Other neighbourhoods to stay in San Sebastian
West of La Concha and separated by a stony outcrop lies the Ondarreta neighbourhood, nestled between Mount Igueldo and the Miramar Palace Gardens. The beach area boasts some stunning scenery and is a favourite place among families and sunbathers of all ages. It is within walking distance from the city centre. Although it is shorter, it is much wider than La Concha, and therefore provides more space to kick back and soak up some sun. The beach area is backed by the pretty sun-dappled gardens of the Miramar Palace Gardens, part of the former royal summer palace. The gardens are worth visiting and in addition offer some shade from the sun when temperatures rise during summer. Between June and September you can catch a glass bottomed boat to the Isla de Santa Clara, about 700m from the beach.
You can take the funicular railway that dates back over 100 years up the hill to the top of Mount Igueldo. The emblematic views from the top over the city are spectacular and are a major draw for visitors. To the west of Ondarreta Beach, lies the impressive Wind Comb sculpture by sculptor Eduardo Chillida and architect Luis Peña Ganchegui and is a popular meeting spot for locals. There is a fine selection of pintxo bars, restaurants and grill bars local to this area meaning is a great place to stay, as you won’t have to travel to the centre each time if you want to sample an assortment of good local cuisine.
Hotels in Ondarreta Beach
Gros (and Zurriola Beach)
Gros is located to the east of the city centre and includes the Gros area and the hip surfer hangout Zurriola Beach. Unlike the English word “gross”, Gros has no negative connotation and its beach, thanks to its unsheltered position, is a surfer’s paradise – although less safe for swimmers. If you are interested in trying out surfing, this is a great place to stay, as there are several surf schools in the area. Lesser-known to outsiders, Gros also has more of the city’s arty cafes and a hodgepodge of late night options. The area is within walking distance of the city centre and sights.
Hotels in Gros
If you are looking for a quieter neighbourhood that is conveniently close to the city centre, Amara is the perfect place to stay and the accommodation is reasonably priced too. If you want upmarket, there are some lovely four star hotels in Avenida de Ranch el Sabro, but there are many other cheaper hotels that are perfect for families. Amara is one of the largest neighbourhoods, but it is so quick to get into the city centre by hopping on a bus or train.
Why not hire a bike? The city has excellent bike lanes and it takes just five minutes! Plaza Easo is where you will find all the trendy bars and cafés and it lies close to Araba Park with its lovely play area for children. There are plenty of places to enjoy a cool drink and some tapas and Pintxopote (Pintxo for short) which are extra large and delicious tapas!
Hotels in Amara
For a restful and relaxing stay in San Sebastian, choose Antiguo. This is the oldest neighbourhood and has a good selection of accommodation, making it a great area to stay. There are top notch hotels and small cosy hotels plus self catering options too. Antiguo has plenty of hidden corners, traditional shops and some great restaurants for enjoying traditional Basque dishes such as Tolosa beans. Reaching the centre of San Sebastian is easy by bus, bike or on foot.
A visit to Ondarreta Beach is a must for a lovely swim. If you are feeling energetic there is a delightful coastal walk as far as El Peine del Viento. It is fun to take the funicular railway up Mont Igeldo to the vintage fairground or find a coastal bar and enjoy some tasty Pintxos as the sun goes down.
Hotels in Antiguo