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Travelling the 624 kilometres from Madrid to Barcelona can be done quickly and conveniently by bus, train and plane. The plane offers the speediest choice reaching Barcelona in an hour and fifteen minutes. However, the fast AVE train offers a close second with a trip between city centres that takes under three hours. Passengers can also opt for the slower regional train or for the bus for a more leisurely journey.
Direct buses leave Madrid throughout the day for the five and a half to seven and a half hour journey to Barcelona. Exclusively run by Alsa, the buses can be boarded at Aeropuerto Madrid, Barajas T4 bus station, Mendez Alvaro bus station or Avenida America bus station. Buses run from early morning to late evening and terminate at Barcelona (Nord).
Getting to Barcelona from Madrid is a breeze on Spain's highly efficient railway system. Passengers have two options. The fastest is the AVE high-speed train which offers around two dozen daily departures from Madrid Puerta de Atocha station on weekdays and some 16 on the weekend. For a slower option, a regional express train - the Combinado - leaves the same station once a day in the late morning. It takes over six hours to reach Barcelona-Sants making many stops along the route.
Passengers have a choice of around nine flights daily for the 75-minute hop from Barajas airport (MAD) Madrid to Barcelona Airport (BCN). Carriers Iberia, Air Europa and Vueling offer departures throughout the day with Air Iberia offering its Iberia Air Shuttle to Barcelona eight times daily.