Once again, the magazine Conde Nast Traveler has published the results of a survey they carry out among their readers where they ask them to name their favorite city, restaurants, trains, cruises, and hotels all over the world.  And once again, San Sebastian is on it!

This year, the survey’s 36th edition, over half a million people took part, and put San Sebastian on the list not once, but twice.

Firstly, it was ranked as the second best small city in the world by the voters, and the best in Europe.  It sits just between Victoria, British Columbia, and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.  The latter was ranked first in 2021 and 2022, but San Sebastian was always there, in second place

What’s more, the Basque city appears on another list: the best trains in the world.  The Transcantábrico Gran Lujo, which runs the length of the north coast of Iberia, finishes in Santiago de Compostela and starts in San Sebastian.  It’s ranked 19th of the 20 on the list.  But, looking at the level of the other trains included on the list, even 19th place is quite an honor.

There’s one thing that really caught our attention in these lists.  For example, how cities like New York, London, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, and Madrid are missing from the voters’ Top 10 favorite large cities, to be replaced by cities from eastern Europe, the Far East, Australia, Canada, and South Africa.  Cities in northern Europe also ranked highly.

We must be very proud that a Basque city is on these lists.  This certifies that San Sebastian is one of the best cities on the planet.  But it must also make us reflect on the dangers this success might bring.  It seems clear that ever more travelers prefer cities that put their personalities on display rather than turning into a theme park.  That means that these highly-rated cities must make sure not to lose their essence.

So we Basques must definitely reflect on this, to make sure to keep alive and thriving that which makes us special, and not allow ourselves to become yet another bland theme park.

We found this report in an article by Brian O’Connell on the New York website The Street, which highlights San Sebastian’s rank on the list, as well as on the website of the source article itself, Conde Nast Traveler.

The Street – 16/10/2023 – USA

2023’s top-rated European city to visit is one you’ve likely never heard about

Conde Nast Traveler is out with its annual list of “Readers Choice Awards” that highlights the best cities in Europe to visit. In 2023, the list notes a few European cities you know and may have even visited (hello, Dublin, Copenhagen, and Zurich). The top spot, however, goes to a mountain spot in Southern Europe that’s not usually in the limelight as far as Euro excursions go.

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Conde Nast Traveler-10/2023 – USA

The Best Cities in the World: 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards

Now in its 36th iteration, our annual Readers’ Choice Awards continues to capture the travel experiences our readers love best, from hotels and airlines to cruises, islands, and luggage. This year, you traveled farther and deeper; seeking out remote properties; sailing on smaller, more intimate ships; and prioritizing destinations you’ve been waiting years to visit. At least that’s what a staggering 526,518 of you told us in our annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey. Now, you can use the results to decide where you’re going next—these are the best cities in the world, as voted by our readers.

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Last Updated on Feb 12, 2024 by About Basque Country

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