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Bar zumeltzegi

Zumeltzegi is a bar with a contemporary cozy design and a long history (it's been around for 35 years).  They offer familiar Basque pintxos, with an interesting presentation, which still retain the main characteristics of all San Sebastian mini-sandwiches, namely being majestically made of quality local products. Their local hits are brochette-style pintxos. Try all the options: chicken, meat, monk fish, prawns with mushrooms and a mixture of squid, ham and peppers. The bar also has a restaurant with a perfect interior for a Saturday dinner.
Address: Fermin Calbeton , 15
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whiskey museum

Whiskey Museum has one of the largest collections of whiskeys in the world (as surprising as it may sound), low-key atmosphere and a charismatic owner - Paul Bordonaba, who entertains guests with jokes, games and mixes cocktails. He got the passion for the whiskey from his father, who began gathering collection in 1964 that has grown to such a grand scale. The bar displays 3,400 bottles among which there is the smallest bottle in the world and 200 bottles available for consumption. Those who drink with a particular zeal, yet could still play a piano located on the ground floor – are awarded a Guest of honor certificate.
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IRETZA SIDRERIA

Well-known makers of the Basque cider “Etxeberria” and “Zabala” joined forces for project Iretza in 2008. They created the modern sidreria, which preserves all the traditions such as tasting cider from various barrels and the classic menu: scrambled eggs and cod to start followed by a main course of Txuleta.  Imagine tasting cider while sitting inside the barrel!  Yes, their design is quite unique and cozy.  Check it out for yourself during one spare Saturday.
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Best terrace in town

 

Plaza de Constitución is one of the most coziest squares in the city. It was once a bullring that to the present day displays lodge numbers on the balcony doors.  Today it is a typical tourist must have - a plaza with terraces, where guides bring their groups. This is the place where Tamborrada starts on San Sebastian's Day and whereSanto Tomás is celebrated.  The terrace of Gott bar is one of the most inviting and attractive. Gorgeous black umbrellas and red light glowing pedestals create quite a Spanish mood in the evening, and perfectly correlates with the strict facades during the day. People come here for breakfast - a special morning Gott's combo includes a jamon plate, warmed bread, orange juice, seasonal fruit and, of course, a cup of coffee.  Biscuits and variety of pintxos are also offered in the menu for those who prefer a fuller breakfast. It is possible to spend quite a long time here in the evening with a glass of crianza while watching people, shadows in the sky or rainwater streams – the terrace is especially comfy when it rains.
Details here.

 

High quality holiday pies

 

Toward the end of December all the bakeries and confectioneries of San Sebastian start selling donut shaped pies filled with custard or whipped cream and topped with giant-sized marzipans that look like emeralds and rubies.  Traditionally in Spain (as well as many other Spanish-speaking countries) Rosca Del Reyes pie is the main winter holiday dessert. Magical figures of the king, baby Jesus and Mary are hidden in the pies.  Whoever bites on the future pays for all. 
The best Roca Del Reyes pies in the city are made in the bakery Oiartzun. It is located in one of the most pleasant parts of the city - right across from the the City Hall. This bakery was founded more than twenty years ago. They carry hand-rolled chocolate truffles and amazing pastries -- a mix of favorite traditional flavors and modern recipes with a pronounced French sentiment. For example, Pastas de Te - the homemade cookies, which are served here with cocoa or coffee - a true delicacy dessert. Be sure to try their new rum baba - it's a bomb. Confectioners in Oiartzun feel just like chiefs of the new Basque cuisine - they invent the wheel and bring Basque Country to the new gastronomic horizons.
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Spend your lunch at the cozy restaurant in the Old Town

 

