Where to Stay in San Sebastian (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

Our EPIC guide features where to stay in San Sebastian for every type of budget! Includes top hotels, hostels, & things to do!

Interested? PIN NOW, read later!

San Sebastian is a Spanish city located in the Basque country, near the border with France. It is mostly visited for its nice beaches, great restaurants and its proximity to the mountains.

However, figuring out where to stay in San Sebastian can be a tough task.

This is the reason why I have decided to put together this guide on where to stay in San Sebastian.

After reading it, YOU will be an expert on where to stay in San Sebastian and you will be able to choose your next vacation spot with ease.

Let’s get started right now, here is the ultimate guide on where to stay in San Sebastian.

 

Quick Answers – Where To Stay In San Sebastian

  • Where to stay in San Sebastian your first time – Parte Vieja
  • Where to stay in San Sebastian on a budget – Centro
  • Best area to stay in San Sebastian for nightlife – Gros
  • Coolest place to stay in San Sebastian – Antiguo
  • Best neighbourhood to stay in San Sebastian for families – La Concha

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel

Parte Vieja
Parte Vieja is the old town and the historic part of San Sebastian. It is located on the eastern end of the La Concha beach and regroups many interesting sights.
Places to Visit:
  • Eat some pintxos on the Plaza de la Constitucion
  • Go deep underwater at the Aquarium
  • Explore the Basque country history at the San Telmo Museoa

 

Where To Stay In San Sebastian

 

Best Hostel in San Sebastian – Koba Hostel

The Koba Hostel is located in the Gros neighbourhood in San Sebastian. Set up in a refurbished old car workshop, this new hostel offers private rooms with an ensuite bathroom as well as single beds in mixed or female-only dormitory rooms. Each dorm room has its own bathroom and air conditioning.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in San Sebastian!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in San Sebastian – Pension Del Mar

The Pension Del Mar is located in the Gros neighbourhood of San Sebastian. It offers modernly decorated rooms fitted with soundproofing, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and hardwood floors. The bathrooms are either shared or private. A free Wifi connection is available and some of the rooms boast a city view.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in San Sebastian – Hotel SANSEbay

The Hotel SANSEbay is a nice hotel located in San Sebastian’s Parte Vieja. Each modernly decorated room is fitted with a private bathroom, air conditioning, soundproofing and a flat-screen TV with international channels. In the morning, guests can enjoy a good breakfast. A free Wifi connection is available everywhere in the hotel.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

San Sebastian Neighbourhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in San Sebastian

tbbn-table__image

Parte Vieja

  • Parte Vieja is the old town and the historic part of San Sebastian. It is located on the eastern end of the La Concha beach and regroups many interesting sights.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Centro

  • Centro is the new city centre of San Sebastian and is located right next to the old town. It is a true heaven for shopping lovers. All the main Spanish and international brands have set up shop in the area.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Gros

  • Gros is the liveliest area in San Sebastian, and definitely the best place to stay in town for nightlife. During the day, Gros is the best area in San Sebastian for surfing, especially around the beautiful Zurriola beach.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Antiguo

  • Antiguo has been named that way due to the fact that it is home to the oldest building in San Sebastian. Ironically, the area is actually one of the newer neighbourhoods of the city.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

La Concha

  • La Concha is the most iconic neighbourhood in San Sebastian. It is most famous for its white sand beach, deemed to be one of the most beautiful urban beaches in Europe.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel

 

San Sebastian is a city located in the Spanish Basque country, close to the border with France. As it is on the Atlantic coast, it is a popular beach and surf destination, especially during the summer when the weather is warmer.

In the city, the Party Vieja is the old town and the historic centre. It offers plenty of museums, cultural sights and natural attractions such as the Monte Urgull, from which you can get a nice viewpoint. It is a bustling area of town, and also home to some of the best markets you will find around.

The Centro neighbourhood is the newer centre of town. It is a great area to stay for shopping and to be close to all the main things to see and do in San Sebastian. From there, you can walk to the beach, the cultural sights and all the good nightlife spots.

The liveliest neighbourhood of San Sebastian is Gros. This is where you should stay if you love nightlife, as there are many bars that stay open late around here. During the day, the beach in Gros is a great surfing spot.

For a more relaxed area, head to the La Concha neighbourhood. La Concha beach is considered to be the best beach in San Sebastian and offers some of the best views around. Many restaurants can also be found in the area, where you can enjoy some delicious pintos with awesome sea views.

At this point, you may still feel confused about where to stay in San Sebastian. But do not worry, as we will take a look at each neighbourhood separately.

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack.

Check out this post to read our full review!

 

5 Best Neighbourhoods To Stay In San Sebastian

Now is the time to take a look at the 5 best neighbourhoods to stay in San Sebastian.

 

#1 Parte Vieja – Where to stay in San Sebastian your first time

Parte Vieja is the old town and the historic part of San Sebastian. It is located on the eastern end of the La Concha beach and regroups many interesting sights.

