San Sebastian: FOODHEAVEN of Spain
Well hello there San Sebastian, FOOD HEAVEN of sun-drenched Spain! Just get your leggings out of the closet and leave the belts at home, because you are going to have a huge time in this city.
For us, San Sebastian is the jewel of the Spanish Basque Country. Not only because you can eat atrociously good food here, but it is just as stunningly beautiful and there is a wonderfully relaxed surfer vibe. It is the capital of the province of Gipuzkoa, is located on the edge of the Bay of Biscay and has a population of about 183,000.
In this article
Pintxos, Pintxos and more Pintxos
San Sebastian is not only one of the best places to eat in northern Spain but of the world. It is known for its Basque cuisine and has the second most Michelin stars per person in the world. Only Kyoto currently has more of them. Typical of Basque cuisine is the Pintxo. You can score Pintxos really anywhere. You’ll often find them at the beginning of the bar. Sometimes you can grab a few small bites (kind of like tapas) yourself or you can point out what you like.
Don’t quite understand how it all works. No worries, for many people it’s a bit of a search. It still feels a little crazy to just grab some snacks like that. So 1 tip! Just ask. We found the people in northern Spain really ridiculously friendly. They lovingly explain to you exactly how the Pintxos work.
Tip! Book a food tour in San Sebastian at the beginning of your trip, so you know right away what to order and where to find San Sebastian’s best hot spots.
What to do in San Sebastian
Uhhh duh! Food, food and more food of course. That should be the main reason for everyone to visit San Sebastian. If the choice is a bit overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, book a Food Tour. This really is the best way to discover a city. Together with a local you will discover the tastiest dishes and the nicest places in the city. Places you would probably never visit otherwise. So book that bite!
- Visit the city beach La Concha (other popular beaches are Playa de Ondarreta and Playa Zurriola).
- Admire the cathedral Buen Pastor
- Take the cable car to the top of Monte Igueldo for stunning views of the city, mountains and coastline
- Hike to the Monte Urgull viewpoint
- Stroll through the old city center and admire all the beautiful historic buildings
Hotspots & food in San Sebastian
We Wander Why wouldn’t be We Wander Why if we tried very hard to find the best hotspots for you. By the way, was really not a punishment at all ;p
- ALABAMA BISTRÔ Peruvian Food: atrociously good food, always busy so maybe make reservations.
- Old Town Coffee: for the tastiest breakfasts and a good cup of coffee
- Kafe Botanika: here you can sit super nice outside
- BAAN THAI Streetfood: because thai food is always a good idea
- Chutney Gastrobar: upscale dining
Before visiting a city, I create a google maps list of favorite hotspots that I have found somewhere, such as through Instagram, blogs or through maps itself. Unfortunately, I almost never manage to check off all these hotspots, but of course I am happy to share this overview with you. If you guys find another great hotspot that is not on the list or overview, please let us know. Then we cozily complete list.
Best time to travel to San Sebastian
The best travel time to visit San Sebastian falls during the summer from June to September. In winter, it can be quite rainy here. We found it perfect to visit the north in June and August. The temperatures are really top not too hot and there is little rain then. During the high season, it can be a bit busier.
Which budget do i need in San Sebastian?
We spent a total of 2 days in San Sebastian and made up about 250 euros, and day budget of 125 euros per day and yes that is quite pricey for us.
We just found it very difficult to find a nice spot with the RV. one of the few options in the area was far outside the city. Therefore, since we really wanted to enjoy the city to the fullest, we decided to book a hotel as well. It costs a little more, but that way you can really enjoy the city to the fullest.
- Motorhome site: 20 – 30 euros
- Hotel: 60 – 150 euros
- Eating out: 30 – 50 euros (of course you can also eat a lot of Pintxos then the costs are not that high).
- Groceries: 0 euros (why shop when you can eat sooooo good food)
- Transportation: 20 euros
Practical information about San Sebastian
- San Sebastian is known for its many burglaries of vans. Therefore, make sure you have good parking.
- On weekends, always make reservations in advance at popular restaurants. It is difficult to find a place last minute. Also with the two of us.
- Want to go surfing. Buy a surfboard and wetsuit in advance. After all, you’ll soon have the cost of renting it out. After all, a beginner’s board does not have to be so expensive.
- Try to avoid toll roads as much as possible. The toll in Spain is huge. We paid about 30 euros for an hour’s drive. You also miss the most beautiful spots this way.
- Use the app park4night or camper contact to find the nicest RV sites and campgrounds
- Looking for a free overnight stay? Through TrustedHousesitters, you can babysit other people’s homes and pets for free.
- We have already had 2x per breakdown on the road and were very happy with the ANWB then. This year we even opted for the complete package, since last year we got stuck in Germany for 8 days and only spent 80 euros per day on accommodation
- Download the foreign affairs app and stay up to date with the latest travel advice
- Attention Orange Travel Advisory. Also, if you travel through an orange area, your insurance can deny charges. If there is an orange travel advisory regarding Corona, the insurance will only not cover costs related to Corona (please check, because this is not the case everywhere).
- Refueling is cheaper in villages. So never fill up your tank on the highway
- If you want to withdraw money in Europe, you often have to pay a small fee to your bank. We recently switched to Knab, which does not charge additional fees. We are very happy with it + you now receive €50 gift when you use Knab’s Switch Service!
- A credit card is really handy to have with you. For example, purchases are extra insured and in some places you can only pay by credit card.