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Travelling from Barcelona to Madrid by train

Planning to travel from Barcelona to Madrid by train? Start your journey with us.

The train from Barcelona to Madrid usually takes 2 hours and 48 minutes but can take just 2 hours and 29 minutes on the fastest services. You'll be travelling direct on this route with AVE, Avlo, OUIGO or iryo – they all provide comfy and spacious seats for you to sit back and relax as you travel from Barcelona to Madrid.

  • AVE offer Standard and First Class comfortable seating and free WiFi
  • Avlo trains come with Standard Class only, but also include free WiFi and power sockets
  • OUIGO Spain trains are double-decker and come with Standard Class only, with an onboard bar car
  • iryo are the new high-speed trains operating on the Barcelona - Madrid route. Reaching speeds of up to 223 mph, their Frecciarossa 1000 trains are super-quiet trains that offer latest-generation 5G WiFi and an onboard restaurant service.

Travelling First Class from Barcelona to Madrid

If you want to travel in style, why not choose a First Class train ticket from Barcelona to Madrid? AVE's Confort Class offers wider reclining seats and access to Renfe's First Class lounge at the station. Just look for Elige or Prémium tickets in our Journey Planner. Check out our guide to First Class v Second Class on European trains to find out more.

Once you arrive in Madrid, why not spend an afternoon wandering around El Retiro Park, the Museo Nacional del Prado or grab a bite at Mercado de San Miguel? If you need more inspiration, check out our guide to the best things to do in Madrid.

Ready to book? Start a search for cheap train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid in our Journey Planner at the top of the page or keep reading for money-saving tips and FAQs.

Barcelona to Madrid by train

It takes an average of 2h 44m to travel from Barcelona to Madrid by train, over a distance of around 314 miles (506 km). There are normally 22 trains per day travelling from Barcelona to Madrid and tickets for this journey start from €7 when you book in advance.

First train

06:20

Last train

21:25

Departure station

Barcelona

Arrival station

Madrid

Journey time

2h 29m

Distance

506 miles (314 km)

Frequency

22 trains per day

Changes

Direct trains available

Price

From €7

Train and bus operators

OUIGO, Renfe, ALSA, iryo

Barcelona to Madrid train times

Check out the next trains departing from Barcelona to Madrid for Tuesday 7th February 2023. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
DepartsArrivesDuration
09:00 12:17 3h 17m, direct
10:00 12:45 2h 45m, direct
11:00 14:12 3h 12m, direct
11:50 14:45 2h 55m, direct
12:25 14:54 2h 29m, direct
13:00 16:12 3h 12m, direct
14:00 16:45 2h 45m, direct
15:25 17:55 2h 30m, direct
16:00 18:45 2h 45m, direct
16:25 18:55 2h 30m, direct

AVE, OUIGO, iryo and Renfe trains from Barcelona to Madrid

You can travel from Barcelona to Madrid on AVE, OUIGO, iryo and Renfe 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.

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 two comfort classes – Estándard (Standard Class) and Confort (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. There are three fares for AVE services: the cheapest but least flexible Básico fare, the Elige fare (slightly pricier but more flexible), and the Premium fare for seats in Confort Class.

PhotoCramos, under licence CC BY-SA 4.0

OUIGO is the low-cost brand of French rail company SNCF, who operate trains in France and Spain. In France, all seats on OUIGO are Second Class and tickets can only be purchased online. You can also pay for additional extras, such as reserving a seat in the ‘quiet area’, at-seat power sockets and extra luggage. OUIGO has been operating in Spain since May 2021, and their trains include an onboard bar and a premium class of service called OUIGO Plus.

Operating since the end of 2022, iryo is a new high-speed train company in Spain. It’s a consortium between the Spanish airline Air Norstrum and the train company Trenitalia, one of the greatest leaders in European rail transport. The first private Spanish high-speed company to operate, iryo runs high-speed services on the Madrid – Zaragoza – Barcelona route and connects Madrid – Cuenca – Valencia/Alicante and Madrid – Cordoba – Seville/Malaga. They are doing this all with a fleet of ETR1000 model trains that offer the highest level of comfort in Spain, with a combination of advanced propulsion and highest quality onboard services, including WiFi connection and catering service. 98% of the parts of the trains are 100% recyclable, making this trip sustainable as well!

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.

Cheap train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid

The price of train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid starts at €7 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 Barcelona 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.

AVE train classes from Barcelona to Madrid

When travelling with AVE, you have two classes to choose from, Estándar (Standard) and Confort (First Class). Estándar is perfect for travellers on a budget, but if you prefer to travel yourself, why not upgrade to First Class? You’ll enjoy all the standard onboard amenities as well as extra perks and added comfort.

