Madrid to Lisbon by train using this railcar
 

Madrid to Lisbon by train from 40

Buy Madrid to Lisbon train tickets

Incredibly, there is now no direct train between Madrid & Lisbon, two adjacent EU capitals.  The Trenhotel Lusitania sleeper train was suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic and Renfe (Spanish Railways) used this as an excuse to discontinue it.  New fast lines are under construction in Spain & Portugal, we may yet see a Madrid-Lisbon high-speed train, possibly in 2027.  But in the meantime, you can travel the 737 km (458 miles) between Madrid & Lisbon using a 3-train combo with 2 bookings and 3 tickets, not fast, but a comfortable, interesting and scenic ride.  Feedback appreciated if you take this route.

small bullet point  Train times

small bullet point  How much does it cost?

small bullet point  How to buy tickets

small bullet point  Route map

small bullet point  What's the journey like?

Timetable 2024

There are now 2 Madrid-Lisbon services most days as shown below.  On the early morning departure from Madrid you take a swish Spanish Alvia train from Madrid Atocha Cercanias to Badajoz, then a Portuguese regional train to Entroncamento and a Portuguese express train to Lisbon.  On the late morning departure, you take a Spanish Media Distancia train from Madrid to Merida & a connecting regional express train from Merida to Badajoz, then a Portuguese regional train to Abrantes & a Portuguese Intercity train to Lisbon.

 Madrid Lisbon

 

 Lisbon ► Madrid

 Days of running

Mon-Sat

daily

 

daily

Mon-Fri, Sun

Spanish train:

Alvia

MD-RE

 Portuguese train:

AP

IC

 Madrid Chamartin depart:

08:30

-

 Lisbon Santa Apolonia depart:

08:00

12:30

 Madrid Atocha Cercanias depart:

08:51

10:55

 Entroncamento arrive:

08:57

13:32

 Badajoz arrive:

13:34

16:05

Portuguese regional train:

R

R

Portuguese regional train:

R

R

 Entroncamento depart:

09:09

13:36

 Badajoz depart:

14:09

19:41

 Badajoz arrive:

12:54

17:26

 Abrantes arrive

|

20:51

Spanish train:

RE-MD

Alvia

 Entroncamento arrive:

15:52

-

 Badajoz depart:

14:20

17:43

Portuguese train:

IC

IC

 Madrid Atocha Cercanias arrive:

19:44

22:04

 Abrantes depart

-

21:05

 Madrid Chamartin arrive:

-

22:18

 Entroncamento depart

15:59

21:25

 Lisbon Santa Apolonia arrive:

17:00

22:25

     

Alvia = Alvia train, an articulated air-conditioned Talgo train with standard & comfort class, power sockets at all seats and cafe-bar, reservation compulsory.

MD-RE = Media Distancia express train from Madrid to Merida, then Regional Express from Merida to Badajoz.  2nd class only, no catering so bring your own food & drink.  So you also need to change trains at Merida if you use this option.

RE-MD = Regional express train from Badajoz to Merida, then Merida to Madrid by Media Distancia train, so you need to change trains at Merida if you use this option.

R = Portuguese regional train, a single-coach Allan railcar, built in 1954-55 but completely modernised in 2000 and fully air-conditioned.  2nd class only, there is no catering, so bring your own food & drink.  There are no seat reservations, you sit where you like.

IC = Portuguese Intercity train, reservation compulsory, 1st & 2nd class, cafe-bar.

AP = Portuguese Alfa Pendular train, reservation compulsory, 1st & 2nd class, cafe-bar.

Tip:  There's a cafe at Badajoz station which you can use between trains.

Tip:  Spanish time is 1 hour ahead of Portuguese time, all times shown above are local time.  Badajoz is in Spain, so Badajoz times are Spanish time.

Tip:  Westbound, don't worry about tight connections at Entroncamento or Abrantes, Portuguese IC and R trains are designed to connect and the onward train may be held if there's a delay.

