A Quick Guide for Traveling From Barcelona to San Sebastian

By Alice Ross | EUROPE

Oct 05

If you’re traveling in Spain, there’s a big chance for you wanting to take a trip from Barcelona to San Sebastian. Lucky for you, there are plenty of transport options available. Now it just all depends on your budget and preference which once you take.


A Quick Guide for Traveling From Barcelona to San Sebastian

The second biggest city in Spain, Barcelona is also one of the most visited cities in the country, if not, in the world. Famous for its Gothic architecture, Barcelona is a perfect destination if you get fascinated with beautiful buildings and structures. 

port barcelona

Aside from this, it’s an ideal place for those who want to experience a very interesting culture. Whether you’re searching for a holiday spent walking around the golden sand beach or you would like to enjoy shopping and sightseeing, Barcelona could the perfect place for you.

On the other hand, San Sebastian is another city popular among tourists. Also known as Donostia, San Sebastian attracts tourists who are longing for some white sand beaches. Ones of the most attracting things about the city are the fishermen’s coquette house, and due to the modern districts in the city.

Wind comb

Aside from those, other things that will make you want to visit the city, even just for a quick trip includes the Comb of the Winds, the Museum of San Telmo, as well as the Kursaal. While they are considered the city’s old and new elements, they blend impeccably, which makes it extra more attractive.

So, now, how to do you get from Barcelona to San Sebastian? As mentioned earlier, there are several ways for you to do it. 

Travel by Car

Traveling by car is probably the most fun way to go to San Sebastian from Barcelona if you’re with a group of friends. But how long does the trip take if you ride a self-driven car?

Well, let's say you are really planning to drive a car to San Sebastian and this, of course, requires several stopovers along the way in order for you to rest. On top of that, the best way to do a road trip is to make a stop at some of the interesting places along the way. If you’re going to do that and maybe stop at a hotel, then the trip would likely take more than a day.

road trip

If you plan a full itinerary, you are likely to spend 7 hours on the road and a hotel overnight stop. On the other hand, if you are planning to drive nonstop, with the distance of 570 kilometers or 354 miles, you can drive between two locations for approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes.

Driving to San Sebastian from Barcelona has been made easy by the easy to follow highway signs that will direct you to Lleida, then Zaragoza, Pamplona, and lastly to San Sebastian.


The cities of Zaragoza and Pamplona are extremely interesting. If you can, you may want to make a stop or spend your night in either of them. If you have more time to spend, you can even extend your route a bit more and go to the Rioja vineyards which surround Logroño.

Tip: If you are visiting San Sebastian for delicious wines and tapas, you must consider making a stop in Logroño along the way. They have some of the best foods in Spain! Make sure you are at legal age to drink in Spain, though!

Travel by Train

If you don’t like driving, well, you’re lucky as there are other ways to get to your planned destination. The train could be a good option. The train from Barcelona to San Sebastian, like driving a car, takes approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes and costs about €40 to €50.

There are at least 2 trains that leave Barcelona to San Sebastian every day at Barcelona Sants Station. You can purchase your tickets from Spain’s national railway system online called RENFE. While the website seems like a little confusing, booking there should be quick and easy. 


If you happen to go by train, there are two ways you can get there: The first one is to make a stop in Zaragoza, which is known for its remarkable cathedral called El Pilar, and the other one is the train that stops in Logroño, the Rioja wine region’s capital city.

Travel by Bus

Traveling in Spain by bus is known to be an affordable way move from cities to cities, with a lot of companies that offer both domestic and international routes.

Buses that travel from Barcelona going to San Sebastian are operated by FlixBus and Vibasa. Vibasa travels directly from Barcelona to San Sebastian 6 times a day, all day of the week. All routes taken by Flixbus need a transfer and could only be taken on the weekends.


The downside of taking buses, however, is that they take longer. Expect to experience a travel time of between 7 and 13 hours to go to San Sebastian from Barcelona depending on the bus company you choose. All buses leave from Sants of Nord bus station and arrive at Donostia bus station in San Sebastian.

​Travel by Plane

You can opt to take a flight from Prat Airport in Barcelona to Hondarribia Airport in San Sebastian. You can take a flight operated by Norwegian Air and Vueling.

The travel time takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes and the one-way plane ticket usually starts at €70. So, traveling by plane could be a very convenient way to go to San Sebastian from Barcelona.


So, what is the best way to go?

There’s no doubt that flying and taking the train probably share the crown when it comes to finding the easiest way to get to San Sebastian to Barcelona.

When taking the plane, you will be able to enjoy a short flight of only a little more than 1 hour. On the other hand, if you choose to take the train, you need to take the easy job of jumping on a train right away instead of having to deal with the hassle – and not to mention, the cost – of airport transfers and preventive check-in schedules. And, you are able to enjoy the beauty of the scenery from your seat.

San Sebastian

Hopefully, this article has helped you decide which mode of transportation to take if you are taking a trip from Barcelona to San Sebastian. As you can see, you have great options available for you. You just have to decide which one you think suits your budget and preference.

If you find this helpful, help us spread the words by sharing this article on social media. On the other hand, if you still have other question about this topic, don’t hesitate to ask us by leaving a comment below!

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    About the Author

    Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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