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European Capital and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism

San Sebastian - shortlisted in the 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism Competition

Located in the Basque Country of Spain, San Sebastián offers a blend of rich heritage, world-class gastronomy, and a welcoming lifestyle.

Rich heritage, world class gastronomy and a welcoming lifestyle 

Located in the Basque Country of Spain, San Sebastián offers a blend of rich heritage, world-class gastronomy, and a welcoming lifestyle. San Sebastián balances its unique and ancient history, defined by the enigmatic Basque language, with its innovative and sustainable initiatives that fosters an inclusive and vibrant community.

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‘Capital of Social Economy’ 

San Sebastián ensures its residents’ interests are put first. The creation of San Sebastián's tourism strategy is a collaborative effort involving over 300 local SMEs, citizens, and public and private sector stakeholders. The city places a strong emphasis on citizen awareness and participation, encouraging dialogue and soliciting suggestions for a comprehensive tourism plan that considers residents' perspectives. 

A notable milestone is the introduction of a tourist tax, a step towards improving the city's infrastructure and resources. San Sebastian Tourism has also pioneered a Tourism Observatory that harnesses Big Data and Open Data, creating an interconnected repository of information from various municipal departments. This innovative approach to data management fuels informed decision-making and enhances both visitor and resident experiences. 

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An unmatched gastronomy scene

San Sebastián is home to a world-renowned gastronomy scene. The city celebrates its fishermen and farmers, and uses locally sourced, top-quality ingredients to deliver an extraordinary culinary experience. This gastronomic legacy has been elevated by visionary chefs, securing San Sebastián as the city with the second-highest density of Michelin stars per square meter globally. The Basque Culinary Centre ensures that this legacy lives on for future generations. As the first Gastronomic University in Spain and second in Europe, it offers an unparalleled culinary education, complete with workshops, tasting menus, and even doctorate programs. This centre celebrates gastronomy's role in shaping the city's identity and extends its offerings to both residents and visitors.


Staying active 

Beyond cuisine, San Sebastián residents and visitors enjoy a healthy lifestyle, where sports and outdoor activities are integral to daily life. Four beaches welcome surfers to ride the waves, while over 80 kilometers of biking lanes invite cyclists to explore the city's scenic vistas. A vibrant running community participates in over 30 annual races, fostering an active community. The city also offers adapted surfing, ball, cycling, and other adapted sports to ensure everyone in the community can be included in an active lifestyle.

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