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.  Train information is current for 2021 COVID-19 update.

bullet pointI want to go from San Sebastian to:

     

Paris

 

Brussels

 

Amsterdam

 

London

 

Barcelona

 

Madrid

 

Lisbon

 

Porto

 

Bordeaux

 

St Jean de Luz

 

Biarritz

 

Lourdes

 

Bilbao

 

Seville

 

Malaga

 

Santiago de Compostela

 

Vigo

 

A Coruna

 

Gibraltar

 

All other destinations

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...

 

Turista Plus (1st class)...

2nd class seats   The cafe bar

Turista (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 12:21 departure...

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

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

 

The 12:21 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, Turista Plus seats on an Alvia train, 1+2 across the car width.  Turista 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...

 

Turista Plus seats...

Turista seats on Madrid-Algeciras train   Algeciras station

Turista 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 called Metro Donostialdea.  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 Euskotren station at Hendaye, in the corner of the car park.

 

Inside Hendaye Euskotren station...

Hendaye station showing location of Euskotren to San Sebastian   Hendaye SNCF station

The main SNCF station is just across the car park from the little one-platform Euskotren station...

 

Inside the main hall of the mainline SNCF station at Hendaye.

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 Océane 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 seats. Larger photo.

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San Sebastian to Lisbon & Porto from €38...
En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet   Trainhotel to Lisbon at San Sebastian

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

...return from dinner to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have a private toilet & shower...

 

The trainhotel to Lisbon, about to leave San Sebastian...

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...    

The trainhotel's café-bar serves drinks & food.  Grab a barstool early, it gets crowded later on!

   

4-berth sleepers (Turista Cama) are cosy & inexpensive, they convert from beds to seats.

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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 Époque 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: www.booking.com

www.booking.com 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:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, 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 www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


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