Before starting telling you about the most Instagramable places in San Sebastian, I’d like to share some updates regarding my blog and what to expect from now on…
This blog is a dream come true for me, I’ve always wanted to have one, to be able to share my experience with friends and strangers. I started it with a lot of passion and motivation. But somewhere along the way I lost myself. I was no longer happy with it. These few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I wanted to figure out why I feel like this. And then it suddenly hit me!
I had no experience blogging when I decided to start.
I’ve been researching other people’s blogs and I figured that this is what I should do. Around 95% of the travel blogs look pretty much the same. Some people giving you advices where to go, what to visit, telling interesting facts and history behind everything you can see there. And obviously I started doing the same.
In the past months when I was not writing anything I’ve visited many new places. I haven’t shared any post about them. I just felt like I have nothing to share… But not because the places were not interesting or fascinating, not at all. I realized that I feel like this because those trips didn’t fit the traditional travel blog article structure. I didn’t visit all the interesting places one is supposed to visit while in the city, I didn’t go to any free walking tour to hear something about the history of the places, I thought that my experience is not helping therefore not worth sharing. And this was my biggest mistake!
A week ago I realized that my way of traveling doesn’t fit the traditional travel blog structure.
Sometimes I do see all the important places, I take a free walking tour and I actually listen. But most of the times I do the opposite. I map some of the important tourist attractions and then I just start walking around, admiring the rest of the city, narrow streets, local shops, creative restaurants, beautiful parks… Places that I don’t know anything about, not even their names. Or sometimes I go with friends with the intention to have fun, party and do as less sightseeing as possible.
I read the intro I´d written when I started the blog.
I wanted to create it in order to inspire other people to travel and to visit some places that I can recommend. Most of everything I like taking pictures. I love exploring a city through my camera. I realized that I don’t need to write facts and history to inspire people to go somewhere (which I was doing all the time as I didn’t know anything about the places I’ve seen, so I had to research them later at home before writing the blog). I’d like to start sharing my impressions, my experience and my point of view. If I have to be honest, I don’t enjoy writing that much, I would rather prefer to show you my travels visually, using my pictures.
I truly believe that there are others like me, who are absorbing the information through their eyes, not their ears.
I think that inspiration can come in many ways and not being able to provide the same information as thousand other blogs should not stop me from sharing my experience. This is why I decided to lead my blog in other direction. Sharing more visual information through my pictures and writing only about the things that I find interesting and helpful. In the end of the day I started the blog with the intention to express my passion – traveling and photography.
There are other ideas that are on the way, but I will share them with you when the time comes..
Let’s focus on the main topic of this post – San Sebastian.
Located in the North of Spain, San Sebastian is part of the Basque country. País Vasco or Gipuzcua in the local language is a region of Spain that is quite different compared to the rest of the country. It is a well known fact that there are several regions in Spain that don’t identify themselves as Spanish and the Basque country is one of them. This doesn’t apply to the whole population there and I don’t want to get into political topics as this is not the goal of this post.
San Sebastian is also known as Donostia which is the name of the city in basque language.
Being a Spanish speaker won’t help you to understand Basque, it is a totally different language. Actually it is not similar to any other language we know.
To get from the airport to the city will take you a bit more than 40 minutes by bus. The airport itself is not in San Sebastian but in another town close to it called Hondarribia. Depends on where you want to go there are a few bus options, but we took number E21 which goes to Playa del Concha – one of the most famous spots there. The price of the ticket is 2.55 euro.
One thing that surprised me while looking for an accommodation in San Sebastian is how expensive it is compared to the rest of the country. Spain in general is a quite cheap European destination and you can easily find a very reasonable AirBnb apartments to stay in. Well this doesn’t apply to San Sebastian. Be prepared to pay at least double the price or even more. My advice will be to book in advance.
Another thing to be considered is the climate.
One of the most common tourist mistakes coming to Spain is to think that here it is always summer. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but it is not. I visited San Sebastian in the end of May and I regret not taking my winter jacket with me. It was also raining a lot, so make sure to look at the forecast before packing your luggage.
We were not really lucky with the weather, but the good thing is that in San Sebastian you always have a back up plan! The Basque country is a famous gourmet destination and their pintxos are one of the best things that one can try! Pintxo (pincho) is a small aperitiv with the size of a little sandwich. The name comes from the spanish verb “pinchar” (to poke or stab) because they used to be served on a small slice of bread and have a toothpick piercing them through the middle. Nowadays there is a huge variety of different type of pintxos and not all of them are served on a bread. And let be realistic, food looks good on Instagram, so we can consider every pintxos bar as one of the most Instagramable places in San Sebastian.
