Spain by train

Map with main train connections in Spain

A Eurail pass for Spain is the perfect way to travel by train through this popular holiday destination. Spain is filled with lively cities, cultural curiosities, lovely beaches and great food. Your Eurail Spain Pass is your ticket to an amazing rail trip, from the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Andalusia to the unspoilt beaches of the Costa Brava.

Spain in images
Train types in Spain
Domestic connections in Spain
International connections to and from Spain
Reservations for trains in Spain
Rail passes for Spain
Places to visit in Spain
Events in Spain
Benefits in Spain
More about Spain

Spain in images

Cybele's Square, Madrid

Cybele's Square, Madrid

Plaza España in Sevilla

Plaza España in Sevilla

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Beach of San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Spain

Beach of San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Spain

Aqueduct in Segovia

Aqueduct in Segovia

Train types in Spain

 

There are various train types in Spain ready to transport you both day and night. Most of the Spanish railway network is operated by RENFE.Use the Eurail train timetable to check times for trains in Spain.

 

Regional and intercity trains in Spain Spanish regional train

The main rail network in Spain is made up of the following regional and intercity trains:

  • Media Distancia trains link regional destinations with larger cities. The network connects with long distance high-speed trains and the trains make frequent stops. 

  • FEVE trains operate in the north of Spain, connecting cities like Bilbao, Gijón, León and Santander.

  • Cercanías (suburban trains) is a network of trains that operates in and around the larger Spanish cities including Barcelona and Valencia.

 

On the Eurail timetable Media Distancia trains appear as "IR". Reservations are required for most of these trains. Cercanías trains do not appear in this timetable. Check the Renfe website for more information on departure times.

High-speed trains in Spain

International high-speed trains in Spain

These high-speed trains operate to and from Spain:

  • Renfe-SNCF en Cooperación high-speed trains connect Madrid and Barcelona with Paris (France). 

  • Internacional trains connect Vigo with Porto (Portugal).

 

Domestic high-speed trains in Spain AVE high-speed train at train station

Spain's extensive high-speed train network is operated by modern trains that offer you high quality service during your Eurail trip.

 

These high-speed trains operate within Spain:

  • Avant trains operate on short-distance routes. 

  • AVE trains reach speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) and take you from Madrid to Barcelona in less than 3 hours.

  • Altaria trains link Madrid with cities in the south of Spain.

  • Alvia and Arco trains operate between Madrid and Spain's nothern cities like Bilbao and San Sebastian.

  • Euromed trains operate on the route Barcelona – Valencia – Alicante.

 

On the Eurail timetable high-speed trains appear as "IC", "ATR-Altaria", "AVE", "A" or "EM". These trains always require a reservation.

Night trains in Spain Map with night train routes in Spain

International night trains in Spain

The following night trains connect Spain with France, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland:

  • InterCités de Nuit:
    Portbou – Toulouse – Paris (France)
    Portbou – Montpellier – Nancy – Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
    Portbou – Montpellier – Strasbourg (France)
    Irún – Lourdes – Paris (France) 
    Irún – Bordeaux – Marseille – Nice (France)
    Irún – Toulouse – Lyon – Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Trenhotel:
    Madrid – Lisbon (Portugal)
    Irún – Lisbon (Portugal)

 

Domestic night trains in Spain

  • Trenhotel trains link the north of Spain with Barcelona and capital city Madrid:
    A Coruna – Barcelona 
    A Coruna – Madrid 

 

Sud Expresso trains appear on the Eurail timetable as "310", Lusitania as "335" and InterCités de Nuit as "NZ". You're required to book sleeping accommodation in advance.

Domestic connections in Spain

 
Map with popular connections in Spain

Map with popular connections in Spain

View approximate train travel times between Spain's key cities with high-speed trains and regional trains.

From To

High-speed train

Regional train

Barcelona

Madrid

3hr

9hr 20min

Barcelona

Malaga

5hr 30min

-

Barcelona

Granada

7hr 30min

-

Madrid    

Malaga

2hr 30min

-

Madrid    

Granada

4hr 30min

-

Madrid

Seville

2hr 30min

16hr 50min

Madrid    

Santiago de Compostela

6hr 30min

28hr 40min

International connections from and to Spain

 

We suggest the following routes to travel between Spain and other European countries:

  • France – Spain
    There is a direct train connection between Barcelona and Paris (6hr 25 min).

  • Portugal – Spain
    Take a regional train to travel from Vigo to Porto (3hr 30min).

 

International ferry connections to and from Spain

You can also travel between Spain, Italy and Morocco by ferry with Grimaldi Lines ferries. Get a 20% discount on the following routes:

  • Barcelona – Civitavecchia (Italy)

  • Barcelona – Livorno (Italy)

  • Barcelona – Porto Torres (Italy)

  • Barcelona – Tangier (Morocco)

Reservations for trains in Spain

 

Many Spanish trains require an advance reservation, including domestic and international high-speed trains and night trains (prices depend on your chosen sleeping accommodation or seat type). You can make reservations up to 3 months in advance.

