A food lover’s hotspot, San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque Country is a beach town known for it’s small bar culture, surfing culture, and a legacy of Michelin star restaurants that attract foodies food lovers from all over the world. A quaint town that is one of the world’s greatest dining destinations, San Sebastian is what you would call the culinary capital of the world.
This city celebrates a pintxos culture – whether it is the fried cheese croquets and mushroom tartlets, or fresh oysters and mini-hamburgers, you can walk into a bar at any given point of the day and enjoy these exotic, exciting dishes with a pint, of course.
Whether it’s your first sip of wine or an important view of the La Concha coastline, San Sebastian never disappoints. A hot favorite in the summer months, especially amongst surfers, San Sebastian has always been an important cultural town, and historical evidence suggests inhabitation of the city almost 20,000 years before Christ!
Just behind the Old Town lies Santa Clara Island, a small hilly island that makes for a fine getaway on a hot summer afternoon. Hikes around the city make for beautiful vantage points (and great workouts) The street art here is something to watch out for – there’s a captivating culture vibe here that comes alive especially during the folk fests, art shows, performances, and film festivals that are held here regularly.
Public transport here is easy to navigate your way around, but the best way to see all that San Sebastian has to offer would be on your feet. Walk around, get lost in the neighborhoods, there’s something exciting here in every corner. Cycles are another way to get around, and if you’re feeling too lazy, the bus service here is effective too.
San Sebastian is a small town, so no matter where you stay, you can always enjoy a good walk. 3 beaches – La Zurriola, La Concha, and Ondarreta- draw in a diverse crowd. Bountiful beaches aside, San Sebastián’s main draw is its food and drink (a good thing, considering that it rains over 200 days a year). Served in standing-room-only bars across the city, pintxos – the Basque Country’s version of tapas – are San Sebastián’s signature dish. Bounce from bar to bar, pairing small bites with local wines, ciders, and digestifs. If in need of activity in between meals, the city’s booming festival scene is sure to entertain. Prepare for a packed calendar in the summer months – July brings a beachside jazz fest, August offers up the Semana Grande fireworks and September beckons an international film festival.
Blessed with an alluring coastline and diverse cultural offering, Spain’s culinary capital is sure to whet your appetite.
Things to do in San Sebastian
Walk around Old Town
Visit the Aquarium
Walk down to the viewpoint near the Aquarium
Climb Mount Urgull
Visit La Concha beach
Observe surfers as you walk along Zuriola Beach
Walk around the hipster neighborhood of Gros
Enjoy a run around the promenade leading from La Concha beach to Zuriola beach
Take a ferry to Santa Clara island, and enjoy a lazy afternoon by a shack
Enjoy a boat party. Go kayaking, rowing, or sailing in the sea
If you like art, head to Tabacalerra, a cultural center
Here are a few restaurant suggestions:
– If you’re in town on a Thursday evening, head to the old town for pintxo pote and then move on to Ondarra for a good night out. You’ll find the after-hours party downstairs.
– Depending on the weather, try your hand at sailing, boating or even book yourself on a boat party.