Trains from Barcelona to Madrid
Looking to find the best way to travel from Barcelona to Madrid? Look no further! The Omio guide to train connections between Barcelona and Madrid covers everything you need to know about ticket types, train providers, high-speed trains, schedules and how to buy the cheapest tickets. Read on to get the most up to date information, plus discover our top tips for things to do once you’ve reached Madrid.
Aerial view of Montjuic in Barcelona. Source: Shutterstock
Buy cheap train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid
The cheapest tickets for trains from Barcelona to Madrid can be as low as £31, with the average train ticket costing £32. To snap up those cheaper tickets, travellers should look to book tickets as far in advance as possible as prices increase with time. If you can be flexible with your travel, it is also worth considering different dates and times, particularly avoiding peak hours. Buying your train tickets is simple with Omio. We offer a quick and easy way to compare and book train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid.
- Visit the Omio booking page
- Enter your Departure station (e.g. Barcelona Sants)
- Enter your Arrival Station (e.g. Madrid Puerta de Atocha)
- Select your travel date (you can add a return date in case of a round trip)
- Click the red ‘Search’ button.
This will open a new page with a list of trains scheduled for departure on the selected date. You can adjust your filters to show the cheapest train tickets at the top of the page. The filters can also be adjusted according to journey duration, departure times and the number of changes.
Paperless train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid
The Omio booking pages have been designed to give you a quick and easy snapshot of the best tickets available. Once you’ve purchased your ticket, you’ll have everything sent to your phone with no need to print. What’s more, you can also enjoy live journey updates, meaning you'll be notified of any platform changes or delays, and we’ll send you a reminder when it's time to set off. If you need any help along the way, there’s a dedicated helpline to answer questions to make your journey enjoyable and hassle-free. Explore your train options on Omio from the comfort of your home or on the go. Download the free Omio app today.
Which train companies travel from Barcelona to Madrid?
Trains from Barcelona to Madrid are mainly operated by the Spanish state rail company Renfe, with additional services by iryo and Ouigo, a subsidiary of the French SNCF network. Renfe trains are divided into different fleets and lines meaning that passengers can choose between non-stop AVE trains, Renfe AVLO trains, and slightly slower Media Distancia connections. There are also slower daily Regional train services.
Travel first class on trains from Barcelona to Madrid
When travelling with Renfe you’ll have the option to choose between three different ticket types. Each ticket type is priced according to the flexibility of the ticket, the level of comfort and service you’ll receive onboard.
- Básico (Basic) ticket: these are the cheapest tickets on the standard coaches. Passengers will receive all benefits of travelling on standard including plenty of legroom, WIFI, luggage storage and power sockets. Básico tickets cannot be exchanged or cancelled for a refund. Add-ons can be bought however, these include seat selection for €5 extra, or bringing a pet for an extra €10.
- Elige (the Pick and mix) ticket: these tickets can be tailored to your needs. Elige ticket holders have more flexibility with exchanging or cancelling their tickets or even changing the ticket holder. The Elige ticket also gives the option to travel on Elige ESTÁNDAR (with standard seats) or Elige CONFORT (with XL comfort seats). Add-ons include seat selection, travelling with pets, or a box of food delivered to your seat for an extra €7.50
- Prémium (Premium) ticket: these tickets offer full first class comfort and flexibility. The perks of travelling with this ticket includes XL comfort seats, unlimited free changes to your ticket, a full refund if you cancel your ticket 7 days in advance, and if you miss your train simply hop on the next one for free. The Prémium includes all add-ons including seat selection, taking pets, food service to your seat.
High-speed trains Barcelona to Madrid
Journeys between Barcelona and Madrid are served by several high-speed trains, including Renfe AVE, Ouigo and iryo. The fastest train journey takes just 2 h 30 min, running at speeds of up to 192 miles an hour (310 km/h) and covering a distance of 314 miles (516 km). The longest journey takes up to 9h and 4min via Renfe Regionale, departing from Barcelona Sants at 9:03 a.m. and arriving at Madrid Chamartin station at 6:07 p.m. This is the cheapest rate on this route, so if you’re on a tight budget this might be the ticket for you.
Daily departures: Barcelona to Madrid trains
Barcelona and Madrid are two of Spain’s largest and most popular cities so it’s no surprise that a high number of trains run between both cities every day. Visitors, local travellers and commuters can choose to make an easy journey between the cities thanks to regular daily train services. The route between Barcelona and Madrid is well served with over 18 trains running daily. The first AVE high-velocity train departs at 8:00 a.m. from the Barcelona Sants train station and the last departs at 8:00 p.m. Schedules at the weekend may vary, so check in for live, up-to-date timetables with Omio.
Popular Train Journeys in Spain
We've compiled a list of the most popular train routes through the country. These include high-speed, low cost trains from Madrid to Alicante
and Malaga to Madrid, as well as the speedy inter-city trains between Barcelona and Madrid. Omio helps you compare prices to different cities, see journey times and click through to buy train tickets for your upcoming holiday in Spain.
