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San Sebastián

Culture & History

Our most recommended San Sebastián Culture & History

San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

1. San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

Join a curated San Sebastian pintxos tour to discover the city’s best pintxos bars in the old town while you learn the local ways of dining out and how to enjoy the Basque way of eating (and drinking!) Along the way, learn the fascinating history of the region’s complex and unique cuisine and culture, as you weave in and out of its mystery-filled streets. Begin the evening in true local style with some crisp local cider and delicious seafood pintxos. Move on to acorn-fed Iberian ham, as well as the local variety. Taste the best anchovies in the country, the most delicious local beef, seared local cod, suckling pig, and more. Dive into hand-picked hidden taverns serving delicious and unique house specialties– from traditional local favorites to gourmet modern creations - you’ll try them all. Wash the pintxos down with excellent local wines, ciders, and more. Gain an understanding of the local culture and history– which is plentiful in the Basque Country and San Sebastian as you fill your mind as well as your belly. Receive a free mini-guide, which is packed with all of the guide's favorite places to eat and drink in the city, so you’ll be eating well for the rest of your stay!

Bilbao: S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Getaria & San Sebastián Tour

2. Bilbao: S. Juan de Gaztelugatxe Getaria & San Sebastián Tour

From Bilbao, leave for San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an islet that can only be accessed by a pedestrian path. Make a panoramic tour of the area and learn the area’s dreamlike cliffs, a feature of the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones. Continue to the Guipuzcoan town of Getaria, where we will enjoy a guided tour of its historic quarter, and where we can admire its traditional fishing port, the church of San Salvador, and the monument in honor of Juan Sebastián Elcano, a sailor who turned the world and that he was born in this small town. Take a moment to eat in one of its many restaurants at Getaria. Enjoy the gastronomy of grilling local fish and seafood. From here, leave for San Sebastián for a guided tour of the city. See the Church of San Vicente and the Basilica of Santa María del Coro before heading back to Bilbao.

San Sebastian: Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus

3. San Sebastian: Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Bus

Explore the Belle Epoque resort town of San Sebastian at leisure with a 1-day ticket to the open-top double-decker sightseeing bus. Learn the history of the Basque city with the complimentary audio guide, available in 8 different languages. You are free to get on and off all day long with the same ticket, while a complimentary guide and map contains all stops on the route to plan your visit. The buses are adapted for people with reduced mobility and have a sliding roof in case of rain. See the sites of the Parte Vieja (Old Town) and the ancient area beyond the Miramar Palace. Admire the grandiose buildings of Constitution Square and marvel at the 19th-century San Sebastián Cathedral and the historic bridges across the Urumea River.  • Aquarium/Paseo Nuevo • San Telmo/Parte Vieja • Plaza Guipúzcoa • Estación de tren-bus/Tabakalera • Gros • Playa Zurriola/Kursal • La Concha • La Perla • Playa Ondarreta • Peine del Viento • Funicular Igueldo • Barrio del Antiguo • Palacio Miramar • Catedral Buen Pastor

San Sebastian: Guided Food Tour with Pinxtox Tasting

4. San Sebastian: Guided Food Tour with Pinxtox Tasting

Take a guided tour through the old town of San Sebastián and see why it’s known for having some of the world’s best pintxos, the local word for small snacks. Witness the spectacle of pintxos being served in a selection of bars, each in their own special way alongside Spanish cider and wine.Begin with a stroll through the market full of delectable local produce and stop for a ham tasting. Visit an olive shop to hear the history behind La Gilda, one of the oldest known pintxos, and meet a local vendor who is in the world’s top 4 olive oil shops.Next, head to the old quarter and go bar-hopping like a Basque native. See some landmark buildings and learn about private cooking clubs as you make more stops to taste the most avant-garde pintxos, Rioja Wine, and natural apple cider.Enjoy stories about Basque’s fascinating dishes, language, and heritage as you meet locals in the market and bars.

San Sebastián: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Pintxo and Drink

5. San Sebastián: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Pintxo and Drink

Explore San Sebastián like a local on a 2-hour walking tour with a local guide. Meet at the kiosk on Alameda del Boulevard in the morning or late afternoon, depending on your preferred departure time. See 15 of the most significant sites in the romantic Old Town area, and learn more about the people and culture of the Basque Country and the beautiful city along the way. End with a tasting of a typical snack from the Basque Country and experience the pintxo tradition of eating small dishes with a drink.

San Sebastian: Private Pintxos Basque -Tapas Tour

6. San Sebastian: Private Pintxos Basque -Tapas Tour

Enjoy this guided tour in San Sebastian, visiting the most historical and the most representative points in the historic center of San Sebastian. Along with a dose of history, you will get a special treat: a pintxos tasting tour which will visit a couple of the nicest pintxos bars in the old part of San Sebastian. Never heard of a pintxo? You'll be trying to re-create this Basque speciality at home after trying them here.  This tour goes for the famous "bar hopping" along different local places while you smell, see and of course, taste all the essence of Basque gastronomy. You will also be guided along to the local market to see all the fresh products displayed before going into the restaurants bars where Pintxos are made daily using only seasonal products. Do you really want to feel like a local? Then, this is your tour. Gather local people on their daily lives in the Old Quarter of San Sebastian.

