San Sebastián (Basque: Donostia)

It is nearly impossible not to fall madly in love with this city.

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 SLEEP.

As my friends told me and I agree, accommodation standards in San Sebastián are generally good, but prices are high and availability in high season is very tight.

I stayed in a hotel called Astoria 7. Very good location, average priced, and very clean. If you’re looking for budget hotels, any NH hotels in Spain should be reliable and budget friendly. For boutique hotels, I heard that Villa Soro is a good option with a location by the beach.

THINGS TO DO.

  • Rent a bike, tour or personal and wander around the streets, and old town (La Parte Vieja)! Its beautiful.
  • Checkout El Paseo Nuevo
  • PHANTOM BEACH – La Concha Bay (option: 10-minute boat ride offered by Motoras de la Isla – Paseo Mollaberria)
  • As for many places, Hop on Hop Off Bus tours are a good option to see different attraction spots.
    • Stops include:
      • Republica Argentina Street, in front of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre.
      • Teatro Victoria Eugenia
      • Townhall-Alderdi Eder gardens
      • Plaza Zaragoza-Hotel Londres
      • La Perla-La Concha beach
      • Ondarreta beach
      • Funicular-Peine del Viento
      • La Sirena hostel
      • Igledo Mountain-Theme park
      • Antiguo-Las Esclavas
      • Miramar Palace
      • Justice Palace
      • Buen Pastor Cathedral
      • Gros-Pinares Square
      • Ulia mountain-Navarra Avenue
  • Checkout the famous sculpture located at the end of the beach Ondarreta. Its called El Piene Del Viento.. The sculptures are embedded in the rocks just a few feet left over the sea

  • Cable car up that takes you up the mountain
  • See the City Hall building, also near the Concha Bay
  • Zurriola Beach (Surfers beach)
  • Igeldo Hill (a hill where you can take rides from the top)
  • Miramar park (A nicey grass area for a picnic)

FOOD.

  • Arzak (3Michelen star, very famous yet very expensive but worth every bite lol i loved it.)
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Arzak Restaurant – World’s 50 Best Restaurants

 

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Arzak Restaurant – World’s 50 Best Restaurants

  • Café Oquendo (its right in front of the Teatro Victoria Eugenia)
  • Txubillo (Japanese pinchos)
  • Garraxi
  • Bar Néstor (appetizers, salads, yemdi7oon ilpotato omlette ihnak bes majarabt’ha)
  • La Cuchara de San Telmo
  • Juanito Kojua (traditional Basque cuisine)

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If you need more recommendations (Roadtrips from San Sebastian, other places in Spain), please feel free to contact us 😀

~ Put down the map, and get wonderfully lost.

Toomzie

 

Hello965 Dead Sea Experience, Jordan.

Traveled via:

Jazeera Airways

Stayed at:

Kempinski Ishtar – Dead Sea

Activities:

float at Dead Sea, Cover yourself in Mud, Hot Springs in Hamamaat Maeen – Six Senses Spa (Private and Public Areas available), Wadi Mujib (Wild Life, Hiking, Watertrails).

Ate at:

we mainly stuck to eating at our hotel.

Advice:

2 days is not enough!!

This was my first time in Jordan, I was there for a relaxing weekend at the Dead Sea. Located at the lowest level in the world at below 400 meters, Jordan’s Dead Sea is the deepest sea (lake) in the world at 377 meters deep with 33.7% level of salt which also means that little to no animal life exists and of course, you will be floating.

Day 1. Dead Sea

We aimed for our first day to be as relaxing as possible. We kicked off the morning with breakfast with a view in the Kempinski hotel, followed by around two hours of relaxation, floating, and mud scrubbing at the Dead Sea. After that, we drove to Hammaamat Ma’een which is the area that has the hot springs. We particularly wanted the private hot springs which were inside the Six Senses Spa. Before entering the springs, we had to have Mansaf at the hotel of the Spa! A very nice outdoors area and an absolute beautiful weather. Post lunch, came the spectacular feeling of experiencing the hot springs with an AMAZING one hour Indian head massage; felt like I was in Lala-land.

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Six Senses Spa Private Hot Springs

We made sure we leave on time for sun set, as we booked at a place called the Panorama, a table at the balcony outdoors. I can’t describe how beautiful the scenery was. The sun was setting, and live Arabic music was playing. It was just perfect. Must try!

The day ended with a delicious BBQ at the Kempinski outdoors area along with a belly-dancer show.

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Day 2. Petra

80 Kilometers south of Dead Sea, we decided to see Petra. I heard soooo many things about Petra. Some good and some bad. However, Petra is Petraone of the New 7 Wonders of the World! So that was enough reason for me to see it and trust me, I was not disappointed AT AL. The entrance fee for Petra is 1 JOD for Arabs, and 50 JOD for foreigners. Make sure you take your ID with you to get those rates. 

Day 2 was a drive from Dead Sea to Petra, which took around 3 hours with some stops at cafes randomly at the street with BREATH TAKING VIEWS. Our taxi driver was amazing, he took us to places that literally took my breath away. The weather was beautiful, I surely do not recommend Petra when the weather is hot; it gets  too hot!

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Petra, The Treasury

Normally, the tour takes around 4 hours of walking to finish all Petra, if not even more. Unfortunately, we had a flight to catch that night. So, we had to cut it very short. We reached to the Treasury and back. You could either do it yourself, or hire a tour guide for 50 JOD (Usually less). We decided to do it with a tour guide.

