This page explains how to buy train tickets from San Sebastian - Donostia to other European cities at the cheapest prices, buying online direct from the operators, usually with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets.  Click here to for journeys starting in another citySee suggested hotels in San Sebastian.  Information current for 2022 COVID-19 update.

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bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "Must I book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel


Senior fares (over 60)


Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)


Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits


Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains


Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations


Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train


Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train


Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train


Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network


What to do when things go wrong...

San Sebastian Renfe station.  See location map...

Mainline trains to Madrid & Barcelona leave from San Sebastian's Renfe (Spanish Railways) station.  The best place to wait for your train is at the station bar, where the trees are in the background in the photo below right.

San Sebastian Renfe station   San Sebastian Renfe station platforms

San Sebastian Amara station.  See location map...

Euskotren metro trains to/from Irun & Hendaye and to/from Bilbao leave from San Sebastian-Donostia Amara station, often shown as just plain Amara.  The station name signs just say Amara, as you can just see in the photo below left.  Yes, Amara = San Sebastian!

San Sebastian Amara station   San Sebastian Amara station platforms

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San Sebastian to Barcelona from €25...
San Sebastian to Barcelona train about to leave   1st class seats

The morning Alvia to Barcelona at San Sebastian...


Comfort class (1st class)...

2nd class seats   The cafe bar

Standard class seats (2nd class)...


The cafe-bar does an excellent cafe con leche...

Scenery between San Sebastian & Barcelona

The train descends from the foothills of the Pyrenees onto the plain below...

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San Sebastian to Bilbao for €6.50...

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San Sebastian to Madrid from €25...

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San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, A Coruna...

Option 1, the 08:57 departure...

Option 2, the 12:13 departure...

Turista Plus on Talgo train from Irun & San Sebastian to Vitoria   Talgo train from Irun & San Sebastian to Vitoria

Comfort class seats on the Talgo train from Irun & San Sebastian to Vitoria/Gasteiz, 2+1 across the car width.  Standard class seats are 2+2.


The Talgo train from San Sebastian, arrived at Vitoria/Gasteiz.  Courtesy Daniel Alfonso.

Turista Plus seats on an Alvia train   Alvia train to Galicia

Above left, Comfort class seats on an Alvia train, 1+2 across the car width.  Standard class seats are 2+2 across the car width... 

Above right, the 14:10 Alvia train from Vitoria/Gasteiz to Galicia.  The trains starts in Barcelona.  Note the unusual power car nose - these Alvia-S130 trains are nick-named Patito (little duck) by staff.  They have adjustable axles so can run on standard-gauge high-speed lines at up to 250 km/h or on Iberian broad gauge classic lines at lower speed.  Photo courtesy of Ekain Munduate.

Scenery in Galicia seen from the train

Scenery as the train enters Galicia on its way to Vigo.  Photo courtesy of Martin Hill.

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San Sebastian to other destinations in Spain...

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San Sebastian to Gibraltar...
Madrid-Algeciras train at Madrid Atocha

The Intercity train (formerly branded Altaria) at Madrid Atocha.

Cafe-bar on Madrid-Algeciras train   Turista Plus seats on Madrid-Algeciras train

Cafe-bar, with bar stools...


Comfort class seats...

Turista seats on Madrid-Algeciras train   Algeciras station

Standard class seats...


Algeciras station, across the road from the bus station.

Bus M-120 for La Linea (Gibraltar's frontier) boarding at Algeciras bus station.   The Rock of Gribraltar, viewed from a taxi approaching La Linea

Bus M-120 boarding at Algeciras bus station


Rock of Gibraltar, seen from a taxi near La Linea.

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San Sebastian to Paris from €29...

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San Sebastian to St Jean de Luz, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Lourdes...
Euskotren train to San Sebastian at Hendaye   Inside Euskotren to San Sebastian

Step 1.  These air-conditioned metro trains run from San Sebastian Amara station to Irun & Hendaye (Hendaia in Spanish) every 30 minutes, a turn-up-and-go metro service.  There's plenty of space for luggage and they even have a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

Hendaia Euskoten station, for trains to San Sebastian   Inside Euskotren station at Hendaye

The new Hendaye Euskotren station, for trains to San Sebastian.  Photo courtesy of Geoff Phillips.


Hendaye Euskotren station, looking back towards the station building.  Photo courtesy of Nicholas Brooke.

Hendaye SNCF & Euskotren stations

The Euskotren station is 50m across the forecourt from the mainline SNCF station.  Courtesy of Geoff Phillips.

TGV from Paris arrived at Hendaye

Step 2, take a TER or TGV from Hendaye to St Jean de Luz, Biarritz or Bordeaux, change at Dax for Lourdes.  This is a TGV Duplex Ocιane at Hendaye station...

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San Sebastian to Brussels & Amsterdam from €57...
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Thalys at Paris Nord.  See panorama photos inside a Thalys trainMore info about Thalys.

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.


Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

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San Sebastian to London...
Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 about to leave London St Pancras...


Standard Premier/Business Premier. Larger photo.

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San Sebastian to Lisbon & Porto from €38...

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San Sebastian to Faro & the Algarve...

Option 1, San Sebastian to Seville by train, overnight stop in Seville, Seville to Faro by bus next day...

Option 2, San Sebastian to Madrid by train, overnight stop in Madrid, Madrid to Seville by train & bus to Faro next day - as option 1, but with overnight in Madrid...

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San Sebastian to all other destinations & countries...

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bullet pointHotels in San Sebastian

Suggested hotels in San Sebastian...

At the top end, the grand old Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra is right on the seafront a short stroll from the old town, and just 10-15 minutes walk from both the Renfe station and the Amara Euskotren station.  I've stayed there myself, a classic hotel of the Belle Ιpoque in the perfect location.

For something cheaper. the Pension San Ignacio Centro is just 10 minutes walk from San Sebastian Renfe station and gets great reviews, or if you want somewhere in the old town try the Pension Garibai or Pension Alameda.

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites: is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on,, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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