How to travel from Madrid to Barcelona

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from Madrid to Barcelona

You can get from Madrid to Barcelona by train, bus or flight.

Our recommendation

To get from Madrid to Barcelona on Sep 27 we recommend taking a train because it’s the best combination of price and speed.

05:20PMMadrid-Puerta de Atocha2h30 07:50PMBarcelona Sants
0 transfers
11:55AMMadrid, Aeropuerto Barajas T47h30 07:25PMBarcelona, Estación de Autobuses de Barcelona/Sants
0 transfers
Other options
02:00PMMadrid Barajas Airport1h20 03:20PMBarcelona El Prat Airport
0 transfers
09:15PMMadrid Barajas Airport1h20 10:35PMBarcelona El Prat Airport
0 transfers
10:05AMMadrid-Puerta de Atocha2h45 12:50PMBarcelona Sants
0 transfers

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How to Travel from Madrid to Barcelona?

To travel from Madrid to Barcelona, there are various transportation methods available, from buses and trains, to flights. This is a popular route connecting the two largest cities in Spain. Since the trips are generally not that long, people tend to travel for Madrid to Barcelona for work, thanks to the high-speed trains, or even just a weekend visit. The daily train and flight travel time from Madrid to Barcelona takes around one and a half to three hours to cover the distance between the two cities of more or less 312 miles (504 km). However, the journeys by bus can be overnight and take as long as 8h 25min. Most of the transportation methods between Madrid and Barcelona are direct trips, not requiring stopovers.

What is the Cheapest Way To Get from Madrid to Barcelona?

It’s possible to find very affordable routes on all Madrid-Barcelona methods of transportation. In general, the cheapest way to get from Madrid to Barcelona is taking a train. The trains from Madrid to Barcelona are operated by Renfe and run throughout the whole day, departing every one to two hours. Travelers can expect there to be at least 15 departures per day. These train journeys are all direct trips, leaving out of the Madrid Puerta de Atocha station and at arriving at Barcelona Sants train station. To find cheap tickets from Madrid to Barcelona, try to book them in advance, before prices rise as the departure date gets closer. Be as flexible as possible with your travel times and dates as well, to pick and choose the most affordable routes and transportation.

What is the Fastest Way to Travel from Madrid to Barcelona?

The fastest way to get from Madrid to Barcelona is most likely by train. The flights are direct and also fast, however both airports are farther from the city center than the train stations, plus passengers must consider the extra check in and boarding time it requires as well. The high-speed train routes are the fastest option. These trains are the AVE lines, part of the Spanish national railway, The shortest Madrid to Barcelona travel time by train is more or less 2h 50min. These trains depart from the Madrid Puerta de Atocha train station and arrive at the Barcelona Sants train station.

Skyline of Madrid at sunrise. Source: Shutterstock

Find the best tickets from Madrid to Barcelona and book withOmio

Omio is an online travel platform that allows you to compare and book a variety of methods of transport. It offers various transportation providers and the times of departure. The platform allows you to filter your search prioritizing travel time or price, scanning all options with a glance.Omio has the option of using mobile tickets as well as putting the website in your language for a personalized customer service. For those looking for inspiration, check out the useful tips published in the Omio magazine.

Trains from Madrid to Barcelona

Taking a train from Madrid Puerta de Atocha to Barcelona Sants station is a very common and frequent way of getting between these two cities. Renfe is the Spanish national railway operator making at least 15 trips per day. This is generally the cheapest option as well as the fastest option for getting from Madrid to Barcelona. The high-speed AVE train makes getting to Barcelona in under 3h an option for business travelers or for those looking to go to Barcelona for a short period of time. The Renfe trains available from Madrid to Barcelona are all direct, they don’t require passengers to switch trains at any point along the way.

Train travel from Madrid to Barcelona with Renfe

Renfe is the sole train provider for tickets from Madrid to Barcelona. Renfe offers over 80 journeys per week. All of these trips from Madrid to Barcelona by train are direct and don’t require passengers to switch lines or trains along the way. There are both high-speed AVE trains as well as standard Regional Express trains operating these lines. The fastest trip by train to Barcelona on an AVE line takes as little as around 2h 50min.

Night trains train travel from Madrid to Barcelona with Renfe

There currently aren’t any available night trains operating from Madrid to Barcelona.

