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London to Madrid by train
Fastest journey13hr 38m
Trains per day22
Avg. journey time22hr 58m
Travelling from London to Madrid by train
Fast trains from London to Madrid take around 13 hours and 38 minutes, covering a distance of approximately 1,266 kilometres. There are frequent services on the rail route between London and Madrid.
1. Are there direct trains from London to Madrid?
Journeys between London and Madrid usually involve 2 changes of train.
We usually find around 27 departures on the route from London to Madrid every weekday that leave enough time to change trains without waiting around for longer than necessary.
There are typically fewer departures at weekends, when we found around 21 departures.
2. How long is the train journey from London to Madrid?
The London to Madrid train travel time is normally about 13 hours and 38 minutes, whatever time you make the journey.
3. What are the London to Madrid train times and schedule?
On weekdays the earliest train to Madrid is usually scheduled to depart London around 05:40 and the last train is around 20:31. At weekends the first train of the day leaves London around 06:18, and the last at 20:31.
What's the London to Madrid train price?
The earlier you book the better, and the cheapest tickets we've found for trains from London to Madrid are $133.20.
Trains departing 30 days in advance will cost around $418 while booking 7 days in advance the price is around $372. Booking on the day of travel is likely to be more expensive, so it is worth booking in advance if you can to save money.
When to book London to Madrid train tickets?
Trains for this journey usually open for booking around 12 months in advance. If booking is not yet open for your dates then you can set a booking alert to receive an email on the day that the cheapest tickets are released for your journey from London to Madrid by train.
Which train companies operate between London and Madrid?
More than one train company operates on the route from London to Madrid, so you’ll be travelling with one or more of the following rail operators:
- Intercités de Nuit
You can check which train you’ll be travelling on by looking for the train name in search results.
Other journeys to Madrid View all journeys to Madrid
From Barcelona From $38.45
From Paris From $84.45
From Lisbon From $29.52
From Bilbao-Abando From $65.91
From Montpellier From $40.51
From Perpignan From $69.35
From Lyon From $114.66
From Girona From $73.47
From Valencia From $15.79
From Córdoba Central From $34.33
From Ronda From $24.72
From Granada From $46.00
Eurostar, TGV & AVE
Taking the train from London to Madrid is straightforward, especially since the opening in 2013 of a high-speed rail route from France to Spain. While London to Madrid can easily be managed in a single day, many travellers opt to stop off for a night along the way.
Take a morning Eurostar train from London to Paris, where you connect with an afternoon TGV to Barcelona. This is usually a double-decker train, so book a seat on the upper level for the best views. Your train through France speeds through Burgundy and the Rhône Valley towards Avignon, then west along the Mediterranean coast, before diving under the Pyrenees in a tunnel to reach Spain. It's an easy change of train in Barcelona to join the AVE service for the final leg to Madrid.
This itinerary relies on the last fast train of the day from Barcelona to Madrid. Our advice is to go ahead and book London to Barcelona as soon as it becomes available, for that's a route on which prices hike up quickly after bookings have opened. Later you can book the ticket for the final leg.
London to Paris
The first part of the journey from London sweeps through Thameside landscapes and rural Kent to reach the Channel Tunnel. Little more than an hour after leaving London you'll already be in northern France, tracking south through Flanders fields towards Paris.
Remember to factor in at least half an hour for Eurostar's airline-style baggage check prior to boarding your train. There is a luggage and body scan and you'll be asked to show your passport. There are no restrictions on taking liquids on board Eurostar trains.
Paris interchange: Paris Nord to Paris Lyon
When you alight from the train at Gare du Nord look for signs to the Metro and RER. Once you've bought a ticket follow the signs to 'RER D', direction 'Melun' or 'Malesherbes'. So long as you're heading in the right direction, all the trains on this line stop at Gare de Lyon. The actual train journey takes around 10 mins with just one stop on the way at Châtelet-les-Halles. Upon alighting from the RER train at Gare de Lyon, follow the signs to the mainline station. The signs read 'Accès aux trains Grandes Lignes'. The whole journey from the concourse at Gare du Nord to the mainline departure platforms at Gare de Lyon will normally take about 40 mins but we recommend leaving at least 50 mins.
If you are arriving at Gare du Nord from London, bear in mind that you can buy Paris Métro tickets at the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras and on board the Eurostar train. Similarly, passengers arriving at the Gare du Nord on Thalys trains from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands can buy Metro tickets on the train (at the Thalys Bar). Although universally referred to as Métro tickets, they are in fact valid on RER trains too.
Paris to Barcelona
Direct TGV trains to Barcelona leave Paris two to four times per day. The frequency is higher in summer than winter. The TGVs to Barcelona leave from the Gare de Lyon in Paris. In Barcelona they terminate at Sants station. This journey is focused on speed, so there are not a lot of stops along the way - from six to ten depending on which train you take. All trains stop at the historic cities of Montpellier, Perpignan and Girona. There is some very fine scenery along the way too. Early on in the journey, you sweep through Burgundy vineyards, and later on there are engaging views of the coastal landscapes of Languedoc. After the stop at Perpignan, the train speeds south towards the Pyrenees, before diving under the mountains in the Perthus Tunnel.
If you worry that six and half hours if a long time to spend on one train, fear not! This rates as one of favourite high-speed routes. You can relax and gaze out of the window and, from to time, wander along to the bistro for a coffee or a snack. The direct services from Paris to Barcelona are all operated by French TGV trains. But it's a joint venture with Spanish rail operator Renfe, so you find a dash of Spanish style combining with French flair on this international route.
Barcelona to Madrid
Take a high-speed AVE train directly from Barcelona Sants station to Madrid Atocha. Trains that stop up to four times along the way may take 30 to 40 minutes longer. This journey along Spain's premier high-speed rail route reveals a variety of passing landscapes as you speed from Catalonia through Aragon to the Spanish heartland.
Easy, fast and cheap
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