Help! What is San Sebastian like?

Old Feb 28th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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Help! What is San Sebastian like?

I will be travelling alone to San Seb and would like to know what the vibe of this city is. Is it safe for a female to go alone and are there fun things to do for about 4 days in October? Is 8 days too long or suggestions for some trips that aren't too far away - I will be renting an apartment there. Is there surfing in October? Thanks!!
kelliec4 is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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You will no doubt receive many varied opinions about these questions but personally, we were a little disappointed with Sans Sebastian. It was bigger than we envisaged and when we were there it had the air of a retirement holiday destination, and we are not that young ourselves. The old town however, is charming and the tapas trail is sensational. Sans Sebastian would be perfectly safe for you. I would recommend a maximum of three days. There is swimming at SS but not surfing, for that you would have to catch the bus or hirea car to travel down the Basque Coast to Mundaka. Also swimming in October may be questionable. We cut short our time in SS and drove over to the French Basque region, it was a great decision. It is quite easy to get to that region by public transport as well. St Jean de Luz has surfing and Biarritz is famous for it. We absolutely loved this whole area.Enjoy your travels.
toni is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2007, 07:29 AM
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My, such a negitive tone for one of the Spain's most beautiful cities.

The following is from Maribel's Guides - "Compact, elegant, sophisticated and stately, San Sebastián is a Parisian looking city filled with Belle Époque architecture, called “La Bella Easo”, and is considered one of Spain’s most beautiful destinations, the pearl of the Cantabrian Sea."
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 07:45 AM
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Toni obviously didn't care for San Sebastian (and can't even be bothered to spell the name correctly).
It's a fascinating, beautifully situated, city, combining an elegant holiday resort with an old fishing port. The old town is, I think, always busy in the evenings at any time of year. There are many interesting places to visit nearby.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I loved San Sebastian. We stayed for 6 nights and were definitely not bored. The only daytrip we got around to doing was Bilbao. We're eager to return to San Sebastian and I look forward to reading about your apartment. Make sure to read Maribel's guides:
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 08:37 AM
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We visited several years ago and thought it was a safe, pretty town. We stayed at the Pension Edorta - small, clean, cheap. We visited the aquarium while we were there... so-so, but the shark exhibit was cool.
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 03:09 PM
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My husband and I were there in August and loved it so much that I had to write in. It seemed to be a very safe city to me, and I doubt you'll have a problem. We rented a car, which I highly reccomend, and took day trips almost every day. You can drive to Birritiz, which in my opinion was very touristy, but we were there in August. We drove all through the Pyrnees and it was absolutely beautiful. Happened upon a little town on the French side called Sara that was lovely. Also went down to Pamplona for the day which was intersteing. And you absolutely must see Bilbao. There are a number of beautiful costal towns very close to SS to visit for a long lunch. At night we came back and went on a tapas crawl. One of our favorite trips ever!

One thing to keep in mind is that it's a leisurly type of trip. There aren't a whole lot of muesums etc. to see in the area (except Guggenhiem of course) so you basically wander around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and food.

Good luck, and have fun!

sabatino is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2007, 03:34 PM
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I've been to San Sebastián twice, both times for a day or two. This is a mellow city. The best feature IMO is the old town with all those tapas bars. The harbor is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, but eight days would turn into a bore. Four days would max me out.

For surfing I recommend the French Basque coast. It is west facing and has some now and then good waves. I am a body surfer and had a good day surfing in the buff at Biarritz. I don't know how it will be in October but May was beautiful.

Why an apartment? There are some B&B type places in San Sebastián. If you are interested I'll give you a recommendation.

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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 03:41 PM
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For me and I want to make clear it is my personal opinion, San Sebastian is the most beautiful city of Spain.
Yes, as someone said before, it's not about landmarks's about living or trying to live there..walking the streets, joining bars for the pintxos before lunch (or lunch there)... elegant boutiques, it's very very nice. Someone think about it as if it was a beach isn't, they just happen to have a beautiful beach
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Having booked a visit in late May of 2007, I have to agree with kenderina
and everyone but toni (sorry, toni), Donostia (San Sebastian) is a lovely city and I can't wait to return there.

The city is large if you get away from La Concha (essentially the beach and promenade) and the old town. Stay where the charm is.

Kellie, this is not really a 'happening' city. If you want action, there are so many other places to go to. 2-3 nights are more than sufficient.

Being a bit older, thank you jubil for the Edorta recommentation. We had already booked for 60 euros for the night. We are saving our money for Arzak, a long time 3* Michelin restaurant in the city. It will cost more than 3-4 nights of accomodations, but one has to get their priorities in order.

The city is very very safe, especially becaue the ETA have given the Basque country a bad name.

One thing you might clarify, is where are you coming from, what is your itinerary and what are you interested in.

That would cut down the BS from me and all others.

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