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Free Walking Tours in San Sebastián

Donostia — also known as San Sebastián — is a coastal city and popular tourist destination in northern Spain. It is known for its Basque culture, magnificent architecture and striking artworks.

One of the best ways to explore this striking city is by taking a free walking tour of San Sebastián with a local guide who will show you the city's main sights.

Whether you're a solo traveler or visiting as part of a large group, free walking tours in San Sebastián help connect you with other like-minded individuals.

You will find below all you need to know about free walking tours, one of the best experiences for sightseeing tours in San Sebastián.

How do free walking tours in San Sebastián work?

Before participating in a free walking tour, you should understand how they work. It is free to book and join a walking tour.

You'll have a guide who will lead you on your adventure around the city and provide you with fascinating information about its most renowned landmarks.

When the tour ends, you'll be expected to tip your guide appropriately for their services.

How much should you tip for a free walking tour in San Sebastián?

It is up to you to decide the worth of your free tour in San Sebastián. Before you choose how much to tip, consider the length of the walk, the knowledge of your guide and your overall enjoyment.

All travelers tip differently — some will choose to pay €5 while others will give €50 for the same tour. There is no minimum or maximum tipping amount.

The majority of tourists pay between €10 and €15 for a free walking tour.

What are the best free walking tours in San Sebastián?

Historic San Sebastián free walking tour

This walking tour in San Sebastián enables you to see how the city has evolved over time, from its humble beginnings to its current noble status.

Itinerary

You'll begin your tour at the port of San Sebastián where the majority of trade happened in the 13th century. Here, you'll listen to thrilling legends of swash-buckling pirates before moving on to the aquarium, which was one of the first oceanographic museums in Europe.

From there, you'll wander through the city streets, gaining a view of Mount Urgull as you pass by. You'll stop at the Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro and Holy Trinity Square to admire the architecture.

From there, you'll travel to the Gothic Church of St Vincent and Constitution Square, which is the beating heart of the Old Town.

You'll stroll through Bretxa Market, which is fragrant with the scent of fresh seafood and ripened fruits. You'll also pass by the Hotel Maria Cristina, Victoria Eugenia Theater and Gipuzkoa Square as you continue your walking tour in San Sebastián.

You'll amble down Boulevard Avenue towards City Hall and the flourishing Alderdi Eder Gardens before relaxing on the powdery sand of La Concha Beach.

As you walk through all the attractions, you'll hear all about the history of San Sebastián, Basque culture and the best spots to eat.

Aesthetic walking tour of San Sebastián

If you wish to gain an artist's perspective on the masterpieces of San Sebastián, choose this walking tour of the city.

Itinerary

With your art-critic guide, you'll begin walking through San Sebastián, noticing artworks you may have missed alone. These include "Herri Txistu Otza," which is an abstract piece that climbs up an austere building. You'll also visit the "Dove of Peace," which is a symbol of hope along the seafront.

Continuing along your tour, you'll see the renowned "Empty Construction" by the late Jorge Oteiza, which is a simple yet imposing sculpture that forms a window out to sea.

From there, your next stop is at the "Homage to Fleming" sculpture, created by Eduardo Chillida as a nod to the inventor of penicillin. You'll see two more of Chillida's creations on your tour — "the Comb of the Wind" and "Besarkada," as well as José Ramón Anda's "Zeharki."

To gain an even deeper understanding of San Sebastián's culture, you'll also have the opportunity to try some of its local cuisines.

tapas-food-donostia-san-sebastian

In which languages are free walking tours in San Sebastián operated?

The majority of free walking tours in San Sebastián are operated in Spanish, although it is possible to find several that are guided in English. Occasionally, you'll find tours that operate in French.

As the popularity of free walking tours in San Sebastián grows, you can expect to see the variety of languages on offer increase.

Where do free walking tours in San Sebastián start?

Free walking tours in San Sebastián often begin at the city's port, which is located right next to the Old Town. Another popular spot you may meet at is Plaza Cervantes, next to La Concha Beach.

Alternatively, you might start your tour at any other well-known landmark around the city. You'll be informed of your meeting point before booking, which will be easy to reach on public transport.

How long do free walking tours in San Sebastián last?

Most free tours in San Sebastián last between 2 and 2.5 hours. This gives you plenty of time to roam the city streets on foot and see the most spectacular sites that the 12th-century town boasts.

Those that are short on time can arrange to participate in a 1.5-hour street escape room game around San Sebastián in order to combine an exciting adventure with your sightseeing experience.

When is the best time to join a free walking tour in San Sebastián?

It's possible to join a free walking tour in San Sebastián throughout the day. Your time slot often depends on which language you select when booking.

If you can, choose a tour that begins early so that you can see the city's landmarks, unbothered by other tourists.

Walking tours are the perfect introduction to a new city, so book one for your first full day in San Sebastián.

Should San Sebastián free walking tours be booked online?

It is possible to find a free walking tour when you reach San Sebastián. However, it's easier and more convenient to book one online before you travel to the city.

You'll be able to read up on the landmarks you'll visit to ensure you choose a tour that suits your interests. You can also read reviews from other travelers.

By booking a free walking tour in San Sebastián in advance, you'll save time searching for a guide once you arrive in the city.

Booking a tour is free and secures you the best time slot. It takes two minutes to arrange and you won't need to enter your credit card details.