Our plans pretty much depended on the weather, this is why we didn’t even think of taking a free walking tour. After all it is not fun walking around the city while it is freezing cold and raining cats and dogs. Although the weather was not the best we managed to see most of the places we wanted to visit and at the same time we had the chance to taste many delicious pintxos.
Most Instagramable places in San Sebastian by Tavelista Goes To:
1.Playa del Concha
The beach of La Concha is a beautiful wide beach with soft sand and stunning panorama across it. La Concha promenade is a very pleasant place for day and night strolls. And even better location for photography enthusiasts – the scenery is just mesmerizing! The Basque country is a popular surf destination, but most of the surfers we saw were at the other city beach called Playa Zurriola.
Walking towards Monte Igueldo on the left side there is another famous attraction called Palacio de Miramar. We saw it from distance as it was closed, but just in front of it there is a very cute tunnel called Antiguako tunela perfect to be among the best Instagramable places in San Sebastian:
2. Monte Igueldo
This hill reveals the most famous and most incredible view of Donostia and it is definitely The Most Instagramable place in San Sebastian. It definitely reminds of Rio de Janeiro. The monte is located in the end of playa del Concha and there is a funicular that can take you to the top. The single ticket costs 3.75 euro. On the top of the hill there is an amusement park and a bar/restaurant where you can enjoy this picturesque view.
3. The city hall
El ayuntamiento is right in the beginning of the old town and on the opposite direction is the beginning of Playa del Concha.
4. Puerto deportivo
One of the picturesque ports of San Sebastian. It is located behind the city hall. The pretty colorful boats make your pictures alive! Depending on the direction of the photo you can also have Monte Igueldo as a font.
5. The old town.
As any other Spanish (and not only) city San Sebastian has old and new part. The old town is located on a small peninsula at the foot of Monte Urgull. The old part is relatively small, but very cute. Narrow streets, a few churches, beautiful buildings, little craft shops and many many bars for pintxos. This is actually my favorite part of every trip – getting lost in the old neighborhood. Taking pictures there just fills my soul! .
6. Basilica de Santa Maria del Coro
Around the Basilica there are several bars with outside terraces that will allow you to enjoy the view. On the left corner of the street in front of the basilica is located Casa Vergara, a traditional basque restaurant from 1948 where we went for sea urchins and aperol! Yummyyy!
7. Saint Vicente Church
This church is very impressive from the inside. In its yard there are interesting sculptures worth seeing and worth being in the list of most Instagramable places in San Sebastian.
8. Kiosko del Boulevard Alameda
It is a French style kiosk with colorful windows in the middle of the boulevard. It is used for live concerts.
9. Puente del Kursaal
It connects the old and the new part of the city and its green colors really complement your pictures.
10. The concert hall and its gardens
The building has beautiful gardens surrounding it. You can easily play with the camera there.
11. Puente Maria Cristina
This bridge has four very interesting statues on its two ends. By the way it is located next to the bus station so in case you need to take a bus you can find the station right there.
12. The new town
The old town is not the only pretty part of the city. Take your time to walk around the new part of the city which is located on the other side of the river. There are many impressive buildings with stunning architecture! You can also find pleasant bars and restaurants with a buzzing nightlife!
13. El Seminario
This is kind of a funny story. We saw this place from the beach and we thought it is some kind of Palace. We tried to find it online but it is not included in any must visit lists. It kind of makes sense, because it is not something super special, definitely not one of the most famous Instagramable places in San Sebastian, but we really wanted to visit it. So we started asking random people on the street what is the name and how to find it (we had a picture from distance). The truth was that not many people recognized the place but finally one good woman helped us find it. You can visit the church for free and I believe there is a museum, but as you know, I am not interested in those.
In the end of this article I’d like to give you a few recommendations for pintxos bars that we visited and really liked:
The address of Bardulia Taberna is Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 7, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa. It is located in the old town.
2. Bar Izkiña
This one is my absolute favorite! The address of Izkiña is Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 4, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa. We actually saw those two bars by chance as we were looking for another one that we saw on TripAdvisor, but it turned to be closed every time we go, so we ended up eating here. Not a single regret!
3. Casa Vergara
This one I mentioned before, next to the Basilica. It is slightly more expensive compared to the rest because of its location. But it is one of the few places where we saw sea urchins.
4. Cafe Belgrado
This coffee place was located close to our apartment and its super creative hipster interior just won me! Cafe Belgrado is cheap, has friendly staff and the ambiance is just perfect! Totally recommend!
Well, this is from me, I hope my pictures will help you to put San Sebastian on your must visit list. If you want to read about other interesting destinations, feel free to explore the rest of my travel section.