To buy train tickets within Spain, use the official Spanish Railways website www.renfe.com (but see this advice first)  Or use www.raileurope-world.com or www.petrabax.com/renfe.

I want to go from Spain to...

     

       Click here for journeys starting in another country.

       Train information is current for 2017.

This page explains how to travel comfortably & affordably by train from Madrid, Malaga, Granada, Seville, Alicante, Valencia and other cities in Spain to other key European cities, and how to buy tickets, usually online direct from the operators with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets & few or no booking fees.  It doesn't matter where you live, in Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia, you can buy train tickets from Spain as shown below and save money over expensive railpasses or travel agent mark-ups.  On the other hand, if you'd rather someone sorted out your whole trip for you, see here.

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".  And most important, click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

European train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...



Buying train tickets for journeys within Spain See the train travel in Spain page...

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Spain to London from €119...

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Spain to Paris...

Madrid, Andalucia & Costa del Sol to Paris by high-speed TGV...

Option 1, Madrid to Paris in a single day, with early departure from Madrid & arrival in Paris after lunch...

Option 2, Madrid & other Spanish cities to Paris in a single day, with more civilised morning departure & evening arrival in Paris.

Option 3, Madrid & Spanish cities to Paris in a single day, with civilised morning departure & late evening arrival in Paris.  Runs 2 June to 28 August 2017

Option 4, Spanish cities to Paris with overnight stop in Barcelona - a time-effective option!

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 200 mph double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar...

 

View from the train, passing Bιziers...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

San Sebastian to Paris...

Santiago de Compostela, Vigo & A Coruna to Paris...

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop at the French border.

Option 1, by sleeper train to Barcelona, day there, then late afternoon TGV to Paris...

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Spain to Brussels from €94...

Option 1, Spain to Brussels in a single day...

Option 2, with overnight stop in Barcelona...

Option 3, by high-speed TGV with overnight stop in Paris...  Runs from 2 June to 28 August 2017.

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

A Thalys at Brussels...

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Spain to Amsterdam from €94...

Option 1, by high-speed TGV with overnight stop in Barcelona...

Option 2, by high-speed train with overnight stop in Paris...

Option 3, by high-speed TGV with overnight stop in Paris...  With later departure time, runs 2 June to 28 August 2017.

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

A Thalys at Brussels...

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Spain to Luxembourg...

By daytime TGV trains...

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Spain to Switzerland from €59...

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Spain to Italy from €81...

Option 1, by high-speed train from Madrid to Marseille, overnight stop, Thello train from Marseille to Milan.

Barcelona to Marseille by AVE high-speed train...

 

2nd class seats on the S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Luggage goes on the racks at the car ends or above the seats.  Panorama photo of 2nd class

 

These S100 AVE trains operate the TGV/AVE services from Barcelona to Marseille...

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes...

 

1st class seats on an S100 AVE.  Panorama photo of 1st class

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  Seen from the train and one of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline all the way from Girona to Perpignan...

The Vieux Port at Marseille

Bonjour Marseille!  The Eglise Notre Dame de la Garde, overlooking the Vieux Port.

Marseille to Milan by Thello train...

Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

The Thello train at Milan Centrale...  It uses comfortable air-conditioned Frecciabianca carriages.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Milan to Nice & Marseille Thello train serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Coastal views from the train between Toulon and Nice

The view from the train between Marseille & Nice...

Option 2, by TGV to Geneva & scenic train through the Alps to Italy.  Runs every day.

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Spain to Portugal:  Madrid-Lisbon from €33, Barcelona-Lisbon from €78...

Madrid to Lisbon option 1:  By direct sleeper train Lusitania...

En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet   Trainhotel at Madrid

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

...return from dinner to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have a private toilet & shower...

 

The trainhotel from Madrid to Lisbon is an articulated Spanish Talgo train.  Seen here at Madrid Chamartin station.

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...    

The trainhotel's cafι-bar serves drinks & food.  Grab a barstool early, it gets crowded later on!

   

4-berth tourist class sleepers (Turista Cama) are cosy & inexpensive...  They convert from beds to seats as shown.

Madrid to Lisbon option 2:  By daytime trains...

As of 29 August 2017 it's once more possible to travel between Madrid and Lisbon by comfortable daytime trains, albeit with 2 changes.  Here's how:

Seville to Lisbon...

San Sebastian to Lisbon...

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Spain to Andorra...

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Spain to Germany from €94...

Option 1, with overnight stop in Barcelona...

Option 2, with overnight stop in Paris...  Runs from 2 June to 28 August 2017

Option 3, with overnight stop in Marseille...

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Spain to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €88...

Spain to Geneva by TGV, overnight stop in Geneva, onwards to Austria next day by Railjet...

The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

"The RailJet has landed..."  A Railjet has arrived in Vienna spot on time.

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats are around tables, some unidirectional.

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Spain to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo...
125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

Step 3, take a 125 mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm....

 

2nd class seating on the X2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the X2000 to Stockholm.

More information about X2000 trains

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Spain to Prague...
City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper   City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   Standard sleeper compartment, washstand   Comfortline sleeper corridor
Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.   The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.   Economy sleeper compartments have a washstand with hot water, fresh towels, drinking water & soap.   Just like a hotel corridor...  The corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car...

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Spain to Warsaw, Kiev & Moscow...

Option 1, using the Paris-Moscow Express, runs once a week, recommended.

Option 2, via Paris & Warsaw, runs every day.

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Railbookers custom-made tours

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can custom-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk.

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

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Find hotels in Europe

    

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site:  www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a great feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

 


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