The best way to find a cheap fare is to book your ticket as far in advance as you can and to avoid traveling at rush hour.
The average ticket from Madrid to Barcelona will cost around £ 160 if you buy it on the day, but the cheapest tickets can be found for only £ 143.
This is the last train of the day.
Find all the dates and times for this journey
2 h 30 m
2 h 54 m
Trains per day
Of the 4 trains that leave Madrid for Barcelona every day 4 travel direct so it’s quite easy to avoid journeys where you’ll have to change along the way.
These direct trains cover the 504 km distance in an average of 2 h 54 m but if you time it right, some trains will get you there in just 2 h 30 m .
The slowest trains will take 3 h 10 m and usually involve a change or two along the way, but you might be able to save a few pennies if you’re on a budget.
|Distance||312 miles (504 km)|
|Average train duration||2 h 30 min|
|Average train ticket price||£63 (€71)|
|Train frequency||12 a day|
|Direct train||Yes, there are 12 direct trains a day|
|Train companies||Renfe AVLO, Renfe, Renfe AVE or Renfe Regional Expres|
Trains from Madrid to Barcelona cover the 312 miles (504 km) long trip taking on average 2 h 30 min with our travel partners like Renfe AVLO, Renfe, Renfe AVE or Renfe Regional Expres. Normally, there are 12 trains operating per day, including direct services available. While the average ticket price for this journey costs around £63, you can find the cheapest train ticket for as low as £38. Travellers depart most frequently from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha and arrive in Barcelona Sants.
Travel between Madrid and Barcelona from £38 with Omio’s train partners Renfe and AVE! You can find the best timetables and tickets when comparing and booking the most convenient trip for you.
Renfe is Spain’s national train operator offering a multitude of domestic routes and international routes to France and Portugal. Renfe is known for its range of ticket types to fit anyone’s budget, such as the Basic, Elige and Premium tickets. Renfe also has discount cards for qualified travellers like the Renfe Gold Card and +Renfe Youth Card 50, which you can use on Omio. When you ride with Renfe, you can expect to find an impressive fleet of trains offering different levels of comfort, amenities and time needed to travel to your destination. These train types include Renfe AVE for high-speed long-distance routes, Alvia and Altaria for domestic routes in parts of Spain, Euromed for routes along the stunning Mediterranean coast, Avant commuter trains and Trenhotel night trains.
When purchasing your Renfe train tickets between Madrid and Barcelona, keep the following coronavirus related policies and recommendations in mind outlined by our travel partner:
You can get a train from Madrid to Barcelona with ease, with there being a frequent service throughout the week. There is up to 20 trains leaving on a daily basis, depending on which day you travel, so you should be able to find a train that fits your schedule. The average journey time is about 3h in general, but there are also quicker and slower trains too.
If you are travelling on a weekday there are about 20 trains that depart each day from Madrid to Barcelona. For those travelling on a Sunday there are about nine trains. Whilst on a Sunday there tend to be about 14 trains. On weekdays the earliest train is about 6:30 a.m., whilst on weekends it’s around 7:30 a.m. Throughout the week the final train is at approximately 8:40 p.m. All the trains that operate this trip are direct too, so you don't need to worry about making a transfer along the way.
In general, the average train time from trips from Madrid to Barcelona is about 3h, with there being faster and slower trains too. For instance, the fastest train tends to be 2h 30min on weekdays and Sundays and about 2h 45min on Saturdays. Between Mondays and Fridays there is also a train that takes in excess of 9h, so make sure you look out for this when booking your trip. On the weekend the longest train is approximately 3h 16min. All trains depart from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha train station, whilst they arrive into Barcelona Sants train station.
San Miguel Market in Madrid. Source: Shutterstock
Departure train station: Trains on this route depart from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha train station, which you can find in the heart of the city. You can travel to the train station from popular tourist attractions like Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in about 5min walking. At the station you’ll find a range of facilities, including a pharmacy, food shops, coffee stalls and cash points.
Arrival train station: Trains arrive into Barcelona Sants train station, which is located close to popular tourist sites in the city. For instance, you can get to La Sagrada Familia from the station in about 13min if you take the L5 Metro. When at the train station you can use a range of facilities, such as restaurants, toilets and information desks. There are also disabled facilities in the station too.
When you travel from Madrid to Barcelona you will go with Renfe Ave, which offers a frequent service throughout the week. With up to 123 trains departing each week, you should be able to find a train that matches you schedule. Trains tend to take approximately 3h, with some being quicker and some being slower. You won’t need to worry about transferring on the journey as all the trains are direct too.