 

Please note that the number of seats available for Eurail pass holders is limited on InterCitè de Nuit trains. We advise you to reserve these trains as soon as possible during peak season (May to September) and public holidays.

 

How to make reservations for Spanish trains

You can make reservations for domestic and international high-speed trains and night trains:

  • At a ticket desk or self-service machine at local train stations.

  • By phone through the RENFE Call Center.
    Phone number: +34 902 320 320
    Opening hours: 24/7


The RENFE call center has Spanish speaking staff. However, you can ask to be put through with an English speaking agent. You can pick up your reservations at all Spanish high-speed train stations. Just take your order number to a ticket window within 72 hours. You can pay for the reservations when collecting them at the station.

RENFE does not deliver reservations to your address.

 

Find out more about reservations

Rail passes for Spain

 
Map with example route in Spain

Map with example route in Spain

Eurail Spain passes let you explore all of Spain's beautiful cities like Barcelona, Granada, Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia. We offer various Eurail passes that combine Spain with other European countries.

 

Rail pass options for Spain

  • Eurail Global Pass starting from USD$ 341 – have the freedom to visit Spain and up to 27 other Eurail countries.

  • Eurail Select Pass starting from USD$ 131 – this is a 4 country pass that combines Spain with Portugal and/or Italy.

  • Regional Pass – focus on visiting Spain plus 1 other country. Here are your options:
    Eurail France-Spain Pass starting from USD$ 233 – visit popular French cities like Paris, Lyons and Nice. 
    Eurail Italy-Spain Pass starting from USD$ 233 – explore historical sites in Florence, Rome and Venice.
    Eurail Portugal-Spain Pass starting from USD$ 264 – get to know Portugal's top cities like Lisbon and Porto.

  • Eurail Spain Pass starting from USD$ 210   – spend your whole vacation to discover Spain by rail.

 

Example train route in Spain

Visit Spain's most popular cities on a single trip with Eurail. You can follow the suggested route below using a Eurail Spain Pass - 8 days within 2 months, starting from USD$ 370.

 

1. Barcelona

Barcelona is Spain’s most cosmopolitan city offering surrealist architecture from Gaudí and entertainment galore.

 

2. Valencia

Valencia offers a charming old town, pleasant beaches and of course, the best paella Spain has to offer.

 

3. Granada

Granada is spellbinding thanks to the allure of the Alhambra set before the mountainous backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.

 

4. Seville

Seville – wander the winding cobbled streets of the Andalusian capital and include visits to Seville Cathedral and the Alcázar.

 

5. Madrid

Madrid has plenty to offer – get lost at the Rastro flea market, explore the Prado Museum and soak up the lively atmosphere of Chueca.

 

6. Toledo

Toledo is a stone’s throw from the capital and offers a rich history with churches, synagogues and mosques stood side by side.

 

7. Salamanca

Salamanca is buzzing with a student atmosphere and dressed up in beautiful traditional architecture.

 

8. Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela – is filled with Medieval charm and is the finishing point for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago.

 

9. San Sebastian

San Sebastian proudly boasts some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches – ideal for sunbathers and surfers alike.

 

 

For more route ideas for your Eurail trip, check out our European highlights itinerary.

Places to visit in Spain

 
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Bustling brightness in Barcelona

Known for its modern, forward-thinking style, Barcelona is one of the most progressive cities in Spain. The capital of Catalonia offers music, museums, sun and shopping. A popular attraction is Sagrada Familia, a temple designed by Antoni Gaudi. Its construction began in 1882, and is still underway. Gaudi’s influence is unmissable in Barcelona – from Park Guell to Casa Batlló, one of the most unique residences in Spain.

It’s easiest to get to Sagrada Familia by bus or subway from any major railway station. The temple has its own stop.

Plaza de España, in Seville, Spain
Plaza de España, in Seville, Spain

Centuries of style in Seville

Seville (Sevilla) captures the sexy Spanish lifestyle, but business and finance are also part of the mix. Tour the city on foot, by bus or by bike. Parque de María Luisa and Plaza de España give a taste of Seville’s nature. The Sevilla Cathedral gives a feel of the Muslim and Christian influence. A steamy nightlife, flamenco dancing and delicious tapas, completes the adventure.

Seville train station Santa Justa is about a mile northeast of the city center.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Quaint and peaceful Spain in Bilbao & Pamplona

Want to see some of the smaller, more quaint Spanish towns? The coastal city of Bilbao offers the famous Guggenheim Museum, designed by architect Frank Gehry and recognized as a work of architectural genius. Further south, Pamplona may be known for the Running of the Bulls (July 6-14), but for the rest of the year, this little town is a fabulous place to explore, eat, and enjoy a dazzling nightlife.

 

From Station Bilbao-Abando, you can take a subway directly to the Guggenheim Museum. The museum has its own subway stop.

