san sebastian spain

The Ultimate Guide  how to get from bilbao to san sebastian

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Are you planning a trip from Bilbao to the picturesque coastal city of San Sebastian? You have several great transportation options to choose from depending on your budget, schedule, and preferred style of travel. I am going to San Sebastian for 4 days on my Mallorca Spain Trip, and after doing some research on the best way to get from Bilboa Aiport to San Sebastian, this is what I found. 

I’ll break down everything you need to know to make your journey smooth and hassle-free. From direct buses to scenic trains to the convenient private transfers, I cover all the bases.

Keep reading to discover insider tips and all the key details you need to effortlessly travel this popular 99 km route in northern Spain’s Basque country. 

Don’t have time to read the full article?

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The Ultimate Guide  How to get from Bilbao to san sebastian

No time to read it all? Here are the key highlights:

  • The most convenient option is taking the direct PESA or ALSA bus from Bilbao Airport to central San Sebastian. It takes 75 minutes and costs €10-14.
  • Private Transfer from Bilbao to San Sebastian offer 24/7 door-to-door service in about 1 hour for €85-110. Town cars provide a similar luxury option.
  • Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. The 1 hour drive costs €16-25 in fuel.
  • Euskotren trains provide a scenic 2.5 hour journey through towns and villages. Best if you’re not in a rush.
  • Taxis is another great option

For all the details, continue reading the full article below.

san sebastian spain

how far is bilbao airport from san sebastian?

The distance between Bilbao Airport (BIO) and San Sebastian (Donostia) is approximately 100 kilometers or 62 miles.

Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian Distance

Kilometers: 100 km Miles: 62 miles

Estimated travel times to San Sebastian from Bilbao by transportation mode:

  • Bus: The direct PESA or ALSA bus takes around 75 minutes.
  • Taxi/Car: The drive is about 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Train: The Euskotren train journey takes approximately 2.5 hours, including the connection from the airport to Atxuri station in Bilbao.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the distance covered by each portion of the train route:

  • Bilbao Airport to Atxuri station: 15 km / 9 miles
  • Atxuri station to Amara station (San Sebastian): 85 km / 53 miles

To put the distance in perspective, here are some comparisons:

  • Bilbao Airport to Bilbao city center: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Bilbao to San Sebastian: 102 km / 63 miles
  • San Sebastian to French border: 20 km / 12 miles
san sebastian spain

What is the best way to get to San Sebastián from Bilbao?

the best way to get from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian is either by private shuttle/driver or the PELSAor ALSA Bus. The details are outlined below

What I recommend – the most convenient way to get from Bilbao to San Sebastian

The direct PESA or ALSA bus is the most convenient option. It takes you straight from the airport to central San Sebastian in just 75 minutes. Direct Buses run hourly from early morning until late at night. Tickets cost €10-14.

Tip: This is the option I opted for since I was traveling solo and with light luggage. I had a great experience! It was comfortable and easy.

Fastest & Most Convenient way to get from Bilbao to San Sebastian

 Pre-booking and/or arranging a private shuttle is the fastest and most convenient way. It takes less than an hour and the driver will wait for you with a name sign inside of the arrivals terminal and will help you with your luggage. This is a great option for families or if you’re traveling with more than one person or solo if you want the easiest and fastest way to get to San Sebastian. Book this transfer now.

Fastest way to get from Bilbao San Sebastian

Taking a taxi is the quickest way to reach San Sebastian, with a journey time of about 1 hour. Taxis are available 24/7 right outside the airport terminal. Fares range from €85-110. Renting a car will also get you there in around an hour.

San Sebastian Itinerary

RELATED: What To Do in San Sebastian & Best Pintxos Food Tour

Most affordable way to get from Bilbao to San Sebastian

The PESA  or ALSA bus and Euskotren train are the cheapest options, with tickets for both costing between €10-14. The bus is much faster (75 minutes vs 2.5 hours on the train).

Most scenic way to get from Bilbao to San Sebastian

For a leisurely, scenic journey through Basque towns and villages, the Euskotren train is the best bet if you have some extra time. It’s a nice way to sightsee along the 2.5 hour ride.

