Not sure where to go next? Choosing a holiday destination can be difficult. If you’re stumped for travel ideas, consider heading to Spain! From beautiful weather to amazing food, this country has plenty to offer.
San Sebastian is situated near many beautiful beaches, surrounded by mountains and only a 20-minute train ride to France. What more could you want? It is the perfect size with just under 200,000 people and full of friendly locals. Some say San Sebastian is the European culture capital and despite its small size, it is home to many important events such as the annual International Film Festival.
Food and drinksThey say San Sebastian is the city of food. Having eaten the best tapas in Spain I can understand why. Dining out is a true experience when you’re with a local. Join your local friends or hire a guide for a bar hopping experience to indulge in traditional dishes. All tapas are laid out on the bench counter for you to take your pick. Depending on how good the restaurant is, the prices vary from around 2 to 14 EUR (approximately 2.30 to 16 USD) per tapa. It is common to visit more than 4 restaurants in one night!
Tapas will always go hand in hand with a glass of Chacoli. This is the traditional wine, a slightly sparkling, very dry white. Sangria is also a popular choice. A typical Spanish or Portuguese beverage normally consisting of wine, chopped fruit and orange juice, Sangria is served chilled and a perfect refresher for hot summer days.
Take a hike up Mount UrgullBe sure to take a walk up Mount Urgull, which stands at 123m. When you reach the top, you will capture the most amazing view of the city, surrounding mountains and, of course, the sea. The climb will take around 15 - 20 minutes and is suitable for all fitness levels. At the top, you will find an old fort that is fun to explore. There are plenty of different tracks that eventually lead to the bottom.
Amazing beachesSan Sebastian is also home to some of the most amazing beaches. La Concha is situated near the heart of the city and is one of the most famous urban beaches in Europe. Although not fantastic for surfing, it is great for swimming, sunbathing and people watching. You will often find beach sports such as volleyball and soccer happening during the summer. Enthusiastic surfers will be delighted to find out that Zurriola beach is a great place for surfing. It is situated in the front of the Moneo Cubes and faces the open sea, attracting many surfers all year round. Both beaches can be reached on foot.
Cathedral of the Good ShepherdThe Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is another significant sight that you must not miss! Located in the heart of the city, this is San Sebastian’s most remarkable religious building. They describe the style of this Cathedral as ‘Neo-Gothic’ and as you can see from the picture below, it has incredible structure and details .
Handy factsParte Vieja is the traditional part of San Sebastian. Also known as the Old Town, this sweet spot is where you will find the authentic tapas bars and restaurants. However, if you are a keen shopper, you may want to visit the city centre where you will find many trendy places to splurge.Prone to good weather and home to many amazing beaches, it is no wonder that San Sebastian is a popular summer destination.
While it is recommended to visit in the summer months, San Sebastian will be at its busiest and most expensive. You should also keep in mind that San Sebastian is a big tourist destination, hence many shops and restaurants will close during winter.Prepare yourself for the Spanish siesta. Many foreigners often find the local way of living rather frustrating, as most shops, restaurants and bars will close in the middle of the day for a period of time. Siestas are traditionally a long break in which workers will head home, have a bite and take a short nap during the hottest hours of the day. This tradition is common throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. Siestas usually last for around 3 hours or more depending on which part of Spain you are in.
Good times in San Sebastian
As San Sebastian is a small city, it is easy to get around by foot. However, there is a good bus system and various train stations around the city if you want to venture out further. The Spanish are vibrant, friendly people and will be happy to help if you are lost. Not everyone speaks English, so it is best to learn some basic Spanish before you visit.
Whatever you choose to do in San Sebastian, you are sure to have a good time. Simply sitting on the beach and admiring the scenery is a wonderful thing to experience.
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