San Sebastián, Spain - Basque Country
Okay, full disclosure, San Sebastian is hands down one of the prettiest places I have been. The beaches were pretty, and the whole city feels nice and recently re-done, probably has something to do with their long history of being a resort town. It wasn’t hot enough to take a dip, but I know I’ll come back some day in warmer weather. Just 12 miles away from France, San Sebastian feels fully immersed in Basque culture mixed with that resort feel.
Basque country is known for their fierce sense of independence, txakoli (white wine), pintxos (tapas), and cider. They mostly speak Basque and Spanish, so be prepared for a language barrier, but they do speak basic English so uncultured monolingual folk like me can still have fun. I was told to go to a Sidrería, however, they were mostly outside of city centre, so thats somewhere to visit when you’ve got a car but also close accommodation. Apparently Sidrería are cider houses where there’s good food and unlimited cider, which is actually my heaven on Earth so I was pretty bummed we couldn't go. I tried to celebrate Basque culture by drinking their wine at every meal, and since they basically only serve pintxos, also ate a lot of those, even when I wasn’t in the mood. Pintxos are basically tapas, and usually an assortment of meats or cheeses on bread or tiny sandwiches.
Just walk around the city, literally so pretty.
Also we went to San Telmo Museoa, which is a Basque history museum, which I had known nothing really about, so it was very interesting. Plus it’s free every Tuesday so you can guess which days your girls went there. I’d pay the 6 euro full price or 3 euro student price anyway though. It’s always good to know some basic history of where you are.
Miramar Palace - Can’t go inside because they hold private events there, but the outside is cool, and very Tudor considering it’s not in Medieval England. The views from there are slightly elevated, so that much nicer. There’s a nice grassy area in front and benches, so quite nice for relaxing in the Spanish sun.
We honestly just walked around, up and down the promenade the rest of the time, the city is beautiful. Keep your head on a swivel and you’ll see cool stuff.
Yelp and Trip Advisor is always your friend, but my favorite place we went for pintxos and wine was Bazan Pintxos & Bar because they were nice, pintxos were about two euro each, and wine was about 1,80 euro, which isn't bad.
A room in the city - okay guys, such a nice hostel, and it’s cabin style so you’ve got your own space with a curtain and outlet and such. It’s really cute, reasonably priced, has a micro kitchen (but no oven / stove), a good location, and has nice beds. Bathrooms were very nice, I would 100% recommend checking it out if you’re planning on going.
I seriously look forward to coming back, my only regret is I didn't have more time, and that I missed my train from Madrid so had to buy another ticket.