Most stylish way to get from Bilbao to San Sebastian

 For a touch of luxury, you can book a private town car service to chauffeur you from the airport. It takes about the same time as a regular taxi but in a higher-end vehicle.

bilbao airport to san sebastian transfer

It takes less than an hour and the driver will wait for you with a name sign inside of the arrivals terminal and will help you with your luggage. This is a great option for families or if you’re traveling with more than one person or solo if you want the easiest and fastest way to get to San Sebastian. Check pricing of this transfer now

private transfer from bilbao airport to san Sebastian

A convenient and luxurious way to get to San Sebastian. It takes less than an hour and the driver will wait for you with a name sign inside of the arrivals terminal and will help you with your luggage. This is a great option for families or if you’re traveling with more than one person or solo if you want the easiest and fastest way to get to San Sebastian.  Book this Bilbao to San Sebastian private transfer.

 bus from bilbao to san sebastian

For most travelers, bilbao to san sebastian by bus is the best way to reach San Sebastian. Simply hopping on a direct bus is hands-down the most convenient way to get from Bilbao Airport straight to the heart of San Sebastian. This is the option I opted for and it is the second fastest ways to get to San Sebastian. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Operated by: Flixibus
  • Journey time: 75 minutes , 48 miles
  • Bus stop location: Bilbao (Bus Station)Calle Gurtubay, 1 48013 Bilbao Spain
  • Arrival point:San Sebastian / Donostia (Bus Station) Paseo Federico García Lorca 1 20010 San Sebastián Spain
  • Cost: €$7.99, with an average price of $25.99
  • Frequency: a few day from 3 am – 11pm
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/bilbao-san-sebastian/

RELATED: What To Do in San Sebastian & Best Pintxos Food Tour

bilbao airport to san sebastian bus timetable

See the timetables on each website (linked in each section for your convenience)

pesa bus bilbao airport to san sebastian

  • Operated by: PESA bus 
  • Journey time: 75 minutes
  • Arrival point: North train and bus station in central San Sebastian
  • Cost: €10-14 per ticket
  • Frequency: Hourly from 7:45am to 11:45pm

alsa bus bilbao airport to san sebastian

  • Operated by: ALSA bus 
  • Ticket price from: 6.65 €
  • Frequency of buses: 10 daily
  • First bus leaves at: 01:15
  • Last bus leaves at: 22:00
san sebastian spain
La Concha Beach

tips for buses bilbao san sebastian

✓ Buses returning to the airport run from 5:00am to 9:00pm

✓ The bus is much faster than the train option

✓ No need to pre-book tickets – just buy them at the airport

How much is the bus fare from Bilbao to San Sebastián? 

very affordable from $6-29 Euros

How often do buses run from San Sebastián to Bilbao?

31 a day 

Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian Train

is there a train from bilbao to san sebastian? While there’s no direct train from Bilbao to San Sebastian from the airport, you can take the Euskotren for a leisurely ride through the Basque countryside and villages. This is the most scenic option if you have some extra time. 

Train from Bilbao to San Sebastian

  • Operated by: Euskotren (not RENFE)
  • Journey time: Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Main stops: Leaves from Atxuri station in Bilbao, arrives at Amara station in San Sebastian
  • Cost: €10-14 per ticket

how to get from bilbao airport to san sebastian by train

While there is no direct train from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian, you can take the Euskotren railway for a scenic journey. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: From the airport, take the bus or taxi to Atxuri station in Bilbao.

  • Atxuri station is the main Euskotren terminal in Bilbao city.
  • Travel time from the airport is about 20-30 minutes.

Step 2: At Atxuri station, purchase your ticket and board the Euskotren to San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque).

  • The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours.
  • Trains run regularly throughout the day.

Step 3: Enjoy the scenic ride through Basque towns and countryside.

  • The route meanders along the coast and through villages.
  • You’ll get to see a lot more of the region than on the direct bus.

Step 4: Disembark at Amara station in central San Sebastian.

  • Amara is the main Euskotren station in the city.
  • From here, you can walk or take a short taxi ride to your final destination.

