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Getting from Madrid to San Sebastian (and return)

san-sebastianSan Sebastian is home to one of the best in-city beaches in Spain and Europe. The city is small but picturesque and offers some lovely places where you can enjoy sea food. The best way to visit the city is on foot so if you arrive by car, make sure to park it somewhere safe before starting to explore.
San Sebastian is a good choice when you want to mix visiting the large cities like Madrid and Barcelona with spending some time on lovely beaches but don’t plan to visit any of the islands.
Depending on how far in advance you are planning the trip, you can choose either the train or plane to get from Madrid to San Sebastian. It is quite a long distance to drive from Madrid to San Sebastian, but with a few stopovers in Central Spain, the journey is rather enjoyable.

By plane

San Sebastian is served by an airport located at 20 km from the city center. The only carrier offering flights from Madrid to San Sebastian is Iberia. The journey takes about 1 hour and there are over 5 daily departures. Depending on when you are purchasing the ticket, you can fly RT for as low as €87 per person.
Start searching for flights from Madrid to San Sebastian here:

By train

There are two high speed trains departing from Madrid Chamartin to San Sebastian. The journey takes 5 h 20 min and a tourist adult ticket costs €50.10 (€50.50 in the train station) one way. Trains depart at 8 a.m. and at 4:10 p.m., daily and the run only between June 11/12 and December 12.
>>the schedule and prices can be found here

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By bus

The buses to San Sebastian are run by Alsa . They depart from Avenida de America Bus Station and the journey takes between 5 h 15 min and 10 h, depending on the type of bus and when it departs. They are up to 15 departures per day.
Tickets cost between €63.58 per person , one way on a normal bus and €85.60 per person, one way on a supra+ bus (excluding the €2 administration cost).

By car

If you prefer the independence of driving, renting a car in Spain is a lovely idea. There are three possible routes between Madrid and Donostia-San Sebastián*. They take anytime between 4 h 49 min and 5 h 43 min. The shortest route is on A-1, AP-1 and A-8. Parts of these roads are toll roads.
Here’s a map (with the shortest route marked) to help with directions:

View Larger Map
* search the route on Google Maps exactly as mentioned above, otherwise you’ll get the directions to a different city.

Other related information:

>>Airports in Spain
>>Getting from Madrid to Barcelona
>>Getting from Madrid to Toledo
>>Getting from Madrid to Salamanca
>>Getting from Madrid to Lisbon
>>Getting from Madrid to Malaga
>>Getting from Madrid to Seville
>>Getting from London to Ibiza
>>Getting from Madrid to Valencia
>>Getting from Madrid to Ibiza
>>Getting from Barcelona to Tenerife
>>Going from Madrid to Algeciras or Tarifa
>>Getting from Barcelona to Mallorca
>>Getting from Spain to Morocco
>>Getting from Madrid to Segovia
>>Getting from Barcelona to Fuerteventura