Before we arrived in San Sebastián, Spain we had heard all about the food and the lively nightlife. Yet, we hadn’t read much about the history or researched what to do or see while there. Naturally, we contacted Global Greeters and made a meetup time and date for a general tour of the city. Without anything specific in mind, we asked our guide, Iñigo, to show us the highlights. We met him early in the day and headed off into the cold morning winds.
Iñigo gave us a fantastic tour of the city, which is small and easy to walk. We had already visited the Castillo de la Mota on the hill, so instead of visiting again, he gave us a concise history of the forts origins and significance within the growth of the city.
We didn’t have anything specific to accomplish, so our tour was laid back and open to changes as we walked. The three of us roamed the streets as he told us stories of the history of San Sebastián and pointed out different significant buildings. Such as the churches, cathedrals, Miramar Palace, the government buildings, and the plazas.
Depending on your reference preference the city is divided into 3 to 5 areas. The main districts most visitors frequent are the beaches, old quarter, downtown and zona romantic. Within these sectors, you can find everything you need for your first visit to San Sebásatian. We spent the majority of our time walking the streets of the city. It was a bit too cold yet for the beaches.
Iñigo also told us how food is the heartbeat of the Basque country and San Sebástian is the embodiment of everything cuisine related. Everyone must experience a pintxo-pote hop while visiting San Sebástian. Think of it as a happy hour barhop but better! A pintxo is like a tapas food plate but smaller. For around 1 Euro you get a beer and your choice of the bar’s pintxo plate special. Depending on the location the pintxos could be made of egg, potatoes, fish, beef, cheese, bread, shellfish, or a mix of ingredients, the list goes on. Pintxo-Potes start around 6 pm and run until the late hours depending on your stamina and appetite. The idea is to hit as many different bars and try as many different pintxo plates as possible.
Although it wasn’t quite pintxo-pote hour, we ended our tour with a beer and pintxos plate. Iñigo took us to one of his favorite locations for a tortilla de patatas, which is an egg, potato, and cheese mixture of bliss. We had tried a few of these previously, but the one we ate at Bar Zabaleta was our favorite. As we finished, Iñigo said his goodbye, and we noticed it was officially pintxo-pote time and headed to the next bar for another pintxo plate and beer.
We are big fans of Global Greeters and highly recommend making arrangements with them while in San Sebastián. In particular, we would suggest requesting either a history tour to cover all the important locations, buildings & memorials or a food tour with recommendations of all the great restaurants and what meals not to miss in the city.
Website: Global Greeter Network
Prices: Free. You will be asked to make an optional donation to the organization.
4 to 5 Travelationship High Fives. For the traveler who likes – adventure, romance, relaxation, partier, historical, bucket lister, food, traditions, culture
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