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What to do in San Sebastian, Spain

18 May 2015 Travel Passagem Gastronômica - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

San Sebastian is one of the most important gastronomic destinations in Europe, mainly because it is the city with the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants per square meter in the world. But the city is much more than starred restaurants, also it is very well known for its pintxos bars (Originally tweaks on sticks served to accompany a drink, but today the choices are much more elaborate and diverse). This route of San Sebastian, Spain brings some of the very best in the city.

In addition to the dining scene, San Sebastian is super charming, with pristine beaches. So, the city is very crowded in the summer when it gets crowded with tourists from different nationalities - some in search of a place in the sun and other gastronomy.

San Sebastian was in our plans a few years ago and it was an interesting trip with certainty. Our main reason for the visit was the cuisine, but we were also happy with the beauty of the city and its beaches. What most impressed us was the quality not only of the most famous restaurants in the world, but also of the divine pintxos we eat in bars scattered around the old town.

San Sebastian is definitely a place that I indicate to those looking for a destination which combines fine dining with a very hot city to visit. However, I think it's caveat that, in our opinion, the trip only worth it if you want to combine these two passions, since there are numerous other options in Europe with more beautiful beaches and a large number of tourist attractions that San Sebastian.

I will share our San Sebastian tips of two types of posts, one focused on gastronomic options and other attractions in the city. I hope you fall in love as much as we enjoy this script and San Sebastian, Spain.

What to see:

San Sebastian is a small town and the main focus is on the food - so most tourists spend much of the day among some 200 tapas bar. But the city offers alternatives for those who need a break between meals.

Anyway, You can visit the city of San Sebastian 1 morning. But it's nice to stay longer to enjoy the many restaurants, beaches and other cities that exist around San Sebastian and are tasty to visit. I'll share the tips between the regions of San Sebastian to make it easier to organize.

Old Town

The old part is where are concentrated the vast majority of the city's attractions. The most interesting is to walk through its streets and go stopping at different churches, squares and shops that find along the way. Take the opportunity to notice the beautiful architecture of some of the buildings that have French influence and are beautiful. Below I've listed some of the main attractions the old town of San Sebastian.

1. San Telmo Museum

The San Telmo Museum has some temporary exhibitions, and a permanent section dedicated mainly to the history and Basque art. The highlight of the museum is able to enter the Dominican convent of the Church of San Telmo. In it there are beautiful paintings of the artist Ignacio Zuloaga made in 1929 when the convent restoration, on the life and history of the Basque state.

Address: Zuloaga Plaza, 1 / Open: From 10h to 20h Tuesday to Sunday / Site: www.santelmomuseoa.com

Passagem Gastronômica - San Telmo Museum - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - San Telmo Museum - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

2. Churches

There are two churches in the old town. Among them our favorite was the church of Santa Maria that is beautiful to live.

(the) Church of San Vicente (Calle San Vicente, 3) – Erected between centuries 15 and 16 no Gothic. One of its highlights is the built altar 1586 showing scenes of suffering and death of Christ.

(b) Church of Santa Maria (Calle 31 de Agosto, 46) – The most emblematic church of San Sebastian, It was built around 1743.

Passagem Gastronômica - Igreja de San Vicente - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Igreja de San Vicente - Roteiro de San Sebastian - EspanhaPassagem Gastronômica - Igreja de Santa Maria - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Igreja de Santa Maria - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

3. Constitution Square

This square was built in 1689, but with the looting of the Anglo-Portuguese troops was totally destroyed. It was later rebuilt by the city, who sold the apartments around the square but kept right on balconies rented for bullfighting taking place in it. That's why you can see the numbers on the balconies of each apartment, as were the seats sold to watch bullfighting.

Passagem Gastronômica - Constitution Square - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Constitution Square - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

4. The Market Gap

If you are passionate about food and quality ingredients suggest know the La Bretxa market which is the main food market in San Sebastian. The site offers many different products such as cheese, meat and fish, and it is interesting to see the speed and efficiency with which people working in the market clean the fish and meat. If I'm not mistaken the market is open every day except Sunday and the best time to visit it is at about 11 am. By the way, it works in the basement of the building.

Address: Calle de San Juan, 4

Passagem Gastronômica - La Bretxa Market - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - La Bretxa Market - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - La Bretxa Market - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

Center

The most central part of the city – that next FICA Old ity – It has many tourist attractions but has beautiful buildings and many shops (the Loyola calle is the main avenue of shopping there). In addition to shopping, The main tourist attraction is the city cathedral.

