Fast train Barcelona-Madrid, description and prices

How to get from Barcelona to Madrid inexpensive and fast!

Barcelona and Madrid are two of Spain’s favorite tourist destinations. So if you have already toured the streets of the Catalan capital, swam in the Mediterranean Sea and even visited the Sagrada Familia, feel free to go to the capital of Spain – Madrid. The distance between the cities is just over 500 km in a straight line and about 620 km by road. It is easy to travel by train, plane, bus and rental car.

Direct train Barcelona – Madrid

The best way to get from Barcelona to Madrid is by train. Trains leave from Barcelona Sants Central Station at 5:30 a.m. at 15-30 minute intervals. The last train leaves at 21:54.

On the route Barcelona-Madrid you will take high-speed trains AVE Renfe. The AVE lines cover speeds of up to 300 km/h and take 2.5 to 3 hours to reach the Spanish capital.

High speed trains in Spain.

Renfe AVE high speed train from Barcelona to Madrid.

Trains are comfortable, provide passengers with free Wi-Fi even in regular cars, so you can not overpay and do not take tickets in first class, unless you do not want the additional comfort of a free press and more space for the feet. The cost of second class tickets depends on the date of purchase and the time of departure and ranges from €58 to €130. The earlier you purchase, the less you pay. If you buy a round-trip ticket you can save a little money.

All AVE trains arrive at Madrid’s main station, Puer ta De Atocha, which is located in the city center.

In addition to the high-speed, there are also regular regional trains. They are much slower and make many stops along the way. For example, the Renfe Express train departs from Barcelona Sants station at 9:03 and arrives at Madrid Chamartín north station at 18:07. The journey time is 9 hours but a one-way ticket costs only €42 and round-trip ticket costs around €67.

You can buy tickets at the ticket offices, self-service machines at the stations and online. The most convenient way to do this is on the website Goeuro.com. Here you can see the current schedule, compare costs and choose the most suitable option. The site has a Russian-language interface, it is easy and safe to buy tickets. After payment, itinerary receipts will be sent to your mail, just show them on your smartphone screen, no need to print them out.

An example of filling out the ticket search form:

Buy train ticket Barcelona - Madrid.

Vyacheslav, 29 years old:

“I was in Barcelona for the second time in September and decided to go to Madrid at the same time. Naturally, I didn’t buy anything beforehand. I didn’t buy anything in advance, and the discount there was only 10%. I went to the train station, and there was a queue at the ticket office. I went to the machine, and there were only two people standing there. There’s a menu in English, by the way. Very convenient, it accepts both cards and cash. I tried to look for something on the internet in Madrid – for the same money I bought it directly from the phone.

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Plane

There are excellent flight connections between Barcelona and Madrid. There are several daily non-stop flights from El Prat Airport to Madrid Barajas in the capital. The first flight leaves Barcelona at 6:50 and the last one at 21:30. Direct flights are operated by Spanish low-cost airlines: Vueling, AirEuropa and Iberia. Travel time is 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Spanish airlines.

An Iberia airline plane has landed at Madrid airport.

The cost of flights is comparable with a train or bus, and sometimes even more profitable, provided that you take care of buying a ticket in advance. On average, a one-way flight costs €30-40. The price only includes hand luggage. If you’re traveling for the weekend, that’s quite enough. If you need luggage, you can always add it when booking a ticket. The fee for luggage depends on the airline: €11 for Vueling and €23-€25 for AirEuropa and Iberia. Meals are not included in the price.

Travelling by air from Barcelona to Madrid is cheap and fast. But beware of the time it takes to get from the city to the airport and to go through all the pre-flight procedures, such as check-in and security checks.

It is usually best to search for airline tickets on aviasales.ru, where you can compare different options and choose the most convenient.

“We were planning a big summer trip to Spain. We wanted to see as much as possible. Naturally, the easiest place to start is Barcelona, as it is the cheapest way to get there from Russia. Then we planned to go to Madrid. We basically considered two options: train and plane. But the deciding factor was price. We caught a promotion from Vueling, and as a result we only bought tickets for €19. Even taking into account the fact that we still need to get from the airport to the center, it’s much cheaper. A metro ticket costs only €4.6. And there’s a metro station just in terminal 4, where the planes arrive from Barça.

