If you are thinking of making a trip to San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, we invite you to make a stop of at least one day in Hondarribia, a beautiful city with a wide variety of places to visit.
And what do you have in Hondarribia to explore? Well… everything. For starters, the locals enjoy a gastronomy of the highest level, with a huge variety including high cuisine restaurants or everyday life taverns, vegetarian options or establishments that prepare all kinds of fish. But of course, there is more to this life than food or drinks. There are other needs to attend to, and here for example you can admire the only medieval walls that remain in Gipuzkoa or the multicoloured balconies of the fishermen’s district.
To find out what to see in Hondarribia, we invite you to read the following blog, where we talk about the town, the most interesting places to visit and many of its curiosities and secrets.
Also, if you would like to get to know the most famous places in the city and all its secrets, on our website we have different tours that might interest you. Take a look!
History of Hondarribia
Few towns in Gipuzkoa have the same pride as Hondarribia, founded in 1204, and if you ask me… only two or three places can compete with it in beauty, glamour and charm. And, being so close to Donosti, it is very easy to go there using the public transport system, going there in the morning to explore it during the day and coming back to the capital in the evening.
This town became a city when, in the 17th century, after battles with the French, it emerged victorious from several battles, despite having less than 15,000 inhabitants nowadays.
Hondarribia is known for its mountains, sea, and for being the fishermen’s town, as in the past, the main activities carried out in this town were fishing and trading.
Most important places to visit in Hondarribia
Here we show you the most curious and interesting places to visit in Hondarribia.
First of all, and before going further into other areas of the city, you should wander around the old town.
The old town is located in the upper part of the village. As you walk through its narrow streets, you will discover very unique houses, typical of the period, wooden balconies and charming corners. The medieval wall that surrounds the old town will also surprise you. All this will take you back to medieval times.
We recommend that the itinerary through the old quarter begins at the Puerta de Santa María, which is considered one of the best places to start the tour.
The first thing you will find is the famous medieval wall mentioned above, followed by the most unique houses. Further on, you will find the town hall, built in the 17th century, with Zuloaga’s house, currently used as a library.
Plaza de las Armas
An almost essential stop is the Plaza de Armas, which was used for years and years for the celebration of major events. In the Plaza de Armas is the castle of Charles V, which today is visited by a multitude of tourists.
This castle was built with the idea of being able to defend itself effectively against possible attacks, hence its ideal location, surrounded by the river Bidasoa and the Bay of Txingudi.
From the Plaza de Armas and overlooking the San Nicolás street, we can see how the architecture is changing from a more medieval style to a more characteristic style of urban farmhouses.
La Marina, the fishermen’s quarter
It’s not all about sightseeing and walking… If you’re also looking for a bit of action, La Marina, a fishermen’s neighbourhood, is one of the liveliest areas of the town. Here you will find the best restaurants and bars in Hondarribia, the most famous being Arroka Berri, Abarka and Sebastián.
This area was quite developed around the mid-1700s as more innovative fishing techniques such as the “trainera” (fishing trawler) spread. As the years and centuries went by, this suburb continued to grow considerably, bringing together many houses in a very small space, and sharing stone walls with stone walls, right up to the present day.
It is in the middle of this hustle and bustle that one of the most important churches in Hondarribia is to be found, that of María Magdalena. It was here that the sailors began their mornings before setting out to sea. It has large gates on its main tower and stands out for its stone decorated profiles and the yellow decoration on the main turret.
In addition to the church of Maria Magdalena, this neighbourhood is known for its narrow streets, built from the remains of the stacked houses that were being built in the area. Like the church described above, the streets in the area are notable for the gilding of the stone that paints the houses. This area is architecturally beautiful, and when we immerse ourselves in it, we can go back in time.
How to get there. By car: 30 minutes without tolls
This is all you need to know about Hondarribia, this beautiful town. If you want to know more about it, or if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.