San Sebastian Tourist Attractions
San Sebastian, chief town of the Basque province of Guipúzcoa and Spain's most fashionable bathing resort, lies on the Bay of Biscay near the French frontier. It is beautifully situated on alluvial land between the canalized Río Urumea and the crescent-shaped Bahía de la Concha, which is bounded on the east by Monte Urgull and on the west by Monte Igueldo and sheltered on the seaward side by the island of Santa Clara.
San Sebastián's rise to become a resort of worldwide reputation began in the 19th Century, when Queen María Cristina chose it as her summer residence. Since then it has developed into an international resort where the boulevards, restaurants and cafesstill preserve something of the fashionable atmosphere of the 19th century, attracting visitors from all over the world with a summer program of major events such as the International Film Festival, the Jazz Festival and the Semana Grande in August. San Sebastián has practically no old buildings, since a great fire in 1813 destroyed much of the town.
Alameda del Boulevard
The hub of San Sebastián's life is the tamarisk-shaded Alameda del Boulevard with its shops, restaurants and cafes. At its west end are the fishing harbor, the Club Náutico and the Town Hall, the west front of which overlooks the Bahía de la Concha with its beach.
Palacio de la Diputación
To the east of the Paseo de la Concha and the south of the Alameda lies the new town of San Sebastián, with the Avenida de la Libertad, its main street, and the Plaza de Guipúzcoa. On the west side of this square is the Palacio de la Diputación (1885), which has busts of notable figures on the facade. It contains pictures by Ignacio Zuloaga (1870-1945), and the library has a large collection of books on Basque literature and history.
To Monte Igueldo
Palacio de Miramar
At the far end of the Playa de Ondarreta is the Royal Tennis Club, from which a funicular and a winding road go to the top of Monte Igueldo (184m/604ft). Here there is a terrace restaurant, an amusement park, an observatory and an outlook tower, from which there are magnificent views of the town, the sea and the Basque mountains.
Several events in San Sebastian are of interest to visitors.
The San Sebastian Drum Festival
The San Sebastian drum festival is an all night event, with groups of drummers parading through the streets. Festivities begin on the evening of January 19th at the Plaza de la Constitution.
Map of San Sebastian Attractions