San Sebastian is readily available via numerous of flights from almost every European city has been nominated to be the European Capital Of Culture 2016 and no wonder why.
The city walls are packed with culture, history and great cuisine and here are the 10 reasons to visit San Sebastian in 2016. We stayed here for 6 days and again found an amazing AirBnB place.
Here are 10 reasons you must visit San Sebastian in 2016!
1. Scrumptious Cuisine
The Basque region is well known around the world for its cuisine and ‘going for pintxos‘ (small tapas) became everyone’s favourite when being in the city.
The place is famous for its delightful little snacks and once you try them, you’ll know what’s all the fuss about.
The number of bars and restaurants is countless and it seems that everyone celebrates over food and wine or cider.
Highly recommended: La Cepa, Sport’s Bar, A Fuego Negro, Borda Berri.
Over the days, we’ve been here there were only pintxos on our menu so we did try them in many places and these are our favourites.
Another must try – handmade chocolate from Pasteleria in old town it’s expensive €40+ a kg but so worth trying :-)
And if you are up for spending some extra €€€ you must try one of the many restaurants holding Michelin star in the city!
2. Unmissable And Unforgettable Cider
Cider became part of the culture for a long time now, and every bar/restaurant serves it.
Make sure to try this even if you are not a fan as it goes well with the tapas/snacks/sandwiches.
The cider has ben made for centuries in the local farmhouses and its tradition reaches far beyond our age so do consider having it :-)
3. The Epic Old Town of San Sebastian
The old part is well known around the world not only for its great heritage but for the number of restaurants holding Michelin Stars as it is the only city in the world holding the most amount of them.
It really doesn’t matter that is Monday, Tuesday or Saturday… the place is always packed with people having a drink in one of the bars.
This is a truly unique place that can’t be missed by anyone visiting it.
Combining rich heritage, great food and delicious wine or sangria, you can find really expensive or cheap places where food and drinks will cost you less than €15 for 2 (the cheapest drinks we managed to find were in Belfast Bar and Nagusa Lau.
4. Soft Sandy Beach’s
Outdoor lifestyle plays a big part in the city culture and beach holds really high spot especially that the town has not one but 3 main beaches. .
Many would agree that by no doubt the most impressive one is Playa De La Concha situated just beside old town looking at the Monte Urgull and Santa Clara Island, it is also the largest with about 2 km of gold fine sand.
Playa de Gros just 10min away is relaxed surfing beach with great waves attracting beginners and those more skilled. Ondarreta Beach connected with la Concha is really similar to it with the addition of a very upmarket district known as millionaires belt.
5. Dazzling Architecture
From Castillo de la Mota that sits on top of the mountain, Plaza de la Constitucion in the heart of old town with numbered balconies overlooking the bullring(now place of many restaurants).
Impressive 18th century Baroque Santa Maria Basilica, through to contemporary Rafael Moneo’s Iesu Church and Kursaal glass cubes to Basque Culinary Centre designed to look like plates piled on top of each other.
The city buildings finished to impressive detail, for years now have been inspirational and romantic.
6. Shopping For Everyone
Ranging from fresh food markets to high-end boutiques stores, this city has something for everyone.
The old town has many shops with original locally made products such as cheese, meat, wine and beer, pastry shops with delicious baguettes, croissants, and other favourites.
There is no need to visit shopping centres situated outside the city as all the great brands are within walking distance.
See Ibericos Deluxe for local cheese or Parma ham, Eko Tolosa for fresh organic vegetables and Pasteleria for handmade chocolate and pastries.
There are also many gift shops within the area and it’s really up to different tastes and gifts people are looking for.
7. Surf, Surf and More Surf
Considering Spain as the holiday spot, the city has also excellent surfing following it. All year round you can rent surf equipment at the Playa de Gros and surf with the locals.
Another surfers favourite is just 25min drive from the city to Zarautz where you will find many surf schools/camps. It is really hard not to try this sport when you are here!
So make sure to take at least one lesson and find out what’s all the fuss about.
8. Jaw Dropping Views
San Sebastian has many spots where you can enjoy breathtaking views and here are our top 3:
- Monte Igueldo with spectacular views of San Sebastian and La Concha Beach.
- Monte Urgull lookout– take you time and you will get there as the walk is bit long, but the views are spectacular on a sunny day.
Promenade of San Sebastian– here you can enjoy a walk along the coastline.
9. Unique History
The town’s history is very rich so take your time wandering amongst the streets to discover its rich history and culture.
Modern day San Sebastián maintains its style and excitement with a growing reputation as a major venue for international cultural and commercial events.
10. Unmissable Events
The city hosts many great events and if you are planning your trip to San Sebastian it is worth checking out them while you here.
- International Film Festival – Every September San Sebastian becomes the hottest destination on the planet as famous faces from around the globe come in for the city’s international film festival.
International Jazz Festival – Another world famous event taking place in the second fortnight in July. All renowned musicians have taken to the city’s beaches, theatres, squares and auditoriums to deliver best performances ever.
Many smaller events take place across the city all year round so once you are here ask, and you will find something to enjoy!