How to get from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian

Whilst San Sebastian does have its own airport, it’s fairly small and only has flights from a select number of destinations (usually domestic) each day.

However, if you’re looking at how to get to San Sebastian, the good news is there are a number of airports near the city that make it accessible from all over Europe.

The largest and probably the most commonly used airport is Bilbao, as it’s just under 100km away and has a number of International flights per day. 

In this article we’ll run through the best options to get to San Sebastian from Bilbao Airport. If you’re looking to get to Donostia from Bilbao City Centre, we have a separate post on that here

Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian by bus

The bus from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian

The easiest and cheapest way to get from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian is by bus.

There’s a direct bus service from the Airport which has one stop in Zarautz, before dropping you off at the main bus station in the centre of San Sebastian. In total, the journey takes 1 hour 15 minutes

The bus is located on the far right hand side of Bilbao Airport as you come out of the arrivals terminal.

The buses are run by a company called PESA and they have an electronic ticket machines which accepts credit and debit cards (highlighted on the above image).

The ticket machines can be a little temperamental. If it’s not working you’ll need to buy a ticket directly from the driver on the bus.

The driver won’t accept card, so it’s worth having the cash when you land. If you don’t have cash, there’s a cash machine in the terminal building (it’ll charge you to withdraw money though!).

Price: A one-way ticket will cost you €12.90. Kids under 6 travel for free (you still need to get a ticket directly from the driver).

Departures: There’s one bus per hour from 07:45 to 23:45. During peak months in the summer there are two buses per hour at :45 and :15.

You can book your tickets in advance online (but not needed) or at the airport. For more information, timetables, prices and online ticket purchases follow the link to the PESA website here (no need to print your tickets). 

If you're short on time you can also skip the queue and buy tickets on the app. Download it via. the Google Play Store or App Store

You can also take the bus the other way from San Sebastian to Bilbao Airport. The bus leaves the main San Sebastian bus station every hour on the hour from 05:00 – 21:00.

For the return bus (from San Sebastian centre to Bilbao Airport), I'd recommend that you book it in advance via. the PESA website. 

The queues in the main bus station can get busy and the buses can fill up at popular times. You can always pre-book and change your bus time if your plans change too.

Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian by taxi

taxi outside the train station in San Sebastian

Whilst the bus is the cheapest way to make the journey from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian, not everyone is prepared to wait around if the arrival time doesn’t match up with the bus timetable, or if the flight has been delayed.

In that case, the easiest way to get to Donostia is by taxi. 

There’s a taxi rank outside the main arrivals terminal where you can quickly and easily get a cab. In the earlier or later hours of the day, you may have to wait a little, but otherwise there should be a few taxi drivers waiting there for a job. 

Price: The taxi ride isn’t cheap. After all, it’s a 100km journey with toll roads, so It’ll cost you around €120-€180. 

The route will be the same taken by the bus so will take around 1 hour 10 minutes.

Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian by car

If you’re planning to hire a car for your stay in the Basque Country, then hiring a car from Bilbao Airport to make your way to San Sebastian makes sense.

All the major car hire companies offer car rentals from Bilbao Airport and have pick up locations on site. 

Once you have your hire car, you can take the autopista (motorway) directly to San Sebastian. Again the journey takes around 1 hour 10 minutes. The motorway is a toll road and will cost around €11 one way. You can pay for the tolls with card, so you don’t need to worry about having cash.

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