Travelling on a Trenhotel train

At a glance

  • Night train
  • Spain
  • Portugal


The Trenhotel is one of the top tier of European night trains, but you get what you pay for. If you opt for basic accommodation, you’ll find a no-frills service. A ‘Gran Clase’ sleeping compartment, however, is something quite special. Run by Spanish rail operator Renfe, air conditioned Trenhotel trains are stylish and comfortable.

Trenhotel overnight services run within Spain and between Spain and Portugal. All trains have names reflective of the area they serve. For example, the Rías Gallegas operates on the route between Madrid and A Coruña and the Alhambra between Barcelona and Granada. The two international Trenhotel trains are the Surexpreso, which runs between Irun and Lisbon, and the Lusitania, which carries passengers overnight from Madrid to Lisbon.

Practical information

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Before you board

Before boarding any train at a Spanish mainline station, travellers are required to put their luggage through an X-ray security check. Passport and ticket inspection will take place once onboard.


Space is limited on Trenhotel trains and both cabin and luggage space is adequate rather than generous. Don’t take too much luggage or you’ll find getting out of bed a tight squeeze.

Most Trenhotel trains have a buffet car accessible to all passengers which offers hot and cold drinks during your journey. At lunch and dinner time, you can order hot meals.

Booking and printing options

Trenhotel tickets are open for bookings 60 days in advance.

Seat and sleeper reservations are compulsory on Trenhotel trains and are included in the price of the tickets.

Get the lowest prices on Trenhotel by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.

Classes of service

Trenhotel trains provide four classes of service: Standard Seat, 4-Bed Sleeper, 2-Bed Sleeper Single and 2-Bed Sleeper Single with Shower and WC. Even budget-conscious travellers, however, should opt at least for Turista Class (4-Bed) sleepers for the sake of a comfortable night’s rest.

Trenhotel 2-Bed Sleeper with Shower and WC

Travelling in style in a 2-Bed Sleeper with shower & WC (called Cama Gran Clase) on Trenhotel night trains comes at a price. You get en-suite facilities (shower, washbasin and WC), are personally welcomed by the staff and enjoy cabin service throughout the journey. Choose between a single or twin compartment. On the Barcelona to A Coruña/Vigo route you also have access to audio and video systems.

Trenhotel 2-Bed Sleeper

2-Bed Sleepers (called Cama Preferente) can be booked for single or double occupancy. Book two adjacent sleepers with interconnecting doors for more beds and extra space. All compartments on Trenhotel trains can be locked. Whereas the Gran Clas come with both a shower and WC, Preferente sleepers simply come with a sink. With both the Preferente and Gran Clase tickets you gain access to Renfe’s club lounges at many departure stations.

Trenhotel 4-Bed Sleeper

The Four-Bed Sleeper (called Cama Turista) is a good option for families or friends travelling together. A washbasin, reading lights, sheets, duvet and pillow are standard. Beds are folded away for day-time seating. Luggage can be stored in an area above the door. If booking a single berth, be prepared to share the compartment with fellow travellers of the same sex.

Trenhotel Standard Seat

Trenhotel trains also offer seat-only accommodation in one of its open-plan carriages. These are either in First Class with two plus one seating arranged across a central aisle, or in Standard Class with two seats on each side of the aisle. All seats are reclining. Grand Comfort seats (only available on certain trains) are more comfortable, offering more space between rows and they also recline. Bathroom facilities are located at the end of the carriage.

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.