San Sebastian the Great

San Sebastian Travel Blog

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The all-important Pinxtos!
What a beautiful, friendly, exciting, foodie, fab place. I wish I was Basque!
The place
The nightlife is concentrated around the Old town (La Parte Vieja) and what a place. The streets are close together, protected from the rain and it's an intoxiacting yet friendly mixture of boutiques, bars and restaurants. Laid out on a grid, it's impossible to get lost. But you can lose yourself easily:) Each and every restaurant has a story, a local and a speciality. More of the food later...
The place has charm, style, amazing shops and superb strolling opportunities. In fact mostly I strolled and strolled (whilst protecting myself from that rain...)
Don't miss out on Gros, the area over the river where few tourists without a surfboard visit. It has few visitor 'attractions' but is all the better for it, much more laid back than the old town.
Old town cathedral

So it rained a LOT. I guess it was the time of year, but if it didn't rain quite so much the mountains wouldn't be so lush and the flowers so bright. viva la rain!
The food
There's not many places you can go and honestly say you didn't have a bad meal.
Gorge on pinxtos. If you are not familiar, it's tiny tapas, often on bread. Examples would be a tuna-mayo mix with anchovies, jalapenos, olives on bread or Iberian ham (which costs up to EURO100 per kilo!). Chris compared them to sushi in the sense that they are very seafood-heavy and the presentation is equally as important as the taste - and both are very important indeed.
The pinxtos just sit on the bar, constantly being refreshed for your delight. They work on the honour system especially at lunchtime.
Just take a few and enjoy them and when you settle your bill, tell the bartender what you've eaten.
You begin at 6pm ish and have a pinxto and a glass of txacholi (the local fizzy wine, so dry it'll take the roof of your mouth off! But very tasty). Move on to the next bar, rinse and repeat till 10pm then have a sit-down meal. If it's not seafood you're missing out.
We went to the aquarium which was small but well worth the 10 Euro entrance fee. It has one of those underwater glass tunnels where you can see everything swimming above you - fantastic. Although after a few days in San Sebastian I realised that it looked more like a living menu:)
It's a place to enjoy, wander, absorb the enchanting way of life. Don't rush, don't stress, have a siesta and stroll with the locals in the evening. Enjoy the shops which are open till 10.  Have a glass of wine at 1 Euro or an exquiste pinxto.

travelman727 says:
Great review of a fabulous place! Like you, I'd love to be part Basque.
Posted on: Sep 18, 2006
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The all-important Pinxtos!
The all-important Pinxtos!
Old town cathedral
Old town cathedral
The Aquarium jellyfish
The Aquarium jellyfish
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San Sebastian Hotels & Accommodations review
Hotel Europa was a great hotel, situated just off the beach at San Sebastian - about 5 minutes walk from the action in the Old Town. It has a lovely… read entire review
79 km (49 miles) traveled
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