Beautiful flat in the prettiest city
Submitted: January 24, 2011
Stayed: January 2011
San Sebastian/Donostia has so many things going for it, it's downright unfair to most other cities: Beautiful scenery between 3 mountains and the sea, an interesting history, fantastic beaches and spa baths, world-leading cuisine, located where 3 cultures interact (Spanish, French and Basque). We came to attend the city's Feast Day (Tamborrada) on 20th January.
The third floor apartment on the San Martin Kalea throughfare is lovingly renovated and centrally located, affording a perfect base for watching the impressive assemblies and marches of the thousands of citizens (adults and children) dressed as Napoleonic soldiers and native cooks - the latter ceremoniously drumming the former out, re-enacting the end of the 1813 siege that liberated the city. The apartment (accessible by lift) even has a view of the La Concha beach from across the triangular road junction in front of the historic spa La Perla. Parking is always a problem in Donostia, but if you speak adequate Spanish you can wrangle a space in the small privately owned garage situated at the rear of the adjacent block, on San Bartolome (€18/night). If not, then your best bet is the underground car park Buen Pastor which has been dug out all around the cathedral crypt (that's Basque engineering for you); this is about 5 minutes' walk away. You are extremely unlikely to find on-street parking!
The apartment has 3 double bedrooms and 2 showers/toilets as well as a bright living room/kitchen with the view mentioned above. Although in an old building it has been brought up to modern standards and even boasts free WiFi. You can buy your own provisions and cook your own meals, although given the rich choice of good restaurants and amazing pintxo (tapas) bars doing so exclusively would be to entirely miss a major strength of the city: You are unlikely to be able to eat out so well as cheaply anywhere else in Western Europe! We especially recommend A Fuego Negro (for funky modern tapas) near the front of the Baroque basilica Maria a Coro and Ganbara (a very traditional establishment) on San Jeronimo Kalea (both in the Old Quarter): their pintxos will take your breath away! In between, go to the impressive Aquarium on the harbour, climb Mount Urgull, go to a concert in the 21st century Kursaal concert hall, go shopping, or check out the funfair on Mount Igueldo (accessible by cable car, closed in winter). If Donostia doesn't enthuse you you are probably already dead.
Tourists without a Car,
Families with Teenagers,
Families with Young Children,
Helpful votes: 4/4
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