Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain travel tips

Where we ate:

  • Kaskazuri – Has a nice, affordable pre-fixe menu with a lot of choices, and also includes wine. We felt a little screwed however, when we realized that our table of four got the same one bottle of wine that tables of two shared. What a load of hooey!: MEH
  • Restaurante Alberto – Fantastic seafood, including bachalau ajoarriero, and truly divine croqueta de jamón (urdaiazpiko kroketa in Basque). Their food is served up more tapas-style, but it’s all very Basque. We went back: YEH
  • Bar Martinez – Very creative pintxos, including vegetarian options. Refreshing: YEH
  • Bidebide – Well la-tee-dah. This place rocked in a modern-pintxos kinda way. Admittedly, we had consumed three drinks during lunch before we made it here: YEH
  • Ormazabal Etxea – Really crowded with young tourists in a fun kinda way. They had some very good food, including snails in their shells baked with jamón and tomato. Pass on their squid boletas however, they are just greasy and bland. Otherwise a wonderful place with a wide selection of both classic and innovative pintxos: YEH
  • Common Sense, the Twelve Tribes Store – It was a relief to be able to buy some whole-grain hippie-style natural and organic foods. The cult thing was a bit off-putting. If you’re a hippie, San Franciscan, health nut, or vegetarian/vegan: YEH

Where we stayed:

  • Pension Arsuaga – How to describe Pension Arsuaga? The owner wasn’t there when we showed up, and when he arrived he was constantly singing along with his iPod. We stayed in their overflow location, and while we were happy that our room had enough floor space for overnight guests, it was noisy, mildewey, weird, but not a bad price all things considered. Oh, but be sure to lock your door behind you, as the owner does not understand privacy at all and may just barge in: MEH

What we saw:

  • Monte Urgull – A spectacular urban hike, even in a downpour: YEH
  • Castillo de Santa Cruz de la Mota – This is the castle area and museum at the top of Monte Urgull. The museum was kinda funny in a trying-too-hard kinda way. Their historical video re-enactments were especially kitschy. The giant Jesus statue is a bit much. But, since you hiked all the way up here, you might as well: MEH
  • La Concha beach How can a beach that has a small cafe with a full bar be bad? Well, it’s not that big and even on a cold, drizzly day was packed to the gills. Still, it’s a nice beach: YEH