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kakiebell Nov 26th, 2013 03:31 PM

Best Way to Get to San Sebastian from Barcelona and from SS to Bilbao
From research, it looks like it is a 6 hour train trip from Barcelona to SS. Would it be better to rent a car or is it just that long of a trip? Same question for travel from SS to Bilbao. Is a train the best way or travelling by car?

Many thanks.

Bedar Nov 26th, 2013 03:59 PM

Yes, it's that long of a trip. Have a look at a map. You can take a bus to Bilbao. Someone here said it takes about 70 min.

danon Nov 26th, 2013 05:13 PM

Vueling flies once or twice a day to SS and even more often to Bilbao
There is a bus from the airport in . Bilbao to SS,

michelhuebeli Nov 26th, 2013 05:22 PM and run buses between Donostía/San Sebastian and Bilbao (you need to be on the lookout for the name Donostía - it's the local Basque name for SS). If I remember right it's about 70 minutes by bus. They run all the time.

From Barcelona you can fly, any number of options of course, or take the train (currently twice a day, 07:30/13:03 and 15:30/21:09) - by next year new timetables will be in force, and quite possibly more trains by Spring - when are you going?

Those 5:33 hours on the train won't be much longer than a flight that involves first getting to the airport, checking in, waiting around, flying, and getting into town at the other end. Add it up, be realistic about it, and it will come out as a wash. On the train you can walk around, stretch out - unless you get a much cheaper flight you might prefer the train!

MargG Nov 26th, 2013 05:40 PM

I looked into this myself before heading to Spain earlier this year. Our trip was in reverse order though. We drove from San Sebastian (a beautiful town), to Bilbao - this was a pretty short trip. Then we flew from Bilbao to Barcelona on Vueling. It didn't take long, and it wasn't expensive compared to other flights we'd taken in Europe. We only had a very limited amount of time in Spain, so flying suited us well. If you want to see a bit more of the country, driving or bus might be more suitable. I hope that helps!

danon Nov 26th, 2013 06:06 PM

the airport is not in SS but in nearby. Hondarribia..... there is a bus to SS.

kakiebell Nov 26th, 2013 06:19 PM

Thank you all. How long of trip is it if you drive? We are going the middle of April.

Robert2533 Nov 26th, 2013 06:41 PM

It's best to fly from Barcelona to Bilbao (1 hr), more flight options. We will not have a high-speed train for some years to come. The San Sebastian airport (Hondarribia) is only served by Iberia.

The bus between Bilbao and San Sebastian-Donistia take one hour and leaves on the hour from the airport (

With Bizkaibus you can get to Bilbao Airport from the Bus Station (Termibus); to do so, you only have to go across to platform no. 28, just 30 metres from where your coach from Pamplona, Vitoria, Logroño, etc. pulls in.

The journey from the bus station to the airport takes approximately 35 minutes and you pay for your ticket on board the Bizkaibus.

Consult timetables at

danon Nov 26th, 2013 07:15 PM

"The San Sebastian airport (Hondarribia) is only served by Iberia."

Vueling flights can be found on Iberia website....but it is
Vueling that flies to S S from Barcelona directly.
Iberia flies via Madrid..
If Vueling flights do not land in Hondarribia, where do they land?

Robert2533 Nov 26th, 2013 07:40 PM

Vueling belongs to IAG, which owns Iberia and British Air. You can book the flights on or, but Vueling only handles the early morning direct flights between Barcelona and Donostia. I guess the pilots who fly Iberia don't want to get up too early in the morning to fly.

danon Nov 26th, 2013 08:49 PM

Iberia's pilots must have a very strong union to be so picky.

Vueling 's evening flights to and from SS must be on automatic pilot all the way
- best to avoid them!

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