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Bilbao or San Sebastian?

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Seattle
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38 posts
8 reviews
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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!

Toronto, ONT
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770 posts
56 reviews
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11. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Both worth visiting. I would say SS is more majestic but Bilbao is modern & attractive. Food is good in both but SS seems to be more promoted. So plan based on your airplane ticket logistics. Bus between SS & Bilbao is 1 hr 15 min. It's possible to take 4 hr ALSA bus from Bilbao directly to Madrid Barajas T4. Also there are cheap flights from Bilbao to both Madrid & Barcelona (the former on Ryanair & latter on Vueling). Iberia serves both routes.

UK
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2,560 posts
7 reviews
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12. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Madrid is delightful much more select than B'cona full of Hens & stags. However re San S v B SB much the better for this contributor. People are charming .I like Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra.Good luck regmaiche

Leuven, Belgium
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441 posts
82 reviews
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13. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

I've actually been to both last summer. There's a report on here somewhere, or you can find it also on my blog: wonderfulwanderings.com/bilbao-san-sebastian…

I think borh cities are definitely worth visiting, but if you're already set on going to Madrid and Barcelona, I'd go to SS.

*some time goes by*

I've just spend the last five minutes trying to explain why SS and not Bilbao, but I can't. It just seems more logical if you're also visiting Madrid and Barcelona.

If you're open to changes, though, I'd drop Madrid and spend some more time in the Basque Country. Bilbao and SS are really close to each other and Hondarribia and Getxo are also well worth a visit.

Northampton, MA
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14. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

I would prefer to spend it in San Sebastian. I would skip Barcelona and Madrid and spend all of your time in the Basque country.

Macclesfield...
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4 posts
22 reviews
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15. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

has to be donosti, its just the best place, if your a footie fan then real sociadad have great support and well worth the trip to the stadium, theres loads of little bars decked out in the teams colours, then it has to be back to the old town to finish off, the pension koxka is the best i have ever stayed in

bilbao is a great city but beware that of a sunday theres no shops open.the old town is the same with the exception of those wonderfull little bakers shops

and of course the bars, theres some great hotels in this area, i echo compleatly what the others say, the basque country is just superb, im looking at ea next, anyone know anything ?

good luck anyroad.

Seattle
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38 posts
8 reviews
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16. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

Ironically, looks like we will not go to Madrid and will go to Lisbon instead. My travel companion is now in love with the thought of Sintra. How's that for making the trip more complicated? We are looking at 3 nights Lisbon (full day in Sintra), flying to Bilbao with 2 nights in San Sebastian (not sure what to do with lugage while spending day in Bilbao), then fly to Barcelona for 4 nights. Other option is Lisbon to Barcelona and doing the Bilbao/San Sebastian part at the end (store luggage at BCN) and just take a tote for the 2 nights. I'm not sure the 2 hours we would have when we land back at BCN is ample to retrieve our luggage from the locker and catch our US bound flight, though this would be ideal....

17. Re: Bilbao or San Sebastian?

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