How to travel from Bilbao to San Sebastián: best routes and means of transport

Planning a trip from Bilbao to Donostia - San Sebastián? Find here the different transport options available, from buses and trains to your own or rental car
How to travel from Bilbao to San Sebastián: best routes and means of transport

If you have a business or pleasure trip planned, or if you must go to San Sebastián from Bilbao for family reasons, we present the best transport options for traveling the 100 kilometers that separate both cities.

From the train, which offers a comfortable alternative at an affordable price, to the bus, to the car, which offers greater flexibility and autonomy to explore other locations along the way. We show you everything you need to know to move from one city to another safely and efficiently.

Transport options to go from Bilbao to San Sebastian


If you are looking for a quick option to get from Bilbao to San Sebastián, the bus is a good alternative. There are direct or semi-direct services. The journey takes between 1 hour and 1.5 hours, depending on traffic and whether you have chosen a direct trip or with stops.

The Bilbao Intermodal bus station is located on Gurtubay street and is part of the San Mamés interchange, is connected to the public transport and bus network, and also has public parking. The bus schedules go from 5:00 to 20:15, with at least 20 daily services from different companies.



A comfortable option to move from Bilbao to Donostia - San Sebastián is the train, through the Euskotren. The ticket price is affordable, however, it makes several stops, making the 100 kilometer journey take more than 2.5 hours to complete.

The initial station is Matiko Bilbao and the destination station is Amara Donostia. The train schedules go from 5:55 to 19:55, with a frequency of one hour.

Keep in mind that both on the Euskotren and on the bus companies, you can use the Mugi wallet card system.

Own or rental car

If you prefer greater autonomy and flexibility, you can go from Bilbao to San Sebastián in your own car or in a rental car. The distance between both cities is 100 kilometers and it takes approximately 70 minutes.

There are several roads that you can take, but the main one is the AP-8, this is a highway that has several tolls, but it is the fastest route to get to Donostia.

If you decide to opt for other alternative routes, you can visit several towns along the way, such as Zarautz or any coastal municipality that reflect the charm of the area, and with spectacular beaches, even if it makes your trip longer.

How to go from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian

If you arrive at Bilbao Airport and want to go directly to San Sebastián, one option is to take a public bus from the company Pesa. The journey lasts approximately 80 minutes and the hours go from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., with a frequency of more than 10 daily services.

The other option, faster although more expensive, is to take a taxi that takes about 75 minutes, the facility is that you have them available 24 hours a day, every day of the week.

Recommendations for traveling from Bilbao to San Sebastian

If you have time, we recommend you stroll through towns that have spectacular beaches such as Saturraran, with a natural setting, or Santiago de Deba beach, for those who like waves, all unique landscapes and rich gastronomy.

If you visit Bilbao and San Sebastián, you may be interested in doing some of the free tours to get to know the center of both cities. You just have to book them in advance.

If you decide to go by car, we recommend that you check the traffic regulations.

If you travel in high season, it is advisable to book transport tickets in advance to avoid availability problems.

There are several transport options to go from Bilbao to San Sebastián, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The choice will depend on your personal preferences and the time and budget you have available. We recommend that you plan your trip well in order to fully enjoy these two beautiful cities in the Basque Country.