Train Travel in Spain

Old Aug 20th, 2007, 10:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Train Travel in Spain

My husband and I are planning a trip to Spain next summer and we are unfamiliar with the transportation systems there. Ideally we would like to arrange travel by train between Madrid and Sevilla/Granada (something in that region) and then from there to Barcelona. Is this a feasible plan? I have read some posts here about intra-Spain travel that referenced buses--which I would like to avoid if possible. I would appreciate advice from anyone who has experience with travel in Spain. Thanks!
unbirthdaygirl is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2007, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Presuming there is not need for intermediate stops:

Madrid-Sevilla has frequent high-speed AVE train service.

Sevilla-Granada can be done by bus or by train. I did by Renfe because the schedule matched my need as well as it was simple just add this purchase when I was already buying other Renfe tickets.

Granada-Barcelona is best done by plane. Ground based trip of any kind will take a full day. I found an Iberia Web special for €60 this year. Vueling also flies this route.

Do NOT wait until your travel day to buy train tickets. Madrid-Sevilla route is VERY popular. Also, the ticket window wait can be very long.
greg is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2007, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 795
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1* Best train from Madrid to Sevilla is the AVE, Spain's high-speed unit. It runs regularly during the day. The trip takes 2 and a half hours. It is not an inexpensive ride.
2* The train from Madrid to Granada is very slow. I went that way and regretted it. It took 5 and a half hours, and the last part was very leisurely indeed. The train, like many trains in Spain, was quite ordinary.
3* The bus from Sevilla to Granada takes about 2 and a half hours, and leaves about hourly. Bus stations in Spain are very well-organized, and the buses are frequent, modern, comfortable and cheap.
4* From Sevilla, you could make a day-trip to Cordoba, where the mosque is certainly worth the effort.
5* Many posts will have suggested buses over trains on most routes in Spain, and I would agree with that preference.
adeben is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 12:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can check all of the train routes at The schedule will give you the number of trains as well as the times of travel so you can decide on what you want to do. When you visit the web site, select the English language page. Go to the box marked "I want to travel from", and enter the city you want to travel from and a list of all possibilities will come up and you can see all of the routes and times.

The bus works on best on a number of routes, planes on others, but the rail system is worth exploring.

You can register on the Tiknet page (again, using the English language page) and make your initial reservation. You will not be able to print the ticket this time, but you can pick them up at any Renfe ticket office in Spain as long as you have the reference number and the credit card you made the purchase with.
Robert2533 is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,067
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't discount buses in Spain, they are every bit as comfortable as the train, often they have more frequent routes and take less time than the train. Bus stations in many cities are just as nice as the train stations. You really need to just check all the schedules for trains, buses and planes and then decide based on time and cost. is the train site
This site has links to various different bus companies. Different ones operate in different parts of Spain.
For flying trying with links to several cheap(er) airlines.
isabel is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 05:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We did this exact same roue a couple of years ago.

AVE from Madrid to Seville was excellent and we had bought tickets in advance through an agency outside of Spain so we didn;t have to wait in any ticket lines.

We took the train from Seville to Granada and that trip takes 3 hours and seat reservations were required.

If the bus only takes 2.5 hours then I would definitely consider that option.

I wholeheartedly agree with flying from Granada to Barcelon which only takes about 1 hr and 15 minutes O/W.

We got a cheap fare by reserving on Iberia months ahead (an e-ticket). The Granada airport isn't that big and there are only a few gates so very easy to negotiate.

You can also check on budget flights at
Dukey is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 158
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No one has mentioned baggage limitations on the bus systems. Are a couple of big suitcases a problem?
PaulH is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,652
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
buses always seem to have tons of room in the baggage compartment under the bus IME
PalenqueBob is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I prefer taking the bus over a train (as long as time is not longer) because it is much easier with luggage. I have a large suitcase and a small carry on. It's much easier to place the suitcase in the belly of the bus and not have to worry about it then to have to hoist the suitcases (by myself) up the train stairs all in the short amount of time the train is stopping at that station.

In some parts of Spain bus is the only option.
CathyM is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 03:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for your helpful posts! The bus system in Spain seems counter-intuitive, I would have expected them to take longer than trains--so I am glad I asked.
unbirthdaygirl is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2007, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Long distance buses in Spain are very comfortable and modern. Sometimes they provide a better option than traveling by train.

And the best part of going by bus is , no lugagge restrictions ! In addition, it's easier that in the train as you place the lugagge in the "belly" of the bus, which makes it very easy to retrieve.
cruiseluv is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Oct 1st, 2007 08:58 PM
Sep 1st, 2006 02:58 AM
Nov 27th, 2005 08:20 PM
Feb 20th, 2003 10:43 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -