where to stay in san sebastian

Where to stay in san sebastian: Best Neighborhoods and hotels 

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If you’re planning to visit San Sebastian and you’re wondering where you should stay––picture this: You’re strolling along a picturesque promenade, the salty sea breeze tousling your hair as you gaze out at the crescent-shaped La Concha Bay.

Welcome to San Sebastian, a captivating coastal city nestled in Spain’s Basque Country. Known for its world-renowned cuisine, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, San Sebastian promises an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler. But with so many charming neighborhoods to choose from, where should you stay to make the most of your visit?


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Join me as I share my insider tips and recommendations for the best areas to stay in San Sebastian. 

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Where to stay in san sebastian: Best Neighborhoods and hotels What part of San Sebastian is best to stay in?

No Time to Read? Here’s a Quick Summary:

  • Parte Vieja (Old Town): Best for first-time visitors, sightseeing, pintxos bars, and historic charm.
  • Centro: Best for budget-friendly stays, shopping, and easy access to attractions.
  • Gros: Best for nightlife, surfing, and a hip, alternative vibe.
  • Antiguo: Best for a unique, off-the-beaten-path experience and stunning coastal walks.
  • La Concha: Best for families, relaxing beach days, and a quieter atmosphere.

Best Hotels in San Sebastian: Donostia Hotels

Hotel NameNeighborhoodPrice RangeBook Here
Hotel Maria CristinaÁrea Romántica$$$$Book Now
Hotel de Londres y de InglaterraLa Concha$$$Book Now
Lasala Plaza HotelParte Vieja$$$Book Now
Okako HotelGros$$Book Now
Pensión AmaiurParte Vieja$Book Now
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-to-stay-in-san-sebastian/

What is the main area of San Sebastian?

The main area of San Sebastian is the city center, which comprises two neighborhoods: Parte Vieja (Old Town) and Área Romántica. These areas are home to most of the city’s top attractions, restaurants, shops, and hotels. The Parte Vieja is the heart of the city, known for its narrow, winding streets, historic buildings, and lively pintxos bars. The Área Romántica, located just west of the Old Town, is characterized by its elegant Belle Epoque architecture, high-end shopping streets, and beautiful plazas.

Best Neighborhoods in San Sebastian

Parte Vieja ( Old Town )

is the best area to stay in San Sebastian. This is where I stayed and the area I recommend first timer’s visiting San Sebastian to stay in. 

where to stay in san sebastian
  • Experience San Sebastians Pintxos Culture: book a guided food tour with Devour Tours
  •  Stay in the heart of San Sebastian’s historic center
  •  Wander narrow, cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings
  •  Sample the city’s famous pintxos (Basque tapas) at lively bars
  •  Visit top attractions like the San Telmo Museum and Santa Maria Church
  • Hike up Monte Urgull for the best panoramic city views

San Sebastian Hotel Spain in Old Town

San Sebastian Hotel Price RangeBook Here
Lasala Plaza Hotel$$$Book Now
Pensión Amaiur$Book Now
SANSEbay Hotel$$Book Now


Shop ‘Til You Drop and Enjoy Budget-Friendly Stays  

where to stay in san sebastian
  • Find affordable accommodations in the city’s modern center
  •  Shop at major Spanish and international brands along Avenida de la Libertad
  •  Admire the beautiful Belle Epoque architecture of the Buen Pastor Cathedral
  •  Relax in the tranquil Alderdi Eder Park, home to a charming carousel

Hoteles san Sebastian in Centro Neighborhood

Hotel NamePrice RangeBook Here
Pension Garibai$$Book Now
Pension Alameda$Book Now
Hotel Parma$$Book Now


 Surf, Party, and Embrace the Hipster Vibe

  •  Hit the waves at Zurriola Beach, a hotspot for surfers
  •  Experience San Sebastian’s vibrant nightlife at trendy bars and clubs
  •  Attend a show at the iconic Kursaal, a modern cultural center
  •  Savor craft beers and alternative cuisine at hip eateries
  • Take a scenic walk along the Urumea River

hotels in San Sebastian spain in Gros neighborhood

Hotel NamePrice RangeBook Here
Okako Hotel$$Book Now
Koba Hostel$Book Now
Hotel Arrizul Congress$$$Book Now
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-to-stay-in-san-sebastian/


 Discover Hidden Gems and Coastal Walks 

  • Escape the crowds in this laid-back, residential neighborhood . It’s much further from the central so if it’s not your first time here it would be a great place to stay.
  •  See the beautiful English countryside-inspired Miramar Palace and its lush gardens
  •  Ride the historic funicular up Monte Igueldo for thrilling views and an amusement park
  •  Go on a breathtaking coastal walk to Eduardo Chillida’s “Peine del Mar” sculpture
  •  Dine at the San Sebastian Michelin-starred Akelarre restaurant for a gastronomic adventure
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-to-stay-in-san-sebastian/

hotel san sebastián in Antiguo

Hotel NamePrice RangeBook Here
NH Collection Aránzazu$$$Book Now
Sercotel Codina$$Book Now
Mercure Monte Igueldo$$$Book Now