1. Good Shepherd Cathedral (Urdaneta, 12) – This cathedral is visible from different parts of the city because its tower is almost 75 meters. It was built at the end of the century 19 with stones taken from Monte Igueldo (which is located in San Sebastian).

Passagem Gastronômica - Catedral Buen Pastor - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Catedral Buen Pastor - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Catedral Buen Pastor - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

Port

There are a few options for walking in the port of San Sebastian.

1. Aquarium

The city aquarium has, in addition to the display of different species of the sea, a portion focused on replica in miniature of old ships and boats. It feels good to visit especially if the day is rainy or if you are traveling with children.

Address: Plaza de Carlos Blasco Imaz, 1 / Open: Open every day from 10h to 19h (in some months of the year it is open late – check this link) / Site: www.aquariumss.com

Passagem Gastronômica - Aquarium - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Aquarium - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

2. Boat ride

We made a quiet boat ride by the San Sebastian bay which lasted about 40 minutes. The company we used was very close Katamarana selling tickets aquarium.

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3. Other options

There are two tours that we did in the port, but we heard good recommendations.

(the) Mount Urgull – Many people like to walk to the top of Mount Urgull where you have a beautiful view of the bay.

(b) Santa Clara island – From the harbor the boats to the island of Santa Clara that is very close. The company that makes this path is Motor The Island. It is worth checking the time on site, because there are no boats all day.

Bay of La Concha

One of the hottest tours in San Sebastian is to walk from the vieja citizens to Mount Igueldo (where you take the funicular). The bay is beautiful and you can go admire the beaches that get in the way two different names, Shell Beach and beach ondarreta. On the way there are still two options rides that I will mention below.

Passagem Gastronômica - Porto - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Prefeitura - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Praia - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Praia - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

1. Miramar Palace and Park

The Miramar has one of the most privileged views of the Concha Bay. Also, It has a very beautiful garden behind this beautiful palace that mimics the style of British country houses. It's worth spending there.

Passagem Gastronômica - Miramar Palace and Park - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Miramar Palace and Park - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

2. Funicular Monte Igueldo

In one of the beach ends you have the option of taking the funicular that takes you up Mount Igueldo, from where you have a beautiful view of the city. At the site also runs a small amusement park, but that's not very nice. Then,, It ends up being a quick walk for those who want to admire the view of the bay.

Address: Plaza Funicular Igueldo, 4 / Open: Virtually every day around 10am to 18pm (there are some changes according to the time of year. So, worth checking here) / Site: www.monteigueldo.es

Passagem Gastronômica - Funicular Monte Igueldo - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Funicular Monte Igueldo - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

Where to stay:

During our stay we stayed in Hotel Astoria 7 which is in the newer part of town. It features décor influenced by Hollywood, where every room is decorated in tribute to an actor or director known worldwide.

The common area of ​​the hotel is modern and funky, with several references to the film world - loved the Alfred Hitchcock doll placed in a chair in the lobby and the ceramic bank of Audrey Hepburn.

The suites are great because they are big and brand new. They also follow the same modern decor of the lobby, but more minimalist. The bed was very comfortable and spacious and quiet room, what makes all the difference. The bathroom was bright, new, great and one of the best showers I've ever found in a hotel.

Despite the hotel not stay in the old part of San Sebastian - where they are most attractions - it's quite convenient to get there. They are 20 minute walk or you can also take a bus to get to and out just the front of the hotel.

The only detail that worth mentioning is that the value of the breakfast is a bit high pro it offers. I would like to have more choices of fruit, breads and juices.

We enjoyed the Hotel Astoria 7 and certainly we recommend for those who are visiting San Sebastian.

Passagem Gastronômica - Hotel Astoria 7 - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Hotel Astoria 7 - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Hotel Astoria 7 - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Hotel Astoria 7 - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha Passagem Gastronômica - Hotel Astoria 7 - Roteiro de San Sebastian - Espanha

How to Get There:

The easiest way to arrive in San Sebastian is to take a flight to Biarritz in France or Bilbao in Spain. Both airports have public transport to San Sebastian - learn more here about Biarritz e here Bilbao - but it is also possible to rent a car and drive there, because the roads are great (this is a good option for those who want to travel through the outskirts of San Sebastian). FICA is worth mentioning that about Biarritz 50 km of San Sebastián (giving around 30 minute drive) e Bilbao to 100 km (close to 1 h of truck).

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