So you’ve decided you want to visit San Sebastian. Excellent choice!
Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to get here. Will you fly directly into the city, or take a bus or train from somewhere else? No matter how you plan on arriving in San Sebastian, you’re well on your way to exploring the city’s wealth of gastronomic, historical and cultural treasures. We’ll break down the three most common methods of arrival so you can be sure to pick one that matches your budget, schedule and needs.
San Sebastian’s prime location along the northern coast of Spain just below the French border gives it easy access to other parts of Spain and Europe by bus. The most prolific bus company with links to the city is Alsa, but you can also find routes on Conda and Vibasa buses.
Arriving in San Sebastian by bus is often the cheapest option when it comes to public transportation. San Sebastian has direct bus links with several major cities in the region, such as Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Pamplona. Taking the bus from one of these nearby cities takes less than two hours and will set you back less than €10. If you prefer the scenic route, you can also arrive here by bus from Madrid and Barcelona. Be aware that these trips can last between six and seven hours, but usually cost between €30 and €40.
San Sebastian’s bus station is located at Paseo Federico García Lorca, 1. From there, you can take one of the local DBUS lines to get to wherever you need to be in the city.
Train travel is a popular choice due to its comfort and speed. Arriving in San Sebastian by train is easy and efficient, with dozens of long-distance and suburban trains arriving at Estación del Norte (Paseo de Francia, 22) every day.
Spain’s national railway service, Renfe, provides comfortable trains with direct links to San Sebastian from large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, as well as cities and towns within the region. Trains from Madrid and most other cities north of it will usually cost less than €50.
Currently, San Sebastian is only accessible via Renfe’s media distancia and Alvia trains. There are future plans to include the city on Spain’s vast network of high-speed AVE trains, with construction of a new AVE train station scheduled to begin in late 2019.
Arriving in San Sebastian by plane couldn’t be easier! There are four airports within 100 km of the city. The most obvious choice would be San Sebastian Airport itself, just 20 km from the city center. Flights arrive here regularly from Madrid and Barcelona. When you arrive, you can reach the city center via the airport shuttle bus.
Found a better deal on a flight to a nearby city? No problem. The airports in Bilbao and Biarritz (France) both have direct buses that go to San Sebastian. You can also fly into Vitoria-Gasteiz, but be aware that there are no buses to San Sebastian to the airport itself and you’ll have to catch one at the city’s main bus station.
Arriving in San Sebastian is a breeze now that you know your options! Once you get here, we hope you’ll join us on our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour. This fun-filled, action-packed evening will take you inside six of the city’s best-loved pintxos bars. These are the places locals know best and have been frequenting for generations. And of course, you’ll get to try the most famous bites at each stop along the way! We hope to see you soon in San Sebastian!
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.