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About the train journey from Santander to Madrid

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.

Santander to Madrid by train

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.

First train


Last train


Departure station


Arrival station


Journey time

From 4h 10m


210 miles (339 km)


7 trains per day


Direct trains available


From $15.33

Train and bus operators

Renfe, ALSA

Santander to Madrid train times

Check out the next trains departing from Santander to Madrid for Thursday Jun 8th 2023. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
07:05 Santander Estación11:19 Madrid-Chamartín-Clara CampoamorAlvia/Avant 4072 Renfe Get tickets4h 14m, direct
09:20 Santander Estación15:54 Madrid - Atocha CercaníasRE 18102 Renfe Get tickets6h 34m, 2 changes
09:20 Santander Estación15:10 Madrid-Chamartín-Clara CampoamorRE 18102 Renfe Get tickets5h 50m, 1 change
13:55 Santander Estación18:34 Madrid - Atocha CercaníasAlvia/Avant 4142 Renfe Get tickets4h 39m, 1 change
13:55 Santander Estación17:55 Madrid-Chamartín-Clara CampoamorAlvia/Avant 4142 Renfe Get tickets4h 0m, direct
16:29 Santander Estación21:40 Madrid-Chamartín-Clara CampoamorRE 18104 Renfe Get tickets5h 11m, 1 change

Renfe and Alvia trains from Santander to Madrid

You can travel from Santander to Madrid on Renfe and Alvia trains. When you search for times and tickets, we might also show you some other options with multiple connections or operators if they’re available.

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.

Alvia classes from Santander to Madrid

Compare the different travel classes offered by Alvia when traveling from Santander to Madrid.

Onboard services on Alvia

Discover more about the onboard services offered on trains from Santander to Madrid.


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.

RestaurantRestaurantFood and drink

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.

ChildPassengerChildPassengerTravel with children

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.

WheelchairWheelchairSpecial Assistance

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).

Cheap train tickets from Santander to Madrid

The price of train tickets from Santander to Madrid starts at $15.33 one-way for a Standard Class ticket if you book in advance. Booking on the day is usually more expensive and costs can vary depending on the time of day, route or class.

Book in advance

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.§

Be flexible with your travel times

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.

Choose a slower or connecting train

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!

Look out for special deals

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.

§Some train companies may not offer any Advance ticket types or cheaper deals for early bookings. On rare occasions, train companies may choose to release special offers closer to the date on last-minute or late-release tickets. This is dependent on the individual train operating company you travel with.

FAQs for Santander to Madrid

Want to know more about your journey from Santander to Madrid? We've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions by our customers to help you plan your journey.

How long does the train from Santander to Madrid take?

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.

What's the fastest journey time between Santander and Madrid by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Santander to Madrid is 4 hours and 10 minutes.

How much does the train from Santander to Madrid cost?

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.

Is there a direct train from Santander to Madrid?

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.

What time does the first train from Santander to Madrid leave?

The first train from Santander to Madrid leaves at 06:55. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

What time does the last train from Santander to Madrid leave?

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.

What's the distance between Santander and Madrid by train?

Trains travelling from Santander to Madrid cover a distance of around 210 miles (339 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from Madrid to Santander.
The information provided is calculated based on scheduled train services for Santander to Madrid for a typical week day using timetable data for 06/08/2023. On weekends, holidays or other exceptional times, fewer services may be available. The fare range provided has been found by our customers on Trainline on 03/28/2023 for travel on 03/28/2023 and for adult tickets in economy, discount cards and coach journeys excluded.

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