San Sebastian holidays are a great family choice
The area now known as San Sebastian has been attracting people to it since prehistoric times. The fact that there is evidence of human settlement here dating as far back as 24000 BC is just one of many interesting facts about Spain. The city sits on the coast of the Bay of Biscay just 20 kilometres from the French border. In the modern world San Sebastian became globally recognised because of the success of its annual film festival the San Sebastian International Film Festival which was first held in 1953. Small and picturesque as a family holiday destination the city certainly punches above its weight.
San Sebastian is a lively city with great beaches like the famous La Concha beach and surfers’ choice Playa de la Zurriola. When the university students move out for the summer Spanish and international holiday makers arrive in large numbers. The city has tourist attractions for all the family and is perfectly located for exploring other important cities like Bilbao and Santander. There are plenty of places to eat catering for every budget and providing stunning fresh food from simple tapas dishes to fine dining experiences.
Families with younger children won’t want to miss out on a visit to the Monte Igueldo amusement park. The rather traditional rides are fun and colourful and whilst perfect for the little ones are unlikely to set older children’s pulses racing. The amusement park is built within a unique setting that is reached by a rather wonderful funicular railway and even if the rides are not your thing the journey is worth it for the panoramic terraces with spectacular views across the city and the Bay of Biscay.
Parque de Alderdi-Eder is another popular spot for families with smaller children. It is close to the main beach and is set out with pretty flower borders and specimen trees. As well as being a great place to relax it is home to a beautiful merry-go-round and has a selection of swings slides and climbing frames for the kids. Plaza Gipuzkoa is another stunningly planted city park with a pond frequented by ducks and swans – making it perfect for little animal lovers. The Miramar park and gardens with its curious but elegant mansion house and great terrace views should also be on your list of places to see.
If the weather is far from desirable take the family to the San Sebastian Aquarium. The building dates back to 1928 but don’t let that fool you into thinking that the aquarium will be old fashioned. It has recently been refurbished and extended and attracts more than 300000 visitors a year. There are dozens of tanks displaying 200 different species and a wonderful 360° tunnel aquarium that will thrill the kids. Entrance prices for the aquarium are reasonable and children under 4 years old are allowed in for free.
Whether the weather is good or bad the Eureka Science Museum is the city’s most popular museum for families. There are plenty of interactive exhibits in this ultra-modern building including a planetarium and a roller-coaster simulator. The complex also has a large outdoor adventure and play area puts on a variety of shows and events has a restaurant shop and picnic area. The museum is open every day of the week during July and August and from Tuesday to Sunday for the rest of the year.
This article only highlights a few of the things that this pretty little city has to offer for great family holidays. San Sebastian is a friendly photogenic destination with plenty to see and do and a pedestrian-friendly promenade that is perfect for a stroll day or night.