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Under $100: San Sebastián, Spain

by Allie Moore

Jun 10, 2020

© Nedrofly Fly | Dreamstime.com

Under $100 / Europe

Nestled on the northern coast of Spain, the small-ish city of San Sebastián can be considered the heart of Basque Country, a Spanish province with its own cuisine, culture and even its own language. A daytrip from Bilbao should offer enough time to get the most out of this coastal town, but one visit will most likely have you planning a return trip shortly after.

 

Spend a quiet morning meandering through the pedestrian-only streets of the Old Quarter, eyeing seafood stalls as markets open and feeling the energy of a new day of fresh fish. Just a few blocks from the Old Quarter is Zurriola Beach, one of three urban beaches in San Sebastián. The next beach to the west is La Concha, a slightly cleaner and calmer alternative, followed by Ondarreta Beach, where sunbathing and surfing abound.

 

In the afternoon, climb to the top of Urgull where a castle, a free museum and expansive views of the coast and the Atlantic Ocean await.

 

The Basque Country is where pintxos were born: small slices of baguette topped with anything and everything imaginable, like anchovies, blocks of cheese, tortilla (“omelet” in Spanish) and vegetables, most likely sprinkled with olive oil. Pintxos bars are a dime a dozen in San Sebastián, so grab a seat at the bar, make your own plate and save your toothpicks as they serve as evidence of how many you had, and you’ll be charged by the toothpick. Eating out on a terrace often comes with a surcharge, so opting to eat at the bar will save you a few euros.

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