Oh, the joys of traveling with kids! The excitement, the wonder, the endless questions, and of course, the challenge of keeping them entertained. If you're like me, finding engaging and enjoyable activities for your little ones is always a top priority when planning a family trip.
Lucky for us, San Sebastian, Spain, is a treasure trove of kid-friendly fun! Nestled along the beautiful coastline of the Bay of Biscay, this picturesque city offers an array of captivating experiences that will delight both young and old alike.
Join me as I share my top 10 picks for the best things to do with kids in San Sebastian, guaranteed to make your family vacation one to remember!
1. Ondarreta Beach
If your family loves to spend time by the water, then Ondarreta Beach is a must-visit! This beautiful, family-friendly beach is perfect for sun, surf, and sand. Ondarreta's calm waters make it a safe spot for kids to swim and splash around, while the wide, golden sand is ideal for building sandcastles or enjoying a game of beach volleyball.
The promenade lining the beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride, and there are plenty of nearby cafes and ice cream shops to satisfy those post-swim cravings.
To enhance your beach day experience, be sure to rent a "txoko," a small beach hut where you can store your belongings and take shelter from the sun. With lifeguards on duty and plenty of amenities, Ondarreta Beach is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family outing in San Sebastian.
2. Monte Igueldo Amusement Park
For a thrilling adventure, head to Monte Igueldo Amusement Park, a charming and historic park perched high above the city. The journey begins with a ride on the century-old funicular railway, offering breathtaking views of San Sebastian and the surrounding coastline.
Once you reach the summit, you'll find an array of vintage rides and attractions, including a carousel, bumper cars, and the iconic "La Montaña Suiza" roller coaster.
While some rides may cater more to younger kids, the whole family can enjoy the spectacular views from the park's observation deck. With its old-world charm and jaw-dropping vistas, Monte Igueldo Amusement Park is a unique and unforgettable experience that will delight kids and adults alike.
3. Eureka! Zientzia Museoa
Foster your little ones' love for science at Eureka! Zientzia Museoa, San Sebastian's interactive science museum. With over 170 hands-on exhibits, your kids will have a blast exploring topics like physics, chemistry, and biology in a fun and engaging environment. They can play with light and sound, manipulate electricity, and even experience what it's like to be in an earthquake!
In addition to the interactive exhibits, the museum features a planetarium, where you can embark on a journey through the stars, and a "Minizoo," home to various live animals. Eureka! Zientzia Museoa is a fun and educational destination that will ignite your kids' curiosity and inspire a lifelong love of learning.
4. Cristina Enea Park
For a breath of fresh air and a break from the bustling city, head to Cristina Enea Park, a lush oasis of greenery and tranquility. With its sprawling lawns, picturesque ponds, and meandering paths, this urban park is perfect for a leisurely family picnic or a game of catch. The park is home to an array of wildlife, including peacocks, swans, and ducks, which will enchant your little ones.
Don't forget to visit the park's charming Dorretxea Palace, a beautifully restored 19th-century building that houses a small environmental education center. Through interactive exhibits and workshops, your kids can learn about the park's history, flora, and fauna. With its natural beauty and serene atmosphere, Cristina Enea Park is an ideal outdoor destination for quality family time.
5. Aquarium San Sebastian
Take a fascinating journey under the sea at Aquarium San Sebastian, one of Spain's oldest and most impressive aquariums. With various marine life, including sharks, rays, and colorful fish, your kids will be mesmerized as they explore the underwater world.
The stunning 360-degree tunnel allows you to walk through a massive tank filled with sharks and other marine creatures, providing a thrilling and unforgettable experience.
The aquarium also features a touch pool where your little ones can interact with starfish, sea urchins, and other friendly marine animals. With its mix of entertainment and education, Aquarium San Sebastian is a fantastic destination for kids of all ages.
6. La Concha Bay Boat Tour
Experience San Sebastian's stunning coastline from a new perspective with a boat tour of La Concha Bay. These family-friendly tours offer a unique opportunity to view the city's iconic landmarks, such as Monte Urgull and the Miramar Palace, from the water. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, which occasionally appear in the bay.
As you cruise along the coastline, your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating facts and stories about San Sebastian's history and culture. A boat tour of La Concha Bay is a fun way to see the sights and a memorable experience that your family will cherish for years.
7. Peine del Viento
Art and nature unite beautifully at Peine del Viento, a stunning sculpture installation by Basque artist Eduardo Chillida. Located at the western end of Ondarreta Beach, this impressive series of steel sculptures appear to emerge from the rocks, creating a mesmerizing visual experience. The kids will love watching the waves crash against the sculptures, creating dramatic plumes of water.
Take a leisurely walk along the promenade, where several playgrounds and parks are perfect for burning off some energy. Peine del Viento is a must-see attraction and an excellent spot to relax and enjoy the stunning coastal scenery with your family.
8. San Telmo Museum
Introduce your kids to the rich history and culture of the Basque Country at the San Telmo Museum. This engaging and informative museum showcases the region's art, history, and anthropology through various exhibits and interactive displays. From prehistoric artifacts to contemporary Basque art, there's something to captivate visitors of all ages.
The museum is housed in a striking 16th-century building, which adds to the overall charm and appeal. With its fascinating exhibits and family-friendly atmosphere, the San Telmo Museum is a great place to spend a few hours with your kids, expanding their knowledge and appreciation for Basque culture.
9. Plaza de la Constitución
Experience the vibrant heart of San Sebastian at Plaza de la Constitución, a lively and historic square in the city's Old Town. The plaza is surrounded by colorful buildings with numbered balconies, which once served as boxes for spectators during bullfighting events. Today, the plaza is a bustling hub of activity, with numerous cafes, bars, and shops to explore.
The kids will love watching street performers, sampling tasty pintxos (Basque tapas), and soaking up the lively atmosphere. Plaza de la Constitución is the perfect place to immerse yourselves in the local culture and enjoy some quality family time.
10. Tabakalera - International Centre for Contemporary
Nurture your family's creative side with a visit to Tabakalera, San Sebastian's International Centre for Contemporary Culture. Housed in a beautifully renovated former tobacco factory, this dynamic cultural space offers a diverse range of exhibitions, workshops, and events focused on contemporary art, film, music, and more.
Tabakalera is committed to making art accessible to all, and many of its programs cater specifically to children and families. From hands-on art workshops to interactive exhibits, there's always something new and exciting happening at Tabakalera. With its ever-changing lineup of events and activities, this innovative cultural center will inspire and engage your family's creative spirit.
With its picturesque scenery, rich history, and diverse array of attractions, San Sebastian truly offers something for everyone, especially families traveling with kids.
From beautiful beaches and lush parks to engaging museums and thrilling amusement parks, you'll find no shortage of exciting activities to fill your days. I hope my top 10 list has inspired you to plan a memorable family vacation in this enchanting Spanish city.
Is San Sebastian a family-friendly destination?
Yes, San Sebastian is a family-friendly destination with various attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.
What activities are suitable for teens in San Sebastian?
In San Sebastian, teens can enjoy activities like surfing lessons, bike tours, exploring the Old Town, and attending cultural events and festivals.
Are there any free admission options for children in San Sebastian?
Many parks, playgrounds, and outdoor events in San Sebastian are free, offering plenty of budget-friendly options for families with children.
Is San Sebastian a safe city?
San Sebastian is generally considered a safe city, but as with any urban area, it's essential to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure a secure visit.