HOW TO GET THERE
Fly: San Sebastian has its own airport, with regular flights from Madrid and Barcelona. There are also less frequent flights from Sevilla, Valencia and Malaga. The airport is 20 km outside the city centre, but there is an airport shuttle service.
It’s possibly cheaper and easier to fly to Bilbao Airport, 100 km from the city, which is served by many national and international airlines. There is also a shuttle service running from Bilbao airport to San Sebastian.
Or you can fly to Biarritz Airport, 47 km away.
By train: San Sebastian’s station, the ‘Station of the North’ is right in the middle of the city. RENFE long distance connections to other cities throughout Spain are plentiful, and the city will soon benefit from the addition of a new high speed train service.
By car: the only problem here is parking. Check with hotels when booking, because many have parking space reserved for guests. Otherwise download and consult the San Sebastian parking map.
GETTING AROUND THE AREA
For exploring the local area, choose from the tram, the narrow gauge local railway, and the metro. The tourist office has maps and timetables.
If you are staying for any length of time, get the Basque Card (available from tourist offices) which will save you time and money when using public transport to get around the surrounding Donostia region, as well as discounts at museums, restaurants and tourist shops.
GETTING AROUND THE CITY
Use the bus: Information on normal routes as well as bus tours is available on the Dbus website, and to save scrabbling for coins, get the San Sebastián Card. If you are app-dependent, download the Donostia Transport App for trip planning and real time information.
Get taxis: It might take a while to twig, but in San Sebastian, taxis in don’t stop on the street. Rather than standing outside a restaurant in the rain, hand raised and feeling sad as they shoot past, ask your hotel for a local taxi company card before you go out, or head to a taxi rank.
Pedal power: The city is well set up for safe cycling, with over 30 km of bidegorris which is the Basque for ‘red roads’ but refers to designated bike paths. On top of that, more than half the local roads have separate bike lanes. Find out how to rent bikes or take one of the city’s bike tours.
Get walking: With its obvious landmarks (river, beaches, mountains) San Sebastian is easy to navigate around, and quite compact. Fuel up with some pintxos, download the tourism board’s excellent Tourist Map and explore on foot.