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Visiting San Sebastian in Northern Spain

Hugh Stewart

Photo: Hugh Stewart

SAN SEBASTIÁN: THE FACTS

To reach San Sebastián, most travelers fly to the spectacular new Santiago Calatrava—designed Bilbao Airport via London, Madrid, or Paris. From there, San Sebastián is about an hour away by taxi, rental car, or bus. It's also just a half-hour from the French resort of Biarritz.

HOTELS
Hotel Mar’a Cristina 1 Calle Oquendo; 800/937-8461 or 34-943/424-900, fax 34-943/423-914; doubles from $245.
Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 2 Calle de Zubieta; 34-943/440-770, fax 34-943/440-491; doubles from $105.
Aida 9 Calle Iztueta; 34-943/327-800, fax 34-943/326-707; doubles from $43. An attractive nine-room pension with lots of style and ridiculously low rates.

RESTAURANTS
Arzak 21 Alto de Miracruz; 34-943/278-465; dinner for two $142.
Restaurante Kursaal Mart’n Berasategui 1 Avda. de la Zurriola; 34-943/003-163; dinner for two $74.
Restaurante Mart’n Berasategui 4 Calle Loidi, Lasarte; 34-943/366-471; dinner for two $130.
Kaia 4 Calle General Arnao, Getaria; 34-943/140-500; dinner for two $75. Getaria's top fish place—reservations are a must.
Iribar 34 Calle Nagusia, Getaria; 34-943/140-406; dinner for two $54. A good bet for freshly grilled fish.

PINTXOS BARS
Bar La Cepa 7 Calle de Agosto 31; 34-943/426-394; pintxos for two $10.
Casa Gandarias 25 Calle de Agosto 31; 34-943/428-106; pintxos for two $10.

MUSEUMS
Fundación Cristóbal Balenciaga 3 Parque Aldamar, Getaria; 34-943/327-180.
Museo Chillida-Leku Caser’o Zabalaga, 66 Jauregui Barrio, Hernani; 34-943/336-006.
Museo San Telmo Plaza Zuloaga; 34-943/424-970. Excellent displays and installations documenting Basque and San Sebastián history—housed in a 16th-century Dominican convent.

FESTIVALS
San Sebastián Jazz Festival 34-943/481-179; www.jazzaldia.com; held July 24—29 this year.
Quincena Musical 34-943/003-170; www.quincenamusical.com; held August 6—September 6 this year.
San Sebastián International Film Festival 34-943/481-212; www.sansebastianfestival.ya.com; held September 20—29 this year.

DON'T MISS
A hike up Mount Urgull, a mountain park at the edge of the port (it's a great way to walk off all those pintxos), followed by a thalassotherapy treatment at La Perla (Paseo de la Concha; 34-943/458-856), a large spa facility right on La Concha beach.

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