Madrid to San Sebastian by train Find train times and tickets

Prices explained

Prices explained

At Loco2 we believe in price transparency. We use real data from Loco2 searches to estimate the cheapest fares you should be able to find for your journey.

The cheapest price is the lowest fare we've ever found for this journey. These prices can usually be found by searching when booking opens but they vary due to availability, which depends on factors like the day of the week or time of year.

More popular journeys include 30 day advance and 7 day advance prices. These are updated every two weeks using prices we've found by searching exactly 7 or 30 days from the most recent Thursday (we picked Thursday because this is when average prices are usually found).

30 day and 7 day prices fluctuate based on demand and availability at the time of search. For example, the 7-day price in summer is likely to be more expensive than the same journey in winter.

Prices are sourced in GBP and converted to other currencies using the daily market exchange rate.

We're always seeking to improve how price-checking works, and we welcome feedback on how we can make it better.

More advice about how to find the cheapest tickets can be found in our infographic.

  1. Cheapest price £15.50
  2. 30 day advance £31.50
  • First train
  • Last train
  • Avg changes
  • Fastest journey
    5hr 10m
  1. It is very easy to travel by train from Madrid to San Sebastián. On most days, there are two fast Alvia trains and two slower Media Distancia (MD) services linking the two cities.

    The fast Alvia trains take 5 hrs 20 mins, cutting through the hills north-west of Madrid in a long tunnel. If you are interested in some beautiful Spanish landscape, you might prefer the slower option, for the rail route over the Sierra de Guadarrama is one of the most beautiful in Spain. It’ll add two hours to your journey time but the views are worth it.

    The fare on the MD trains is fixed and so there’s no real advantage to booking early. However, fares on the Alvia trains do hike up the closer you get to the date of travel. So if you’re looking for cheap tickets on the Alvia, book your journey when tickets are first released for sale, usually up to two months in advance.

    The Spanish rail operator often releases tickets in batches, so if you're having trouble finding tickets contact us and we'll email you when booking opens.

    Madrid to San Sebastian

    Madrid to San Sebastian

    Choose between a high-speed Alvia train and slower Media Distancia train to travel directly from Madrid Chamartín station to San Sebastián. Fast Alvia trains take 5 hrs 20 mins for the run to the Basque city, stopping six to seven times along the way, including Burgos. Media Distancia trains stop at least 20 times and take over 7 hrs for the journey to San Sebastián.

Search accommodation in San Sebastian


Other journeys to San Sebastian/Donostia View all journeys to San Sebastian

Country guide

Trains to Spain

Read our country guide

Image credits: © Vanessak

Passenger age requirements

Different countries have different classifications for "Child" and "Youth". That's why we ask you to enter the age of young passengers when you search.

Countries Children Youths
Belgium and Luxembourg 6 - 11 12 - 25
Eurostar 4 - 11 12 - 25
France* 4 - 11 12 - 27
Germany* 6 - 14 15 - 25
Italy 4 - 11 12 - 25
Netherlands (including Thalys) 4 - 11 12 - 25
Spain* 4 - 13 14 - 25
Switzerland 6 - 16 17 - 26
United Kingdom* 5 - 15 16 - 25
others 4 - 11 12 - 25

* There are some exceptions to these definitions. Please see child and youth passenger age requirements for more information.

You can also read about Youth and Senior discounts and railcards.

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