We were on horses at the beginning, and then we continued by walking. There is also an option to get a carriage; while we were walking, we watched horses and carriages kick up clouds of dust as they raced up and down the road to our right, middle and left. Lol

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SHADE AND SANDSTONE CLIFFS, PETRA

With the infinite blue skies above us, the sun on our faces, and the most intricate rock-cut structures to our left and right, we wanted to take our time and see everything. Unfortunately, we couldn’t. After sitting in front of the Treasury for several minutes, admiring it for all its wonder, we walked back and off to another 3 hours ride to the airport.

For more pictures on our trip in Jordan, checkout our instagram account! @Hello965

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secret: I’m scared of horses. This was me challenging myself with a big smile on my face.

Explore, Live & Smile,

Toomzie

 

Explore Madrid

Home

Beautiful Madrid is Spain’s Capital.

To Be in Madrid Is to Feel at Home

Welcome home! Throughout the centuries, this melting pot of different cultures has welcomed wave after wave of migrants. Throughout the 20th century Madrid welcomed people from all over Spain; today it welcomes people from all over Europe and the rest of the world with open arms.

If you have just arrived, start thinking of yourself as a “madrileño”, it won’t take you more than a couple of hours to feel like you are one. Go for a stroll and put away your camera and map for a while. Walk around like one of the locals, pop into a bar and order something: soon you’ll find yourself talking to someone – it may well be someone who also came to Madrid for a couple of days and is still living here years later. That’s Madrid, a city for the people.

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Let’s start off this post with the best parks and gardens in Madrid. If it’s summer, forget it and stay indoors!

  • Parque del Retiro
  • Casa De Campo – “The Casa de Campo is the largest urban park situated west of central Madrid,. It was formerly a royal hunting estate. Its area is more than 1,700 hectares”
  • Parque del Oeste – One of my favorties. Huge, very calm and extremely nice for a relaxing walk or a picnic. 
  • Campo Del Moro
  • Las Vistillas
  • Alameda de Osuna – El Capricho gardens

Parque del Oeste

Out and About

It’s amazing that there can be so many people in so many places at ALL TIMES. they love being outside. The weather is wonderful (not when it’s boiling hot..) and there are places for everybody’s tastes. Madrid’s wide range of open spaces is one of the city’s main assets, and we love enjoying them to the maximum.

You don’t need a plan. Get out and take a walk, wandering the streets without a set destination. You will be surprised to see that there always seems to be something even more interesting on the next block. And you can walk everywhere; it is never very far from one place to the next. Around the next corner you will probably find a place that will become one of your favorite little haunts.

It is very easy also to use the metro if you’re not a big fan of walking long distances; Download the Madrid Metro application for both iPhoners and Androids (Available in English), and just follow the lines. You could also use Google maps to direct you with metro lines uses. If you’re staying for a long stay, get the 10 passes metro ticket, otherwise 1 way ticket should suffice.

Madrid Fiestas

There are dozens of fiestas in Madrid. Here are some:
February: Madrid Carnaval – Week before Lent
March-April: Semana Santa (Holy week)
June-July: La Semana del Orgullo Gay (Gay Pride Week)
August: Fiestas in La Latina and Lavapies barrios – dancing and live music
December: Navidad & NocheVieja (New Years Eve) – Plaza mayor during xmas
Shopping
  • Madrid Shop: The Plaza Mayor Tourist Center sells items related to the city under the brand ¡Madrid!.
  • EL RASTRO FLEA MARKET: Every Sunday
  • CALLE DE SERRANO (SALAMANCA DISTRICT)
  • CALLE JORGE JUAN
  • Gran Via 
  • Chueca District
  • ELCORTE INGLES
  • FUENCARRAL Market
  • Calle Ortega y Gasset
  • Puerta Del Sol
  • Calle Goya
General Information
Addresses: Addresses written as: c/Picasso 2 4izda. , means Picasso street number 2 4th floor, left. (Izquierda).
Pronunciations: Anything with double L is pronounced a Y. For example: Calle is pronounced “Cayye”. Alot of people in Madrid don’t speak English, try to learn some basic words before you head there for example: “No Hablo Espaniol” – I don’t speak Spanish or “Hablas Ingles?” – Do you speak English? and so on.. (The H is silent fyi)
Crime and Personal Safety:  The police in Spain usually come in green uniform-roads, boarders etc., there is also blue uniform police-crime, drugs, crowd control, etc. In the unlikely event that you are robbed (which could happen- becareful!), go to the police where you’ll have to make a statement known as a “denuncia” you can also do it online via policia.es .. If your passport is stolen, contact immediately the embassy or consulate. (Kuwait nationals, you could contact the embassy in Madrid or the consulate office in Paris)
Pickpocketing and bag-snatching is very common in Spain, particularly in Madrid. Never put your mobile phone on the table and forget about it. Never keep it visible from your pockets on your bag.
Spain’s Currency is EURO (€)
OPENING HOURS: almost EVERYTHING in Spain closes for “Siesta” of atleast two hours in the middle of the day. So basically its something like this – Monday to Friday 9.30 AM to 2 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM.
Internet/WI-FI is widely spread in cafes, bars, hotels and other public hotspots. WiFi in Spanish is pronounced (Wee-Fee).
For Restaurants, you could refer to our previous post here.
SIGHT-SEEING & Touristy Stuff
  • Paseo Real (where The Royal Palace of Madrid is, very nice area to walk around))
  • Bernabeu Stadium  
  • Puerta de El Cala
  • Plaza Colon
  • Plaza Santa Ana (very nice plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoors)
  • Plaza Mayor (same, plaza with restaurants and cafes outdoor, must go)
  • Templo De Debod
  • Hop on hop off bus will take you to whatever you need to see.
Museums
Reina Sofia – Modern (20th Century) art.
Museo del Prado – Large collection of 12th ro 19th Century Spanish art.
Thyssen – If you like Impressionist paintings this museum is a must. (more or less similar to Prado) 

 

Cheers!

Toomzie