People come to La Fabrica that is located in the old town for a tasting
menu. This is a sit-down dinner or lunch in the interior of the former beer
factory - a great alternative to quick pintxos that is more typical for the
old town. They offer a balanced mix of traditional Basque meals with a
modern touch. The meal begins with an aperitif of a cold or hot soup,
depending on the season. You might want to continue with appetizers: a plate
of anchovies marinated in oil, acorn ham, grilled green peppers or foie with
fig jam - these are always of high quality here. Next, choose from a fish
soup, a classic Basque salad with lettuce and excellent tuna or an original
salad with oven-baked peppers, hot-papers and anchovies. For the main
course, there's meat or fish from favorite Basque recipes - chuleta with
fluffy mashed potatoes or hake fillet with sweet pepper sauce. Their
desserts are especially amazing. Choose a plate with complex chocolate
textures or a compote of berries with raspberry ice cream balls melted
inside.
Details: here

 

Tasty burgers made with high quality ingredients
in the heart of the Old Town.

 

Basque cuisine, in general, is quite traditional. If sandwiches are now a part of the day-to-day life, thanks to short lunches and the general love to French baguettes, - hamburgers are still considered as not so healthy fast food here. The trend on high-quality hamburgers came to San Sebastian quite late but is slowly digging in here. 
Muuk café with sophisticated interior design is situated in the Constitution Square, where you can find fancy burgers made of quality meat on gluten-free buns, complemented with a complex combination of additional ingredients. In the menu, there are six kinds of hamburgers. The most outstanding are:  Kobe - with Japanese beef and bacon, Donosti – made of chuleta, famous Basque cheese Idiazabal and spinach leaves, and our personal favorite - La Consti - with mozzarella, avocado, basil and pesto sauce. Five kinds of fried potatoes with different sauces: Ali Oli - a mixture of tomato sauce with mayonnaise, Tximitxurri - acute Argentine sauce and Italianas - a mixture of blue cheese with pesto.There are also options for vegetarians - a falafel burger with apple and teriyaki sauce, as well as couscous with nuts, raisins and fresh cottage cheese.
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Get a brief excursion into the finesse of Basque cuisine.

 

San Sebastián Food was created by a young British entrepreneur who fell in love with Basque Country and its gastronomy. Offering customers diverse experiences - from pintxo tours in the old town to wine tastings in the province of Rioja, SSF concentrated on its strategically important endeavor - the culinary school. Located in the hotel Maria Cristina, this magnificently equipped culinary school with inspiring modern interiors is a great opportunity for gastro-tourists to realize their big dream - become a chef for a couple of hours. Choosing between "the essential pintxo" or "Michelin star secrets" classes is not difficult; each masterclass offers a set of amazing recipes and skills that participants could use in their daily culinary practice. The class begins with a visit to a local farmers' market as SSF focuses on seasonal local products. You can learn the texture of fresh artichokes, admire the variety of fish and find out exactly what ingredients are needed to prepare winter vegetable soup. Further, while sipping local crianza, following detailed instructions of an experienced chef (in Spanish and English languages) you will clean a squid for the first time in your life and, suddenly, chop an onion as it is done only in commercials. The magic of this four-hour class is a grand finale with self-cooked three-course lunch that will exceed your highest expectations with respect to your own culinary abilities.  You will leave the grounds of the school extremely pleased with yourself and with San Sebastián Food experience.
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Where to find the best view?

 

The five hundred meters tall Mount Igeldo, located on the west side of the city, offers the most breathtaking view of San Sebastian. Igeldo was once a village inhabited by farmers, who breed poultry and cattle, but in times of local “belle époque”, in the early 20th century, several remarkable landmarks such as the funicular, gardens, casino and luxury hotel appeared here. Many of these developments, like the funicular, survive to the present day and have barely changed. The hotel was renovated in the late 60's, and since then time seems to have stopped here. To us, the hotel resembles Wes Anderson's "Hotel Budapest" and the mysterious hotel "Dolphin" from Haruki Murakami’s book "Dance, Dance, Dance" by the personalities of its guests, the musical accompaniment in the restaurant, and the color of the sofas in the lobby. When the French network of hotels, Accor, acquired Monte Igueldo hotel, it was awarded another star for the view from huge windows in the lobby which is truly magnificent. Travel through time here taking in the views of the endless ocean with a glass of wine in hand.
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Exceptional pie with custard and crushed almonds

