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Bilbao or San Sebastian?

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Seattle
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38 posts
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Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Hi,

I'm assembling an itinerary for our April Spain trip. Looks like 4 nights in Barcelona and 3 in Madrid. I definitely want to spend time up north as my last trip was central and southern Spain. If you were spending 2 nights in April, would you prefer to stay in Bilbao or San Sebastian? Would appreciate any input. Thanks!

Hermosa Beach...
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1. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Honestly if you only have 9 nights total I'd limit the trip to 2 locations. Trying to squeeze in a trip to the Basque Country between Barcelona & Madrid is too much. This is really just enough time for Barcelona & Madrid. It's a long way to go for just 2 nights. That said if you insist I'd stay in San Sebastian if I had to choose between Bilbao and San Sebastian.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Check the travelling time from Madrid to either destination

Train www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html

Bus www.alsa.es

Shanghai Region...
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
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3. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

VinoKatt,

I assume you like to eat and drink. In this case, keep in mind that the worst days to be in San Sebastián are Sunday and Monday. On these days, the most famous or popular restaurants are generally closed.

Vueling and Iberia fly to San Sebastián from Barcelona. Buy in advance for midwk travel to save money.

Edited: 6:53 pm, December 05, 2012
Bilbao, Spain
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for Bilbao, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country, La Rioja
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4. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Toss a coin...I love Bilbao for being different to San Sebastian and I love San Sebastian because it offers things Bilbao does not have. If you push me for a decision...well, maybe Donostia-San Sebastián is your option. But Bilbao has the Guggenheim museum, the Old Town,the Hanging Bridge Unesco World heritage Monument, the beaches....

San Sebastian has the looks, the beaches in town, the food, the location...

Brussels, Belgium
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for Seville
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5. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

San Sebastian all the way, much prettier!

Biarritz, France
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for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country
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6. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

San Sebastian. It is smaller than Bilbao so you can see more with your limited time there.

Seattle
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7. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Thanks much. Yes, I believe in eating and drinking my way through the countries to which I travel...and walking and stairstepping to be able to continue to do so! Yes, thanks, I had checked travel times. Definitely am planning to fly between Barcelona and whichever town I decide on. I very much appreciate the tip about avoiding Sundays and Mondays. I have flexibility as to when I will go, so I will keep that in mind. I may be able to add an extra day to my itinerary, probably on the Madrid end.

Thanks much to everyone for their input. There are clearly advantages to both places!

Shanghai Region...
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for Barcelona
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8. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Btw the San Sebastian airport is actually in the neighbouring town of Hondarribia. It's a quaint little place with some great restaurants of its own. Both times that I've flown out of SS on an early flight, I've stayed overnight in Hondarribia and enjoyed the evening stroll and pintxos there. It's just across the bay from Hendaye so their clientele tend to be more French-speaking. If you go, don't miss Bar Gran Sol.

Mexico City, Mexico
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9. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

All Basque <country is wonderful, probably one of the best gastronomys of the world. You must dedicate more days, the small towns on the coast are really nice... Bermeo, Getaria, Ondarroa, Orio, Zumaia etc. And of couse both cities... If i have to choose one to spend a day... Bilbao.

Mexico City, Mexico
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10. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

I wouldnt spend even a minute in Madrid...