Elegant and gracious, San Sebastián’s new town, or Centro Romántico, feels like a world removed from the old city. Here the streets are wide, straight and lined by stately buildings and glam boutiques. It’s a scenic area for strolling amid the belle époque architecture. Further west is the upmarket neighbourhood of Ondarreta and fun-filled Monte Igueldo.
Start the day at the Catedral del Buen Pastor de San Sebastián, with its cloud-scraping tower. From here, head to the river, stopping at Chocolates de Mendaro to buy a treat or two. Follow the river down past the Hotel Maria Cristina and then across to the Plaza de Gipuzkoa with its flowers and duck pond.
Afterwards, stroll down to the Ayuntamiento, which is one of the city’s finest examples of belle époque architecture. Whether it’s street performers, balloon sellers or political demonstrations, there’s always something interesting going on in the adjacent Parque de Alderdi Eider.
Enjoy a long lunch of refined Basque dishes at one of the nearby hot spots, like Lanziego, and then walk all the way to Ondarreta to take the funicular railway up to the summit of Monte Igueldo, where you’ll find romantic views and old-school fairground rides. After the sun sets, head for a cocktail amid the lively al fresco drinking scene just off the cathedral. Pokhara is a good place to start.
- Playa de la Concha Spending the day playing in the waves on the seaside at this lovely protected beach.
- Isla de Santa Clara Catching a boat out to a picturesque island just offshore from San Sebastián.
- Monte Igueldo Taking the funicular railway up to this hilltop fun park, which has magnificent views over the seaside city.
- Catedral del Buen Pastor de San Sebastián Visiting one of the city's biggest landmarks, a soaring 19th-century cathedral in the heart of New Town.
- Architecture Admiring the eye-catching design of New Town's most evocative constructions, including the Puente de Maria Cristina which spans the Río Urumea.
A good way to get the lay of the land is to hire a bike and take a spin around the city. Sanse Bikes is one of several convenient outfitters in New Town.