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The journey from Madrid to Barcelona is popular with travelers in Spain. Direct journeys between Madrid and Barcelona are available by trains, buses and flights. Key departure points include Madrid Puerta de Atocha train station, Madrid Intercambiador Avenida de America bus station, and Madrid Barajas airport.
Taking the bus is the cheapest way to travel from Madrid to Barcelona. Alsa is the main bus company in Spain and operates all the buses from Madrid to Barcelona. Alsa buses take approximately 7 hours 20 minutes to travel from Madrid to Barcelona and depart 16 times per day. Alsa buses depart from Madrid Intercambiador Avenida de America and arrive at Barcelona Nord bus station.
Taking the train is usually the fastest way to travel from Madrid to Barcelona. High-speed AVE trains take approximately 2 hours 30 minutes to travel from Madrid to Barcelona and are operated by Renfe, Spain's national train company. There is at least one departure from Madrid Puerta de Atocha train station every hour throughout the day, seven days a week. It only takes 1 hour 10 minutes of flight time to fly from Madrid to Barcelona; however, when the time to travel to and from Madrid and Barcelona's airports are included, it takes approximately 3 hours 35 minutes to arrive into the city centre of Barcelona.
Taking the train is the most popular way to travel from Madrid to Barcelona. While the train is often more expensive than taking the bus or flying, the time saved makes up for the additional cost for most travelers. Some of the train ticket cost can be offset by planning ahead and booking your Barcelona to Madrid travel as far ahead of time as possible.