We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Which San Sebastian - Donostia hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
15 posts
Save Topic
Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

I respectfully understand that a day trip does not do SS justice but I don't know when I will make it back to the region so I have to ask:

If I awake in Pamplona and head to San Sebastian, with lodging that evening already established in Barcelona.... is this doable?

I am picturing, perhaps too idealistically:

- train/bus/car-rental in the morning

- enjoy San Sebastian just strolling and walking until early evening

- train to Barcelona

Having never been to Spain I wonder if something like this can be pulled off. Or should I just wake and get on my way to Barcelona.

(Note: Doing this would allow me 2 days in pamplona, 3 days barcelona and this 1 slush day in SS if you think I can make it worth it. It looks uniquely beautiful.)

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
24,180 posts
298 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

The pm train from SS to Barcelona departs at 14:13 and arrives at 22:09. That's 6 hrs of travel time for roughly 6 hrs of fun time in SS. Not a great trade-off.

If you really want to see SS, consider flying. Vueling departs for Barcelona at 17:15 and arrives at 18:15 (meaning lunch in SS and dinner in Barcelona!). O/w fare could be as low as 44.99€ (check in luggage and use of credit card is extra). Renfe train fares range from 38€ to 64€.

Keep in mind that SS airport is not in SS. It's in Hondarribia, about 15-30 min away by taxi.

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
Level Contributor
56,682 posts
3,568 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Nathan:

The train from Pamplona to San Sebastian takes 1 hour 47 minutes.

The train from San Sebastian to Barcelona takes almost 6 hours.

Looking at the schedules you can take the train from Pamplona to San Sebastian at 11:19 and arrive in San Sebastian at 13:00. Then the train to Barcelona leaves at 16:13. So you would have only 3 hours in San Sebastian. This plan is not feasible.

Read Buying Renfe Tickets Online.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
24,180 posts
298 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Good point about the Pamplona-SS train, Benny. Fortunately, there's pretty good bus service with the earliest departure at 7 am. Takes about 1 hr.

www.movelia.es

Biarritz, France
Destination Expert
for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country
Level Contributor
4,533 posts
461 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Bus/car seems like the best option. Are you planning on running with the bulls or watching the run in Pamplona that morning? If so bear in mind that as the run starts at 08:00 and the streets are packed afterwards so any quick movements are limited.

Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
15 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Maybe a day trip and back to pamplona then, otherwise another time!

Thank you.

Vitoria-Gasteiz...
Level Contributor
325 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Don't advice you to do so. I suspect you are coming to San Fermin. If so Pamplona is so funny that you will be so tired as to spend time in toursim. If last moment you decide to do so. Get a train, do some sleep, and have a walk arround SS before taking the train to BCN,... you'll be dead by the time you arrive there, but,...

Bilbao, Spain
Destination Expert
for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
Level Contributor
1,905 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Not doable. If you´re staying in Pamplona during the festivals of San Fermin, you´ll be dead tired by the time you want to get up and get a transport. If not, there´s not much to see in Pamplona, so if you can skip it and dedicate your time to SS instead, it´s by far a better option.

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
27 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

I actually disagree. I would do it and here is how I would do it:

Day 1: Encierro and day in Pamplona and night in Pamplona

Day 2: Encierro. Rent a car for 30 euro and spend the day in SS. Be up there in an hour, two with the worst traffic. Enjoy the day and return to Pamplona for the fireworks and evening festivities.

Day 3: Head to Barcelona

Bilbao, Spain
Destination Expert
for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
Level Contributor
1,905 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

Mmm...a car for 30 euro in Pamplona and during San Fermín and just for one day...that would be a kind of miracle!!

Northampton, MA
Level Contributor
3,735 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Hoping to see San Sebastian - can this be done?

I would skip barcelona. No it's not feasible.