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Exploring the Vibrant Gros Neighborhood in San Sebastián

San Sebastián's Gros neighborhood, stretching from the slopes of Monte Ulía to the mouth of the River Urumea, offers a dynamic and trendy experience for locals and tourists alike.
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San Sebastián’s Gros neighborhood, stretching from the slopes of Monte Ulía to the mouth of the River Urumea, offers a dynamic and trendy experience for locals and tourists alike. This thriving neighborhood has gained popularity for various reasons, including its stunning Zurriola Beach, impressive architecture, vibrant culinary scene, and a flourishing cultural program. In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of Gros, showcasing its unique charm and attractions.

Gros Espigón Kursaal, a scenic promenade in San Sebastian's Gros neighborhood, offering stunning views of the Bay of Biscay and the iconic Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium.

Discovering Zurriola Beach

One of Gros’s major highlights is the renowned Zurriola Beach, a paradise for surfers and beach enthusiasts. Situated between the iconic Kursaal Palace and Sagüés, this expansive beach is a hub of activity. It’s no wonder surfers from around the world flock to its shores to catch the impressive waves.

Zurriola Beach offers a range of water sports, making it a favorite among surfers and young people. It extends from Moneo’s “Cubes,” the Kursaal, to Sagüés, a popular concert and event venue. In July, the beach transforms into an outdoor stage for the Jazz Festival, creating an unbeatable atmosphere.

As you stroll along Zurriola Beach, you’ll find yourself at Sagüés, where visitors often gather to witness breathtaking sunsets. While you enjoy the view, don’t miss the Paloma de la Paz (The Dove of Peace), a striking 7-meter-high sculpture by Basque artist Néstor Basterretxea that stands as a symbol of non-violence.

Embracing Nature at Monte Ulía

At the eastern end of Gros lies Monte Ulía, a natural oasis within the city. This lush area, one of San Sebastián’s three main lungs, offers a surprising escape from the urban environment. Exploring its forested paths and rocky cliffs provides a unique experience rarely found in a city setting. The panoramic views from the lookout points and cliffs are truly breathtaking.

For families, Monte Ulía is an excellent choice, thanks to its easy ascent, children’s playground, picnic area, and a snack bar where you can savor delicious pintxos after your hike. It’s a perfect destination for a day of outdoor adventure.

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Sunset Serenity at Sagüés

Sagüés, located at the foot of Monte Ulía and at the end of the beach, serves as a popular meeting point for locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re into sports or simply seeking a relaxed atmosphere, Sagüés has it all. Many people gather here to play sports, chat with friends, or enjoy leisurely strolls along the waterfront.

Sagüés is also home to one of San Sebastián’s iconic sculptures, The Dove of Peace, created by Nestor Basterretxea. This powerful artwork symbolizes the importance of dialogue and the triumph of words over violence.

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Shopping and Gastronomy

Gros offers much more than just beach and surf. It boasts a vibrant culinary scene, charming shops, and boutiques that add character to the neighborhood. You’ll find a wide range of dining options, from Sakona Coffee Roaster, which roasts its own coffee, to Topa Sukalderia, a fusion of Basque and Latin American cuisine. Don’t forget to indulge in mouth-watering ice cream at Papperino Il Gelato.

For shopping enthusiasts, Gros is a treasure trove of unique shops with a personal touch, showcasing the work of local designers. Whether you’re in search of surf fashion or one-of-a-kind finds, Gros has something for everyone. Thursdays in Gros are particularly exciting, as many bars participate in pintxo-pote, offering drinks and pintxos for just €2.

Where to Stay in Gros

Gros is a neighborhood with a youthful and vibrant atmosphere, making it a popular choice for young travelers. You’ll find a range of accommodation options, including pensions, hostels, and holiday rental apartments. For those looking for charming hotels, the peaceful neighborhood of Ategorrieta offers a relaxing stay.

Getting to Gros

Gros is easily accessible by bus, train, or car. However, we recommend exploring the neighborhood on foot or by bicycle to fully enjoy its unique character. Crossing the Kursaal Bridge from the city center will lead you to Gros. Once there, you can explore the neighborhood’s pedestrian streets and attractions with ease.

Whether you arrive by bus, train, or car, Gros’s distinctive ambiance and attractions will undoubtedly make your visit a memorable one. So, set out to discover this vibrant neighborhood in San Sebastián, where beach, culture, and gastronomy come together to create a truly unique experience.

Gros Neighborhood Highlights:

  • Zurriola Beach: A favorite among surfers and beachgoers, offering a range of water sports and stunning sunsets.
  • Monte Ulía: A natural oasis with forested paths and breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Sagüés: A popular meeting point with sports facilities and the iconic Dove of Peace sculpture.
  • Shopping and Gastronomy: Charming shops, boutiques, and a vibrant culinary scene.
  • Accommodation: A wide range of options catering to young travelers.
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible by bus, train, or car, with pedestrian-friendly streets for exploration.
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Irene was born and raised in Bilbao. She has a deep rooted passion for her country and culture. She has a Bachelors degree in education and has traveled to over 85 countries throughout the world.
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Zachary was born in Michigan, USA. He has lived in the Basque Country for over 10 years, and fell in love with the natural beauty and quality of life found here. He earned a Bachelors degree in economics from DePaul University in Chicago.