What are the departure and arrival stations?
Departure train station: the main departure station from Barcelona to Madrid is the Barcelona Sants train station. The station is located 2.5 miles (4 km) from downtown Barcelona and is easily accessed by bus, train or taxi. There are many facilities at Barcelona Sants station, including parking, car rental, luggage storage, restaurants and shops.
Arrival train station: trains from Barcelona arrive atMadrid Puerta de Atocha railway station. This station is popular for its beautiful historic setting blended with a tropical garden next to a modern terminus. The station features a lost luggage area and luggage lockers with long-term and short-term storage options. It also offers several food and shopping concessions, ATMs, currency exchange services, and a waiting area. There are several washrooms, baby changing facilities, and water fountains. Travellers can get to the station by foot from the city centre. Alternatively, they can get taxis or private transfers. Travellers can also hop on the metro with line 2 providing services to and from the station.
|Address: Atocha, 28045 Madrid, Spain
Free Wi-Fi (30 minutes)
|Public Transport to the City Center: Line 1, Airport Express, Regional Buses, Regional Trains, Taxis
|Address: Plaça dels Països Catalans, 1, 7,
08014 Barcelona, Spain
Free Wi-Fi (30 minutes)
|Public Transport to the City Center: Line 5, Regional buses, Taxis
Sevilla Santa Justa
Night trains from Barcelona to Madrid
There are no true night trains with sleeping cabins between these two cities. Instead, passengers can catch a late train arriving in Madrid before midnight. The last AVE train from Barcelona to Madrid departs at the Barcelona Sants station at 8:00 p.m. and arrives in Madrid at 11:17 p.m. in Madrid. AVE trains mostly travel by day, so if you’re looking to experience night trains in Spain, you may want to consider visiting an alternative destination.
Sustainable travel on trains from Barcelona to Madrid
Trains are by far the most sustainable and greenest means of travel. Their emissions only represent about two percent of the transport sector emissions. They also have a low energy consumption, which equals a tenth of the fuel used by small cars and aircraft. Trains have the ability to occupy minimal space in the environment and at the same time offer the most spacious areas to passengers onboard. Trains have a long lifetime and can go for up to 50 years without the need to re-invest in spare parts and non-renewable energy.
Services on board: Barcelona to Madrid
Renfe trains offer two travel classes, the major difference between the first and second classes is the seating arrangement. Second-class coaches offer a two-by-two-seat configuration, while first class offers two-by-one seat configurations. Seats in first class are far more spacious, and they offer more legroom. Another perk of first-class travel is the at-seat catering service that is available. Renfe trains have on-board personnel who provide services in different languages throughout the train journeys.
Trains are also equipped with a buffet car, which offers seasonal menus, a children’s menu, and a variety of drinks. The trains also provide free Wi-Fi onboard for travellers’ entertainment. Renfe trains have luggage restrictions with a maximum of three luggage items per traveller. The measurement limit is 33x21x13 inches (85x55x35 cm), and the weight limit is 50 lbs (25 kg). They also offer power outlets for travellers to keep their equipment charged. Pets are allowed on board with a ticket and as long as they are on a leash. Renfe trains are wheelchair accessible with designated areas for wheelchairs, step-free boarding equipment, and adapted services.
Royal Palace in Madrid. Source: Shutterstock
Travel tips: things to do in Madrid
Madrid is one of the most exciting cities to visit on your holiday. First, the weather is good throughout the year – predominantly sunny, making it a great place to visit, relax and sightsee. Spain also offers some of the best culinary delights, and Madrid abounds with restaurants, cafes and markets selling regional and national delicacies. Consider places like Mercado San Miguel for gourmet local cuisine. You should also visit the Royal Palace of Madrid, one of the most impressive monuments in Europe – it’s majestic building, and also allows visitors to go inside to explore. If you want a park where you can relax and have fun, Retiro Park is a good place to visit while in Madrid. At night, Madrid offers good nightlife, which you can enjoy at local bars and trendy nightclubs. If you want to be involved in events, you should look forward to annual events like:
- La Paloma Festival
- Los Veranos de la Villa
- Madrid Jazz Festival
- Madrid Pride Week
- Nochevieja (New Year's Eve)
You can discover more about things to do in Madrid with the Omio magazine.
International trains from Madrid
The main international routes for trains in Spain usually depart and arrive from Madrid and Barcelona. A couple of the most popular international routes connected to Madrid go to Lisbon and Paris. If you’re looking to explore the rest of Europe by train, check out some of the popular routes and download the Omio app. It’s a convenient way to find tickets in any language, no matter which country you’re travelling to.
Popular Train Routes from Spain
Spain not only has a great national train network but it is well connected to many parts of Europe. Depending on where you are in the country it can take just a matter of hours to get to cities such as Bordeaux, Paris and Lisbon all from the comfort of a train seat.