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Playa de Ondarreta, una de las cosas que ver en San Sebastián.
23 October 2023

GUIDE TO THE ANTIGUO

An “underwater” tunnel as the entrance to the neighborhood and a palace that welcomes you. A beach from which, if you feel like it, you can swim to the island in front of you. An amusement park and an imposing steel sculpture that becomes a spectacle when the sea is alive and a strong wind blows. Keep reading this guide to the Antiguo, to discover everything that this neighborhood can offer you on your getaway to San Sebastián.

What to see in the Antiguo?

“Underwater” tunnel and Miramar Palace

Getting to the Antiguo neighborhood from La Concha beach was never much of a mystery – it simply consisted of crossing a tunnel on foot. However, since 2016 this path has acquired a special charm, even becoming a marine experience. The cavern of the tunnel recreates the union between sea and land, which, combined with a successful play of lights, will make you feel immersed in the water. We recommend you cross it at night, as the moment is even more magical!

2. PALACIO MIRAMAR

Above the tunnel, the gardens of Miramar Palace are the perfect setting to delve into a good book, share a small picnic, or even take a brief nap under the shade of the trees. Or simply enjoy the views of La Concha Bay. The green paradise with a blue background that Queen María Cristina chose to build her summer house is now a place where you can let your imagination fly and get lost in your dreams.

Palacio Miramar, una de las atracciones que ver en el Antiguo de San Sebastián.

3. Ondarreta Beach

Small but stylish, traditional, and with a family spirit, Ondarreta Beach is the most special in San Sebastián. Expect an unparalleled landscape with Mount Igueldo on the left, La Concha Beach on the right, and Santa Clara Island right in front. Its fine golden sand, blue and white striped umbrellas, and calm crystal-clear water make this beach the perfect postcard photo.

La isla Santa Clara, en San Sebastián.

3.1. SANTA CLARA ISLAND

An island with its own beach and natural water pool, a bar with a terrace to have a drink and trails that will guide you to the lighthouse… Come to Santa Clara Island to enjoy a pleasant summer day in the heart of the bay.

You can take a boat from the port directly to this natural paradise, a service that has been in operation since 1942. Once there, the island has bathrooms, showers, and a lifeguard service during the summer season.

Playa de Ondarreta, una de las principales cosas que ver en el Antiguo de San Sebastián.

DO YOU PREFER TO GO SWIMMING?

If you are more adventurous, when the sea is calm, you can swim from the beach in a distance of just half a kilometer. Highly recommended! Don’t worry, because halfway there you will find platforms – the famous “gabarrones” – with trampolines and slides so you can also enjoy the journey with the little ones.

4. Monte Igueldo funicular and amusement park

4.1. THE FUNICULAR

More than 100 years of history climb Monte Igueldo, a few meters from Ondarreta beach. We are talking about the funicular with wooden cars that, since 1912, has gone to the top of the mountain. A route that San Sebastián locals used to go up to the casino and the ballroom – located in what is now the Monte Igueldo hotel – and which currently hides two of the city’s icons: an amusement park from the Belle Époque and a viewpoint with some of the best views of San Sebastián.

Montaña Suiza, en el parque de atracciones del Monte Igueldo.

THE AMUSEMENT PARK

Good times are guaranteed at the San Sebastián amusement park: the adventure begins by discovering the coast from the rollercoaster and the Mysterious River. Enter the “Paseo de la Risa” and get lost in the magical Labyrinth. Will you be able to get out?! A beautiful experience for all ages with spectacular views of La Concha Bay and the entire city that will truly surprise you.

Vistas desde el mirador de Igueldo.

5. Peine del Viento

Look and you’ll see that before climbing Mount Igueldo you can follow the path along the sea. The Paseo de Eduardo Chillida, renowned Basque sculptor, may give you a clue as to what awaits you at the end of this peaceful route: the “Wind Comb.” This historic work of art was created by the artist in 1976 and visiting it is a true spectacle. Three steel sculptures weighing more than 9 tons, anchored with such precision in the rocks that it seems that they are part of them. That is the scene one finds when one reaches the end of the walk.

Peine del Viento, una de las atracciones que ver en el Antiguo de San Sebastián.

If you want to experience something unique, we encourage you to come when the sea is “angry,” since the work is designed to interact with the environment, in an impressive game between sea and wind. It is then that Eduardo Chillida’s creation shows its majesty, power and meaning. The visual and auditory spectacle is stunning, with the rough sea and waves crashing against the rocks and steel pieces of the sculpture. Water jumps and splashes over each piece, reminding us of the unstoppable force of nature and the powerful relationship and respect between the sea and art.

6. A quiet neighborhood, full of life

Antiguo is a quiet neighborhood with numerous green areas and parks, with impressive panoramic views of the city and the sea. A wide variety of bars and restaurants, as well as local businesses and shops fill this area with life, ideal for enjoying the gastronomy and culture of the Basque Country.

WHERE TO EAT IN THE ANTIGUO
Pintxo de croqueta en el Antiguo.
Casa Otaegui.

6.1. CASA OTAEGUI CAKE SHOP

On Matia Street is the Casa Otaegui cake shop, which opened in 1886 and has been an icon of the city ever since. It has always blended traditional Basque sweet bakery with influences from the rest of Europe. From almond sponges to a variety of cakes, tarts, buns, chocolates, and Panchineta, the firm’s start product. You just can’t leave San Sebastián without trying them!

If you want to know more, visit our blog and discover what to see in San Sebastián and its surroundings. A city with plans for the whole family that we encourage you to explore.