The city

San Sebastián

Well communicated with Madrid, London and Paris, San Sebastian is a lively city of around 185,000 inhabitants, some 16,500 of whom are university students. As the cultural capital of the Basque country, it has a wide range of cultural offerings.

Few cities can offer so many alternatives in a single area: internationally renowned cuisine, major music and film festivals as well as countless other festivities – the “Semana Grande”, Carnival, the “Caldereros” or Tinkers’ Festival, San Sebastian Day and so on – folklore, remarkable customs and traditions, marvellous scenery, beaches, mountains, with skiing in the Pyrenees just two hours away.

Ten reasons to choose San Sebastian

  1. San Sebastian offers the perfect combination of city, beach and mountains
  2. It is a safe, friendly, medium-sized, walkable city with of friendly, helpful people and interesting architecture
  3. San Sebastian is a model of good urban design and its setting in beautiful landscape means that it is frequently compared to Rio de Janeiro
  4. Its gastronomy is unequalled, with superb restaurants and “tapas” and “pinchos” bars and cooking in private homes revealing a generalised appreciation of good food
  5. San Sebastian is an excellent base for excursions to nearby fishing villages, mountains, including skiing in the Pyrenees, the Guggenheim Museum…
  6. Its old part includes a pedestrian area full of shops, “tapas” bars and a vibrant night life
  7. San Sebastian has an interesting local culture, offering a different angle on Spain, with Basque culture and traditions dating from time immemorial
  8. There is a wide range of cultural activities throughout the year, with sports events like cycling, football, surfing, as well as the world famous San Sebastian film festival and its counterpart, the San Sebastian Jazz festival
  9. San Sebastian’s geographical location makes it an ideal spot from which to visit two countries in one trip, with France being just 20 kms away, and Hemingway’s Pamplona, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris all being within easy reach
  10. It has mild weather all year round, never too cold (winter average 8ºC) or too hot (summer average 22ºC)

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