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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

18 hours in San Sebastián: Travel Tips Around “Pintxos y Vino”

It is always the same: Little time and so much to see and do. Oh Donostia – San Sebastián. If, like me, you are short for time, you are still going to love this place: It rushes straight at you and goes right to the heart. The mighty buildings of the old town. The countless, (surprisingly?) clean little streets. The divine tapas, called “pintxos” here. The excellent wine & beer. The magnificent Bahía with its azure sea waters, framed by white spray and an endless, golden sand beach. San Sebastián. Not even 24 hours is what I have left to enjoy the pearl of Northern Spain travelling through on my trip from Limoges in France all the way to Vigo in Galicia. Yet I have managed to live life to the full here, especially concerning my stomach. ENJOY the following (culinary) photo presentation of my time travel through San Sebastián and all the mouth-watering moments tasting “pintxos” for you … I swear you will not regret it. 😀

“!Corre, que se va!” – Off we go: San Sebastián, here I come.

The situation. I am sitting on the French-speaking TGV train from Bordeaux, just about to finish my last travel article about Luxemburg, when all of sudden I listen up to … Spanish! Train travelling Europe is just great, moving across borders and countries in almost no time or effort. Me gusta! I get off the train in Irún, changing into a local “Cercanías” fast train to Donostia – San Sebastián. The driver, friendly & efficient, passes me a ticket: „!Corre, que se va! Quick, the train for San Sebastián is about to leave!“ Well guys, quick is of course relative considering my 15 kilos backpack, but I have to say I am actually quite fit after nearly four weeks of “Interrailing” through Europe plus training myself up for a half-marathon this September. Quick can hence be done, and so I get off the Cercanías train in the heart of San Sebastián only a few minutes later. Yay!

If you are looking for a good price-quality-ratio, I can recommend you stay at the Hotel Gran Bahía Bernardo (found through booking.com): For € 80,- a night, you get breakfast, Internet & a modern, well-furnished room right in the heart of and close to the Bahía de San Sebastián.

If you are looking for a good price-quality-ratio, I can recommend you stay at the Hotel Gran Bahía Bernardo (found through booking.com): For € 80,- a night, you get breakfast, Internet & a modern, well-furnished room right in the heart of and close to the Bahía de San Sebastián.

San Sebastián is (surprisingly?) green! On my first city walk, I allow myself to drift through the streets & parks of the city …

San Sebastián is (surprisingly?) green! On my first city walk, I allow myself to drift through the streets & parks of the city …

... only to arrive at this magnificent bay a few minutes later! Wow: Just stunning. The typical landmark feature of San Sebastián.

… only to arrive at this magnificent bay a few minutes later! Wow: Just stunning. The typical landmark feature of San Sebastián.

Happy to be back: Almost eight years ago, I stood right there with my parents travelling through Spain after completing a practical training semester at the World Tourism Organization in Madrid.

Happy to be back: Almost eight years ago, I stood right there with my parents travelling through Spain after completing a practical training semester at the World Tourism Organization in Madrid.

The mighty buildings impress me while making my way through the old town of San Sebastián.

The mighty buildings impress me while making my way through the old town of San Sebastián.

In from the harbour at the top of the city’s large bay, I stroll around only to stumble upon this delightful tapas bar.

In from the harbour at the top of the city’s large bay, I stroll around only to stumble upon this delightful tapas bar.

 

If it is only 18 hours you have in San Sebastián, be sure to EAT. LOTS. OF GREAT FOOD. 😀

My dear readers. You will not believe me when I show you the following photos. Especially when it is always amazing food pictures I post and share: Be it at home in our very own culinary wine heaven in Lower Austria, on my recent gourmet trip through Limoges, France, or here in Spain. These tapas … oh, it is of course “pintxos” here! In the Basque country, Basque is the first language but Spanish and English are no problem for communication either. I also notice a lot of French people here, quite possibly travelling over here on day trips. Very multicultural: Exactly what I like. With all the high spirits firing me up, I definitely need a bite to eat now. Or two. “I am a travel blogger, I (have to) take all these photos. !Disculpe, Senor!” !Ay qué rico!

These tapas are just ...

These tapas are just …

... To Die For! Enjoy with a good glass of Ribera del Duero or a beautiful cold beer.

… To Die For! Enjoy with a good glass of Ribera del Duero or a beautiful cold beer.

My plate is filling up: At the Pintxos Bar, you just help yourself to whatever tickles your (culinary) fancy.

My plate is filling up: At the Pintxos Bar, you just help yourself to whatever tickles your (culinary) fancy.

This is what happiness looks like :D

This is what happiness looks like 😀

I keep taking all these wonderful foodie pics while almost forgetting to EAT ... oh dear. :p

I keep taking all these wonderful foodie pics while almost forgetting to EAT … oh dear. :p

15 minutes later, this is what my plate looks like … yum !!!

15 minutes later, this is what my plate looks like … yum !!!

The obvious advantage: As soon as you step out of the Pintxos Bar, you are able to indulge in the pleasures of (window) shopping in the old town. Nice!

The obvious advantage: As soon as you step out of the Pintxos Bar, you are able to indulge in the pleasures of (window) shopping in the old town. Nice!

A few streets on, the sea lashes at the shore, as if still furious from a passing storm.

A few streets on, the sea lashes at the shore, as if still furious from a passing storm.

San Sebastián even runs a shop “Elena” in my own name!

San Sebastián even runs a shop “Elena” in my own name!

Special evening atmosphere after the rain has passed San Sebastián.

Special evening atmosphere after the rain has passed San Sebastián.

Out of my 18 hours in San Sebastián, six are filled with sleep, two with orienting myself around town and the rest … almost exclusively with EATING. Haha.

Out of my 18 hours in San Sebastián, six are filled with sleep, two with orienting myself around town and the rest … almost exclusively with EATING. Haha.

It is just too good to be true!

It is just too good to be true!

At the end of my culinary short-term visit, I toast to a beautiful day with a wonderful glass of Ribera del Duero.

At the end of my culinary short-term visit, I toast to a beautiful day with a wonderful glass of Ribera del Duero.

Real Spanish Tortilla is being served as a juicy feast of potatoes, onions & eggs. I am melting ... !Viva San Sebastián! Man, can they cook out here. Do. Make. Sure. You. Come. Here. At least once in your lifetime! :D

Real Spanish Tortilla is being served as a juicy feast of potatoes, onions & eggs. I am melting … !Viva San Sebastián! Man, can they cook out here. Do. Make. Sure. You. Come. Here. At least once in your lifetime! 😀

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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2 Comments

  1. Alberto C.

    Great post! San Sebastián is clearly one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, and the food is just fantastic! I got the chance to visit for the first time not too long ago and absolutely loved it there. I actually wrote a post about my stay on my own blog if you’d like to check it out. Let me know what you think! 🙂

    https://www.arwtravels.com/blog/san-sebastian-spain-two-days-pearl-cantabrian-sea

    Reply
    • Elena

      Gracias Alberto! 

      So glad you, too, enjoyed San Sebastián so much! It (still) is one of my favourite cities in the whole of Spain !

      Cheers y buen provecho – enjoy those pintxos 😉

      Reply

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