Madrid to Lisbon by train using this railcar

Madrid to Lisbon by train...

Buy Madrid to Lisbon train tickets

Incredibly, there is now no direct train between Madrid & Lisbon, two adjacent EU capitals.  The overnight sleeper train Trenhotel Lusitania was temporarily suspended in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Renfe (Spanish Railways) have used this as an excuse to discontinue it permanently.  New fast lines are under construction in both Spain & Portugal, we may yet see a Madrid-Lisbon high-speed train from 2023 or 2024.  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 or photos if you take this route would be appreciated.

COVID-19 update:  This service is running, but check all trains online.  More COVID-19 travel info.

small bullet point  Train times, Madrid to Lisbon

small bullet point  Train times, Lisbon to Madrid

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?

Madrid ► Lisbon

Lisbon ► Madrid

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

The easy way to buy tickets is using, this is currently the only ticket website that links to both the Spanish and Portuguese ticketing systems so you can buy both tickets in one place, in plain English, in , or $.  However, it cannot book the whole trip as one transaction, you need to split the booking as shown below:

Westbound from Madrid to Lisbon...

Eastbound from Lisbon to Madrid...

How to buy tickets, another way...

Westbound from Madrid to Lisbon...

Eastbound from Lisbon to Madrid...

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

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

Seats on the train from Madrid to Badajoz, en route to Lisbon   Train from Madrid to Badajoz, at Madrid Atocha

This is the modern air-conditioned train to Badajoz, at Madrid Atocha.  Courtesy of

Scenery between Madrid & Badajoz, en route to Lisbon

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

Madrid to Lisbon by train: Changing trains at Badajoz

Changing trains at Badajoz station.  The express from Madrid to Badajoz is on the left, the single-car Allan Railcar from Badajoz to Entroncamento is on the right..  Photo courtesy of Giles Baker.

Step 2, Badajoz to Entroncamento

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.  Photo courtesy of

Madrid to Lisbon by train: Castle between Badajoz & Entroncamento

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

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

Step 3, Entroncamento to Lisbon

Westbound, there are two possible connections, an earlier but slower regional train which admittedly gets you to Lisbon 20 minutes earlier, or a later but faster connection by Alfa Pendular train like the one shown below.  I'd have a cup of coffee or a beer in Entroncamento and take the swisher train!  Eastbound, the Lisbon to Entroncamento connection is by Intercity train.

Alfa Pendular train to Lisbon

Alfa Pendular trains reach 220 km/h (136 mph) between Lisbon & Porto.  Courtesy of

1st class on an Alfa Pendular train to Lisbon

1st class leather seats on an Alfa Pendular train, arranged 2+1 across the car width.  Photo courtesy of @rexybexy

Lisbon Santa Apolonia station...   Click for city map

For the city centre, you want Lisbon Santa Apolonia station, the train's terminus.  If you're heading to Faro & the Algarve, these trains start at Lisbon Oriente station so change there.  Trains from Lisbon to Porto usually leave from Santa Apolonia and also call at Oriente.

Lisbon Santa Apolonia station   Inside Lisbon Santa Apolonia station

Lisbon's central Santa Apolonia stationPhotos courtesy of Ian Moffat.

Back to home page