San Sebastian: A Historic World-Class Destination
For generations, Spanish and European nobility have chosen to summer in San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque). This playground of kings and courtiers remains one of Spain’s most expensive, exclusive cities. It is no surprise that San Sebastian is home to the world’s highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per square meter. Elegance was baked in long ago.
Of course, San Sebastian indulges the very, very wealthy, but it saves ample, romantic charms to share with all its visitors. Noblesse oblige. Tucked between mountain and sea, the city delivers postcard-worthy vistas. A glimpse of Santa Clara island in the bay from higher spots around the city is a top-of-the-world experience. In addition, the city has installed sculptures by Chillida, Oteiza, and Cristina Iglesias in its streets. Harmonious architecture and urban design optimize this gorgeous location— a Belle Époque selfie heaven.
San Sebastian’s beach, called “La Concha”, has been voted the world’s top “city beach”. Compared to all beaches, it is regarded as the best in Europe and the fourth-best in the world according to TripAdvisor. So beloved is this beach that Spain’s version of the Oscars, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, calls its award a “Concha”.
A predictably favored conference venue, San Sebastian offers diverse leisure and cultural activities year-round. Yet, it keeps its quiet and stately ways. Classical music events and spectacular gastronomic experiences make it a perfect destination for foodies and other cultural travelers.