Tip:  Eastbound, I recommend taking the earlier of the two services if you have important eastward connections from Madrid next day.  Connections at Badajoz are not guaranteed, but the Portuguese local train usually keeps good time with slack in the schedule and I believe the 10-minute connection into the 17:43 Alvia to Madrid is intended to work.  Although Badajoz is a good town for an overnight stop if not!  Feedback appreciated.

How much does it cost?

How to buy westbound tickets

Option 1, book Madrid to Lisbon in one go at Omio.com

Option 2, book Madrid to Lisbon in two stages at Omio.com

Option 3, book Madrid to Lisbon in two stages at renfe.com & cp.pt

How to buy eastbound tickets

Option 1, book Lisbon to Madrid in one go

Option 2, book Lisbon to Madrid in two stages at Omio.com

Option 3, book Lisbon to Madrid in two stages at cp.pt & renfe.com

Interrail & Eurail passes

Route map

Madrid to Lisbon train route map

Click for larger mapHighlighted = Madrid-Lisbon route.  Green = scenic sections.  Red = high-speed line

Reproduced with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people.  Buy a copy of the European Rail Map at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu.

The red dotted line is a high-speed route under construction, parts are already open.

Madrid Atocha to Lisbon Santa Apolonia is 737 km (458 miles) by train via this route.

What's the journey like?

Step 1, Madrid to Badajoz

The Intercity train from Madrid to Badajoz

This is the air-conditioned Intercity train between Madrid & Badajoz, at Badajoz.  It's now been upgraded to an Alvia serviceCourtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Comfort class seats on the Santander-Madrid Alvia train   Cafe-bar on the Santander-Madrid Alvia train

Comfort (1st) class seats on an Alvia train.

Cafe-bar on the Santander-Madrid Alvia train   Standard class seats on the Santander-Madrid Alvia train

The cafe-bar and standard (2nd) class seats on an Alvia train.

Scenery between Madrid & Badajoz, en route to Lisbon

Wonderful arid scenery on the Spanish plateau between Madrid & Badajoz.  Photo courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Step 2, Badajoz to Entroncamento

Madrid to Lisbon by train: Changing trains at Badajoz

It's an here change at Badajoz.  Above, the express from Madrid to Badajoz is on the left, the single-car Allan Railcar from Badajoz to Entroncamento is in the centre.  On this particular day it was unusually formed of 3 single-cars coupled together.  Photo courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Allan railcar from Badajoz to Entroncamento   Inside the Allan railcar

The single-coach Allan railcar from Badajoz to Entroncamento.  It's comfortable and looks modern, but in fact dates from 1954-55.  2nd class only.  Bring your own food & drink.  Photos courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com (left) & @AscotPhill

Madrid to Lisbon by train: Castle between Badajoz & Entroncamento

Castle, seen from the Badajoz to Entroncamento railcar..  Photo courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

The railcar stops at Elvas station in Portugal...   The railcar stops at Elvas station in Portugal...

The railcar pauses at wayside stations such as Elvas, with lovely tiling.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Step 3, Entroncamento to Lisbon

Westbound, Entroncamento to Lisbon Santa Apolonia is usually by Intercity train like the one shown below, with 1st & 2nd class and cafe bar.  Eastbound, the 08:00 from Lisbon is a swish Alfa Pendular tilting train, the later departure is an Intercity.  However, there are lots of trains between Entroncamento and Lisbon, including regional trains without seat reservations which cannot sell out, so you'll never be stranded, even if you're using an Interrail or Eurail pass.

1st class on a Portuguese Intercity train   A half-bottle of wine from the bar

1st class seats.

 

A half-bottle of red & coffee from the bar.

Cafe-bar on a Portuguese Intercity train   2nd class on a Portuguese Intercity train

Cafe-bar.

 

2nd class seats.

Portuguese Intercity train at Lisbon Santa Apolonia

Portuguese Intercity train arrived at Lisbon Santa Apolonia.


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