Want to travel from Santander to Madrid by train? Start your journey with us.
The train from Santander to Madrid usually takes 5 hours 3 minutes on average to travel 339 km, although the quickest services can take as little as 4 hours 10 minutes. You can expect to find 7 trains per day running on this popular route. Good news! There are direct trains available to Madrid, so you can just make yourself comfortable as soon as you board the train and just enjoy the journey. You'll be traveling on a Renfe service during your journey to Madrid, which is the main train operator in Spain. Offering modern comfortable and air-conditioned trains throughout the country, you'll get there feeling refreshed and ready to explore.
To help you get the best train deals, we'll highlight the cheapest train ticket prices from Santander to Madrid in our Journey Planner. Just remember, the sooner you book your tickets, the more you'll save, as advance tickets start from $15.33.
Keep reading for more information about the train journey to Madrid, including FAQs, timetables with first and last train times and tips on booking cheap train tickets. If you're ready to book, just start a search for tickets with us today.
It takes an average of 5h 3m to travel from Santander to Madrid by train, over a distance of around 210 miles (339 km). There are normally 7 trains per day traveling from Santander to Madrid and tickets for this journey start from $15.33 when you book in advance.
From 4h 10m
210 miles (339 km)
7 trains per day
Direct trains available
|Train and bus operators|
Renfe is the national train operator in Spain. It operates trains on the longest high-speed railway network in Europe, and the second-longest in the world. The country's major cities are linked up by the high-speed AVE and Avlo trains, while other long-distance routes are served by Altaria, Talgo, Alvia and Euromed trains. Renfe also operates cross-border services into neighbouring Portugal and France. Depending on which service you are travelling on, you'll usually find two classes on Renfe trains - Estándard (Standard Class) and Confort (First Class). Fare types range from the cheapest (but least flexible) Básico fare, to the more flexible Elige fares, to the Premium fare for seats in Confort carriages.
Renfe's Alvia services combine high-speed tracks with lower speed sections, reaching speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h) on international lines and 125 mph (200 km/h) on conventional lines. These trains connect the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante with the other main Spanish cities. Alvia offers two types of classes – Turista (Second Class) and Preferente (First Class). The latter has wider seats, carriages with fewer seats, offers complimentary food and drinks, free newspapers, and access to parking and Club meeting rooms.
Travel in Alvia's Estándar Class (Standard Class) and you'll enjoy many amenities, including air-conditioning, power outlets at every seat and footrests.
Upgrade to Alvia's Confort Class (First Class) and enjoy more comfortable seats, more legroom, an in-seat meal service and access to Renfe's Club lounges.
On Alvia trains you can take up to three pieces of baggage on board, provided that they are less than 290cm long and weigh less than 25kg in total. Strollers and instruments smaller than 30 x 120 x 38 cm are also classed as hand baggage.
Most Alvia trains have an onboard café-bar, as well as an at-seat service with a wide selection of food and drinks.
On board Alvia services, you can connect to PlayRenfe, a platform offering free WiFi and hours of entertainment.
Children under 4 travel free on Alvia services with a free child's ticket. Plus, passengers under 14 get a 40% discount on their chosen tariff.
With Alvia, folded bicycles that are less than 180cm long and are stored in a case count as hand baggage. If your bike is larger than this, it will count as special baggage and must be no larger than 120 x 90 x 40 cm - you must also detach the pedals and rotate the handlebars 90 degrees.
You can take your pet with you if they weigh less than 10kg, travel in a carrier no larger than 60 x 35 x 35 cm, and have a pet ticket. In Elige Confort a pet ticket is free, while in Básico a pet ticket costs 25% of the price of a ticket.
Alvia has an assistance service for passengers with reduced mobility or a disability. To arrange assistance, you can call (+34) 900 400 555 (international calling charges may apply).
Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Santander to Madrid by booking early.§
Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.
On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!
Take a look at our handy guides to find out when train operators release their special deals and offers to see if you can find cheap European train tickets for your journey.
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Santander and Madrid is 5 hours and 3 minutes, with around 7 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.
The fastest journey time by train from Santander to Madrid is 4 hours and 10 minutes.
Train tickets from Santander to Madrid can start from as little as $15.33 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Santander to Madrid without having to change trains. There are 3 direct trains from Santander to Madrid each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Santander to Madrid leaves at 06:55. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Santander to Madrid leaves at 18:50. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.
Trains travelling from Santander to Madrid cover a distance of around 210 miles (339 km) during the journey.