best way to get to Madrid from Barcelona

May 18th, 2007, 01:29 AM
  #1  
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best way to get to Madrid from Barcelona

I'm staying in Sitges, just south of Barcelona in August. I need to get Madrid at some stage - any advice on best way to get there? Bus? Rail? Domestic flights seem a little pricey. Would also consider hire car if this is best. There will be 2 of us travelling. Thanks for your help!
michela31 is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 01:59 AM
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Did you try Vueling? ..a cut rate Spanish airline
travelbunny is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 02:56 AM
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Thanks Travelbunny, I did look at Vueling (and Spanair and Clickair). Barcalona-Madrid was around 30 to 40 euros (which is more than it's costing me Madrid-London!). I thought perhaps bus or rail might be cheaper. I'm thinking now that maybe we hire a car for the day, have a bit of a look around and dump it soon as we get to (or near) Madrid. Any more advice appreciated!
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May 18th, 2007, 03:08 AM
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The flight time for Barcelona-Madrid is about 1 hr and 5 minutes.

I think 40 Euros is pretty cheap considering any other form of transport is going to take a minimum of 4.5 to 5 hours or more but if time is not an issue...
Dukey is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Thanks Dukey, I thought as I wrote it that it was a bit rough to baulk at 30-40 euro! Being Australian I think I'm used to covering long distances for not much cost. That, and I suspect Madrid is further from Barcelona than I'm thinking... That said, do you think it's a viable option to rent a car (I've heard they're reasonably priced in Spain) and make a day trip of the journey? Thanks for your help.
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May 18th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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>That said, do you think it's a viable option to rent a car (I've heard they're reasonably priced in Spain) and make a day trip of the journey? Thanks for your help.

Driving this stretch is a full day. The distance is somewhere in excess of 600 km. With the new high-speed line from Lleida the train might well be the fastest option, with the overall travel time below 4 hours - check RENFE schedules.

Of course a bus will be cheaper than train, but if you are ready to spend a full day in a bus... I donīt now.
altamiro is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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Thanks altamiro. We do have time on our side so the train might be a good option. Or thinking we might take 2 days to drive to Madrid - does anyone have suggestions for a recommended route? Thanks again.
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May 18th, 2007, 04:36 AM
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I'm sorry if I am not the brightest person here but when i look at the Renfe site the fastest time I see for a train between Madrid and Barcelona is 4.5 hours.

What am I missing here?
Dukey is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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>I'm sorry if I am not the brightest person here but when i look at the Renfe site the fastest time I see for a train between Madrid and Barcelona is 4.5 hours.

Sorry, I have made a mistake here. I wasnīt sure whether the last part of the high speed line (Lleida to Barceona has opened yet. Obviously not.

Still, the result is that overall travel time by train and by plane is comparable - just pick what is cheaper or more convenient for your timing.
Nevertheless, with comparable travel time and price the train is significantly less hassle.

Rental car comes a distant third in terms of travel time.
altamiro is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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donīt forget the cost of gas, insurance and TOLLS from bcn to mad if driving.

40 euros is a BARGAIN.
lincasanova is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Good point lincasanova. Problem is that I'd love to wing it and decide once I'm there but it will be mid/late August... I've never travelled in Europe at peak - is it very very advisable to organise this before I go, or do you think I'll still have options available when I get there? I'm loath to book the flight and lock myself in... Indecision! Thanks again.
michela31 is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 02:26 AM
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i wouldnīt worry about it now if you are a bit flexible with dates, which it sounds like you are.

there are plenty of flights, trains and buses.. and of course, a car. so.. you have many options.

lincasanova is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 06:11 AM
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Thanks lincasanova, great to know I've got some flexibility! Thanks to all for advice.
michela31 is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 06:59 AM
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most difficult dates and traffic are APPROX:july 30/31/ aug 1,2.
then aug. 14,15,
and aug. 29-sept 1.
lincasanova is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 06:58 PM
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We were faced with the same decision for this June and decided to fly. We booked on Spanair for 40 E. Seemed pretty reasonable to us. As others have noted driving or train takes a good chunk of time. Flying seems the most reasonable -- for us anyway.
SDA1 is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:35 AM
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The only thing I would add is that you need to factor in transportation to/from each airport, the travel time to get to/from each airport and the additional time you need to be at the airport prior to the flight.

We're grappling with the same issue for our family trip next month and we've decided to rent a car for the drive from Barcelona - San Sebastian. We were planning to rent a car in SS anyway, and the cost of the rental for an additional day (to drive to Girona) plus our days in SS is cheaper than just the five cheap one-way flights for the five of us.
adlmllr is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Fly. The transportation to both airports is superior.
fall06 is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 07:01 AM
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5 passengers makes a big difference compared to 2.

just everyone remember the price of gas and the TOLLS, then parking in the big cities.

if you are "small towning it".. no hassle. but to pay 18 euros or so a day for parking and dumping the car to take taxis isnīt usually a good solution for too many days.

only you can know .. but at least you do have alot of options, michela31.
lincasanova is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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michela31, all things considered, your best option is to fly. It is not only the quickest, but also the cheapest.

Take the Airport bus to BCN for less than €4. The flight is, say, €40. In Madrid, you can take the Metro downtown for €1 (and I believe the new extension to T4 is now open).

Total: €45, or €90 for two. Cheap!
Ginto is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm going put my faith in lincasanova and assume I can make a decision once we're there. Thanks to all for bringing some very handy knowledge to the table!
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