San Sebastian is a city where the sea converses with the mountains, history with modernity, culture with humankind, and flavors with textures. It’s a big open-air contemporary museum, with the best of exhibition halls – La Concha Bay, which hugs the Cantabrian Sea in its outstretched arms: a gesture reminiscent of the friendly welcome with which its people greet visitors.
Our top pick for lodging in San Sebastian (Donostia) is Pension Joakina, an apartment right in the heart of the city. The location is excellent, within walking distance to the old town, where many of the best restaurants and tourist attractions are. If you are so inclined, Pension Joakina will make arrangements for a traditional Basque dinner in a “sociedad gastronomica”, a typical Basque private club where only men can cook.
In San Sebastian you get a taste of the sea and of culture; but its best taste, the one which has made it world-famous with names as international as those of Arzak, Berasategui and Subijana, is that of its food. The world capital of the “pintxo”, San Sebastian is the Spanish city with the highest number of Michelin stars per square meter. Gastronomy is an art and a pleasure that can be tasted in the city’s many bars and restaurants, where the freshly-cooked food will make your mouth water.
San Sebastian throbs with an intense cultural life that goes far beyond its international festivals such as the International Film Festival and Jazzaldia – International Jazz Festival, and has motivated the City to enter the European Capital of Culture 2016 program. San Sebastian is a city that’s constantly reinventing itself, with ceaseless cultural activity that extends into all spheres of creativity, from contemporary art to urban culture. The diverse museums and the urban sculptures alone are a good excuse for visiting it.