Traveling in Spain by train is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and variety of the Spanish landscape. Spanish rail infrastructure has expanded rapidly, with high-speed AVE trains linking major cities in Spain at velocities of up to 186 mph. Renfe, Spain’s national rail company, offers numerous high-speed train routes that connect most parts of the Iberian Peninsula by rail. From popular destinations and train routes to information about train companies and how to buy cheap train tickets, this page provides an overview of everything you need to know about trains in Spain. Alternatively, if you are planning on taking multiple train trips you can choose to purchase a Eurail pass for train travel in Spain.
The largest and most visited cities in Spain are accessible by AVE (high-speed trains) including Madrid, Seville and Barcelona. The Ciudad Condal, as Barcelona is known in Spanish, is the country's most visited city, largely due to the modernist architecture of Gaudí and its extensive art scene. The Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Park Güell and Barceloneta Beach are other attractions popular with travellers. Madrid, the second most visited destination, is particularly popular among those looking to delve into the country's art scene, housing some of the most important galleries in the country including the Art Triangle: the Prado Museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Sevilla comes in third place in terms of the most visited cities in Spain. The Andalusian capital is home to the largest old town in the country, including World Heritage sites such as the Alcazar or Giralda monuments.
Renfe Operadora is Spain's national train company. There are various types of trains in operation in Spain, though the rail network is most typically made up of regional and intercity trains. Media Distancia trains link regional destinations with the high-speed train routes, while Cercanias (suburban trains) operate in and around the country's major cities such as Barcelona and Valencia. Renfe trains also serve international destinations in Portugal and France.
Renfe AVE are high-speed trains most commonly used for long-distance routes between major cities in Spain. Renfe AVE trains travel up to 350 km/h and connect Madrid with Seville, Barcelona, Valencia, Toledo, Cordoba, and Malaga. Renfe's AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona is the most popular high-speed train route in Spain.
In terms of geography and landscapes, Spain is a country of great scenic contrasts. Traveling through Spain by train is one of the best ways to take in its varied landscape, from lush forests to vast plains of wheat fields and from mountainous resorts to sandy beaches. The Spanish rail system has expanded rapidly in recent years, and now high-speed AVE trains link its major cities at speeds of up to 186mph. The national train operator, Renfe, operates train routes nationwide, connecting the various parts of the Peninsula with its high-speed services.