The heart of the neighbourhood is the Plaza de la Constitucion, Up until 1940, this is where the city hall used to be located. Today, it remains a major square in San Sebastian where popular events are hosted every year. On normal days, people come here to have a drink or enjoy some pintxos in one of the many restaurants.

To get a bird’s eye view of the city and its surroundings, hike up the Mount Urgull. At the top, you will find old castle walls as well as a statue of Christ.

If you are into museums and interested in knowing more about the history of the Basque country, the San Telmo Museoa is absolutely fascinating and definitely not to be missed.

 

Things to see and do in Parte Vieja

 – Eat some pintxos on the Plaza de la Constitucion

 – Go deep underwater at the Aquarium

 – Explore the Basque country history at the San Telmo Museoa

 – Get breathtaking views of San Sebastian from the top of Monte Urgull

 

Best Hostel in Parte Vieja – Kaixo Guest House

Kaixo Guest House has been designed as a home away from home for backpackers in San Sebastian. It offers single beds in mixed dormitory rooms with a shared bathroom. The hostel offers many amenities including a communal kitchen, a car parking and a book exchange. Activities such as hiking and pintxo workshops are organised regularly.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Parte Vieja – Hotel Parma

The Hotel Parma is located near the sea and overlooks the bay of La Zurriola. The rooms are modernly decorated and fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, and a flat-screen TV with international channels. The rooms either face the interior of the building, the city or the sea.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Parte Vieja – Hotel SANSEbay

The Hotel SANSEbay is a nice hotel located in San Sebastian’s Parte Vieja. Each modernly decorated room is fitted with a private bathroom, air conditioning, soundproofing and a flat-screen TV with international channels. In the morning, guests can enjoy a good breakfast. A free Wifi connection is available everywhere in the hotel.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

#2 Centro – Where to stay in San Sebastian on a budget

Centro is the new city centre of San Sebastian and is located right next to the old town. It is a true heaven for shopping lovers. All the main Spanish and international brands have set up shop in the area. The main shopping street is the Avenida de la Libertad.

The new city hall can be found in the Centro, more precisely around the Alderdi Eder park. Facing the La Concha bay, these gardens are an iconic picture of San Sebastian. Under the tamaris, beautiful flowerbeds have been laid out. If you are coming to the area with kids, make sure to take them to the carousel built in Belle Epoque style.

The religious landmark of San Sebastian, the Buen Pastor Cathedral, is also located in the Centro. It was inaugurated in 1897 and its architecture was inspired by medieval churches found in France and Germany. Standing tall at 75 metres high, the cathedral is the tallest building in San Sebastian.

 

Things to see and do in Centro

 – Go shopping on the Avenida de la Libertad

 – Visit the Buen Pastor Cathedral, the biggest religious building in San Sebastian

 – Take a stroll in the Alderdi Eder park

 

Best Hostel in Centro – Downtown River Hostel

The Downtown River Hostel is centrally located in San Sebastian, next to the Urumea river. It offers single beds in mixed dormitory rooms with a shared bathroom. In a fun environment, the hostel provides a comfortable place to stay with all the necessary amenities. A free internet connection is available.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Centro – Pension Garibai

The Pension Garibai is centrally located near the Alderdi Eder park and the Buen Pastor Cathedral. It offers modernly decorated rooms fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV with international channels. Some of the rooms also have a patio. Free coffee and tea are available all day.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Centro – Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

The Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra offers luxury accommodation in the centre of San Sebastian. Each room is fitted with an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, soundproofing and a flat-screen TV with international channels. The hotel is located on the beachfront and has an in house restaurant serving traditional Basque food.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

#3 Gros – Best area in San Sebastian for nightlife

Gros is the liveliest area in San Sebastian, and definitely the best place to stay in town for nightlife.

During the day, Gros is the best area in San Sebastian for surfing, especially around the beautiful Zurriola beach. This is the wildest beach in San Sebastian, and youngsters love hanging out around there. You will find many surf schools in the area where you can rent all the gear necessary and even get a teacher if you need to!

At night, the pintxos places and the bars come to life, with music playing until the early hours of the morning. Gros boasts a hip and alternative vibe. I can recommend going to Mala Gissona for the best selection of craft beers in the city.

For a more traditional show, the Kursaal is the place to go. This venue is also interesting for its unique architecture as it is made out of glass cubes piled on top of each other.

 

Things to see and do in Gros

 – Take a surf lesson on the Zurriola beach

 – Go for a crazy night out with friends in the bars

 – Go see a show at the Kursaal

 

Best Hostel in Gros – Koba Hostel

The Koba Hostel is located in the Gros neighbourhood in San Sebastian. Set up in a refurbished old car workshop, this new hostel offers private rooms with an ensuite bathroom as well as single beds in mixed or female-only dormitory rooms. Each dorm room has its own bathroom and air conditioning.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Gros – Pension Del Mar

The Pension Del Mar is located in the Gros neighbourhood of San Sebastian. It offers modernly decorated rooms fitted with soundproofing, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and hardwood floors. The bathrooms are either shared or private. A free Wifi connection is available and some of the rooms boast a city view.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Gros – Okako Hotel

The Okako Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel offering rooms with apparent stones and raw materials. Each room is fitted with air conditioning, a spacious private bathroom, soundproofing and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. A free wifi connection is available everywhere in the hotel. In the morning, guests can enjoy a good buffet breakfast.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Universal Travel AdapterOne of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.