Additional Information:

  • Ticket cost is about €10-14, similar to the bus.
  • This journey is longer than the direct bus (2.5 hrs vs 75 min) due to the multiple stops.
  • The train is a good option if you have extra time and want to sightsee along the way.
  • Check Euskotren schedules in advance, as trains run less frequently than buses.

Bilboa Train to San Sebastian Tips:

✓ Sit on the right side of the train for the best coastal views.

✓ Bring a book, music or download shows to keep you entertained.

✓ Pack some snacks and water for the longer journey.

✓ If you’re staying near Amara station, the train is more direct than the bus which arrives at the north station.

So while the train requires a connection in Bilbao and takes more time overall, it can be a relaxing and picturesque way to reach San Sebastian. The slower pace allows you to immerse yourself in the Basque scenery and ambiance en route.

Are there direct trains from Bilbao to San Sebastián?

No, there are no direct trains are available. You’ll need to make at least 1 change during your journey.

How long is the train journey from Bilbao to San Sebastián?

about 2.5-3 hours 

Tips: ✓ Enjoy sightseeing along the route ✓ Not ideal if you’re in a hurry ✓ Get off along the way if you want to visit other destinations

RELATED: What To Do in San Sebastian & Best Pintxos Food Tour

Bilbao Airport Taxi to San Sebastian

For a personalized, door-to-door option, you can’t beat the ease of grabbing a taxi. Bilbao Airport has taxis available 24/7 for a seamless transfer into San Sebastian. The average journey time by train between Bilbao and San Sebastián is 5 hours and 50 minutes, with around 3 trains per day.

Key Details:

  • Location: Taxi rank near airport exit
  • Journey time: About 1 hour

bilbao airport to san sebastian taxi cost

Wondering how much is a taxi from bilboa to san Sebastia? Bilboa Aiprot to San Sebastian taxi Cost is €85-210 per trip

  • Taxi description: White vehicles with a red stripe

Tips:

✓ Taxis are the fastest way to reach your specific accommodation

✓ No need to wait for bus/train schedules

✓ Can be cost-effective for groups

Driving from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian

Renting a car in Bibao to San Sebastian provides the freedom and flexibility to stop and explore the Basque region at your own pace. The drive itself is quite short.

Driving from bilboa airport to san Sebastian details

  • Journey time: Roughly 1 hour
  • Rental cars: Available at the airport. Pre-book an automatic car from Expedia or from Discover Cars
  • Fuel cost: €16-25
  • Tolls: None on this route

Tips: ✓ Compare rental rates online in advance for the best deal ✓ Get an automatic transmission if you’re not used to driving a manual ✓ Familiarize yourself with local driving laws ✓ Make sure you have insurance coverage

Town Cars If you want to splash out and arrive in style, consider booking a private town car service. It’s a bit of an upgrade from a regular taxi in terms of luxury and comfort.

Key Details:

  • Options: Sedans, SUVs, limousines
  • Journey time: Around 1 hour, same as a taxi
  • Cost: Varies based on vehicle type, typically a bit higher than taxis

Tips: ✓ Book in advance to secure your car ✓ Specify any luggage or group size requirements
✓ Confirm the total fare before booking to avoid surprises

FAQs

What is the cheapest way to get from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian?

The PESA bus is the most affordable option, with tickets costing between €10-14. Euskotren trains have similar pricing.

What is the fastest way to get from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian?

Taxis will get you into San Sebastian the quickest, in about an hour, followed closely by a self-driven car rental. Buses take around 75 minutes.

How far is San Sebastian from Bilbao Airport?

The journey covers approximately 99 kilometers between the airport and the city.

Is Uber available at Bilbao Airport?


No, Uber does not currently operate out of Bilbao Airport or in San Sebastian. Stick to official taxis and public transportation.

What is there to do in San Sebastian? San Sebastian is famous for its stunning beaches, historic architecture, and world-class cuisine. Some highlights include La Concha Bay, the Old Town, and the many Michelin-starred restaurants.

planning a trip to Spain? Here are my top travel resources and helpful travel articles & tips to help you get started with traveling.

Spain Travel Resources

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