Bus

You can get from Barcelona to Madrid by bus. It’s the cheapest and longest way. You will spend about 7.5 hours on the road.

Regular direct services are operated by the ALSA company. Buses leave daily at hourly intervals from the bus station Estación Nord, which is located near the metro station L1 Arc de Triomf. The first bus – at 7:00, the last – at 01:00.

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How to get to Madrid by bus.

Bus carrier ALSA is the most popular in Spain.

In Madrid, you arrive at the Madrid Intercam Av América north station, which is conveniently located right above the metro station of the same name. From there, it’s easy to get anywhere in the city.

Two flights a day, at 9:30 and 22:15 go to Madrid’s Estacion Sur South Station. Some buses stop at Madrid Barajas Airport.

Night buses can be a good option for budget travelers. Spending the night in a comfortable bus will get you to Madrid in the morning, saving you time and money that you would have paid for the night in a hotel.

The ticket price is €33 one way. If you buy a round-trip ticket the cost is 10-20% lower.

It is also convenient to buy tickets at GoEuro.com.

A rental car

The main advantage of traveling by rental car from Barcelona to Madrid is the freedom of movement. You do not depend on the schedule, you plan the route yourself, stop on the way or vice versa, go without a single stop.

The distance from Barcelona to Madrid by road is 620 km. To overcome it by renting a car is not only interesting and convenient, but also quite profitable. The cost of renting a car is on average €40 per day. The most convenient and large selection of different brands of cars – from miniature to executive class – on rentalcars.com.

Rent a car in Barcelona.

Riding in a rental car is convenient and comfortable. You do not need to watch the clock and do not depend on the schedule of transport.

The price per liter of gasoline in Spain in 2019 is about €1.3, which is also very inexpensive by European standards. It will take you about 60 liters of fuel to travel one way.

Also note that there are toll roads in Spain. The price is €4-€10 per 100 kilometers. But each toll road has a free alternate. You can easily find them on the map. In terms of road quality they are the same. The only difference is the time you spend on the road. On toll highways you can drive at speeds up to 120 km/h. Free roads often go through populated areas, where you can drive at a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour. Outside the city you can go up to 100 km/h.

Getting from Barcelona to Madrid is simple – by train, by air, by bus or by car. Each method has its own advantages. Choose the way that suits you and travel!

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Page Content

On this page you can find out where you can get on the train, what time it leaves, where you can buy tickets, how much they cost, travel time and a detailed description of services provided by the trains between Barcelona and Madrid.

Barcelona Sants station.
Barcelona Sants station

Where do I catch a train?

There are 3 trains from Barcelona Sants station to Madrid. The AVE (high speed) and Combinado trains that go to Puerta de Atocha station in Madrid (Atocha station), and the Costa Brava train that goes to Chamartin station in Madrid. The AVE and Combinado trains run during the day, while the Costa Brava (Estrella) train runs at night.

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Train regularity and travel time.

AVE trains run every day, but some run only on certain days of the week (follow the link to the RENFE website for details)

Train AVE runs regularly during the day (link to timetable below) Travel time of AVE trains varies, but on average it is 3 hours. It is advisable to follow the link below for the exact schedule.

The train “Combinado” runs every day, but makes more stops than the AVE and the travel time takes 6 hours. For the exact timetable, visit the following link on the official RENFE website.

The Costa Brava train runs at night and makes even more stops, covering the same distance in 9 hours. There is only one train to Costa Brava.

Train time to Costa Brava: 21:15

Feedback from a site visitor about the AVE train

AVE (high speed train).
AVE (high speed train)

The high speed train AVE Barcelona – Madrid has a journey time of only 2 hours and 45 minutes. If you compare with an airplane, you need to take into account that you need to arrive at the airport an hour earlier, so it takes about the same amount of time to fly.

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Price range for economy class tickets One-way ticket: €58.15 – €127.10

Often there are also discounts on the RENFE website.

