Day 6

Enjoying San Sebastian and Pintxos!

After breakfast, we joined a local guide to have a full walking tour of San Sebastian. Then Todd gave us the day to enjoy San Sebastian and pintxos, the Euskera word for tapas. I mentioned in Day 5 that San Sebastian quickly became my favorite city on the tour. We took full advantage of eating yummy pintxos across the city at various pubs. We also turned many of our tour group on to our new favorite drink, vermouth!

There are two beaches to explore in San Sebastian, the main beach, La Concha Beach, is crescent shaped with a long promenade surrounding it. Filled with shops and restaurants it is easy to spend time people watching and enjoying the waves. The other beach, Zurriola Beach, is located to the East and is a haven for surfers. Along that beach there are surf shops and more restaurants where the locals tend to hang out.

Touring San Sebastian

I think the tour group stayed up way late the night before, no way that was our fault. Kind of sluggish, we powered through a walking tour of old town San Sebastian. It was fun seeing the local tour guide actually run into some of her friends while giving us a tour. She had just completed her own Camino de Santiago, taking her 3 months to complete the entire trek!

We started in Konstituzio plaza and made our way through the pedestrian walkway, the site of the previous nights pintoxs bar hopping. She pointed out some of her favorite places and we reminisced having been there the night before. Then we made our way through the Parque Alderi Elder over to the main shopping center of San Sebastian. We entered the Good Shepherd of San Sebastián Cathedral and made our way over the Puente de Maria Cristina. From here you can see the old cigar factory. After seeing the Gipuzkoa Plaza and Victoria Eugenia Antzokia performing arts center and the Hotel Maria Cristina, we were ready to have some Pintxos.

Mas Pintxos and the Search for Vermouth

Pintxos in San Sebastian
So many delicious Pintxos

The many choices of where to get Pintxos can be overwhelming. We found the best way to enjoy these is simply walk in, find someone who appears local, and ask what this place is famous for. We were hardly turned astray and the friendly people were happy to share what their favorite pintxo at that place was. The conversations would turn into other tapas bars and what to get in the next location. When we asked about Vermouth, the place that kept being named was Bar Roberto Berri over in the Gros district.

Vermouth in Bar Roberto Berri in San Sebastian
Check out these vermouths!

This is far from the tourist area where we were staying. But well worth the trip. It’s obvious this is where the locals go and for good reason. Locals fill the streets, drinking and eating outside of Bar Roberto Berri. Children play all around, assuming people know this street is cut off from cars. People sit on park benches, using lamp posts as tables, and crisscross inside the many bars and pintxo places that surround the area. This is truly an extension to their living spaces as I mentioned in our Day 5 post.

Local families out in the streets near Bar Roberto Berri in San Sebastian
Local families out in the streets

Local families out in the streets near Bar Roberto Berri in San Sebastian
Old and young gather in the streets

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