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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.

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 onboard 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.  

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.

As well as the major destinations in Spain we’ve shown in our AVE map, there are also eight Renfe-SNCF lines connecting France and Spain without the need to change train. If you’re planning a country-hopping tour of Europe, these trains offer a convenient way to travel cross-border, without having to wait around at the airport.

AVE train tickets

Tickets for AVE trains are the same as with all other Renfe trains. The three main types are Promo, Promo+ and Flexible, which are valid across all four classes available on AVE trains. We’ve explained how each ticket works below.

Promo

Promo tickets often offer the best discount for travel on AVE trains – up to 70% off. The discount applied varies on the type of train, date of travel and how far ahead of time you’re booking your tickets. Promo tickets are usually the first available to purchase, released around three months before the departure date. 

Bear in mind when buying a Promo ticket though that they are non-refundable and non-exchangeable – this means you can’t change the date and time of travel that you originally booked. 

Promo+

The next biggest discount in price comes with buying a Promo+ ticket – up to 65% off. As with a Promo ticket, the discount also varies depending on when you book, the date of travel and the type of train you’re travelling on.

The benefit of purchasing a Promo+ ticket is its flexibility. You’re able to change your journey time by paying 20% of the cost of the ticket. If you’d like to cancel your Promo+ ticket, this can also be done by paying 30% of the ticket price.

Flexible

As the name suggests, AVE Flexible fare offers the most freedom to change your ticket without a substantial cost. If you want to make changes to your original booking, it’s free to do so within the validity period. You can also cancel your Flexible tickets, with just 5% of the cost taken as a cancellation fee.

It’s possible to exchange your Flexible ticket for a more or less expensive fare. If you buy a more expensive ticket, you’ll pay the price difference between the two. If you change your ticket for a cheaper option, it costs 15% of the price of that ticket.

AVE Classes

When travelling on a Renfe AVE train, there are three comfort classes to choose from  Turista, Turista Plus and Preferente. All three classes provide you with different services which we have highlighted below.

Turista (Standard)

The standard level of travel on AVE trains, Turista 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. 

Turista Plus

All the same amenities as the standard Turista class, but with slightly larger ‘First Class‘ style seats. Enjoy more leg room and fewer seats per carriage by upgrading to this class.  

Preferente (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. 

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 the Preferente class (First Class) animals may travel for free, in other classes you must purchase an Integrated ticket (25% of the price of a Turista or Turista+ 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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