Hola San Sebastián!
After arriving in San Sebastián, upon our first impressions, it doesn’t seem to be a place we will want to say goodbye to!
Took the train from Bordeaux to Hendaye. For roughly €30 each for a 3.5 hr journey. Then a tram to Donostia San Sebastián. For €2 euro and it took 30mins.
The public transport facilities, our entire time so far, through Europe are excellent. Not even mentioning the punctuality and reliability of the timetables!
They are comfortable, spacious and CLEAN! It’s unfortunate there aren’t more facilities like this in Australia. I would be more likely to use public transportation if there were….
But back to my first glance at San Sebastián.
Our hostel is very basic but super helpful staff make it feel like a share house and not a hostel. The streets leading up to our room are very quaint and pretty. We have since learned it is because it is a heavily fined infringement if you hang anything from the balconies. San Sebastián beach is the place we chose.
San Sebastián beach hostel
The atmosphere of S.S is that of a larger coastal town in the sense that its laid back and not in a rush to be anywhere but has all the availabilities of a city that is much larger. We miraculously chose to be in San Sebastián during the tail end of their biggest week of tourism, a.k.a the BIG week, so rates were a little higher. But usually they are super worth the $$ as the fireworks spectacular that happens at this time is a sight to see!
A few local clue ins we have learned:
* it is legal to consume alcohol in public and at the bars you can get your drink ‘to go’ in a plastic cup.
* it is legal to grow and smoke marijuana in S.S
* S.S is well known for its ‘Pintxos’, aka Tapas, assortments of main meals in adorable snack sized servings for a price range varying between €1-€8. Depending on the establishment.
*at the beach, ANYTHING goes, nudity… Bathing… Boozing… Cooking… Smoking. No judging either!
* apparently the local delicacy is a Spanish dish called Carrilleras or Beef Cheek. A slow cooked tender meat with different assortments as an optional extra, which falls apart in your mouth and is done best by a place called Borda Berri
* old town is so beautiful and has everything you need.
* the history of this city is so interesting. We had no idea! Historical & Current knowledge of San Sebastián
* wine is so cheap here €2 avg per bottle.
* beer is €3 for a 6pack of Heineken
* shops open and close as they please so try to spend a couple of days shopping as the ones you want won’t always be open. In particular, Sundays, everything is pretty much closed.
* unlike other parts of Spain, so we have heard, your belongings are perfectly safe during the day. No bag hugging for me!
* No need to buy a public transport link as everything is within walking distance
* the Jesus statue on the top of the hill is a must do
* I recommend a swim out to the island. The water is beautiful & if you time the tides right it is only 400 metres
* if you are craving some good ol burgers and fries, I couldn’t recommend HOLLY BURGER higher. Everything is made by family, the waiter is the owner & you will have died and gone to carnivore heaven after one of their burgers. Don’t forget to try the cheesecake!
* to get a good (non European coffee) ask for Cafe con Leche & get it from a sweet little place called Koh Tao.
* FYI don’t piss off the local soccer supporters during a big night following a win….. They can be unpredictable! A story for another time though 😉
Next stop is Madrid & I still need to blog about our wonderful trip to Bordeaux, France.