San Sebastian Travel Guide

Spain  #1 in Best Beaches in Spain
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Courtesy of Krzysztof Baranowski/Getty Images

Getting Around San Sebastian

The best way to get around San Sebastian is on foot. The city's size is manageable, and many of San Sebastian's top attractions are about a mile apart from one another (such as La Concha Beach, Monte Urgull and the Aquarium, to name a few). However, if your feet start to tire, you can rely on the city's bus system, which transports travelers to key neighborhoods and top points of interest, as well as some hotels. Taxis are also available 24 hours a day and there are bike rental stations situated throughout San Sebastian, including near Playa De Concha's seaside promenade. For more information about bike rentals in San Sebastian, check out the tourism board's website.)

It's important to know that San Sebastian doesn't have an international airport. If you're already in Spain, you can fly into the San Sebastian Airport (EAS), located a little less than 13 miles northeast of the city center. Otherwise, your option is to fly into either Bilbao Airport (BIO), located 62 miles west, or Biarritz Airport (BIQ) in France (30 miles east), both of which welcome international carriers. Many international carriers also offer flights with layovers in Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) before continuing on to San Sebastian.

On Foot

San Sebastian is a pedestrian-friendly resort town. Parte Vieja is devoid of cars, the long promenade that snakes along La Concha Beach is wide enough to handle even the busiest of beach foot traffic and all the bridges that loom over the Urumea River don't require a set of wheels to get across. Not only that, but most of the city's must-see attractions are just a few miles away from one another at the very most. San Sebastian also brims with all kinds of eye-catching architecture, so you may find yourself wanting to stop and take a closer look on your way to the next pintxos bar.

Bus 

If you need a break from walking, the Dbus is a great option for getting around. The Dbus transports travelers around key neighborhoods, including the city center, Gros (the neighborhood that houses Zurriola Beach) and Ondarreta (where you can find Monte Igueldo). It also stops at several of the city's hotels, including the Hotel Maria Cristina and the Hotel Londres. Buses generally start running at 7:30 a.m. and terminate at 10:30 p.m., though the exact times depend on the line.

There are also night buses available, known as the Buho (owl) buses, which run from midnight to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as nights before public holidays. Single-ride fares on the Dbus cost 1.70 euros (about $1.85); Buho fares cost 2.10 euros (around $2.28). You can also purchase transport cards, if you plan to use the bus a lot during your stay. You can access route options online, or download the Dbus app to your smartphone.

Taxi

Taxis are available 24 hours a day. The city's two main taxi companies are Taxi Donosti and Vallina Teletaxi. Fares depend on the time of day as well as the day of the week. Taxis don't respond to hailing, so if you need one, it's best to call ahead or line up at a taxi stand, which are stationed throughout San Sebastian.

Car

Compared to other cities in Spain, such as Barcelona, Madrid or even Granada, driving around San Sebastian isn't as much of a hassle thanks to the city's compact size. And driving is a great option if you want to explore the nearby mountainous region or the other seaside towns that dot the Basque Country. However, having a car in San Sebastian is not necessary. You'll find walking to be much easier, and the city's bus network covers a lot of ground. If you still intend to explore with your own set of wheels, you can find car rental stations at the airports. There are also Avis and Enterprise locations in San Sebastian.

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