Rioja: Private Wine Tasting Tour

7. Rioja: Private Wine Tasting Tour

This tour is designed to guide you into one of the oldest traditional "cave-cellars" in the area, dug 7-8 meters (23-26 feet) deep under the houses. This is a fabulous experience not to be missed! This activity also includes  tasting wines in one of the most famous local wineries. You can also tour 'Marques del Riscal' winery cellar/hotel, which was designed by Frank Gehry, the architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. You will also walk along the medieval streets of Laguardia, one of the most charming towns in La Rioja area, before discovering local home-made food for lunch in an off the beaten track, non touristy restaurant.

From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

8. From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

See villages trapped in between mountains like the villages of Durango, Eibar and Elgoibar! Arrive at the core of the province, and after the industrial village of Azkoitia, you will arrive at your first stop, the Sanctuary of Loyola, hometown of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Here you will visit the Basilica and the tower house where he was born and lived. Depending on the time, you may wish to attend a ceremony. Next you follow the route towards the coast on the north, passing through Azpeitia. You will also pass through Zestoa, a famous natural spa village with healing waters that attracted the royalty of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Later you will arrive to the coast at Zumaia, a beautiful village very much appreciated by Basque summer tourists. Following the coastal road you will arrive at your next stop, Getaria. A unique medieval fishing village and hometown of famous figures like captain Juan Sebastian Elcano (the first man to travel around the world by sea), and Cristobal Balenciaga, the famous designer. Then you will pass by Zarauz, a beautiful tourist spot with the largest beach in the province of Gipuzkoa. You will arrive finally to San Sebastian (or Donostia) where you will do a panoramic tour of the city. After lunch, you will do a walking tour into the old quarter visiting the most interesting streets and locations before returning to Bilbao in the evening. Follow the highway towards the east, into the province of Gipuzkoa. On the way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, you will be able to admire the areas of inner Basque Country, combined with rural valleys and industrial

San Sebastian: Guernica, Mundaka, Urdaibai and Bermeo Tour

9. San Sebastian: Guernica, Mundaka, Urdaibai and Bermeo Tour

After being collected from your hotel, your tour kicks off and heads toward Gernika. Your first stop will be to the Guernica Peace Museum, where you will learn all about the tragic bombing that took place there during the Spanish civil war. Following this, you will advance towards Mundaka. Once there you will discover a quaint village on the coastline, famous for it's surfing waves that attract professional surfers from all over the world. Your final stop will be Bermeo, a traditional fishing village that showcases the Basque coastline lifestyle at it's best. Your tour will then end as you are dropped off at your hotel or other location of your convenience in San Sebastian.

From San Sebastian: Bilbao Tour with Guggenheim Museum

10. From San Sebastian: Bilbao Tour with Guggenheim Museum

Enjoy a perfect morning in Bilbao city, the economical capital of the Basque Country, in a small-group tour to avoid the crowds. You will receive an accurate view of this historic city guided by a local guide, who will explain all you need to know, from history to gastronomy and other details. Your tour begins with pick-up in your hotel. After driving for about an hour, you will arrive to Bilbao and go sightseeing, where your tour guide will explain to you all the details and history of the biggest city of the Basque country. You will see the Ria de Bilbao, the Casco Viejo area with the 7 streets, the Arriaga Theater and many more. Later you will enjoy the modern art at the Guggenheim Bilbao museum, where the building itself is pure art (total time located for museum visit is around 2-3 hours). Following this, you will head back to San Sebastian where your guide will drop you off at your hotel or any other place of your convenience, and you still have the afternoon to spend in town. This is a half-day trip perfect for art lovers or anyone who wants to expand their knowledge about the Basque Country history.

Frequently asked questions about San Sebastián Culture & History

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What people are saying about San Sebastián

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 30 reviews

Jon was amazing! We had such a great time and it was some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. Jon takes the time to figure out what you like and are interested in and can customize the places you stop at accordingly. Felt much more personal than some of the bigger tour companies and we loved it. Eurra!

What an experience! Laura was a fantastic guide. She did not just take us to fantastic pintxo places but also showed us how to order for ourselves. We tried today and was offered food that was not on the menu. Such a wonderful and well rounded experience!

Jon is a brilliant guide. He picked the best Pintxos at the best bars - things we would never have found ourselves and was charming and informative. For the amount we ate and drank it is superb value. Really couldn’t have asked for anymore

The guide was really informative and so helpful guiding us around the maze of bars. Especially gracious and clear when dealing with the need for gluten free food.

Joselu was an exceptional tour guide. Not only was he very knowledgeable of San Sebastian’s unique history and culture, but his recommendations were also spot on!