Many guides will tell you what to do and visit but we will share with you 3 unusual things to do in San Sebastian, Spain to feel like Royalty.

Unusual things to do in san sebastian
Unusual things to do in San Sebastian / Lucian Alexe /

San Sebastian (or “Donosti” in Euskera) is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. 

Located in Basque Country – a mere 20km away from the French border – this charming city boasts some pretty romantic art nouveau architecture and a culinary scene that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

3 unusual things to do in San Sebastian, Spain to feel like an Aristocrat

Hotel Maria Cristina is a great symbol of the charm of the Belle Epoque. Its majestic architecture will transport you to the charming XIX century and will give you the opportunity to feel like a member of high society. 

Unusual things to do in San Sebastian
Unusual things to do in San Sebastian: Hotel Maria Cristina /

Since it opened in 1912 it has become a favourite destination for royalty and aristocrats visiting San Sebastian. Nowadays, it is still the accommodation of choice for international movie stars attending the San Sebastian Movie Festival.

Things to do in San Sebastian Spain
Unusual things to do in San Sebastian, Spain /

While staying in the hotel is not for every budget you are always welcome to pop by for a drink. Dress for the occasion and head to their Dry Bar. You will truly feel a part of the old Hollywood glamour.

If you are on a budget an do not want to spend much in accommodation we stayed in Pension Aida. It is a basic hotel but renovated and in a very good location.  We paid 49,50€ per night for a double room and will very likely stay there again as, unless we get rich sometime soon, we would rather spend most of the budget on food!

2. Feast time! Pintxos Tour in the old town

People from Basque Country are famous for enjoying a good feast. It is no coincidence that the region is the place in Spain with the most Michelin star restaurants per inhabitant.

And one of their most famous delicacies are Pintxos. The most accurate translation for Pintxos will be skewers or spikes. But what are Pinxtos? They are literally a slice of bread with food on top, and are generally served with a skewer or toothpick to hold it all together.

What makes Pintxos special is however the food you put on top of the bread as it can be as elaborate as the dishes served in a Michelin star restaurant.

Unusual things to do in San Sebastian
Unusual things to do in San Sebastian: Pintxos tour / Grupo Sagardi

Generally, when entering a Pinxtos bar in San Sebastian you will find them in display at the bar. Now is up to you to pick the ones that catch your eye!

Eating Pinxtos in San Sebastian has been awarded by Lonely Planet as one of the best food experiences of the world. 

Head to the Plaza de la Constitución and get lost in the lovely streets of the historic city centre stopping in as many Pintxos places as you can!

If you want to keep it simple here you can reserve an organized pintxos tour in the city.

3. La Perla Spa in La Concha beach, a very traditional things to do in San Sebastian, Spain

This peculiar spa was built in 1887 to accommodate the needs of the European aristocracy. Back then it was the most modern Spa facility in the world.

Located right on La Concha beach, its name “La Perla” refers to the original name of the Spa: “The pearl of the ocean”.

Things to do in San Sebastian, Spain
Unusual things to do in San Sebastian / La Perla Spa in La Concha /

The facility uses the water from the nearby sea and has direct access to La Concha.

If you want to enjoy it like a local you cannot miss the opportunity to take a dip the sea, an extremely invigorating experience as the temperature of the water drops to just 13°C in winter.

Unusual Things to in San sebastian. Spa la Perla
La Concha. Unusual things to do in San Sebastian / Lucian Alexe / Unsplash /

Useful information about if you visit San Sebastian, Spain to experience some unusual things to do

We hope with these unusual things to do you will feel fully set to enjoy San Sebastian like a Royal!

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