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Bucket list trip:

San Sebastian 3-day Itinerary

  • Spain

Last updated: 04 April, 2024

Where to go and what to see in San Sebastian to get the most from your trip – a 3-day itinerary from destination expert and travel writer Dana Facaros.

Editor note – Dana has not included specific recommendations of where to stay each day unless it’s necessary. Instead, see the ‘Where to stay’ section in our San Sebastian destination guide.

Day 1

5

Whet your appetite for coming culinary attractions at the San Martin Market, then have an unforgettable lunch at three-Michelin star Arzak.

In the afternoon, visit the San Telmo Museum for a dose of Basque-ness, then go on a pintxos crawl – Atari Gastroleku and Bar Bergara have some of the best.

San Martin Market

  • San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

Spanish ham hanging on a stall in the Boqueria market in Barcelona.

Experience

San Sebastian’s central market, just in from La Concha bay, opened its doors in 1884, and underwent a complete transformation in 2006; along with traditional food stalls, San Martin now hosts concerts and cultural events.

Good for age: 18+

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Arzak

  • San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

Arzak

Experience

San Sebastian’s world-famous three-Michelin-star restaurant (since 1989!), run by Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena Arzak, who won the prize for the world’s best female chef in 2012. There cellar holds some 100,000 bottles of wine.

Adult price: 40

Good for age: 18+

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Atari Gastroleku

  • San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

Prawn skewers tapas

Experience

Right in the medieval centre, this contemporary bar uses the finest ingredients in its traditional and avant garde pintxos – their prawn skewers are famous. Good wine list too. Best to book a table as it fills up fast.

Good for age: 18+

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Bar Bergara

  • San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

Interior photo of a counter filled with tasty tapas

Experience

Located just over the river in Gros, this bar has won prizes for its exquisite nibbles. You can make a meal of them (there’s a set menu) at one of the tables.

Good for age: 18+

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Day 2

2

Work off yesterday’s calories with a swim, or take a bike tour along San Sebastian’s stunning coast.

After lunch at the Petritegi Cider House, take the cable car up Monte Igueldo for the rides and dramatic sunset views.

In the evening, dine in a San Sebastian culinary club, or txoko (bookings essential).

Petritegi Cider House

  • San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

inside the cider house, people sitting at tables by big barrels

Experience

Dine on cod dishes and steaks in this traditional cider house (sagardotegi), just outside San Sebastian. They’ve been making cider here for over 500 years. They offer guided tours of the apple orchards and cider works; their typical set menus are online.

Good for age: 18+

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Txokos

  • San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

Group eating and drinking red wine at dinner barbecue party outdoor

Experience

Txokos in San Sebastian are exclusive gastronomic societies aka private clubs that bring together food enthusiasts to gather, cook, and share meals. It’s a unique opportunity to experience the local Basque cuisine and meet local food connoisseurs. Access is by private, organised tour. Book a special visit in advance with San Sebastian Pintxos or Basque Tours.

Adult price: Varies

Good for age: 30+

Duration: One evening

Day 3

2

Book a tour or hire a car to head 19km west to the fishing village of Getaria and its Balenciaga Museum, dedicated to the fashion designer.

Lunch on fresh seafood at Elkano, then visit Getaria’s unique Txakoli vineyards.

Back in San Sebastian, end the day at Casa Urola, a local favourite since 1956.

  • Getaria, Basque Country, Spain

  • Bucket List Experience

A delightful fishing village with pretty architecture, food, beaches and superb wine – and it’s largely undiscovered by tourists.

Cristobal Balenciaga Museum

  • Getaria, Basque Country, Spain

Exterior facade, square red brick building

Experience

This small museum tucked away in the small village of Balenciaga’s birth (1895), displays of 20th-century haute couture outfits by the famous designer. There are guided tours and even an onsite fashion school for teaching the tips of the trade.

Adult price: 8

Good for age: 18+

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