Fairly recently, I published a post on The Perfect Day in San Sebastián. It includes the result of over three years of stressful, in-depth research: what I feel are the best activities to fill 24 precious hours in my beloved city. However, some of you are savvy enough travelers to know that San Sebastián can hook you, and a day is just not enough.
So...let's talk weekend! Here you'll find the truly perfect weekend plans for enjoying San Sebastián. If I were you, I would follow them to a T, but feel free to pick and choose.
4pm For a great intro to the city, climb the mountain in the middle of the Old Town. If you do so in a curious manner, you will be rewarded with the best-tasting cup of coffee you've ever had. Upon reaching the top, visit a museum under Jesus that tells the story of San Sebastián.
9pm For your first night in town, there's no better way to go than pintxos. And for a first-timer, you've got to hit the old part.
Here's your route:
- Bar Nestor.
- Borda Berri.
- A Fuego Negro.
For more info on what to order at each spot, check out the details from this post.
11pm Make your last stop Atari, next to Santa María church, the perfect spot to have either a final pintxo (foie artesano on toast) or a sweet pintxo (helado de queso) and a gintonic. You're probably tired from traveling, so you might want to make this an early night.
9am Have a croissant and an orange juice on the boulevard. Enjoy the quiet, cool mornings of the center of San Sebastián.
10am Grab a loaf of bread from Galparsoro. And some ham, cheese, and wine from surrounding shops in Lo Viejo. You're going to need some provisions.
10:30am Time to leave the city behind. Walk down the Boulevard, across the river, down Calle San Francisco and just keep going until you are on a mountain trail. Monte Ulia. Some of the most scenic hikes in the world!! Ten minutes' walking and you will think you are in Jurassic Park. You can continue, following the signs to Pasajes, an enchanting fishing village, or just turn around when you get tired.
8pm Tonight, you'll sit down for dinner. I give you two excellent options, depending on budget:
- Mugaritz: Number Four on the World's Best Restaurant list, this is my favorite fancy spot in the city. Reserve.
- Zelai Txiki: Perched above the neighborhood of Gros, this place has one of the best terraces in the city, and suckling pig and lamb cooked in a wood-burning oven and served breathtakingly whole. Reserve a day in advance to give them time to prepare your little animal.
12am Tonight, try a nightcap at Cote, in the old part. It's one of the local favorites along with Atari.
1am As some of you might be looking for the ful 24-hour experience, I would like to recommend spots such as Mendaur, Ezpala, and S/N as some fine places to hit up when you are looking to dance the night away. If you consider yourself hip, try Be Bop.
3am Txampions only at this hour....try Victoria Eugenia or Friends.
5am Take a dip in La Concha beach, with or without your clothes.
10am Or later, depending on how late you were up last night. Today, take a relaxing walk along La Concha beach to the Peine de Vientos, the Chillida sculpture. Then take the nearby funicular up to the old amusement park. SO. FUN. Best on weekends.
1pm For lunch, it's more pintxos, the best Sunday plan. But now you're going to get off the beaten path and have some in Gros, the neighborhood across bridge. Must visits for pintxos, in this order:
- Bodega Donostiarra (traditional and popular among locals)
- Hidalgo 56 (everything)
- Bidea Berri (pimientos del piquillo and handcut jamón)
4pm If you're embracing the local tradition of Sunday lunch and according tipsiness, why not finish your meal off with one more gin-tonic? La Gintoneria in Gros is the other great drink spot of the city.
And that's it, your perfect weekend. What do you think? Have you done any of these activities, or do you have another favorite that I left off? Let me know below.