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Playa de La Zurriola, en el barrio de Gros, San Sebastián.
16 October 2023

GUIDE TO GROS

You’ve probably heard of Gros, the trendy neighborhood of San Sebastián. Gros is home to surf lovers, innovation, authenticity, and, of course, good food –did you know that some of the world’s best restaurants are located here?– In this guide to Gros, we’ll reveal some of our must-sees, hoping they serve as a starting point for further exploration.

What to See in Gros

Vistas a la playa de la Zurriola desde el monte Ulía, en Gros.

On the other side of the Urumea River, extending to Mount Ulía, you’ll find this lively, authentic, and diverse corner. Just take a stroll through its streets to understand the charm of this place where local shops and independent stores coexist with pintxos bars and avant-garde restaurants – with and without Michelin stars. If you appreciate the traditional, here you’ll find some of the best potato omelet pintxos – at Bodega Donostiarra. If you prefer innovation, we have some great suggestions too. Below, we’ll tell you what to see in Gros during your stay in San Sebastián.

1. Kursaal and Kubo Kutxa Gallery

Getting to the Gros neighborhood from the city center will be easy once you spot two large glass cubes. Once you cross the first of the five bridges –the one closest to the sea– you will have arrived at the Kursaal building. This architectural complex with modern lines and geometric shapes is the San Sebastián Congress Palace and Auditorium, hosting conventions and high-level events such as the San Sebastián International Film Festival. Did you know that Kursaal is also commonly known as “the Cubes of Moneo”? It earned this name due to its shape and in honor of Rafael Moneo, the architect who designed them. Next to the Kursaal, the Kubo Kutxa Gallery hosts exhibitions of avant-garde art by local and international artists that are well worth a visit.

2. Zurriola Beach

Surf en la playa de La Zurriola, en el barrio de Gros, San Sebastián.

With its golden sand and blue waters stretching to the horizon, Zurriola Beach is perfect for enjoying a seaside stroll, a swim, or even surfing! It has two well-defined areas: the one closest to the Kursaal –with calmer waters– is the swimming area, perfect for a sunny day at the beach. Meanwhile, at the other end of the beach –near the Sagües wall– the waves come in with more force, making it the ideal spot for surfing.

2.1. Heineken Jazzaldia festival

Furthermore, the annual San Sebastián Jazz Festival, known by its Basque name Jazzaldia, has grown into a major international event that welcomes musicians and jazz lovers from all over the world for five days at the end of July. There are live performances all over the city at venues including La Zurriola beach, perfect for enjoying summer nights!

Vistas a la playa de La Zurriola, en el barrio de Gros, San Sebastián.

3. Sagües Wall and Mount Ulía

 

Atardecer en Sagües, uno de los planes en la guía de Gros de FeelFree.

Sunsets by the Sagües Wall

The end of the beach is marked by the Sagües Wall, one of the locals’ favorite spots to watch the sunset. Additionally, Sagües becomes the stage for concerts organized during the Semana Grande festivities in August, so you have another plan for those dates!

Escultura en Sagües, en el barrio de Gros, San Sebastián.

La Paloma de La Paz and Ulía

Sagües is also home to La Paloma de La Paz, one of the most emblematic works of the Basque sculptor Nestor Basterretxea. Its 7 meters in height, facing the sea, represent San Sebastián’s commitment to peace, freedom, and coexistence. From here, we recommend hiking up Mount Ulía on a 20-minute walk that will take you to the Arbola viewpoint. It’s also accessible if you’re with children, as it’s an easy trail —although it does have a fairly steep slope during the initial stretch.

4. Cutting-Edge Gastronomy and “Pintxo-Pote” in Gros

Restaurante Muka, una de las grandes revelaciones de San Sebastián, en el barrio de Gros.

Restaurants in Gros

In Gros, traditional pintxo bars and restaurants that uphold the essence of Basque cuisine coexist with more innovative dining establishments. Examples of this include Muka restaurant – by Juan Vargas – a culinary project that seeks to reinvent the concept of charcoal-grilled food as the life and soul of the restaurant; Elosta restaurant, which combines Japanese and Peruvian cuisine without losing its Basque roots; and TOPA Sukalderia restaurant, which brings together products and flavors from Basque and Latin American cultures.

In the photo: Muka restaurant.

Nube de café y pitaya, una de las creaciones del restaurante Arzak, con tres estrellas Michelin.

Michelin star restaurants

Michelin stars also have their place in Gros. Just outside the neighborhood, the iconic Arzak restaurant, with three Michelin stars, offers signature cuisine –deeply rooted in Basque tradition– that boasts creativity and innovation. Furthermore, at the foot of Mount Ulía, you’ll find a centuries-old farmhouse that is now Zelai Txiki restaurant. With a Michelin Green Star, it offers a traditional menu with an ecological focus –it even has its own garden!

In the photo: one of Arzak creations.

Cochinita pibil, uno de los clásicos de la Taquería Kursaal, en el barrio de Gros.

PINTXO BARS IN GROS

Additionally, on Thursday evenings, the “pintxo-pote” takes place, filling the streets’ terraces with people who come to enjoy a selection of pintxos and “potes” (drinks) at a reduced price. What more could you ask for in Gros? Among the many pintxo bars in Gros, you’ll find Gure Txokocombining traditional pintxos with an international touch, along with txuleta, marinated fish, and other highly recommended options– La Bodega Donostiarrawith almost 100 years of history filling its bar with pintxos of potato tortilla, octopus, its mini complete of bonito, or its classic Indurain– or Taquería Kursaalwith its unparalleled cochinita pibil taco.

In the photo: cochinita pibil taco from Taquería Kursaal.

THE HIP NEIGHBORHOOD AWAITS YOU

Gros is a blend of emotions, traditions, and vitality that come together to create a unique experience. From its natural landscape and lively surf-filled beaches to its bustling streets, independent shops, and culinary scene, this neighborhood will not go unnoticed during your visit.

If you’re eager to learn more about the city, visit our blog and discover what to see in San Sebastián and its surroundings. And if you’re traveling with family, we’ll tell you what to see in San Sebastián with children!