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Need help with trip involving Madrid, San Sebastian and Bilboa

Need help with trip involving Madrid, San Sebastian and Bilboa

Apr 21st, 2010, 10:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Need help with trip involving Madrid, San Sebastian and Bilboa

Taking a tour that ends in Madrid on October 5. We want to take a bus to San Sebastian and stay a few nights. Then we have to get to the airport in Madrid to fly back to the US.

My questions:

1. We would arrive in San Sebastian late on the 6th. We want to see Bilboa also. Would 3 nights in San Sebastian (6th 7th and 8th) give us time to sightsee there and get to Bilboa to see the Guggenheim.

2. Could we take a bus from San Sebastian to the Madrid airport?

Thanks for your input.
loisco is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 12:11 PM
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loisco: San Sebastian is a pleasant place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the town. You could certainly sightsee there and catch some beach time with three nights. If you're into fine dining, you have your pick of three star Michelin restaurants: Arzak, Martin Berasategui, and Akelarre. All are very inventive, very expensive, and very good. Outside of town is Chillida-Leku, a sculpture garden with the works of local son Chillida. There is bus service to Bilbao (but not Bilboa ; takes about an hour. Depending how much time you devote to the museum, you might spend the better part of a day getting to Bilbao and back, but that would leave you two full days in San Sebastian.

As for bus service to the Madrid airport, I am not sure if there's a direct route. You may have to go into Madrid and come back out, in which case the train might be more convenient.

In San Sebastian we stayed at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra. It's a bit rundown, but the views from the beach front room (which wasn't too expensive...under 200 Euros) were wonderful and the staff was friendly. I'd suggest looking at that hotel if you don't already have one.
Midnightsun is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Thanks for the input..curious why the train rather than the bus would be more convenient to the Madrid airport from San Sebastian...Hate to tell you but we are not beach people. We still enjoy the views. My husband has had lots of skin cancer. Is there a hotel near the town?...

Thanks again.
loisco is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 12:34 PM
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The train station in Madrid is at the heart of everything, and it's easy to get places from there, which is why I suggested that alternative. Other posters may know better since we drove (although we did pick up our car at the train station) from Madrid to San Sebastian. I am sure there are hotels away from the beach in San Sebastian, and they're probably less expensive too, since San Sebastian does get lots of tourism for the beach. The heart of the town is not, however, far from the shore.
Midnightsun is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 05:51 PM
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You are a great help!..I assume we can get to the Madrid airport from the train station.

Re San Sebastian..I am seeing lots of pensiones in the old city..are t hey nice?
loisco is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 06:16 PM
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Loisco, there are many hotels in San Sebastian. No problem. It's a fabulous place. Enjoy!
latedaytraveler is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:45 AM
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Loisco, I don't know about the pensiones, but I'd agree with latedaytraveler. There are many hotels that look fine in San Sebastian. One other thought for things to do in the area. There are many wineries, and it's a treat to try the Txakoli (Basque word) wine which is, I believe, unique to that area. We didn't have any while we were there (nor did we learn about it, perhaps because we were in town on Sunday and Monday, when many of the finer restaurants are closed), but we have since had some back in the states and will probably try to visit a winery the next time we are in the area.
Midnightsun is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:54 AM
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One very serious piece of advice - do not try to drive in Bilbao. It is massively under construction, and like many old cities, filled with one way streets and narrow alleys. Even with a map and a GPS it was impossible to navigate. Take a bus or train there.
spcfa is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 12:43 AM
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From the Madrid airport one takes the 200 or 204 bus to Avenida América bus depot at edge of Madrid straight form airport. 1E.

From here you will find your bus to Bilbao. There are luggage lockers so if you have a long wait you can walk a few blocks in the lovely Salamanca neighboring district and perhaps even see this nearby museum. 5-6 minutes walk from the station.


This is also an excellent way of getting into Madrid cheaply. You can then take a taxi or metro to your destination. Why do I like this more than the metro?

Basically one walks out the door to get the bus. Sometimes you walk really far to get the metro at Barajas. You are above ground and seeing natural light!

I usually stay not far from this station, or if I stay in center I can then take another bus, metro or taxi for MUCH less than from the airport. The customer service office in the station is very helpful with connections if you are not certain.
lincasanova is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:40 AM
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If you want to see the museum in Bilbao, but need to fly out of Madrid to go home, why don't you see the museum at the end of your stay in the Basque area, and then take a flight to Madrid airport?
zeppole is offline  
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