San Sebastian old town seen from Hotel de Londres
   

Take the train to San Sebastian!

Several times through the day, high-speed TGV Duplex trains link Paris Gare Montparnasse with Hendaye on the Spanish border in just 4h36 with fares from €25.  They have a cafe-bar & free WiFi.  Euskotren metro trains then link Hendaye to San Sebastian every 30 minutes, journey 37 minutes, fare €2.55.  The whole trip takes little more time than flying - yet it's far more comfortable, far better for the environment and a lot less hassle.  The only catch?  If you try to buy tickets from Paris to San Sebastian it won't work - you need to book from Paris to Hendaye, then buy a metro ticket to San Sebastian.  This page will explain!

small bullet point  Times & tickets, Paris to San Sebastian

small bullet point  Times & tickets, San Sebastian to Paris

small bullet point  What's the journey like?

small bullet point  Travel tips

small bullet point  Route map

small bullet point  Hotels in San Sebastian

small bullet point  San Sebastian to Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon & other destinations by train.

Paris ► San Sebastian

San Sebastian ► Paris

What's the journey like?

1.  Paris to Hendaye by TGV...

Paris Gare Montparnasse, for the train to San Sebastian

The main concourse at Paris Gare Montparnasse...

TGV Duplex Oceane arrived at Bordeaux   TGV Duplex Oceane at Bordeaux

Boarding the TGV at Paris Montparnasse...  Most Paris-Hendaye trains are now TGV Duplex double-deck high-speed trains like this one.  On this route, most TGV Duplex units have the new Océane interior shown here, they have free WiFi and carry the latest grey, silver & red TGV colours.  Click the images below for larger photos...

There are now automatic ticket gates at the entrance to the platforms at Paris Montparnasse, just scan the barcode on your ticket.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar, upper deck car 4 (or 14)

 

TGV Océane 2nd class seats...

TGV Océane 1st class seats   TGV Océane 1st class seat   TGV Océane 1st class drop-down table

TGV Océane 1st class seats.  An innovation on TGV Océane, all 1st class seats (except the very end ones) rotate to face the direction of travel, or can be rotated to make a face-to-face group of 2 or 4 seats.  The drop-down tables open to reveal USB and 2-pin power sockets.

TGV from Paris arrived at Hendaye

After a dash across France at up to 186mph, the TGV arrives at Hendaye.  Incidentally, Hendaye station is where Hitler met Franco on 23 October 1940.  You'll be treading the same platforms!   Photo courtesy of Alan Uxbridge.

2.  Hendaye to San Sebastian Amara by Euskotren...

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

At Hendaye, get off the TGV, walk off the platform and through the SNCF station ticket hall...

 

...walk out of Hendaye station & turn right.  The Euskotren station is 50m across the forecourt.  Larger photo.

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

The new Hendaye Euskotren station, seen soon after it opened in 2020.  Courtesy of Nicholas Brooke.

 

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

Euskotren train to San Sebastian at Hendaye   Inside Euskotren to San Sebastian

There are now two platforms.  It's where the trains start, so no worries, you can't get on the wrong train, they all go to San Sebastian-Donostia Amara!  These air-conditioned metro trains leave 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.

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Travel tips...

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Route map...

Paris to San Sebastian train route map

 

Click for larger map

Highlighted = Paris-Hendaye-San Sebastian route.

Green = scenic sections of line

European Rail Timetable and mapReproduced from the excellent European Rail Map with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people.

I recommend buying a copy of the European Rail Map for your travels, www.europeanrailtimetable.eu with shipping worldwide.

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Enjoying San Sebastian...

Euskotren train to san Sebastian at Hendaye   Inside Euskotren to San Sebastian

San Sebastian...  The sea front is 10 min walk from San Sebastian-Donostia Amara station, where Euskotren arrives.

San Sebastian   San Sebastian, main square
View of San Sebastian

Hotels in San Sebastian...

Hotel de Londres, San Sebastian   Room at the Hotel de Londres

If your budget will stretch, the Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra is a classic.  The place has character, and is perfectly located right on the sea front, a few minutes walk from the old town and 10 minutes walk from Amara station.  Ask for a room with balcony overlooking the bay...  For something rather cheaper but still with great reviews right in the old town, try the Pension Garibai or Pension Alameda.

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