Mercado Central, Valencia, Spain
Mercado Central, Valencia, Spain

Sizzling sun in Valencia

Bask in the sunlight along the Costa Blanca (the White Coast) before heading into town for some memorable sightseeing. Once in town, don’t miss the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, which contains an oceanic aquarium, scientific museum, IMAX theater, covered gardens & more. Want to do a bit of shopping? The more than 1,000 stalls at the Mercado Central offers a host of colors, scents and flavors for the modern shopaholic.

From train stations De El Cabanyal en Del Norte city buses and metros bring you to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.

Madrid
Madrid

Voluntary insomnia in Madrid

Madrid has so much to offer, you shouldn’t be surprised if you forget to sleep. Spend your days in the Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace (Palacio Real), the Royal Botanical Gardens (Real Jardin Botanica) or one of the 73 museums. Feast on tapas in the evening, and dance the night away in one of the countless nightclubs that make this city famous. All the while, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most fascinating architecture in the world.

The Royal Botanical Gardens are a 10-minute walk from train station Atocha. The famous Parque del Retiro is just across from the Botanical Gardens entrance.

Events in Spain

 
Día de los Reyes, Madrid
Día de los Reyes, Madrid

Día de los Reyes

January 6, 2015

Celebrate Three Kings Day the Spanish way in Madrid. Parades fill the streets and the mood is festive, especially for children.

Las Fallas Festival in Valencia
Las Fallas Festival in Valencia

Las Fallas

March 15 - March 19, 2015

This 5-day festival revolves around the creation and finally the burning of card, wood and paper-machéninots (puppets). On the final day the puppets are filled with fireworks and at midnight they are all set on fire. This definitely goes down as one of Spain’s craziest fiestas.

The festival takes place across the entire city of Valencia, which can be reached from the main train station.

Semana Santa, Seville
Semana Santa, Seville

Semana Santa

March 27 - April 5, 2015

During Holy Week (the last week of Lent and the week immediately before Easter) there are processions up and down the country, however the one in Seville is well-known for being the most elaborate. Worshippers follow the procession bare foot, carrying crosses and candles and it isn’t uncommon to see people carrying shackles and chains attached to them as penance.

The procession moves through the center of the city and can be reached by tram.

La Feria d’Abril, Seville
La Feria d’Abril, Seville

La Feria d’Abril

April 21 - April 26, 2015

Each year the Sevillanos take a week off work and dress up in traditional flamenco costumes. The locals gather around separate casetas (wooden huts) and throw themselves into flamenco marathons, along with eating, drinking, singing and making one hell of a party.

From the center of Seville the festival grounds is a 15-minute walk.

San Fermín, Pamplona
San Fermín, Pamplona

San Fermín

July 6 - July 14, 2015

Pamplona celebrates its patron saint with this week-long festival that includes the famous Running of the Bulls (Encierro).

Festivities take place all over Pamplona. From Pamplona's train station, take bus 9 which will bring you to the city center.

Tomatina, Buñol
Tomatina, Buñol

Tomatina

August 26 - August 27, 2015

The Spanish try not to take themselves too seriously and this festival demonstrates this perfectly. The culmination of crazy people (both Spanish and tourists) plus unlimited supplies of tomatoes is basically all that is needed to make Tomatina a splattering success!

Take a bus from the center of Valencia to Buñol.

La Mercé, Barcelona
La Mercé, Barcelona

La Mercé

September 20 - September 24, 2015

Hundreds of events, activities and parades, and the famous Fire Run (Correfoc) fill the streets of Barcelona with even more light and energy than usual.

Festivities take place all over the city of Barcelona. Use the city's public transport network to reach the different venues.

Benefits in Spain

 
Woman on deck of a ferry, Spain

Woman on deck of a ferry, Spain

Ferry travel in Spain

Discounted ferry travel is an extra benefit of Eurail Spain rail passes.Get discounted ferry travel between Spain and:

  • Italy

  • Morocco

 

Bus travel in Spain

Eurail pass holders can also travel for free (pay only a reservation) on these international bus routes:

  • Canfranc - Oloron (France)

  • Valencia S. Joaquin sorolla – Valencia Nord station

 

See all pass benefits for Spain

More about Spain

 
People sitting on a terrace at Atocha Railway Station in Madrid, Spain.

People sitting on a terrace at Atocha Railway Station in Madrid, Spain.

Quick facts

  • Capital: Madrid

  • Population: 47.2 million

  • Language: Spanish

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

  • Dialing code: +34

 

Spanish hub stations

Spain's main hub stations are Madrid Puerta de Atocha, Barcelona Sants, Irun and Portbou. At these train stations, it's possible to connect to trains to Spain's main cities and many international destinations.

 

Station facilities

Stations in Spain usually have excellent facilities, often including:

  • Luggage lockers

  • Foreign exchange desks

  • Restaurants and cafés

  • Tourist information offices

  • ATM cash machines

  • Elevators and escalators

  • Access for disabled passengers

Related pages

 
- Countries in Europe
- Countries in Europe
- Countries in Europe
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