GET IT HERE

 

#4 Antiguo – Coolest place to stay in San Sebastian

Antiguo has been named that way due to the fact that it is home to the oldest building in San Sebastian. Ironically, the area is actually one of the newer neighbourhoods of the city. As this is where the university is located, there are some young and hip vibes to the place making it one of the coolest areas in town.

The most iconic building around is without a doubt the Miramar Palace, built for the Spanish royals at the end of the 19th century. The mansion was built in a style reminding of English countryside homes. The gardens around are also very beautiful, and it is free to roam around and just look at the beauty of it all.

For kids and adults, the Monte Igueldo provides an opportunity for hours of fun. There is a theme park open during the summer when you can enjoy all the classic rides. Make sure you take the funicular all the way up the hill to get stunning views over La Concha bay.

 

Things to see and do in Antiguo

 – Take the coastal walk to the city centre and get stunning views over the Atlantic ocean

 – Wander around the gardens of the Miramar Palace and admire the English style of the mansion

 – Take the funicular to the top of Monte Igueldo

 

Best Hostel in Antiguo – Koisi Hostel

The Koisi Hostel is located in the beautiful Antiguo neighbourhood in San Sebastian. It offers private rooms with either a shared or a private bathroom, and single beds in mixed dormitory rooms. Each dorm room can fit up to 4 people and has its own bathroom and air conditioning.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in Antiguo – Hotel Distrito Oeste

The Hotel Distrito Oeste is tucked away from the main action in the Antiguo district but located close to the university. The rooms are modern and fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, soundproofing and free Wifi access. The hotel has a nice fitness centre and can arrange an airport shuttle on request.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Antiguo – NH Collection San Sebastian Aranzazu

The NH  Collection San Sebastian Aranzazu boasts a great location in Antiguo. It offers modernly decorated rooms fitted with air conditioning, a spacious ensuite bathroom with a bathtub, a flat-screen TV with international channels and soundproofing. A very good buffet breakfast is served in the morning.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

#5 La Concha – Best neighbourhood in San Sebastian for families

La Concha is the most iconic neighbourhood in San Sebastian. It is most famous for its white sand beach, deemed to be one of the most beautiful urban beaches in Europe. As such, it is a great neighbourhood for families to stay as there are plenty of activities available and a large choice of hotels and restaurants in the area.

From La Concha, you can also take a trip to the Santa Clara island, a small island located just off the coast of San Sebastian. Santa Clara island has its own little beach, nice cafés where you can eat while looking at the sea, and a pleasant walk to the lighthouse.

For a more grown-up and relaxing activity, think about spending the day at the La Perla spa, the nicest in San Sebastian. There, you can get a massage, relax in the different pools and have a nice meal in a calming environment.

 

Things to see and do in La Concha

 – Spend the day on one of the best city beaches in Europe

 – Take a day trip to Santa Clara Island

 – Indulge in a spa day at La Perla

 

Best Hostel in La Concha – A Room In The City

A Room In The City is an innovative hostel, part of a bigger social space called the Convent Garden. It offers private rooms with either an ensuite or a shared bathroom, as well as single beds in mixed or female-only dormitory rooms. Guests can enjoy a common living room and a kitchen.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Budget Hotel in La Concha – Barcelo Costa Vasca

The Barcelo Costa Vasca Hotel is located right in between La Concha and Antiguo in San Sebastian. It offers spacious and comfortable rooms fitted with air conditioning and a private bathroom. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool open during the summer, as well as a spa and a fitness centre.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in La Concha – Sercotel Hotel Europa

The Sercotel Hotel Europa is a nice hotel located just a few metres away from La Concha beach. In a beautiful early 20th century building, the rooms are fitted with air conditioning, an ensuite bathroom, a flat-screen TV with international channels and soundproofing. Some of the rooms also have a private patio.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined    View on Agoda

 

Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In San Sebastian…

San Sebastian is getting more and more popular, and it is easy to understand why. Boasting a great location on the Atlantic ocean, it offers great surfing spots, lots of cultural sights and amazing Basque food.

My favourite spot to stay in the city is Part Vieja, the old town, for its charm and its proximity to all the main attractions.

My top hotel choice in San Sebastian is the Hotel SANSEbay. In the old town, it offers comfortable and modern accommodation that will set you up for a great stay.

If you are travelling on a budget, the Koba Hostel located in the lively Gros neighbourhood. While having quiet rooms, it offers lots of activities to discover the area.

Have I missed anything you can think about in San Sebastian? Have you tried any of the places mentioned in this guide? Let me know in the comments!

While Spain can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email hostels@thebrokebackpacker.com to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


Need More Inspiration?

Like this post? PIN ME!!!

Our EPIC guide features where to stay in San Sebastian for every type of budget! Includes top hotels, hostels, & things to do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *