The 355-mile (571 km) trip between Barcelona and San Sebastian is a coast-to-coast journey from the Balearic Sea to the Bay of Biscay. While a flight is the shortest way to get from A to B, you can also opt for a five-hour train ride or drive there in a day. A bus route is also available.
While you are in Barcelona, glean some tips and ideas from this itinerary. When you arrive in San Sebastian take advantage of this 5-day itinerary in Basque Country. You are on your way to seeing some of the most iconic architecture, drinking delicious wine, and taking in breathtaking sights.
Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Numerous flights go from BCN to EAS and are run by Vueling and Iberia Airlines. The direct flights are just an hour and 15 minutes, while flights with a stopover in Madrid are 3.5 hours. Smaller airlines will sometimes charge for baggage but Iberia, for instance, will include the typical personal item and full-sized carry-on.
Duration: 5.5 hours
A train ride will take 5.5 hours and runs twice a day at 7:30 AM and 3:30 PM. The train company is called Renfe and its high-speed trains are called “Ave,” and prices are reasonable. You can purchase tickets online (and print them out), via the Renfe app, or at the train station.
You may have the option to select a "flexible" fare, which allows you to modify your trip if needed. Make sure to be seated on the train at least 5-10 minutes prior to departure.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 5.5 hours, more with stops
If you prefer to do some sightseeing on your own, renting a car is the recommended method to travel from Barcelona to San Sebastian. There are many rental car services to reserve in Barcelona. Small rental cars are popular choices, since streets are often very narrow, and parking can be hard to find when you plan to stop.
Begin along E-90 and enjoy the scenery. Eventually, you will hop on A-2 towards Zaragoza, which is a perfect place for a stop. Zaragoza, which is the capital of Aragón and the fifth-largest city in Spain. It is also home to the Collection Ibercaja Museum Zaragoza Goya. Zaragoza is also a hotspot for Moorish architecture.
You are now 2.5 hours from your destination. Merge onto AP-15 and continue until you reach the coast unless a stop in Pamplona piques your interest. Another great stop that is on the way, Pamplona, while it's known for the running of the bulls, is worth a stop for many other reasons. Casco Viejo (Old Town) is where Ernest Hemingway would sit while writing his masterpiece The Sun Also Rises and sipping a cup of coffee. Take in the beauty of the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real, the best-preserved cloister of the 14th century. If you are culinarily adventurous, try estofado de toro (bull stew) before getting back on the road.
Duration: 8 hours
By bus, this journey will take 8 hours. The companies that operate this route are Monbus and Vigo Barcelona S.A. and they usually have two runs a day— 8:45 AM and 2:40 PM. Tickets can be purchased online or at the station but it's recommended to purchase ahead of time.