San Sebastian with a car

Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 03:03 PM
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San Sebastian with a car

First week of October, we will be spending a few days in Bordeaux and then driving to San Sebastian. Would you recommend staying in San Sebastian or just a bit outside? We are staying 4 nights and would like to spend some time visiting the area. We heard that getting in and out of San Sebastian can be a headache. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 05:38 PM
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First check to see if there is a usurious drop off fee from France to Spain.

Second San Sebastian/Donostia is small and a car would be burden. Unless you are going to visit places that necessitate a care, I would dump it.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 05:51 PM
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I agree with IMDonehere. Parking is a problem in San Sebastian, and a car is unnecessary. You may have an expensive drop off fee for your rental car, unless you intend to go back to France after San Sebastian. Just take a train.

From San Sebastian to Bourdeaux we can to change trains at the border (different guage trains?). It just required walking a hundred yards or so to the French train station. I imagine that you'll have to do this in reverse if you catch a train from Bourdeaux to San Sebastian.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 06:35 PM
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FWIW, a third vote against the car.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 07:00 PM
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We stayed 5 nights in San Sebastian and the only time we wanted a car was to go to the Basque country on the French side. It was a nightmare trying to locate a gas station in SS in order to fill up before returning the car.

We took a train to Bilbao as a day trip, if that's one of the things on your agenda. We didn't need a car. We also went to Hondarribia for the afternoon using a bus and hiked from SS to Pasia (sp?) using public transport to return...highly recommend it.

We stayed at the Onderreta Beach area and walked into the old town each night for dinner...gorgeous walk.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 07:16 PM
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I don't see any problem having a car in Donostia as long as you have a place to park it. There are several underground parking garages located around the city plus a free parking area at the university. But I don't recommend using a car just to get around the city. Most locals walk, bike or use the excellent public transportation system (the city bus). Taxis are also very inexpensive. Expect to pay up to 30€/day to park, depending on where you park.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 07:33 PM
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Confirm cost of parking Euro 30 per day. It's what we paid to park our car for 4 nights. Walked everywhere.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 10:52 PM
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Not difficult to get into small San Sebastián by car, and there are some 10 underground parking houses all around the compact centre of town. They are literally everywhere:

But as said before here, no need for a car in very walkable San Sebastián, excellent public transportation and inexpensive taxis. And parking can be a bit expensive as most of the underground parking houses charge 25€/day. Many of the hotels have got special deals though, and the Txofre parking in the local atmosphere Gros district - 10-15 mins walk from the Parte vieja/Old town - is about half the price.
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Old Aug 4th, 2017, 04:31 AM
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We parked our car for the week we spent in San Sebastián last year (well, it wasn't our car, but our friends' car). There is no way we would have used it in SS. It was expensive. We used buses to get to Bilbao and other nearby places - cheap and easy.

As mentioned, don't rent a car in France and drop it off in Spain unless you want to pay an onerous extra fee. The train from Bordeaux through Hendaye is easy as pie.
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Old Aug 11th, 2017, 09:46 AM
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thank you all for your replies....very helpful. We will be driving to Biarritz after San Sebastian and after a couple of days will drop off the car at the airport before flying home. Once in San Sebastian we will walk around the city but we intended to go outside for the day to visit a few basque villages in France.
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