I didn’t take this train, but I did take the AVE Madrid to Seville and was pleased with the excellent service. I will take the AVE Madrid to Barcelona in a few weeks. With the web fare, the train fare cost me less than a plane, and the total door-to-door travel time is only about a half hour longer.

Your website is great! So much detailed information. It has helped me a lot. Great work, keep up the good work.

How much is the ticket between Barcelona and Madrid?

Here are the official RENFE prices in euros: Information updated: July 2022

AVE Tourist Class One way ticket: €85.10

First class AVE train One way ticket: €181.50

Would you like to buy tickets at a discount? Try to book your tickets on the RENFE website, at the link below.

On the night train there is an option to pay extra for a sleeping seat. You can choose from the following options:

One-way tourist class ticket Adults: €44.60 Children: €26.75

One-way First Class ticket Adults: €56.70 Children: €34.05

One-way ticket: €58.70

What are the advantages of a train compared to an airplane?

One of the main advantages is less environmental damage. With the ever-increasing levels of greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere, which is directly linked to global warming, many sensible travelers are opting for more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. According to Collins gem’s Carbon Meter, CO2 emissions per passenger traveling by air are five times higher than by train.

In addition, the water vapor emitted by airplanes at high altitudes causes an even greater greenhouse effect than CO2. In contrast to water vapor emissions in the lower atmosphere, where it is quickly removed.

To accurately calculate carbon dioxide emissions, visit this page:

Being able to relax is another advantage the train provides. You don’t have to arrive at the train station hours before you leave, well, and of course, there’s plenty of room on the train to stretch your legs. You can enjoy the views, and on day trains you can have lunch in a restaurant or a bite to eat in a café, and the trip itself will leave an unforgettable impression.

Thanks to the new high-speed trains between Barcelona and Madrid, the journey time is comparable to a flight if you consider the time spent checking in at the airport. A trip on the AVE Barcelona-Madrid high-speed train takes an average of about 3 hours, depending on the time of day.

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Services on the Barcelona-Madrid train

If you travel in first class by day or night train, you are entitled to free parking at the departure station. If you are traveling one-way, parking is allowed for 24 hours; round-trip parking is allowed for 48 hours. Before boarding the train, all passengers must go through a checkpoint. Please note that these checkpoints close 2 minutes before train departure.

Other services available en route

AVE (high speed train).

Club class, first class (preferente) or standard (turista) Toilets and disabled seats Café and restaurant Free drinks and lunch in first class Free magazines TV, music

The Costa Brava train has a café and free magazines.

Official website www.renfe.сom Once there, click on the English flag to access the English version of the website. (Other language versions are also available.) Purchase tickets

You can order tickets by phone. It is possible to speak to an English-speaking operator. A telephone line is available 24 hours a day.

Booking tickets Tel.: +34 91 919 0504

Usually you can buy tickets directly from travel agencies. If the agency offers this service, they put a RENFE notice in the window.

Or you can buy tickets through the ticketnet system on the official RENFE website www.renfe.com

You have to start by registering, but for that you need your ID number. If you have one, you can use your Spanish resident card number (sometimes you have to enter it without letters). It also offers the opportunity to print the tickets you buy online yourself.

If you have questions about buying tickets, you can call the information desk:

Tel: +34 91 919 0504 (reservations) Tel: +34 91 232 0320 (international)

If you bought the wrong tickets online, the reservation can be cancelled within 2 hours of purchase, without any penalty fees. After booking the tickets, the plastic card with which they were purchased will be charged 15% of the amount.

Tickets can only be picked up at the station by the holder of the card with which the ticket was purchased, upon presentation of photo identification.

Flight from Barcelona to Madrid

More information about trains from the following stations

Information and ticket reservations at Barcelona Sants station: Tel: +34 91 919 0504 International Information Tel: +34 91 232 0320

Address: Plaça dels Països Catalans, s/n Station hours: Monday to Sunday: 05:15 – 23:15

Lockers: Monday-Sunday: 05:30 – 23:00

Advance ticketing: Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 20:00 Ticket sales immediately before your journey: Monday – Sunday: 06:00 – 22:00

Bus numbers going from the station: 32, 44, 78, 109, 30, 27, 43, 115

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