I’m so excited to share this blog post with you guys as so many of you have requested it as a lot of you are visiting San Sebastian this year. We managed to fit in so much whilst we were there and I honestly ate some of the best food I’ve ever had. I feel as though San Sebastian hasn’t really been discovered yet and it actually wasn’t that touristy, it was full of lots of locals when wandering the streets. We went for three nights and four days and I feel as though it was the perfect amount of time to explore and also feel as though you’ve relaxed at the same time.
Arriving in San Sebastian
We flew to San Sebastian from London Heathrow airport and we flew to Bilbao in Spain, when researching this was the quickest and most accessible way to get there. The flight took roughly around 1 hour and 50 minutes. When we arrived in Bilbao we took a coach to the central bus station in San Sebastian. These run every hour and take 1 hour 15 minutes, the coach tickets for us both cost 34 euros one way. It was affordable and hassle free, I would definitely recommend it as we looked in to getting a taxi and it was super expensive.
Where we stayed
When researching where to stay in San Sebastian I found there weren’t actually that many hotels around and staying in an apartment was more of a popular thing to do. We stayed in a one bedroomed apartment which was booked via booking.com (called the Dolce Vita apartment), however the apartment was run by a company called The Rentals Collection. They have a number of different apartments for rent in San Sebastian. It was in a great location situated in the centre of San Sebastian with only a five minute walk to the beautiful beach, a harbour full of yachts and boutique shops. The old town was a 15 minute walk where it’s packed with pintxos bars.
Where we ate
On to the best bit, the food. The old quarter of the city is packed with pintxos restaurants – so many that knowing where to go and what to order can be quite overwhelming.I was lucky that I did my research before I went and also had some recommendations. The following places I mention I would recommend visiting them all, I didn’t have any food that I didn’t love whilst I was there. The place is a foodie heaven and I can’t wait to go back and visit.
Bar Nestor is an absolute dream and for our first night we were setting our expectations high for the rest of the trip. Bar Nestor has three simple dishes, there is no ordering of a menu, it is simple, traditional Basque food done extremely well. It consists of the most delicious tomato salad and a plate full of padron peppers to start. It’s a very popular bar and I’d recommend getting their early to avoid getting turned away, we arrived at 21.30pm and were lucky enough to get a table which is unheard of at all as they are usually reserved months in advance.
Bar Zeruko is one of the modern pintxos bars. The bar was full of interesting and beautiful creations. We didn’t realise that the Basque culture, is that everyone expects the honor system. You order drinks and bites as you go. When you’re ready to leave, you tell the bartender what you had and pay. It was strange to not pay after each glass of Rioja.
Kafe Botanika is a trendy little brunch spot which faces the river and sits at the back of it’s own gated terrace. The perfect place to grab a coffee and a light breakfast. We had a delicious spanish omelette and some granola with fruit and yoghurt.
Bodegon Alejandro was the only restaurant we booked before hand and it did not disappoint. We could only get a reservation for the afternoon at 14.00pm. We went for the six course tasting menu with matching wines which was priced at 62.00 euros which I thought was reasonable. Usually on tasting menu’s I usually find one dish I don’t like, the tasting menu at Bodegon Alejandro was incredible and I loved every single dish. The highlights being the beef steak with potato souffle and garlic cream and also the caramelised french toast with cheese ice cream. Would definitely recommend making a reservation here.
We headed to Sakona Coffee Roasters on our last morning in San Sebastian after hearing that it’s the best spot to grab a coffee. If there is a place for coffee lovers, this is for sure worth a visit. Sakona has it’s own roastery with a beautiful probat coffee roaster in the city of Irun, where they roast their beans weekly. They also do a simple but tasty brunch menu – the avocado on toast was a good choice.If you’re looking for some amazing ice cream, then head to Boulevard Gelateria. Such a variety of different flavours and in a great spot for strolling along the beach with ice cream in hand! I would have never guessed I’d be eating cheesecake in San Sebastian. You’d be fooled not to grab a slice at La Vina. It’s very light and airy – a cross between a custard and a cheesecake.
We stumbled across Atari Gastroteka whilst wandering around the Old Town, very popular bar with a modern, trendy feel. They have some interesting, good quality hot and cold pintxos dishes. We ended up visiting here twice Karrika Taberna as they do the best jamon croquettas.
Things to do in San Sebastian
We spent an afternoon at La Perla , a century -old spa, overlooking the beautiful La Concha beach. We booked a three hour package that left us completely rejuvenated and relaxed. It’s the best spa I’ve ever been to, it has such a variety of circuits, some of them being sea vapour bath, panoramic jacuzzi, water beds, hydrotherapy pools and lots more. Definitely worth a visit.
Take a stroll along La Concha Bay, situated right in the city, we walked along the bay and headed to Zurriola beach. Zurriola beach is the quietest of the two beaches. It has gorgeous white sand and the sea is beautiful. Have cocktails and watch the sunset.Walk to the summit of Urgull Hill, it has the most stunning view of San Sebastian. At the top you’ll find a large statue of christ. There’s also a small museum that walks you through the city’s history.
Lastly I’d recommend experiencing a night out in San Sebastian. After all the pinxtos bars close a good jazz bar to visit is Be Bop Bar, it has a great atmosphere and is open until the early hours of the morning.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, I know many of you have emailed me saying you are visiting San Sebastian soon, so I hope this has helped in some way 🙂