Madrid to Barcelona


AVE: From beaches to snowcaps
AVE Train

Spain’s high-speed AVE train comfortably transports you from the breathtaking monuments of Madrid to the art and design of Barcelona and the fine cuisine in Seville. It all starts with just a little inquisition below.

RENFE: Your journey begins here.
RENFE Trains (Spain)

Spain by rail is better than ever. And frankly, that means something. Because the newly refurbished RENFE system has come a long way; with enhanced customer comfort and faster rides. So surrender to your wanderlust, and book now.

Madrid Train Stations

The Madrid Atocha Train Station is Madrid's largest train station. The station is exceptional with its steel and glass construction, not to mention the vivid tropical gardens that line its concourse. In addition, travelers can enjoy viewing the permanent display of sculptures found within the station. A relaxing way to spend time before your train departs.

More Stations:

Barcelona Train Stations

Considered one of the most utilized transport hubs in the Spain, the Barcelona Sants Train Station is the primary train station for national and international arrivals and departures. Situated in the west of the city, it is easily reached by bus, taxi or the metro.

More Stations:

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are train tickets valid for?

It depends if you have a ticket with a reservation or an open ticket.

Open tickets are valid within 15 days from the first day of validity printed on the ticket. You can travel with an open ticket on any date within the validity period (however, remember: separate reservations may be necessary, depending on the route).

Tickets with reservations are only valid for the train for which the reservation was issued, on that specific travel date and time of travel.

Are train tickets exchangeable and refundable?

It depends. Exchange and refund rules are governed by the kind of fare you purchased. You’ll see that on our website, we’ve categorized train tickets in three flexibility categories.
  • Non Flexible fares, which offer the best value but are generally not exchangeable or refundable
  • Semi Flexible Fares, which may be exchanged or refunded prior to departure but may involve a change fee and penalty
  • Flexible Fares, which can be exchanged prior to departure and are generally fully refundable with no penalty.

When browsing fares on our website, you can read a brief description of each fare flexibility level, and then see the full exchange and refund conditions for each fare by clicking the “read more” link.

Once you have purchased a train ticket from us, its exchange and refund rules will be indicated in your Rail Europe email confirmation, as well as printed with your train ticket and or on the ticket jacket in the case of paper tickets.

Train tickets must be received for exchange or refund within the allowed time frame mentioned in the exchange and refund conditions.

Refunds, when applicable, can only be applied to unused and unvalidated train tickets.

If you’ve purchased the Rail Protection Plan to cover your train ticket, you can exchange it for either the same thing or a new product. To start an exchange under the Rail Protection Plan, please contact us at or call 1-800-438-RAIL.

Learn more about refunds & exchanges on tickets & passes booked with Rail Europe in this video.

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Are you traveling with a rail pass?

Remember to get a reservation for your rail pass.

A reservation is a guaranteed seat on a specific train, assigned to you personally. This is purchased in addition to your rail pass.

Do you need a reservation?

  • Yes if you see "Reservation Required" on the following screen.
Enter the name of your rail pass in the box and we'll search for compatible reservations.

Who Is Traveling?


Travel Information

Travel from Madrid to Barcelona on the AVE high-speed train. AVE Offers comfort & speed traveling from the center of Madrid to the center of Barcelona. Both Madrid and Barcelona offer breathtaking sights & attractions such as the Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor in Madrid and La Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum in Barcelona - just a very short list of the main attractions in each city. Of course, both offer small streets to wander down, getting lost in thought, and charming serene parks to rest after a morning of sightseeing!

Get more information and find things to see & do in Madrid & Barcelona, visit our blog post now!

Popular Activities

Madrid Card
Madrid Card
Gain access to many museums, parks and aquariums. It even includes a walking tour of Madrid and a city map. Ole’!
Barcelona Card
Barcelona Card
This card includes entry to Barcelona’s public transportation and discounts at select museums and attractions.