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Widely known for its beaches, food and beauty, this tour in a rental bus will show you the most special corners of Donostia – San Sebastián. Although, even with the help of a rented mini bus, it is difficult to see the whole city in a day, I will recommend you the musts a visitor should see.
Arrange with the bus driver to drop you at República Argentina Street, just where it meets Kursaal Bridge. You’ll see the Kursaal building, which annually holds the San Sebastián cinema festival, as well as the Victoria Eugenia theatre. After taking a couple pictures, you’ll pay a visit to one of my highly recommended touristic attractions: Let’s get Basque.
Walking down Legazpi Street and turning left onto Fermín Calbetón 35, you’ll arrive at Let’s get Basque, after arranging with the coach driver to pick you up in an hour. Here you’ll have the chance to dress up with the traditional Basque dancing costumes, quite a special and peculiar way of getting into the Basque culture. The prices differ depending on the number of the group members, one person’s is € 8,- and it lowers as the number of people goes up. 10 people, for example, would be € 5 per person. Furthermore, Let’s get Basque also sells handmade Basque products, which will allow you to bring a piece of this land home. It’s open from 11am to 8pm.
When you get out, you can have the bus driver pick you up and take you to Kaimingaitxo Street. You’ll remain busy until lunch time, so the coach can park at Fuenterrabia 21 Street and pick you back up where it left you. Once you’ve got out of the bus, you’ll see la Concha beach and its bay, whose views can’t be described but witnessed.
Once you get here you’ll have various options, staying at the beach, going to the Aquarium or going to La Perla spa.
San Sebastian’s Aquarium is composed by a museum and an aquarium. The aquarium stands out for its huge tank (named Oceania); a 360 degree tunnel full of different kind of fish. On the other hand, the museum holds exhibitions the city’s maritime history: its maritime commerce, Basque whaling and fishing… The prices vary according to visitors’ age, economic conditions, etc. Adults, for instance, get in for € 13,- per person, disabled, students or pensioners for € 9,- and large families for € 38 in total. It opens its doors at 10am until 8pm during the week, and until 9pm on the weekends.
La Perla Spa is located in the middle of the promenade. There is a two hour long tour that will take you through a hydrotherapy pool, a panoramic Jacuzzi, a sensation maze, water beds, a sauna, ice fountains, etc., for the reasonable price of € 26.50. This would be a good idea if the weather was bad outside, but if it’s sunny La Concha beach is the best pastime. In order to purchase the tickets you can check their website.
The coach driver will pick you up at the spa’s door, and he’ll take you to the Old Town for lunch. This medieval part of the city is clock full of pintxo bars (Basque tapas) where you’ll have the chance to try the traditional Basque cuisine. What local people do is going from bar to bar trying out different pintxos, while having a drink. The atmosphere in this part of San Sebastián is, without doubts, the most characteristic of the city: people in the streets, noise, music… If you’re group is made up by people who would rather sit down and have a mean, don’t panic! Even if the normal thing to do is standing up while chatting, all the bars have tables inside with fixed menus. In Ramuntxo Berri, for instance, you’ll be able to get a group menu for € 20,- per person.
After having a coffee, when you’re not so full, your group can go shopping to Churruca Street and its surroundings. This street is full of boutiques and small shops, and even though the prices might seem rather high, the shops are very exclusive (like the Parisian Comptoir des Cotonniers).
The bus will pick you up at this shopping area and will take you to Monte Igueldo (Paseo del Faro Street), a rural neighbourhood to the west of Donostia. Monte Igueldo is made up by panoramic terraces with amazing views, and theme parks at the top of the mountain, among other attractions.
Especially if you travel with children, Monte Igueldo theme park is a must when travelling to San Sebastián. It’s a mixture of incomparable views and adrenaline (there’s even a rollercoaster). You won’t have to pay for any entrance tickets, but for each ride you decide to get on, leaving the braver ones burst with energy while the others remain calm enjoying the views. Depending on the season the timetables and rates vary, so you’ll be able to check your doubts online. This one is clearly a pleasant daytrip.
Ask your coach driver to come back to Monte Igueldo and to take you to Bar Néstor for dinner, near Victoria Eugenia theatre at Pescadería 11 Street. The restaurant’s steak, tortillas, tomato salads… are the speciality of the house, what everyone needs to try before leaving Donostia. You can check what other tourists think about this place. The Spanish tortilla is only served at 1pm and 8pm, and the bar is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Prior reservation is required, calling 943 424 873.
You’ll get back to the bus happy and full, and, most probably, having enjoyed this city like no other.
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