Aiete - Miramon
Two lofty neighbourhoods for peaceful wandering
The neighbourhoods of Aiete and Miramon are located in the hills surrounding La Concha Bay. These two neighbourhoods, far from the bustle of the city, are sure to capture your heart. Where you can visit some of the iconic buildings of the city such as Aiete Palace or the Basque Culinary Center, try out scientific experiments in the Science Museum, or relax in the city’s two biggest parks and gardens.
Walk through the neighbourhoods of Aiete and Miramon and enter some of their most important buildings.
Map and places of interest
- 1. Aiete Palace and Park
- 2. Katxola Homestead
- 3. Basque Culinary Center
- 4. Eureka! Science Museum
- 5. Kutxa Ekogunea
- 6. Arbide Towers
- 7. Miramon Park
Aiete: Between parks and palaces
Aiete is perhaps best known for Aiete Palace which rises, imposing, from the highest part of the neighbourhood. Nowadays, the Neo-Classical building hosts the House of Peace and Human Rights, but if its walls could talk, they would tell us tales of the kings, queens and dictators that spent their summer months there.
The history of Aiete Palace begins in 1878, when it was built on the order of the Dukes of Bailén. Until 1893 it was the summer residence of Spanish monarchs from Isabel II to Alfonso XIII, and in 1940, it bore witness to the summer stay of dictator Francisco Franco.
Some of the most important political decisions have been made in its meeting rooms, as this is where the Ministers’ Councils are held in the month of August.
The year 2011 also left its mark on the history of this building when the Palace hosted the San Sebastián International Peace Conference. This event drew renowned figures from national and international politics.
Today, Aiete Palace hosts the House of Peace and Human Rights.
Leave plenty of time for your visit to Aiete Palace because once you're in the park you’ll want to stay there for several hours. Aiete Park is one of those places where peace and quiet preside over everything. Wander through the park's French-style gardens, walk around the pond with its ducks and swans, visit the cave and the original waterfall, and venture into a moist forest with hundred-year-old trees and gigantic sequoias. The peaceful environment will give you the impression of being far from the commotion of the city.
The Palace of Aiete
Miramon: where science, history and nature come together
Located in the highest part of the city, between Aiete and the hospital district, the area of Miramon was once dotted with traditional homesteads and surrounded by nature. Of these dwellings, Katxola homestead still remains, and although it is now the San Sebastián Technology Park, it has never lost its particular essence, today acting as a place where nature and innovation blend together seamlessly.
You can catch a bus that will leave you at the entrance to the park, then walk among its modern buildings and take pleasure in their many forms and structures, all of which are innovative and distinctive.
The evening lighting of the Basque Culinary Center stands out in an environment that is so close to nature.
And of these buildings, two are an absolute must-see. The first building is the Basque Culinary Center. This building's architecture is as striking as it is original, and it is so well-integrated into the surrounding natural environment that it almost seems to emerge out of it.
Miramon’s other iconic building represents a piece of the city’s history: Arbide Towers. This is a small castle that was built in 1904 in the centre of Donostia/San Sebastián. It was brought here piece by piece between 1972 and 1975.
On the way, you will discover the Science Museum, one of the best places in San Sebastián for visitors with children. And before you go inside, you can enjoy visiting a magical garden where you can walk through scale models of the most famous buildings in Gipuzkoa. Enjoy trying out experiments at Eureka! Zientzia Museoa, ride the different simulators and discover the galaxy at Donostia Planetarium.
The Arbide Towers were moved to Miramon Park to allow for San Sebastián to be extended. Photo: www.sistersandthecity.com
The Planetarium of the Eureka! Science Museum is located in the Technology Park at Miramon. This is a must-see for those travelling with children.
Also in this neighbourhood, and only minutes from Eureka! Zientzia Museoa, Kutxa Ekogunea Haur Parkea offers you a fantastic alternative option for activities with children. As well as an educational park for children aged 0 to 12 years, there are open air spaces for enjoying the natural environment.
After this walk through the most built-up part of the area, we recommend that you immerse yourself in nature and enjoy one of the most beautiful parks in the city. Miramon Park is a small natural wood with abundant flora and fauna. Here, you will discover a stone amphitheatre where you can pretend to be a spectator in a Roman circus, and in the centre of the park there is a lovely pond where you can sit and relax for a while.
Kutxa Ekogunea Haur Parkea - Parque Infantil
El Bosque de Miramón Foto: www.donosticity.org.
Añorga and its Cement Museum
The neighbourhood of Añorga can be found close to Miramon. The large street that crosses the neighbourhood makes it the perfect place for long walks or cycle rides by the river and its leafy areas. This is a perfect activity for families with children, or for those looking to relax and escape the busier parts of the city.
Rezola Cement Museum is an iconic feature of the Añorga neighbourhood
Añorga also houses the Rezola Cement Museum. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the impact that cement has made on our lives and on our planet. Simulations and interactive modules will show you what a factory feels like on the inside and how the environmental impact of cement can be reduced.
On the way from Miramon to Añorga you will find the Txillida Leku an open-air museum with sculptures by the famous Basque artist Eduardo Txillida.
The Chillida-Leku museum houses 150 Eduardo Chillida pieces.
Where to eat in Miramon
As is true of the rest of the city, both Aiete and Miramon host culinary treasures that will satisfy the palate of any gourmet.
Miramon Technology Park, as a working environment, has different places where you can enjoy anything from a sandwich or a simple daily menu to the finest cuisine.
And if you're a fan of avant-garde food, don't miss the opportunity to visit the restaurant at the Basque Culinary Center because there you can sample some of the highlights of cutting-edge cuisine for a very reasonable price. The students of the culinary school are responsible for preparing the menu and serving customers: you will see that we have a fantastic pool of emerging chefs. We recommend that you make your reservation in advance.
Where to stay
Aiete and Miramon are perfect places for relaxation. If one thing presides over these two areas at night, it is quiet. In the Aiete area, you will discover two of the best hotels in the city, the Hotel Palacio de Aiete and the Hotel Zenit, and in Miramon you will find the Hotel Arima. All of these are newly-built four-star hotels.
You can also stay in holiday rental apartments which will enable you to enjoy the freedom of an apartment at a price that is more accessible than in other areas of the city.
How to get here
One of the options that we can recommend is going up to Aiete using the path that runs up towards the park in the area of La Concha Beach, the hill of Aldapeta. The bay views that you will encounter along the way are simply stunning.
If you prefer to take public transport, city buses with number 19, 31, 35 and B2 will take you to Aiete from different points within the city.
To get to Miramon, take lines 35, 17 or 28. Remember to get off by the Mikeletegi 12 walkway and walk through Miramon Park on foot, because every corner deserves to be discovered.