Renfe Ave Madrid to Barcelona trains offer a comprehensive service to passengers each day of the week. There are normally about 20 trains each day on weekdays, with there being around nine on Saturdays and approximately 14 on Sundays. Between Monday and Friday the first departure is at about 6:30 a.m., whilst on weekends this is normally around 7:30 a.m. The last departure is at around 8:40 p.m. throughout the week. On average, trains tend to take about 3h, but on weekdays and Sundays some trains travel as fast as 2h 30min, whilst on Saturdays some complete the journey in about 2h 45min. Trains don’t normally take much longer than 3h, but during the week there is one train each day that takes in excess of 9h. Trains on this service are direct too, so you can just sit back and enjoy the trip.
The Renfe Ave Madrid to Barcelona service has a range of great facilities. All the carriages on the train have air conditioning, so even in the hot months you will stay cool. There is First and Second Class seating, so you can travel in style if you wish. The luggage limit is three items, each of which cannot exceed the dimensions of 85cm x 55cm x 35cm. The total weight of your luggage cannot be more than 55 lbs (25 kg) either. Bicycles are permitted on board these trains, but you will need to pay extra. Folded bikes can go on board free of charge though. You can also bring your furry friend on the train with you, but you must make sure it is on a lead or in a suitable pet carrier. If you are travelling with a disability then you can contact the station or operator in advance and they will ensure that a member of staff can assist you with boarding and alighting the train.
You cannot take a night train between Madrid and Barcelona. However, there are trains that depart at about 8:40 p.m. and get you into Barcelona late in the evening around 11:56 p.m. Alternatively the first train of the day is at about 6:30 a.m., which arrives at about 9:20 a.m.
Travelling by train from Madrid to Barcelona is a great way to do your bit for the environment. Train travel is generally considered more sustainable than bus of flying, as it produces fewer carbon emissions per person. It’s also good for local wildlife populations and quality of life as it produces less noise pollution.
To get cheap tickets from Madrid to Barcelona you should book as early as possible. Tickets tend to cost more the closer you get to the departure date, so it’s always good to be prepared. If you have flexibility with your travel date then this is also useful as tickets may be cheaper a day either side of your preferred travel date. There are also sometimes discounts for large groups travelling together or also senior citizens.
Top of the cathedral in Barcelona. Source: Shutterstock
Barcelona is an amazing city with has something for everyone. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best bits, put an itinerary together before you arrive. Start your trip at Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, which is a UNESCO world heritage site which was partly built by Gaudi. Then head over to the Gothic Quarter of the city, where you can visit some boutique stalls that are surrounded by amazing architecture. If you’re into football the you should head over to the Camp Nou, which is where Barcelona play their home fixtures. Here you can take a tour and maybe even catch a game. Take a seat at one of the local restaurants and enjoy a range of tapas dishes such as patatas bravas. Finish off at Barcelona Cathedral, which is an iconic building that was built in the 14th century.
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Madrid Puerta de Atocha Station is centrally located within easy walking distance of the historic Madrid centre and its major art galleries. This attractive old station, with its soaring façade, contains a tropical garden and a pond full of terrapins. Madrid has one of the best public transport systems in the world and the second largest Underground network after London, so getting around the city by Metro, bus or Cercania train is easy. Puerta de Atocha is on Line 1 of the Metro and well served by local buses and taxis. Night buses, known as Búhos (owls), run every twenty minutes.
Trains from Madrid to Barcelona arrive at Barcelona Sants Station, which is to the South-West of the city and a ten-minute Metro ride on Lines 5 or 3 into the historic centre. Barcelona has an efficient and well-integrated transport system, with tickets that cover trains, buses and Metros. There is a night bus service and taxi ranks are located outside Sants Station.
Barcelona with its distinct barrios is full of history, architecture and culture, as well as having a lively night-life. The stunning architecture of Gaudí can be seen around the town, while The Rambla, a famous thoroughfare, is the place to meet and enjoy a drink with friends, or simply to sit and watch the world go by.
There are a few train stations in Madrid to start your journey from including Madrid-Puerta de Atocha, Madrid Chamartín and Madrid Méndez Alvaro. In Barcelona you have a few train station options to choose from for your arrival including Barcelona Sants, Barcelona Passeig De Gracia and Barcelona Estació De França.
Omio customers travelling this route depart most frequently from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha and arrive in Barcelona Sants.
The most popular departure train station with passengers for this journey, called Madrid-Puerta de Atocha, is located 1.4 miles (2.2 km) from the city centre of Madrid.
The most popular arrival train station, Barcelona Sants, is located 1.6 miles (2.6 km) away from the city centre of Barcelona.
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