Buses from Madrid to Barcelona

There are daily buses going from Madrid to Barcelona, leaving Madrid every few hours. These bus trips are operated by the Spanish bus company, Alsa. The buses depart from various stations in Madrid, including the Aeropuerto Barajas T4, Intercambiador Avenida de América, Estación Sur Méndez Álvaro and the Intercambiador de Plaza Castilla stations. These journeys arrive in Barcelona about 8h later into either Estación de Autobuses Nord, Barcelona Gran Vía or Estación de Autobuses Sants stations. All of these trips are direct and don’t require stopovers.

Traveling by bus from Madrid to Barcelona with Alsa

Alsa is the main provider of bus routes going from Madrid to Barcelona. A lot of these routes stop in multiple stations in Madrid before starting the trip, and also makes various stops in Barcelona upon their arrival. There are both daytime buses as well as nighttime routes with Alsa, and there are more or less 10 full routes per day.

Flights from Madrid to Barcelona

There are various flights per day making the trip from Madrid to Barcelona. These flights depart out of Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) and arrive at Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN). The main airlines operating these nonstop journeys are Iberia, Vueling and Air Europa. There are over 10 routes per day from Madrid to Barcelona. The flight from Madrid to Barcelona takes more or less 1h 15min from take-off to landing. However, from the Barcelona El Prat Airport to the city center, it’s about 40min on the A1 or A2 Airport bus routes.

Flying from Madrid to Barcelona with Iberia

The main airline operating the flights from Madrid Barajas Airport to Barcelona El Prat Airport is the Spanish airline, Iberia. Iberia has at least eight departures per day to Barcelona. They run more or less every hour or two. The earliest flight from Madrid to Barcelona with Iberia is around 8:00 a.m., at the latest at about 8:15 p.m. These Iberia flights are all nonstop from Madrid to Barcelona.

To Barcelona by train/ bus/ flight—travel tips

Barcelona is one of the most popular cities to visit in Spain and the second largest in the country. This coastal city is famous for its Gaudí architecture and Mediterranean culture. When you think of Barcelona, the iconic Sagrada Familia Basilica probably pops into your head. Gaudí also designed the unconventional modernist Casas Milà and Batllo located in the city center. Another famous part of the city of Barcelona is exploring the Gothic Quarter. Here you’ll find winding roads made of cobblestone, narrow streets and roman buildings. This experience will set you right back in the middle ages. Of course, one of the greatest things to experience when visiting a new city is their culture and cuisine. Some traditional dishes visitors must try when in Barcelona are fideuà, the noodle version of paella, roasted vegetables of an escalivada, or possibly “crema catalana”, a version of a creme brulée, for dessert.

Beach of Barcelona at sunrise. Source: Shutterstock

Inspirational content

Barcelona is full of plenty of sites to see and new experiences.

  • Stop at a café or go shopping along La Rambla, the heart of Barcelona’s social life
  • Explore the colorful and surrealist Parc Güell overlooking the city
  • Watch a soccer game at the Camp Nou stadium
  • See the lights at night at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
  • Enjoy a sunny day sunbathing and eating at the Barceloneta beach

How to get from Madrid to Barcelona

The Best Way According to our Users

Whether it is for business or leisure, in order to travel from Madrid to Barcelona, 67,30% of our customers choose the train as their preferred mode of transportation. By traveling by train on this route, you can enjoy the comfort of spacious seats, spectacular views—and in some cases free Wi-Fi—in both second and first class. Our customers have decided that the train is the best way to get from Madrid to Barcelona and have chosen to enjoy this fast, safe and efficient way to arrive at their destination. Taking the train also avoids long lines or potential expenses for transfers to/from the station—especially since most main railway stations are located in the city center. Train companies in Europe vary from country to country, but most of them offer high-speed train routes, therefore when you add up at the end-to-end journey time, the train is often also the fastest way to get to your destination.

Search on Omio to find cheap tickets from Madrid to Barcelona. It’s easy to find the most attractive prices and choose your preferred route for your journey. Book on web or app, and travel with your mobile ticket —without the stress of printing your ticket.

Travel Tips: Travel from Madrid to Barcelona

Travel to Barcelona easily. Whether you want fast, cheap or something entirely different, our travel experts have collected everything you need to know so you can find the best option from Madrid to Barcelona.

The distance from Madrid to Barcelona is approximately 312 miles (504 km).

Many of our customers who book a trip from Madrid to Barcelona often extend their vacation and travel to other popular destinations like Paris, Valencia or Sevilla. If you’re thinking of adding another destination to your Madrid and Barcelona itinerary, let Omio find you the best connections between Barcelona and any of these top destinations today!

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