafés located along the promenade. They’re a bit touristy of course but with a great view. The beach, the Playa de la Concha, is really huge and in sunshine the sea might get that little bit of dreamy turquoise. This beach is totally crowded in summer but we can totally understand why.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Palacio Miramar at the Bay of La Concha

This little palace fits perfectly into the bay’s setting and offers a great view over the city. The garden around the palace is beautifully landscaped and it’s astonishing how quiet it is there. We had been here on two days, one was sunny, one not so much.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

It was already pretty without the sun. With a little bit of sunshine it all turns into a painting.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

A few meters east of the palace there are two banks on the promenade which are perfect for dreamy pictures and to enjoy a fabulous view.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

The Town Hall

It was built in 1897 and was used as a Casino. Since 1947 it’s used as the City Town Hall. The carousel in front of it and the Christ Statue in the background make it a really perfect picture.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

The little harbour between Old Town and the Monte Urgull

A beautiful part of the promenade with cute houses looking like they were built into the mountain stones. There’s not a lot happening here but it’s pretty to see and on the way to the Christ Statue anyway.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

The Monte Urgull and the Christ Statue

There’s a Christ Statue on the top of the Monte Urgull which is surrounded by the Fortress of Castillo de la Mota. If the weather gods are good, you can see a great sunset from here. Unfortunately they didn’t like us so much that weekend.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

The view was totally worth the short but steep hike.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

A little bit further down there’s a café at the Batteria de las Damas where you can enjoy the amazing view over the island off the coast named Santa Clara. It’s a bit tacky to say that but without exaggeration, it looks totally like a painting.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

View Point at Monte Igueldo

This mountain probably offers you the best view over the Bay of La Concha. If you didn’t know (like us), you’d be really surprised to find an amusement park up there. Which is highly frequented by locals on an Easter Weekend, of course.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

We used our rental car to get there. You have to pay an entry fee of a little bit over 2 € per person. The hard-boiled will hike (but still have to pay the fee). You’ll have amazing views during your hike up. But first of all, it’s not a short walk and secondly it’s really steep. For those without a car: There’s a cable railway bringing you up starting from the western end of the promenade.

However you’ll reach the top, just do it. The view over the city is absolutely fantastic.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

The Old Town of San Sebastián – Parte Vieja

Beautifull alleys full of life. From young to old, everyone is on the road at any time. Our favourite area maybe was around the Iglesia de Santa Maria. It’s nice to sit on the steps with a something to eat and drink from the Atari Gastroteka opposite to the church.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

There are many Tapas bars in the Parte Vieja and you’re really spoilt by choice of Pintxos. There will be an extra post about that.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Artzain Onaren katedrala/Catedral de Buen Pastor

It’s really hard to pronounce the Basque name for me. It was built in the 19th century in neo-gothic style.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

We actually didn’t know about it before. It was just on the way from our apartment to the Old Town and is really worth a visit.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Along the river bank

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

Kursaal of San Sebastián

The city’s Kursaal has an interesting architectonical style and is an event centre. It’s modern and somehow doesn’t fit into the city’s landscape, which makes it great the same time. If you’re lucky, the Kursaal is illuminated by night.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

The Tabakalera

This former tobacco factory is used as a culture centre today. It has a beautiful terrace on the rooftop with a great view over the city silhouette. There’s also a café with delious tapas and drinks at the bottom floor.

San Sebastián/ Donostia, Spain/ Basque Country

To see of San Sebastián what we saw, you’ll need between one and two days. Depending on your priorities.

Is there something we still have to see when returning? What are your experiences in Donostia?

 

More posts about San Sebastián and the Basque Country:

The Basque Country/Euskal Herria – the highlights of our roadtrip!

Pintxos, Tapas and Txakoli – Foodie Heaven in San Sebastián and the Basque Country!

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