San Sebastian is a Spanish city located in the Basque country near the French border. It’s popular for its nice beaches, great restaurants, and its proximity to the mountains.
This vibrant city is home to a variety of neighborhoods and areas, each offering something slightly different to travelers. As a result, choosing where to stay in San Sebastian can prove a tricky task.
To help you figure it out, we’ve created this guide on the best places to stay in Oaxaca. We’ve included something for every travel style and budget, so you can find the best location for you. Whether you’re looking for nightlife, planning a family vacation, or anything in between – we’ve got you covered.
- Where To Stay In San Sebastian
- San Sebastian Neighbourhood Guide
- San Sebastian’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods io Stay in
- 1. Parte Vieja – Where to Stay in San Sebastian for your First Visit
- 2. Centro – Where to Stay in San Sebastian on a Budget
- 3. Gros – Best Area in San Sebastian for Nightlife
- 4. Antiguo – Coolest Place to Stay in San Sebastian
- 5. La Concha – Best Area in San Sebastian for Families
- FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in San Sebastian
Best Airbnb in San Sebastian: Unique factory loft
Visiting San Sebastian for the first time and not quite sure where to stay? This stunning loft is located in the heart of the Old Town, close to cafes and restaurants. With a unique factory design, you’ll instantly feel comfortable and welcome in your own oasis among the hustle and bustle.
There are so many epic Airbnbs in San Sebastian!
Best Hostel in San Sebastian: Koba Hostel
The Koba Hostel is located in San Sebastian’s Gros neighborhood. 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 room has air conditioning to make those hot nights more bearable!
Best Budget Hotel in San Sebastian: Pension Del Mar
The Pension Del Mar is located in Gros. It offers modernly decorated rooms fitted with soundproofing, a flat-screen TV, and hardwood floors. It’s within walking distance to top attractions, as well as bars and restaurants.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in San Sebastian: Hotel SANSEbay
The Hotel SANSEbay is located in San Sebastian’s Parte Vieja. Each modernly decorated room is fitted with a private bathroom, air conditioning, and useful amenities. A lavish breakfast is offered each morning, and free wifi is available throughout the hotel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
San Sebastian is a city located in the Spanish Basque country, close to the border with France. As it sits on the Atlantic coast, it is a popular beach and surf destination in Spain.
Parte Vieja is the old town and the historic centre of San Sebastian. It offers plenty of museums, cultural sights, and natural attractions such as the Monte Urgull. It is a bustling area of town, making it the best place to stay if you’re visiting for the first time.
The Centro neighborhood is the newer center of town. It’s the best place to stay if you’re visiting Spain on a budget, offering cheaper accommodation than other areas.
The liveliest neighborhood of San Sebastian is Gros. This is where you should stay if you’re looking for nightlife, as there are many bars that stay open late around here. During the day, the beach in Gros is a great surfing spot.
Antiguo is the most unique place to base yourself in San Sebastian. This quirky neighborhood offers unique architecture and a stunning coastal walk.
Head to La Concha if you’re after somewhere more relaxed. This area is quieter and more suitable if you’re bringing the whole clan.
If you’re still unsure where to stay in San Sebastian – don’t stress! We’ve got more detailed guides on each area below.
San Sebastian’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods io Stay in
Read on for more detailed information on each area below. Each offers something slightly different, so make sure you pick the right one for you!
1. Parte Vieja – Where to Stay in San Sebastian for your First Visit
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.
Best Airbnb in Parte Vieja: Unique factory loft
Visiting San Sebastian for the first time and not quite sure where you should stay? How about this Airbnb? The loft is located in the heart of the Old Town, close to cute cafes and restaurants. In case you’re getting sick of wandering through the streets, you can relax inside your loft, which is an experience itself. With a unique factory design, you’ll instantly feel comfortable and welcome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Relax in the square with a glass of wine and some pintxos.
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’s a true heaven for shopping lovers, as numerous 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 Centro around the Alderdi Eder park. Facing the La Concha bay, these gardens are an iconic picture of San Sebastian. Beautiful flowerbeds have been laid out under the tamaris. 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 Centro. It was inaugurated in 1897 and its architecture was inspired by medieval churches of France and Germany. Standing 75 metres high, the cathedral is the tallest building in San Sebastian.
Best Airbnb in Centro: Cute room in shared flat
If you’re travelling on a budget, this Airbnb is perfect for you. The room in a shared flat is comfortable, with a great bed and a little balcony with a view of the old city streets. You won’t have full access to the kitchen, but this shouldn’t be a problem since there are many affordable restaurants near you.
Best Hostel in Centro: Downtown River Hostel
This San Sebastian hostel sits next to the Urumea river. It offers single beds in mixed dormitory rooms with a shared bathroom. It provides a comfortable place to stay in a fun environment, with all the necessary amenities. A free internet connection is available.
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 have a patio, and free coffee and tea are available all day.
