Madrid to San Sebastián by train

Prices explained

Prices explained

At Rail Europe we believe in price transparency. We use real data from Rail Europe 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 $20.51
  2. 30 day advance $46.68
  • First train
  • Last train
  • Avg changes
  • Fastest journey
    5hr 10m
  • Distance
    353 kilometres
  • Trains per day
  • Avg. journey time
    6hr 33m
  • Train operators

Travelling from Madrid to San Sebastián by train

Fast trains from Madrid to San Sebastián take around 5 hours and 10 minutes, covering a distance of approximately 353 kilometres. There are frequent services on the rail route between Madrid and San Sebastián.

1. Are there direct trains from Madrid to San Sebastián?

Direct trains from Madrid to San Sebastián have been found.

We usually find around 9 direct trains on the route from Madrid to San Sebastián every weekday.

There are typically fewer departures at weekends, when we found around 8 departures.

2. How long is the train journey from Madrid to San Sebastián?

The Madrid to San Sebastián train travel time is normally about 5 hours and 10 minutes, whatever time you make the journey.

3. What are the Madrid to San Sebastián train times and schedule?

On weekdays the earliest direct train to San Sebastián is usually scheduled to depart Madrid around 08:00 and the last train is around 17:40. This is the same at the weekend.

What's the Madrid to San Sebastián train price?

The earlier you book the better, and the cheapest tickets we've found for trains from Madrid to San Sebastián are $20.51.

Trains departing 30 days in advance will cost around $46, and when booking 7 days in advance the price is usually the same. Booking on the day of travel may be more expensive.

When to book Madrid to San Sebastián train tickets?

Trains in Spain usually open for booking around 4 months in advance. If booking is not yet open for your dates then you can set a booking alert to receive an email on the day that the cheapest tickets are released for your journey from Madrid to San Sebastián by train.

Help with booking alerts

Which train companies operate between Madrid and San Sebastián?

More than one train company operates on the route from Madrid to San Sebastián, so you’ll be travelling with one or more of the following rail operators:

  • Alvia
  • Intercity
  • Media Distancia

You can check which train you’ll be travelling on by looking for the train name in search results.

San Sebastián to Madrid by train

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

Alvia or Media Distancia

It is very easy to travel by train from Madrid to San Sebastián. On most days, there are Alvia trains and slower Media Distancia (MD) services linking the two cities.

The fast Alvia trains cut 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.

Madrid to San Sebastián/Donostia

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 stop six to seven times along the way, including Burgos. Media Distancia trains stop at least 20 times.

Buy train and bus tickets for UK and Europe - the easy way

  • Easy, fast and cheap
  • Pay in EUR, GBP, USD or CAD
  • Cheaper UK tickets with Pricehack

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to receive top tips, train news and travel inspiration straight to your inbox

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.