San Sebastián


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Jim Paetsch

Vice president for corporate relocation, expansion and attraction, Milwaukee 7

Jim Paetsch’s work with M7 takes him around the world in an effort to bring companies to Wisconsin. He first traveled to San Sebastián, Spain, while recruiting Ingeteam Inc., and has since returned several times.


“You can’t get there directly … I typically will fly to Paris or Frankfurt, and then you can take a direct flight from there to Bilbao, and then you can get to San Sebastián.”

Bilbao airport
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“It’s a city that’s fun to just walk around in. The old town … is certainly one of the highlights … but the shopping there is fantastic. There are a lot of cool shops that are unique to the Basque country. It’s a place of a lot of natural beauty that’s nearby, so you don’t have to go too far away from the water until you get into mountainous regions of Spain. You can drive for 20 minutes from San Sebastián and you’re in the mountains. It’s a fun place to drive because there’s a lot of curvy roads.”

Basque country

Accommodations and Food:

“There’s a hotel that I like that’s called the Hotel Niza. It’s right on the water, family-owned place right in the city center. You think about small plate and tapas, in the Basque region it’s called pintxos. You just go from restaurant to restaurant, bar to bar, there’s always a show area for the food, and you walk up and you can grab whichever ones you want; you can have a beer, you can have a glass of wine, you stay for half an hour and then you move on to the next one, so socially, it’s one of the most interesting experiences I’ve ever had.”

Travel tip:

“The red wines there are exceptional. They’ll tell you that their wine is better than the French but the French are better at marketing it. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but the wine is really, really good.”

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