Should you visit San Sebastian or Bilbao?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between San Sebastian or Bilbao, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
San SebastiŠn is a city in northern Spain very well known for its summertime fun in the sun. While the streets are cool and happening at night, they take on a different charm by day. Beautiful beaches line the city's edge, right next to elegant historic architecture and churches, topping charts as some of the best city beaches in Europe. The food, too, is said to be some of the best with traditional Basque cuisine as well as the popular pintxo (tapas) bites. San SebastiŠn is a place of lively culture, teeming with beauty, flavors, and colors.
The industrial city of Bilbao is located on a port of the Nerviůn River in northern Spain, an important location of Basque country. While the downtown is filled with skyscrapers and innovative architecture, it sits between a river and mountains of natural allure. A city of hard-workers to the core, Bilbao displays remnants of its industrial past, though in more recent years it has transformed into a center for art. It is now a popular location for visitors looking to experience art galleries and museums.
Which city is cheaper, Bilbao or San Sebastian?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in San Sebastian is €72, while the average daily cost in Bilbao is €110. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for San Sebastian and Bilbao in more detail.
A hotel room in San Sebastian is about €64 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about €114 for a double occupancy room in Bilbao.
While meal prices in San Sebastian can vary, the average travelers spends about €25 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in San Sebastian should cost around €10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in San Sebastian is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
On average, meal and food prices in Bilbao cost around €37 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around €15.
Meals for one day
San Sebastian €25
Typical Food prices in San Sebastian
Some typical examples of dining costs in San Sebastian are as follows:
Dinner for 2
Lunch for 2
Lunch for 2
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Sebastian
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Sebastian.
Accessible Cooking Class:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bilbao
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bilbao.
The authentic Bilbao food tour:
The average price of local transportation around San Sebastian is €11 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
The average price of local transportation around Bilbao is €21 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bilbao
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bilbao:
Private Airport Transfer: from Bilbao Airport (BIO) to Bilbao:
Private Airport Transfer: from Bilbao to Bilbao Airport (BIO):
Arrival Private Transfer Business Car Bilbao airport BIO to Bilbao City:
Departure Private Transfer Business Car Bilbao City to Bilbao airport BIO:
Bilbao Airport Private Arrival Transfer:
Bilbao Airport Private Departure Transfer:
Bilbao Airport Transfers : Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Business Car:
Departure Private Transfers: Bilbao City to Bilbao Airport BIO in Business Car:
Bilbao Private Transfer from Bilbao city centre to Bilbao Airport:
Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Van Bilbao airport BIO to Bilbao City:
Departure Private Transfer Luxury Van Bilbao City to Bilbao airport BIO:
Private Transfer from Bilbao city to Bilbao Cruise Port:
Is it cheaper to fly into San Sebastian or Bilbao?
Prices for flights to both Bilbao and San Sebastian change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
San Sebastian's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €27 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Bilbao's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €23 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Typical Entertainment prices in San Sebastian
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in San Sebastian are as follows:
Tours and Activities in San Sebastian
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Sebastian are as follows:
San Sebastian Walking Tour with Pintxo and a Drink:
Mysterious Urgull Hill: San Sebastian Walking and History Tour:
Private San Sebastian City Walking Tour:
San Sebastian Vegetarian Pintxos Tasting Tour:
Pintxos Tasting Paired with Spanish Wines Experience:
Daily Pintxos Tour for Gourmets:
Game of Thrones Dragonstone Experience:
Game of Thrones Dragonstone Experience - PREMIUM:
Tours and Activities in Bilbao
Here are a few actual costs in Bilbao for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Portugalete, Getxo, & Santurtzi Panoramic Boat Tour:
personalized guided tour with a local:
Basque Coast Tour: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika:
Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika Guided Tour with Hotel Pickup:
Santo√Īa and Santander Guided Tour with Hotel Pick up from Bilbao:
Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz, Hondarribia and San Sebastian Full Day Tour:
Full-day San Sebastian tour from Bilbao:
Guided Pintxos Tour:
Basque Country Full Day Tour from Bilbao:
Getxo and Bizkaia bridge small group tour:
Tour Bilbao in a Vintage VW "Beetle":
Guggenheim Museum Personalized & Private Tour with Official Guide:
The average person spends about €16 on alcoholic beverages in San Sebastian per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Bilbao may vary from person to person, on average a person spends €17 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Sample the Local Flavors in San Sebastian
Also in San Sebastian, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Ultimate San Sebastian Pintxos & Wine Tour (Evening):
Sample the Local Flavors in Bilbao
Also in Bilbao, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
La Rioja and Vitoria Wine Tour with Winery Visit:
Cantabric Sea Experience: Food & Wine Tasting:
La Rioja Wine Tour with Two Winery Visits with Wine Tasting from Bilbao:
Architectural Rioja Wine Tour from Bilbao:
San Sebastian & The Basque Wine Region with Lunch and Wine Tasting (From Bilbao):
Essential Rioja Private Wine Tour from Bilbao:
La Rioja Wine Tour with Gourmet lunch from Bilbao:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Sebastian and Bilbao, we can see that Bilbao is more expensive. And not only is San Sebastian much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Sebastian would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Sebastian and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bilbao would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bilbao than you might in San Sebastian.
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