Travel is back! Make sure to book your seat reservations well in advance to guarantee your seat(s). 

Would you rather avoid reservations all together? Check out our reservation-free itineraries.

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Spain By Train

 

Trains are the perfect way to travel in Spain. The country is filled with lively cities, cultural curiosities, lovely beaches, and great food. Your Eurail Spain Pass is your ticket to amazing rail adventures, from the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Andalusia to the unspoilt beaches of the Costa Brava.

 

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 timetable to check times for trains in Spain.

Map with main train connections in Spain
Map with main train connections in Spain

Regional and Intercity trains in Spain

 

Media Distancia (RE)

  • Connects larger cities with smaller destinations over medium distances.

  • Fast trains making frequent stops along their routes.

  • Reservations are required on most services.

 

Cercanías (RE)

  • Suburban trains serving Spain's largest cities such as Barcelona and Valencia.

  • No reservation required.

Domestic high-speed trains in Spain

 

Avant (AVN)

  • High-speed services for short journeys along short to medium routes.

  • Faster and more comfortable than Media Distancia with similar coverage.

  • Reservations are required.

 

AVE (AVE)

  • Covering Europe's largest high-speed rail network, these trains travel on speeds of up to 310 km/h (193 mph).
  • Takes you from Madrid to Barcelona in under 3 hours.
  • Reservations are required.

 

Alvia (IC)

  • Comfortable, long-distance trains connecting Madrid and Barcelona to destinations throughout Spain.

  • Reservations are required.

 

Intercity (IC)

  • Comfortable, long-distance trains connecting Madrid to destinations in the south of Spain.

  • Reservations are required.

 

Euromed (EUR)

  • High-speed, air-conditioned trains running along the Mediterranean coastline of north-eastern Spain.

  • Connects key cities in the Levante region: Barcelona to Valencia in just over 3 hours then onwards to Alicante.

  • Reservations are required.

 

International high-speed trains in Spain

 
  • Trains co-run by the Spanish and French railways.

  • Routes include Barcelona to Paris and Madrid to Marseille.

  • Reservations are required.

 

Celta (IC)

  • Intercity trains that link Spanish train station Vigo Guixar with Porto in Portugal.

  • Reservations are required.

InterCités de Nuit (NT)

  • International night trains connecting Spain to France.

  • Operate on the following routes:

    • Port-bou to Paris (France)

  • You need to reserve sleeping accommodation prior to taking this train. Places are limited, especially during peak season from May to September, so it's worth making your reservation as soon as possible 

 

Popular connections

Spain has an extensive high-speed train network, which will get you where you want to go a lot faster compared to the regional train system. However, for the high-speed trains you'll need to book a seat reservation. We'll explain you more about reservations a bit further down on this page.

 

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

 

To / From 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

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 – Porto Torres (Italy)

  • Barcelona – Tangier (Morocco)

 

Reservations

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). 

 

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

The only way to make reservations for domestic and long-distance trains is directly at the ticket offices of local Long Distance stations (not commuter stations). Find a list of long distance stations here. You can make reservations on the day of travel or up to 3 months in advance.

 

It is also possible to pre-reserve a seat by phone, by calling +34 91 232 03 20 (Renfe phone sales).

  • This is possible up to 24 hours before a train's departure. 
  • You will receive a PNR code which you must use to pick up and pay for your reservation at a local station ticket office, making sure to show your Eurail Pass. 
  • You must collect your reservation within 72 hours. After this time the pre-reservation will expire. 

Please note that a pre-reservation is not the same as a reservation. It only holds a seat for you for 72 hours.

 

If you have a disability or reduced mobility and you want to travel by train in Spain, you can request help from Atendo Service. You can contact them by phone:

  • Phone number: +34 91 214 05 05
  • Opening hours: 24/7

 

Find out more about reservations

 

Get your Pass for Spain

Spain Pass

 

Spend your whole vacation to discover Spain by rail.


Standard prices from $ 152

Global Pass

 

Have the freedom to visit Spain and up to 32 other Eurail countries.


Standard prices from $ 185

 

Tips and tricks

Quick facts

  • Capital: Madrid

  • Population: 47.2 million

  • Language: Spanish

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

  • Dialing code: +34

 

Spelling of city names

On Spanish train timetables and at train stations in Spain, you'll usually find the local spelling of Spanish cities and stations.

 

Here is the local spelling of some popular Spanish cities:

  • Alicante = Alacant

  • Seville = Sevilla

Spanish hub stations

Spain's main hub stations are Madrid Puerta de Atocha-Almudena Grandes, 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

 

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