 

They say that queen Maria Cristina felt particularly fond of cookies from the confectionery Otaegui. Thanks to these subtle monarchy feelings, cookies received the "royal" title, and confectionery - a prestigious status of the royal court supplier. History of this store is calculated for more than a century, and reputation of Otaegui is still as brilliant as in those days when the confectionery sold candles from beeswax. Today, in addition to the local aristocracy, the confectionery is visited by people from the province and tourists from all over the world. During the war, Pedro Otaegi's wife, who, actually, wasn't a pastry chef, invented a cake recipe, which was destined to become a bestseller for years - the famous Panchineta - a puff pastry pie with custard, sprinkled with crushed almonds. It is still the hallmark of all five bakeries Otaegui in San Sebastian.
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Let rare meat melt in your mouth

Many San Sebastian tourists are interested in the question: what, if not pintxos? Tired of sandwiches and snacks at the end of the third day in the city, they start planning a real dinner. Perhaps the most popular option here, if you don’t choose fresh fish and seafood, is chuleta. The most common version is the beefsteak on the bone prepared on charcoals. Traditionally chuleta is served rare. Of course, it is possible to order it well-done, but the chef (and the waiter) would be skeptical of this idea and immediately guess that you are ordering chuleta for the third time in your life and haven’t had a chance to really taste it.
How do you make sure that rare meat is delicious and melts in your mouth? The owner of Nestor Bar said that it is important to have two components: meat quality and the way it must be hung for several days to develop a deep red color and juicy texture. Many restaurants in the Old Part work mainly with local produce. For the Basques it is a question of prestige and quality. Nestor Bar on Pescaderia Street in the old town is a truly unique place. In the menu: unbeatable tortilla, traditional tomato salad with sea salt flakes and olive oil, chuleta, and fried green peppers of Gipuzkoa. There's only one table in the bar - people are ready to eat standing up.  The secret here is quality and, in some sense,  the quantity: tortilla is prepared twice a day and sold only to those who made a reservation one hour prior to serving.  Fashionable French writer Begbedder and Olsen twins stand in line here for chuleta. Come and see for yourself.
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Experience the spa that celebrated 100 years in 2012

 

In the most elegant part of town, above the center of the city's main beach, La Concha, shines a white Baroque style shell - spa and thalassotherapy center La Perla. More than a hundred years ago, the ruling queen Maria Cristina turned Miramar Palace into her summer residence that she would visit once a year in the company of friends, servants and her pet dogs.  At that time bathing in the sea water filled baths was considered therapeutic and an appealing aristocratic entertainment.  A small rail trolley would deliver people from La Perla right into the ocean. The tradition of taking organic salt baths survives in the form of the fashionable spa center with an extensive selection of treatment.
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Listen to jazz in internationally renowned festival

 

At the height of summer, in San Sebastian, all the street corners are filled with the sound of jazz. One of the oldest European jazz festivals, ‘Jazzaldia’, (nowadays with an added sponsor title Heineken) is held here annually and is internationally renowned. Famous (and some not so famous) bands from Europe, Asia, Africa and America perform in many, sometimes unexpected, places in the city. Among others is the ‘Plaza Trinidad’, a stage in the heart of the old town at the foot of Mount Urgul, where the festival was launched in 1966. Natural acoustics can be experienced here. This is what makes this spot the most romantic of the festival. The glass cubes of the expo center Kursal with its adjoining terrace and Zuriola beach, is a very spacious area where people can come with their families and friends. The magical patio of San Telmo museum (an architectural masterpiece of the 16th century) is a must to visit at night. Here, you can usually attend concerts with sophisticated Scandinavian experimentalists. The famous stage of the Victoria Eugenia Theater features professional musicians. 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of Jazzaldia.  There was an impressive collection of headlining artists, such as British pop jazz musician Jamie Calm, American avant-garde player John Zorn, as well as Norwegian jazz and Basque experimentalists in the joint project PUNKT.
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San Sebastian was chosen to be a European Capital of Culture in 2016. 
View this video and you will know why: