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When travelling around Spain by rail, AVE high-speed trains are a popular choice for their comfort, quick connection times and modern amenities. Connecting major towns and cities across Spain on a high-speed line has made travelling by train care-free and easy to do. 

Want to know more about travelling on Renfe’s AVE trains? We’re here to help. Find out more about AVE trains, classes, where these high-speed trains can take you and how to book your AVE train tickets with us.

¡Vamos a España! Travel between France and Spain on a direct AVE train

The national Spanish train company Renfe will soon start operating its high-speed AVE trains between France and Spain. Less than a year after Renfe-SNCF stopped running trains between these two countries, direct services are making a comeback – this time with AVE trains!

Travel to Spain from Lyon or Marseille with tickets starting from just €29, or go from Montpellier to Spain with tickets starting at €19*. If you’re travelling within France – between Lyon and Marseille, for example – tickets on Renfe-operated routes start from €9!* At that price, leave your car at home and forget about taking a flight. Hop on a high-speed Spanish AVE train and travel in style, with comfortable seats, free WiFi, individual plug sockets and even air-conditioning. 

Renfe starts operating its route from Lyon to Barcelona on the 13th July 2023, while the route from Marseille to Madrid begins on the 28th July 2023. There will be one journey each way every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday on both routes. Tickets for AVE trains from France to Spain are available to buy now with Trainline.

* Prices subject to availability.

AVE train times between France and Spain


Good news! Whether you want to travel to France or to Spain, Renfe has got you covered with its high-speed AVE trains running direct between Lyon and Barcelona and from Marseille to Madrid. With one journey each way, 4 days a week, and train tickets starting from just €19* for some cross-border services, France and Spain are closer than you think. Take a look at the timetable for these new AVE routes below: tickets are available now on Trainline.

*Prices subject to availability.

AVE train times from France to Spain *

Train numberLeaving fromArriving atDeparture timeArrival timeExtra information
9742Lyon Part-DieuBarcelona Sants2:30pm7:32pmRunning from 13th July 2023

Marseille St-Charles

Madrid Pta. Atocha8:03am3:45pmRunning from 28th July 2023


AVE train times from Spain to France *

Train numberLeaving fromArriving atDeparture timeArrival timeExtra information
9737Barcelona SantsLyon Part-Dieu8:22am1:20pmRunning from 13th July 2023

Madrid Pta. Atocha

Marseille St-Charles

1:25pm9:30pmRunning from 28th July 2023
* Renfe trains between France and Spain will run on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only. Timetables are subject to change; check before you travel. 

High-speed trains in Spain

Operating in Spain since 1992, AVE trains began as a connection between Madrid and Seville which has now grown into one of the most extensive high-speed networks in Europe. These trains can travel at speeds of up to 350 km/h, drastically reducing long-distance travel times across the Spanish rail network and into France.   

Hop on board one of these high-speed trains in Spain, and you’ll enjoy luxurious amenities such as reclining seats, family areas and buffet carts (more of that later) while you’re whisked to your chosen destination.

From 23rd June 2021, the new "low-cost AVE", also known as Avlo, began operations between Madrid, Zaragoza, Barcelona and Figueres, making high-speed travel more accessible for anyone travelling on a budget and willing to explore some of Spain's largest cities.

AVE Spain map

So, where can these high-speed trains take you? AVE offers frequent and fast connections between major destinations across Spain. Take a look at some of the main cities these speedy services can take you to on our AVE Spain map below.

Using the AVE train network is one of the fastest and most enjoyable ways to travel around Spain. Glide through Spanish cities, towns and countryside at high-speed and enjoy the everchanging scenery through your window on the way to your next city or town.

AVE train tickets

There are three fare types for AVE trains, which were newly introduced in July 2021: Básico, Elige and Prémium. We explain how each ticket type works below.


Básico fares are for Estandár seating (the equivalent of Standard Class – more on that below) only. This is the cheapest fare, and the best for travellers who aren’t fussed about flexibility. Básico fares cannot be refunded or exchanged – you must catch the specific fare listed on your ticket. You will not be able to select your seat, however, this option can be purchased for an additional €8. Pets are also not allowed to travel with you on a Básico fare.

Note: trading up to an Elige or Premium fare will cost €12 and €30 respectively.


Elige translates to ‘choose’ – this fare offers a greater array of optional extras and more flexibility for cancellations and exchanges. Firstly, you can purchase an Elige fare for either seating class, Estandár or Confort (the equivalent of First Class). Changing on to a different train will cost 20% of the ticket value, cancelling will cost 30% of the ticket value. If you miss your train, buying a new ticket will cost 30% of the next train’s fare.

Seat selection is also available as an optional extra for €5 and upgrading to a Premium fare costs €20. Pets can be added after booking for €10. Catering is available from the cold tray.


The Prémium fare is the most expensive fare but offers the most flexibility and applies exclusively to Confort (First Class) seating. Changing to a different service is free of charge and if you miss your train, it’s free to catch the next train.

At seat catering of hot food comes as standard and you can bring a pet for free.

Note: the Prémium fare will only be available once hot food is made available again on Renfe trains.


AVE Classes

When travelling on a Renfe AVE train, there are two comfort classes to choose from Estandár and Confort. Both classes provide you with different services which we have highlighted below.

Estandár (Standard)

The standard level of travel on AVE trains, Estandár class, offers passengers comfortable seats, WiFi and the option to travel with a fold-down table. Seats are large and with plenty of leg room, while some also recline for a little extra comfort during slightly longer journeys. 

Confort (First Class)

AVE’s First Class offering will provide you with all the amenities of the Standard Class like WiFi and fold-down tables, with the bonus of leather reclining seats, power sockets and complimentary hot and cold drinks and snacks throughout the journey. 

There are also daily newspapers and headphones for watching onboard entertainment. Access to Renfe Club lounges is also provided at available stations. 

Find out more about Renfe AVE First Class.

Good to know

What are child ticket prices?  

Children under four years can travel for free onboard AVE trains, but they must share a seat with a passenger over four and also carry a ‘free child ticket’.

Are pets allowed to travel?

Small pets can travel on AVE train services. This includes dogs, cats, ferrets and non-poultry birds under 10 kg, if they are transported in a cage that doesn’t exceed the measurements  60 x 35 x 35 cm.  

In Confort Class (First Class) animals may travel for free, in Estandár Class (Standard Class) you must purchase an Integrated ticket (25% of the price of an Estandár ticket).

Do I have to go through security on AVE trains?  

Yes. As with all Renfe train services, there is a baggage security check before departure. Please allow up to 30 minutes before departure to make sure you are through in plenty of time.

Can I take bikes on AVE trains?

Bicycles that are disassembled and stored in a case (dimensions less than 180 cm) are allowed on AVE trains.

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