San Sebastian Travel Guide

Spain  #1 in Best Beaches in Spain

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.


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.


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.


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.

Explore More of San Sebastian


The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019