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.
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.
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 ideal for surfing, especially around beautiful Zurriola – the wildest beach in San Sebastian. You will find many surf schools in the area where you can rent all the gear necessary and even hire a teacher if you need to!
At night, the bars come to life with music playing until the early hours of the morning. Gros boasts a hip and alternative vibe. I 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.
Best Airbnb in Gros: Entire flat with beach view
If you want to enjoy the best of the beaches and nightlife, this is the place for you. The apartment sits right on the beachfront and has an amazing terrace, perfect for pre-drinks. It’s located in the fashion district with lots of great bars and pubs around, but don’t worry, all you’ll hear at night is the sound of the waves.
Best Hostel in Gros: Koba Hostel
The Koba Hostel is set up in a refurbished old car workshop. This contemporary hostel offers private rooms with an ensuite bathroom, as well as mixed or female-only dormitories. Each dorm room has its own bathroom and air conditioning facilities.
Best Budget Hotel in Gros: Pension Del Mar
Pension Del Mar offers modern and bright rooms fitted with wifi, soundproofing, and a flat-screen TV. Popular for its comfy beds, the hotel also boasts family rooms making it suitable for any travel style. It’s walking distance to a number of cultural attractions, and is close to the coolest bars in town.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Gros: Okako Hotel
The Okako Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel offering rooms with exposed stone walls and raw materials. Each room is fitted with air conditioning and has a spacious private bathroom. A free wifi connection is available everywhere in the hotel, making it ideal for digital nomads. In the morning, guests can enjoy a good buffet breakfast.
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.
- Check out the Church of San Ignacio de Loyola.
- View the exhibits at Kubo Kutxa art gallery.
4. Antiguo – Coolest Place to Stay in San Sebastian
Antiguo’s name derives from the fact that it’s home to the oldest building in San Sebastian. Ironically, the area is actually one of the newer neighbourhoods of the city. It’s also where the university is located, so 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 it 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.
Best Airbnb in Antiguo: San Sebastian Playa
Located just a five minute walk from the beach, this modern apartment in Antiguo is ideal for families or small groups visiting San Sebastian. The flat offers two double bedrooms and a full-sized kitchen, and free wifi and parking are provided. It’s bright and airy, with plenty of space to relax in.
Best Hostel in Antiguo: Koisi Hostel
The Koisi Hostel offers mixed dormitory rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Rooms are modern and bright, with pod-style beds offering some extra privacy. There’s a cafe and bar onsite, as well as a microwave and kettles. It’s a bit of an uphill climb to get here, but the views over the bay are more than rewarding.
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 also hotel has a nice fitness center and can arrange an airport shuttle on request.
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 furnished rooms with a spacious ensuite bathroom. A lavish buffet breakfast is provided each morning, so you can fuel up for a day of exploring.
Things to See and Do in Antiguo:
- Take the coastal walk to the city centre for unbeatable 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 for a fun day at the fairground.
- Take a dip at Ondarreta Beach.
5. La Concha – Best Area in San Sebastian for Families
La Concha is the most iconic neighbourhood in San Sebastian. It’s 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 Santa Clara, a small island located just off the coast of San Sebastian. Santa Clara island has its own little beach, nice cafés overlooking the sea, and a pleasant walk to the lighthouse.
For a more grown-up and relaxing activity, you could spend the day at La Perla spa, the nicest of its kind in San Sebastian. There, you can get a massage, relax in the different pools, and have a nice meal in a calming environment.
Best Airbnb in La Concha: Stunning Beachfront Apartment
This beachfront apartment in La Concha is one of the best places to stay in San Sebastian! It’s spacious, modern, and is flooded with natural light during the day. Start your day with breakfast out on the terrace and enjoy stunning views of the ocean and promenade below. Staying here you’ll have the beach, restaurants, and nightlife right on your doorstep.
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.
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 has 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.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in La Concha: Sercotel Hotel Europa
The Sercotel Hotel Europa is a nice hotel located just a few meters away from La Concha beach. Set in a beautiful early 20th-century building, it offers more charm and character than other run-of-the-mill hotels. The hotel is exquisitely furnished throughout and offers an on-site restaurant serving up traditional fare.
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.
- Enjoy a drink or two at Alkimia cocktail bar.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in San Sebastian
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of San Sebastian and where to stay.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in San Sebastian
San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful destinations in Spain, and it’s getting more and more popular every year! Boasting a great location on the Atlantic ocean, it offers great surfing spots, lots of cultural sights, and amazing Basque food. It’s easy to see why people love it so much!
If you’re still not sure where to stay in San Sebastian, you can’t go wrong with Koba Hostel. It offers a quiet and comfortable retreat while being. ashort distance to to pbars, restaurants, and places to visit.
For something more upmarket, check out the Hotel SANSEbay. Situated the old town, it offers comfortable and modern accommodation that will set you up for a great stay.
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!
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Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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