The world is full of culinary delights, and many travellers explore the globe in search of the best destination for food.
Places like Paris get a lot of attention for their contribution to fine-dining, and rightly so, but the French capital can get incredibly overcrowded and the prices aren’t exactly kind to your bank balance.
Italian cuisine is considered to be at the top of the list, but again the Mediterranean country suffers a similar fate to Paris – it’s pretty busy.
One location that rarely gets the international acclaim it deserves is a beautiful coastal city located in the Basque region of Spain, San Sebastián.
Home to mouth-watering food and jaw-dropping scenery, a trip to San Sebastián needs to be factored into your upcoming travel plans.
La Conca Beach is widely regarded as one of the best in the world thanks to its pristine golden sand and iconic promenade, complete with distinctively designed railings.
Offering spectacular views of Santa Clara Island and Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo either side of La Concha Bay, the beach is the perfect place to watch the hours gently tick by.
The beach and bay is perhaps best appreciated from the neighbouring Monte Igueldo, which offers breathtaking views of San Sebastián.
Monte Igueldo is easily accessible via a 100-year-old funicular railway which takes you to the top and back down again for a return price of 4.50€ (£3.88).
However, the summit of Monte Igueldo offers far more than an optimum vantage point of the city. At the peak of the mountain is an amusement park complete with a number of rides and attractions, perfect for a family day out.
If you fancy overlooking La Conca Bay from the opposite side, then Monte Urgull offers equally exquisite views. You’ll have to rely on your own steam to take you to the top as there’s no funicular on this side of the bay – but the climb is definitely worth it for the scenery.
Elsewhere in the city is the brilliant San Telmo Museoa, a museum housed in a beautiful converted Dominican monastery. San Telmo Museoa offers visitors an opportunity to explore the history of the Basque region through extensive collections and exhibitions.
There are an array of different ticket prices depending on your age and group size, but standard entry for one adult will set you back 6€ (£5.17).
The Basílica de Santa Maria del Coro, or Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angelic Choir, is a stunning Roman Catholic church located in the Parte Vieja (Old Town) area of San Sebastián.
Completed in the 1700s and characterised by a delicately carved and extravagant entrance, the church is simply stunning and best viewed from Nagusia street.
You won’t go hungry in San Sebastián, as the Spanish city is one of the food capitals of the world. It is home to 16 Michelin stars in a radius of just over 15 miles, with three restaurants holding the highest award: Arzak, Akelarre and Martín Berasategui.
The Old Town hosts restaurants serving a range of traditional, modernised and market cuisine, relying on top-quality seasonal produce and ingredients from the Cantabrian Sea.
San Sebastián’s stand-out gastronomic contribution is pintxo, a Basque tapa, which was invented in the 1930s. More than just a delicious bite to eat, pintxo is a social act and a way of immersing yourself in the local culture.
Each bar has its own star, or signature, pintxo for you to try. It is advisable to visit four or five bars and try one or two pintxos at each. Keep track of how many you’ve eaten, as you’ll be asked as you prepare to leave.
The different districts of San Sebastián all have their different pintxo ‘identities’, so make note of each area as you explore during the day time to help inform where you’ll dine. If you’re in the city for multiple days, try different districts each evening.
If you’re completely stuck on where to go, ask a local as they will be more than happy to share their culture with you and suggest the best establishments.