La Concha

 Family-Friendly Fun and Beachside Relaxation

  • Soak up the sun on one of Europe’s most beautiful urban beaches
  •  Take a leisurely stroll along the iconic white promenade
  •  Treat yourself to a luxurious spa day at La Perla Spa
  •  Enjoy kid-friendly activities like boat rides and carousel rides
  •  Savor delicious ice cream while taking in the stunning bay views
where to stay in san sebastian

san sebastián hotel in La Concha

Hotel NamePrice RangeBook Here
Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra$$$Book Now
Pensión Iturriza$$Book Now

Helpful Tips:

  •  Book accommodations early, especially during peak summer months
  •  Brush up on a few basic Basque phrases to connect with locals
  •  Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the city’s hilly terrain
  •  Don’t be afraid to try new pintxos – they’re a delicious way to sample Basque cuisine
  •  Take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation system

Is it worth staying in San Sebastian?

Absolutely! San Sebastian is a captivating city that offers a perfect blend of stunning beaches, world-class cuisine, rich history, and vibrant culture. Its picturesque setting, surrounded by lush green hills and the sparkling Bay of Biscay, makes it an enchanting destination for travelers seeking beauty and relaxation. The city’s Old Town is a charming labyrinth of narrow streets lined with historic buildings and lively pintxos bars, while the elegant Belle Epoque architecture of the Área Romántica adds a touch of sophistication. With its laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and endless opportunities for exploration, San Sebastian is definitely worth a stay.

How many days is enough for San Sebastian?

The ideal length of stay in San Sebastian depends on your interests and travel style, but a minimum of 2-3 days is recommended to experience the city’s main attractions and soak up its atmosphere. This allows enough time to explore the Old Town, relax on the beaches, sample the famous pintxos, and perhaps take a day trip to nearby attractions like Bilbao or the French Basque country. However, if you want to fully immerse yourself in the city’s culture, indulge in its culinary scene, and explore the surrounding region, a stay of 4-7 days would be ideal.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/where-to-stay-in-san-sebastian/

Is it better to stay in Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Both Bilbao and San Sebastian are incredible destinations in the Basque Country, each offering unique experiences. The choice between the two depends on your interests and priorities.

Reasons to choose San Sebastian:

  • Stunning beaches and a more relaxed, resort-like atmosphere
  • World-renowned cuisine and pintxos culture
  • Charming Old Town with historic architecture
  • Beautiful natural setting with green hills and the Bay of Biscay

Reasons to choose Bilbao:

  • Modern architecture, including the iconic Guggenheim Museum
  • Vibrant arts and culture scene
  • More urban and industrial feel
  • Easier access to other parts of the Basque Country and northern Spain

Ultimately, both cities are well worth a visit, and many travelers choose to split their time between the two, as they are only about an hour apart by bus or train.

What is the best area of San Sebastian?

The best area to stay in San Sebastian depends on your preferences and priorities, but here are some top choices:

  1. Parte Vieja (Old Town): Perfect for first-time visitors, foodies, and those seeking historical charm and lively nightlife.
  2. La Concha: Ideal for families, beach lovers, and those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere with stunning bay views.
  3. Gros: Great for surfers, hipsters, and those who enjoy a vibrant and youthful vibe with plenty of trendy bars and restaurants.


Q: What is the best time of year to visit San Sebastian?

A: Summer (June-August) offers the best weather, but spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) are less crowded and still pleasant.

Q: How easy is it to get around San Sebastian?

A: The city is very walkable, and there’s an efficient bus system. Biking is also popular, with bike lanes throughout the city.

Q: Is San Sebastian an expensive city to visit?

A: While accommodations and dining out can be pricey, there are ways to save, like staying in budget-friendly neighborhoods and enjoying pintxos instead of sit-down meals.

San Sebastian truly has something for everyone, from food lovers to beach enthusiasts to culture vultures. Whether you choose to stay in the historic Parte Vieja, the lively Gros, or the tranquil La Concha, you’re sure to fall in love with this captivating Basque city. So pack your bags, bring your appetite, and get ready to experience the magic of San Sebastian. Trust me, it’s a destination you won’t soon forget.

I hope this guide has inspired you to start planning your dream getaway to San Sebastian. Trust me, once you experience the magic of this city, you’ll be counting down the days until you can return. Happy travels!

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