Travel by train in Spain
Travel through Spain by rail and see the best this country has to offer from the unspoilt beaches of the Costa Brava, past the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Andalusia and between traditional towns and cities.
Visit Spain's most popular cities Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville by regional, high-speed or night train and experience vibrant culture and top cuisine along the way.
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
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.
- 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:
- Talgo du Jour (Mare Nostrum) links Valencia, Murcia and Barcelona with Montpellier (France).
- Internacional trains connect Vigo with Porto (Portugal).
Domestic high-speed trains in Spain
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 Talgo du Jour appears as "TLG". High-speed trains appear as "IC", "ATR-Altaria", "AVE", "A" or "EM". These trains always require a reservation.
Night trains in Spain
International night trains in Spain
The following night trains connect Spain with France, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland:
Madrid / Barcelona – Paris (France)
- InterCité 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)
Madrid – Lisbon (Portugal)
- Sud Expresso:
Irún – Lisbon (Portugal)
Domestic night trains in Spain
- Estrella trains connect major Spanish cities by night:
Madrid – Barcelona – Portbou
Bilbao – Malaga
- Trenhotel trains link the north of Spain with Barcelona and capital city Madrid:
A Coruna – Barcelona
A Coruna – Madrid
Elipsos trains appear on the Eurail timetable as "EN", Surexpreso as "HOT", Lusitania as "Hotelzug" and InterCités de Nuit as "NZ". You're required to book sleeping accommodation in advance.
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.
For more information about reservations:
Rail and ferry connections in Spain
Popular domestic 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|
|Madrid||Seville||2hr 30min||16hr 50min|
|Madrid||Santiago de Compostela||6hr 30min||28hr 40min|
International train connections to and from Spain
We suggest the following routes to travel between Spain and other European countries:
- France – Spain
Travel by day from Barcelona to Perpignan on Talgo du Jour trains. Or take the Elipsos night train to travel to Paris from Madrid (15hr 35min) or Barcelona (12hr 40min).
- 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)
Spain rail passes
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 Spain Pass starting from US$251 – spend your whole vacation to discover Spain by rail.
- Eurail Global Pass starting from US$617 – have the freedom to visit Spain and up to 23 other Eurail countries.
- Eurail Select Pass starting from US$332 – choose from a 3, 4 or 5 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 US$281 – visit popular French cities like Paris, Lyons and Nice.
Eurail Italy-Spain Pass starting from US$281 – explore historical sites in Florence, Rome and Venice.
Eurail Portugal-Spain Pass starting from US$355 – get to know Portugal's top cities like Lisbon and Porto.
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 US$433.
Barcelona is Spain’s most cosmopolitan city offering surrealist architecture from Gaudí and entertainment galore.
Valencia offers a charming old town, pleasant beaches and of course, the best paella Spain has to offer.
Granada is spellbinding thanks to the allure of the Alhambra set before the mountainous backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.
Seville – wander the winding cobbled streets of the Andalusian capital and include visits to Seville Cathedral and the Alcázar.
Madrid has plenty to offer – get lost at the Rastro flea market, explore the Prado Museum and soak up the lively atmosphere of Chueca.
Toledo is a stone’s throw from the capital and offers a rich history with churches, synagogues and mosques stood side by side.
Salamanca is buzzing with a student atmosphere and dressed up in beautiful traditional architecture.
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela – is filled with Medieval charm and is the finishing point for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago.
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.
Train stations in Spain
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.
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
Extra benefits in Spain
Ferry travel in Spain
Discounted ferry travel is an extra benefit of Eurail Spain rail passes. Get discounted ferry travel between Spain and:
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
Train info for bordering countries
Get train information for Spain's bordering countries: