Picture this – you arrive at Valencia's Joaquín Sorolla Train Station in the heart of the city about 20-30 minutes before your train departure time, you breeze through a two-minute security bag check, you jump on an AVE high-speed train, and in around 1h 40m you’re pulling into Madrid Atocha Station right on the doorstep of Madrid’s city centre.
Yeah, that's a real thing! Now you can go and close that plane comparison site tab because the train journey from Valencia to Madrid is the best option in every way!
The train flies through the mountainous countryside at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) as you make your way towards Madrid. The journey is incredibly scenic as you climb to almost 700m above sea level to reach Madrid from the seaside, so you're constantly suspended on hillsides, whooshing through tunnels, and around 25-30 minutes into your journey you'll cross the spectacular bridge across the Contreras Reservoir with views out over the vast Hoces del Cabriel Nature Reserve. Make sure you have your camera handy for that!
With multiple ticket options available for the budget-conscious, the flexible folk, or for those who want to treat themselves and upgrade to Preferente (First Class) which includes reclining leather seats and complimentary drinks and snacks, the AVE train from Valencia to Madrid has everything you need. Start your search for times and tickets above, or continue reading to find out more about the journey, timetables, how to find cheap tickets, and much more.
Pictured: Train bridge crossing the Contreras Reservoir in the Hoces del Cabriel Nature Reserve, Spain. Bridge infrastructure owned by ADIF. Photo by CFCSL.
Renfe is the national train operator in Spain. It has the widest network of high-speed trains in Europe, linking major cities with AVE, AV-City, Avant, Alvia, and Euromed trains. Long-distance routes are served by Altaria and Talgo trains, while regional routes are operated by Media Distancia, Regional and Express Regional trains. Renfe also operates on international routes to France and Portugal. Renfe trains offer four different travel classes, depending on the train you’re travelling on – Turista (Standard), Turista Plus (Premium Economy), Preferente (Business Class) and Club (First Class).
AVE is Renfe's flagship high-speed service, with trains capable of reaching up to 193 mph (310 km/h). It’s one of the fastest trains in Europe and connects the main cities of Spain. Most AVE trains offer four comfort classes – Turista (standard class), Turista Plus (wider, more comfortable seats), Preferente (lounge access, wide leather seats, food and drink service) and Club (First Class equivalent, with 1-1 configuration, ultra-wide seats, gourmet food and drink and lounge access). All AVE trains have air conditioning, power sockets, free WiFi and a buffet carriage serving a selection of food and drinks.
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.
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 Valencia 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!
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 Valencia and Madrid is 1 hour and 49 minutes, with around 9 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 Valencia to Madrid is 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Train tickets from Valencia to Madrid can start from as little as $18.88 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 Valencia to Madrid without having to change trains. There are 9 direct trains from Valencia to Madrid each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Valencia to Madrid leaves at 05:45. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Valencia to Madrid leaves at 08:10. 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 Valencia to Madrid cover a distance of around 188 miles (303 km) during the journey.