The Gros neighbourhood is the newer, more commercially oriented one that you enter if you cross the Urumea by the Zurriola Bridge. In effect, if you go the Kursaal, you will find yourself in Gros. It is not exactly a charming part of the city, especially if you consider it against Antiguo, Parte Vieja or Centro, but it is not exactly run-down, either. It has a lot more modern buildings, which are a bit grimier, and much less of the Belle Époque architecture found on the western side of the Urumea. The neighbourhood was revitalized by the opening of the Kursaal, after the industrial base that provided the economic lifeblood of the area began to decline. It is named after the architect Tomas Gros, who designed this expansion of the city at the same time Cortazar was designing his expansion on the other side of the Urumea.
The Plaza de Bilbao is another one of those well-planned additions to the Ensanche Cortazar. It is a wide, circular plaza with a massive fountain in the centre. It is also one of the sights you’re likely to see when you first arrive if you come by train, as it is right across the Puente Maria Cristina from the Estación del Norte. I don’t know that there is much significance to this particular square, but it is ringed by excellent cafés, so you should really plan to stop in and enjoy the Belle Époque spirit of the Ensanche at one of the bars along the square. Be careful of sitting to close to the fountain – especially on a windy day!
Centro Cultural Koldo Mitxelena is a free cultural centre right across from the Catedral del Buen Pastor. Actually, it is a good idea to plan to visit these two sites at the same time, if both of them interest you. The Cultural Centre has a number of installations, including a library and exhibition room, and I believe that the mission of the centre is to focus more on modern art and popular cultural rather than classical works. When I visited San Sebastian, the Cultural Centre has an exhibition of art through video games. It was actually fairly clever – artists used their programming abilities to design videogames that either exposed our sensitivity to violence or the difficulties of running a fast food store or the various stereotypes that underlie popular culture and music. Plus, it was interactive and let you pretend that playing video games was actually a way to broaden your knowledge of modern art. This is not a heavily frequently exhibition centre either, so if you’re looking to do something in order to escape the crowds, the Cultural Centre might be a good idea.
The museum shows 700 years of Naval History:
Collections of corals, fossils, crustaceans and shells;
Reproductions of historic large ships;
11m long whale skeleton;
Different whaling skills, from the middle age to nowadays techniques;
Thousands species and great fish tank with a 360 degrees tunnel going through it.
Special place built by Chillida... located in Ondarreta Neighbourhood under the hill where you can go up by a teleferic
it looks where the wind gets the coastline and the sculpture (combs) "comb" the air
There are several beautiful fisher towns near San Sebastian that deserve a visit: Pasajes San Juan, Hondarribi (also with fortress), Orio, Zarautz, Getaria, Zumaia...
In the city, visit the Cristina-Enea Park, the Ayete Park with their palaces...and another interesting view of the city from the Ulia Mountain with a nice drink from the Bar-Restaurant there.
Another thing you should not forget is going up to the Igeldo mountain in the railway funicular that departs from near the 'Peine del Viento' by 'Ondarreta' beach.
Well, this is a suggestion for all people who love the trekking. You can go from Donostia to Pasaia or from Pasaia to Donostia, during 2 or 3 hours of a pleasant trek. The duration of the trek depends on the way that you choose. Basically, there are 3 routes: the red and white marks route, the yellow and white marks route, and the yellow-boots route.
I recommend you the last one: yellow boots route, because you walk close to the sea.
Only you have to do before choosing a route is follow the marks. Marks are painted on trees, on rocks....
I think you should visit this bath. It is on the middle of the Kontxa Bay, and the views from it are spectaculars. Also, you will enjoy a lot with its therapies.
Then, you will complet a great experience having a meal at its restaurant.
The prices are unexpensives, so enjoy!
The green hills outside of San Sebastian are well known for there cider production.
Apparently from around late January until late April you can visit the Cider Houses and eat and drink there. Due to time etc. we did not get chance to visit but would love to do this another time. If anyone has info on how you get to these places etc. I would be very grateful for the information.
There are a lot of little villages near San Sebastian, not turistic, but really beautiful, that you can visit in a few time. One good exemple is "Hondarribia", close to the french border. The houses and the streets are really charmer. There's also exhibitions of paintings, and several culture acts. It's a village with culture life. If you go, you won't be disapointed.
Hi ha molts poblets a la vora de Sant Sebastià, que no són turístics, però que són realment bonics, que es poden visitr des e la ciutat en molt poc temps. Un bon exemple és Honadarribia, al costat de la frontera francesa. Les cases i els carrers són realment encantadors. Hi han exposicions de pintura, i diferents actes culturals. És un poble amb força vida cultural. Si hi aneu, no us decepcionareu.
Right near the French border is the little town of Hondarribia (Fuentarribia). This is just a beautiful little town, with a nice beach, a wonderfully charming old town, and a nice port. Spend half a day here at least.
Just take the 'I' bus from the Plaza de Gipuzkoa. It's about 1.50 euros.
The second week in August is a festival week in San Sebastian known as 'la semana grande' (the big week). There is a lot of fun to be had during this week. The town fills up with people from all over (especially France and England). There is an international fireworks comptetion (a nightly shaming of any 4th of July fireworks display you'll ever see), concerts spread throughout the city, outdoor theatre performances, shows aimed for kids, and much much more. Book stuff early for this one (or sleep on the beach with everyone else).
Around San Sebastian, there´s a lot of interesting villages, like Fuenterrabia (Hondarribia) just in front of the french town of St Jean de Luz. Or visit the Basque Coast with beautiful towns as Zarautz (with a great beach) or Getaria...
Zurriola is another beautiful beach, situated "behind" the old city, between river Urumea and Mount Ulía; famous Palace of Congress Kursaal is situated by this beach.
For those who say that I never appear in my pictures, here I am!!!
Zurriola es otra de las playas, situada "por detrás" de la parte vieja, entre el río Urumea y el Monte Ulía; el famoso Palacio de Congresos Kursaal está situado en esta playa.
Para aquellos que dicen que nunca aparezco en las fotos, aquí me tienen!
We came across the Velodrome as it was the venue for our second Pearl Jam show. It's about twenty minutes drive from the city centre, next to the "Real Sociedad" Stadium.
We've been to better venues regarding facilities & comfort, but as the show was excellent we just forgot about it!