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A week in San Sebastián

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posts: 2
reviews: 3
A week in San Sebastián

We just spent a week in San Sebastián. In fact, we are still here, leaving tomorrow. Just a few observations.

Everybody on this forum and in guidebooks recommends pintxos (tapas). Quite a few places in town display the Tripadvisor sticker. Well, in both our opinions, the experience is overrated. The variety is great, but it is not a meal. The latest experience, in a highly recommended bar: We just had four pintxos each, plus two small beer, paid 30 euros, and left hungry. That happen quite a few times. If you want to eat, just go to practically any restaurant in town. The quality of food is mostly excellent, with very reasonable prices.

We visited small towns around SS, both in Spain and France. We liked France better, more picturesque, more "walkable". Visited St. Jean-de-Luz and Bayonne - beautiful places. We also liked Handarribia, Getaria, Zarautz. We're disappointed with Lekeitio and Ondaroia. Of course, we fell in love with San Sebastián, with its great buildings, night atmosphere, warm beaches. Bilbao's architecture is simply unbelievable, and not only the Guggenheim museum, but many many other buildings.

In SS we rented an apartment, in Gros area. Much better than in the Old Town, where it is extremely noisy all night until early in the morning. And it is only three minutes walk to a beach, five - to Old Town. It also came with a very cheap parking (city parking is very expensive, 20-25 euro a day). I do not know if the forum rules allow posting the contact info, otherwise I would do it.

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
posts: 40,202
reviews: 2,678
1. Re: A week in San Sebastián


Yes, tapas can be more expensive than a regular meal in Spain. The advantage of tapas is that you usually do not have to wait for them since they are already prepared. It also allows you to try a wide variety of food.

Edited: 12:02 am, September 10, 2013
Bilbao, Spain
Destination Expert
for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
posts: 1,527
reviews: 3
2. Re: A week in San Sebastián

Your mistake was to consider pintxos as a meal, as most visitors do. PIntxos never substitute a meal. If you´ve noticed how locals do, they just have a pintxo per bar, with a drink. Then they go to next bar and have another one. And then to another one, maybe. And then they go home and have lunch, or dinner. Pintxos, as I´ve explained many times, are just an appetizer to have while socializing with your family or friends having a few drinks BEFORE dinner or lunch. And please, never in a plate and never more than one or two in the same bar. So don´t be disappointed...it´s just you took them for a meal when they never intend to be.

Biarritz, France
Destination Expert
for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia
posts: 3,219
reviews: 325
3. Re: A week in San Sebastián

I love pintxos but also love the restaurants in San Sebastian. I never compare the two as they are different types of dining. If I have a particularly good pintxos item in one bar then I might order one more but never more than that.

Some bars specialise in certain types of food so maybe you didn't find one that served the type of food you like. Hopefully if you come back then we can he lp you find something special for you.

4. Re: A week in San Sebastián

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