This shopping centre, located in the centre of the city, receives a whopping seven million visitors a year, with almost 13,000 m2 given over to restaurants, fashion, cosmetics, newsagents, fresh produce and a cinema. It is also home to the best-known market in the region, whose produce later appears on dishes in its top-flight restaurants.
Opening hours: Supermarket: Mon-Fri 9am-9pm; market: Mon-Sat 8am-9pm; shops: Mon-Sat 9.30am-9.30pm; food hall: Mon-Sat 9am-midnight; Sun and bank holidays 10am-midnight.
For 20 years, Luis Beltza’s little shop has been helping music lovers to acquire the objects of their desire. Here you can find vinyl records, CDs, T-shirts, comics and film posters. The stock ranges from 1960s to contemporary, with a special focus on the likes of soul, jazz, reggae, Latin rhythms and Brazilian beats, but there is also a good range of psychedelic, rock, punk and new wave. Luis would probably rather practise ritual self-immolation than let a CD by cheesy local popsters La Oreja de Van Gogh into his shop.
Cállate la Boca
Images of fried eggs, robots, washing machines, wasps and chicks all feature at Cállate la Boca, another example of the passion the locals (or at least local designers) have for printed sweatshirts and T-shirts. With its origins in Donostia/San Sebastián, the company now has outlets across Spain and as far away as Singapore. The designs may be child-like, but the company has no fear of growing up.
An old building converted into a five-floor shopping centre. There are some 50 shops and businesses – including top names in fashion, cosmetics and sport – along with a gym. There are also a drycleaner’s, various patisseries, two cafés, a bakery, a florist’s, a 2,000 m2 supermarket, various fishmongers and a butcher’s, and a market with around 20 stalls selling local produce.
Opening hours: 8am-10pm depending on each establishment.
This wine merchant sells local and international wines as well as wine-related items. They also put on wine-tasting courses for beginners and experts. Their specialists have a predilection for select wines from small producers.
Opening hours: 10.30am-2pm, 5pm-9pm. Closed Sunday afternoon and Monday.
A favourite cake shop among locals, with five branches across the city. Its specialities are its artisan turrón, tea cakes, coffee meringues, madeleines made with butter, pantxineta and Basque cake. You really can’t go wrong.
Opening hours: 9am-10.30pm. Closed Tuesday.
The concept behind Don Serapio is a little different. It’s a neighbourhood food shop extraordinaire and for 20 years has been a stalwart of supreme quality and constant innovation. It’s also renowned for its daring window displays and the meticulous presentation of its food.
Opening hours: Daily 9am-8.30pm; Sundays and bank holidays 10am-2pm.
This shop, located in the heart of the old town, specialises in Basque craftwork and also sells its own handmade gifts as well as a wide range of ceramics and textiles.
Opening hours: 10.30am-1:30pm, 4pm-8pm; June-Sep: 10.30am-8.30pm.
Heladería Salón Italiano Arnoldo
For nearly 80 years, since 1935, Salón Italiano Arnoldo in Calle Garabai has been making and selling its own wide range of Italian-style ice creams, frozen cakes, sorbets, milkshakes, granizados (iced slushes) and horchata (cold tiger nut milk).
The Basque Country’s most famous fashion label started more than 10 years ago in a small shop near the port in Donsotia/San Sebastián. In 1995, Víctor Serna and Xabi Zirikiain threw themselves in at the deep end, and, far from drowning, they have made a truly big splash. These days they have a larger establishment located in the heart of the city and it’s always worth paying a visit to see what it is that they get up to in their own home.