Exploring San Sebastian On Your Own: Our Top Tips for Solo Travelers

Traveling on your own doesn’t have to mean cutting down on fun things to do.

There’s a never-ending list of things to do and explore in San Sebastian, but here, we’re taking a look at the best options for solo travelers. From great hostels to how to enjoy the local food scene, this guide to solo travel in San Sebastian has got you covered.

The Beach of La Concha is a crescent shaped urban seaboard of the city of San Sebastián located at the Bay of La Concha.
Where we’d rather be: relaxing on the sunny shores of La Concha!

1. Know where to stay

San Sebastian has a great variety of hotels, but a more interesting option for those flying solo is a hostel, thanks to the possibility of meeting other curious travelers. 

Off Beat Guesthouse is a great option in the heart of the Old Part of San Sebastian, right in the same neighborhood as all the best pintxos bars and restaurants. The rooms are cozy and uniquely decorated, and each has its own theme. 

Our other top recommendation is Koba Hostel in the trendy Gros area. The location is perfect—it’s on a tranquil pedestrian street but only a stone’s throw away from restaurants, bars and Zurriola Beach. You can choose between a private or shared room. 

2. Choose your favorite beach

After knowing where to stay, it’s time to make an action plan. 

You’re in one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, so start with a walk around town that explores all three beaches in San Sebastian: Zurriola, La Concha and Ondarreta. 

Along the way, you’ll spot some characteristic Basque sculptures from well-known local artists Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza. Our favorite is the Peine del Viento, or “Wind Comb,” that you’ll find at the western end of Ondarreta beach. 

Solo travel in San Sebastian means you can spend as much time on the beach as you want.
Each beach in San Sebastian is unique in its own way. Which will be your favorite?

3. Explore San Sebastian’s museums

If you’re a culture lover, we highly recommend getting lost in one of the many fascinating museums in San Sebastian. Our favorite, the San Telmo Museum, showcases Basque society and culture from the past till today. 

Another impeccable option is Tabakalera, a contemporary culture center built in an old tobacco factory. With its changing expositions that can vary from photography to music and from design to cinema, it’s another interesting spot to explore with time! 

Insider’s tip: Enjoy a cup of one of the best––and most affordable––coffees in town in Tabakalera’s cafe!

Don't forget to visit the San Telmo Museum during your 36 hours in San Sebastian to gain an deeper understanding for the local Basque culture.
The San Telmo Museum will help you understand the rich Basque identity more than any other place in San Sebastian.

4. Take a cooking class

Taking a cooking class is a fun and special way of diving deeper into the culture. And what could be a better souvenir to bring back home than some recipes for pintxos or the famous La Viña cheesecake

Here in the gastronomic capital of Spain, food always comes first, which is why there are plenty of great options when it comes to cooking classes. As a bonus, cooking and enjoying the food you’ve made is a perfect way of making new friends while traveling solo. 

Cooking class San Sebastian
The kitchen is one of the best places to experience local culture in a new city!

5. Go out for pintxos

San Sebastian is famous for its extraordinarily delicious food, and traveling alone should definitely not stop you from enjoying it. 

We have great news: going out for pintxos was practically created for solo travelers! The typical way of eating pintxos, or what we here call txikiteo, involves jumping from bar to bar and trying the specialty of each place. 

Pintxos are a lot of fun, a lot of great food, and a great opportunity to change a conversation with a friendly local—socializing and commenting on the food with strangers is part of the deal. 

A guide engages two guests while inside a bar on a tour in San Sebastian
In Basque, wine is called “ardoa.”

A crowded pintxos bar may seem intimidating, but think of it as being packed with friends you haven’t met yet.

Ready to explore the pintxos scene in San Sebastian with other curious travelers and get some insider’s tips on how it all works? Join us on our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour, where you’ll get a crash course in how to do pintxos like a born-and-bred Basque. As a bonus, you might even walk away with some new friends. Come hungry!

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