Bilbao was our gateway to getting into San Sebastian. A $5 bus ride from Bilbao to San Sebastian took about two hours and the views on the way are incredible. Basque Country is situated along the hills and being able to see towns wedged in-between seemed straight out of a painting. We arrived at San Sebastian just as the sun was setting. It was beautiful and seemingly unreal, unlike anything I had seen before.
Everything in San Sebastian is walkable and though there are cabs available, Uber isn’t available here. We had no difficulties locating a cab to our dinner at Arzak or scheduling a cab to get to Biarritz Airport (thanks to our Airbnb host!). The town is the perfect place for leisure walks, exploring the shops, and stopping along pintxo bars.
Missed out on my Instagram Stories from San Sebastian? Watch them all here.
We decided to give a Airbnb a try for this leg of the trip and I’m so glad we did! Our apartment was centrally located just minutes from Old Town (where all your pintxos are located) and shopping. The apartment was situated on top of a pastry shop so there was no shortage of snacks. On the opposite corner down the street is a park that housed a pair of swans. I highly recommend the apartment we stayed in! If you haven’t had a chance to use AirBnB yet, click here to get $40 credit towards your booking!
Pintxo bar crawls are a thing here and it’s fun to be a part of! Yes, you toss your tiny napkins on the floor. Yes, it does get quite packed with people but the crowds are always moving so getting a spot at the bar isn’t difficult. It’s not a typical bar crawl as you are imagining; people bring their children and dogs along too! It’s an entire family affair and it was fun to be envoloped in the culture.
Koh Tao, Bengoetxea Kalea, 2, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The Vagabrothers have a handful of vlogs devoted to Basque Country/San Sebatian and when they shared Koh Tao for a place to grab coffee, I had to add it to the list. The coffee is good and this place can get packed in the late afternoon, early evening times.
There was a shop located right under our apartment so the smells of bread were constantly wafting in. There’s a range of pastries from savory to sweet and all the ones we tried were delicious. There are a few other locations around town and they’re all worth the visit.
Borda Berri, Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Our favorite pintxo bar! We loved it so much that we came back two or three times afterwards! Our favorite pintxos were the risotto, pig’s ear, beef cheeks, and the steak. It seems as though their menu is everchanging with daily specials. You can’t go wrong with any of the pintxos here.
Bar Sport, Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 10, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
This was the first pintxo bar we stepped into and it was great! Our favorite pintxo here is the uni chowder, which we’ve also visited multiple times as they had the best sea urchin!
Bar Zeruko, Calle Pescaderia, 10, 20003 San Sebastián, BI, Spain
Another spot for good pintxos! Also had uni but we preferred Bar Sport’s version better.
La Cepa, 31 de Agosto Kalea, 7, 20003 San Sebastián-Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
They serve jamon (Iberico ham) here!!
txepetxa, c/ pescadería, 5, 20003 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
Came here for one thing and it’s anchovies. I don’t even think I like anchovies, but I liked them here! One had an apple jam topping, another with foie gras, and the third with a blueberry compote.
La Vina, Calle del 31 de Agosto, 3, 20003 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
You can’t go eating all those pintxos without going for some dessert! Fluffy and creamy, this cheesecake is worth trying. What’s crazy is that this bar is just as packed and everyone’s getting cheesecake!
If you’re craving for churros, this is the only place within Old Town. It comes with coffee or hot chocolate to dip. They weren’t incredible churros, but they hit the spot.
Arzak, Alcalde J. Elosegi Hiribidea, 273, 20015 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastian has the most Michelin rated restaurants in its vicinity than any other city in the world so naturally, we had to plan a night for this! Arzak is just a few minutes out from the center of town. This dining experience requires it’s own post so you can check that out here (coming soon).
While there’s so much to see in San Sebastian and Basque Country, I’ll only be sharing all the sights we saw on our trip.
There are two beaches in San Sebastian: La Concha Beach and Zurriola Beach. At this beach you get a great view of Monte Urgull and Santa Clara Island. While La Concha was recommended to us for laying out and most often seen in pictures of San Sebastian, head to Zurriola if you want to see surfers catch some big waves. The waves at Zurriola tend to be stronger than La Concha .