San Sebastian’s Old Town is located between the harbour, the mouth of the Urumea River, the breathtaking and sometimes stormy Paseo Nuevo, the Urgull Mountain and the Boulevard.
Although it is a rather small neighbourhood, the Old Town is divided into three quite different areas:
. There is a very tranquil and more modern area next to the River’s mouth.
. On the other side, we find the harbour, where the Aquarium is situated and from which we gain access to the Paseo Nuevo. During the summer months it is possible to enjoy great meals here in the open air, as there are several restaurants offering fresh fish and seafood every day.
. And finally the third area, or the neighbourhood’s “heart”, where the Plaza de la Constitucion is and where most bars and restaurants are located.
The Old Town is together with the Antiguo area, one of the eldest neighbourhoods in the city and it still keeps the charm of the old times.
Among other attractions offered to the visitors, we find in this area the Museo San Telmo, a recently renovated ethnological museum which is the biggest in the city and the famous 31st of August street, with the old churches of Santa María and San Vicente, situated on both ends, and some of the most recommended pintxo bars.
Besides, the popular market of La Bretxa, a mixture of traditional and modern shops and probably the most genuine market in the city, is also located in the Old Town. In the last few years, the Old Town has experienced an astonishing recovery thanks to the renovation of La Bretxa, the Museo San Telmo or the Plaza de la Constitución.
This is the Mecca for pintxo bars. All the culture around the “miniature cuisine”, the world famous pintxos (also known as tapas in the rest of Spain), was born in this neighbourhood and is nowadays trying to be copied all over the city. These pintxos are truly works of art and a great deal of bars and restaurants compete with each other in their preparation. In the Old Town it is possible to have from the most delicious pintxo to the most sophisticated à la carte meal.
However, in the Old Town there are all sorts of shops, not just bars and restaurants. There are grocery shops selling different types of food products, traditional, ecological; there are also fashion shops, cinemas, theatres and a casino.Even the Tourist Information Office is situated here, in the Boulevard.
A marvellous route you may want to take is the one starting at the Boulevard going towards the harbour and from there to the Paseo Nuevo, passing by the Aquarium. Then, you may want to go up to the Urgull Mountain, just a 15 minute climb to the top, from which you will enjoy the most beautiful view of San Sebastian. Coming down towards the Old Town again you will reach the Museo San Telmo. Our recommendation now is to walk around the streets and enjoy the pintxos.
Another classic is Fermin Calbeton street, famous for the great number of bars gathered there. Tradition says that one should go into each bar within this street and have a glass of wine or a “zurito” (small glass of beer) and a pintxo.
This is San Sebastian's Old Town, a place where both visitors and locals get together, where tourists try to take a photo which may show a part of history.It is an area that although it may seem very quiet and tranquil during the week, it becomes very much alive at the weekend or on Bank Holidays, mainly at lunch or dinner time. Besides, it is the ideal place to stay as it is close and easy to get from here to La Concha or Zurriola beaches.
If you come to visit San Sebastian by car, the Boulevard and Okendo carparks are very close by. Thanks to a modern and wide public transport network, this is an area very well connected to the other city neighbourhoods. Besides, most of the bus routes have a stop at the Boulevard, which is the entrance to the Old Town. For more information on public transport you can visit the official webpage: dbus. Tourist registration code: ESS01564