Estándar (Standard)

Estándar Class is the standard level of travel on AVE trains. Estándar is the ideal class for travellers looking for low-budget fuss-free travel. On board, you will enjoy:

Comfortable seating
Free WiFi
Fold-down table

Confort (First Class)

Confort Class is the First Class offering on AVE services. On board, you’ll enjoy all the amenities of Estándar class as well as extra perks, such as complimentary food and drink, free newspapers and more:

Complimentary food and drink
Free newspapers
Headphones for onboard entertainment
Renfe Club Lounges

iryo train classes from Barcelona to Madrid

When travelling with iryo, you have four classes to choose from: Inicial, Singular, Singular Only YOU and Infinita. In each class, you can expect design, comfort and technology as standard. 

Inicial

If you're looking for a reasonably-priced experience without compromising on the best service and comfort, Inicial class is ideal for you!

Comfortable seating
Power sockets
Some ticket flexibility
Free WiFi
Onboard entertainment platform
Café

Singular

Singular class is ideal for business travellers looking for flexibility! If you need to, you can adapt your ticket to your needs at the time. 

Comfortable seating
Power sockets
More ticket flexibility
Free WiFi
Onboard entertainment platform
Café

Singular Only YOU

If you're looking for added comfort and full flexibility, Singular Only YOU class is a fantastic choice, with access to select hotels too. 

Highly comfortable seat
Power sockets
Full ticket flexibility
Free WiFi
Onboard entertainment platform
Café
Access to Hotel Only YOU at Madrid Atocha station

Infinita

Infinita is iryo's all-inclusive fare for the best travelling and flexibility conditions. It offers the best options for changes and cancellations included in your ticket.

Highly comfortable seat
Power sockets
Full ticket flexibility
Free WiFi
Onboard entertainment platform
Café
Food and drink served to your seat
Access to Hotel Only YOU at Madrid Atocha station

Avlo & OUIGO train classes from Barcelona to Madrid

On board Renfe’s high-speed long-distance Avlo trains, you will only find Economy Class, but the service and amenities are still high-quality. OUIGO’s double-decker trains come with Standard Class only, but there are still plenty of amenities to enjoy on board.

OUIGO Standard Class

With OUIGO’s Standard Class, you can find a seat on the upper deck with spectacular panoramic views of the Spanish countryside. Then, you can take advantage of the free WiFi, power sockets and café-bar.

Free WiFi
Power sockets
Café-bar

Avlo Economy Class

Once you’ve found your seat in Avlo’s Economy Class, you can connect to the free WiFi, use the power sockets to charge your devices and grab some snacks from the vending machine.

Free WiFi
Power sockets
Vending machine

Onboard services

How to get to Barcelona Sants station

Situated in the heart of the city, Barcelona Sants station is easily accessible due to the city’s public transport. You can get there by:

  • Metro: Green Line L3 and Blue Line L5 links the city centre with the train station’s metro, Sants Estació.
  • Bus: There are various buses available from the city centre to Barcelona Sants station.
  • Walk: From La Rambla in the city centre, Barcelona Sants station is a 42-minute walk.

If you want to travel from Barcelona Airport to Barcelona Sants, you can simply catch the Renfe train from Barcelona Airport station to Barcelona Sants station, which takes around 20 minutes.

Arriving at Madrid Atocha station from Barcelona

No matter which operator you’re travelling with, you will arrive at Madrid Atocha station, in the heart of the city.

As soon as you’ve left the station, you can start to explore Madrid’s most iconic landmarks. From the station, it’s easy to get to Madrid city centre via public transport. You can get there by:

  • Metro: From Atocha Renfe metro station, you can take the Metro Line 1 to the city centre.
  • Bus: There are various buses available from Madrid Atocha station to the city centre.
  • Walk: From Madrid Atocha, you can get to Puerta del Sol in central Madrid on foot in around 25 minutes.

If you want to travel from Madrid Atocha to Madrid Airport, you can take a Renfe train, taking around 35 minutes in total.

Using public transport in Madrid

Madrid’s public transport system is easy, fast, safe and reliable. The underground system, known as the Metro, is the easiest way to get around the city. Comprised of 12 lines and over 300 stations, Madrid’s Metro is one of the most accessible metro systems in Europe.

Typically, the Metro runs from 6:00am until 1:30am, with trains arriving every 2-15 minutes.

Madrid’s Metro system is integrated with the bus system, meaning that you can travel on the Metro and the bus with the same ticket. Roughly, there are over 200 bus lines with over 2,000 buses in operation. The city’s EMT buses are blue and offer excellent views of the city as you travel from your origin to your destination.

Things to see and do in Madrid

There are so many things to see and do in Madrid, it can be difficult to know where to start! To help you find inspiration, here are some ideas for things to do in Madrid:

Journey details

Want to know more about your journey from Barcelona 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 Barcelona to Madrid take?

The average journey time by train between Barcelona and Madrid is 2 hours and 44 minutes, with around 22 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 Barcelona and Madrid by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Barcelona to Madrid is 2 hours and 29 minutes.

How much does the train from Barcelona to Madrid cost?

Train ticket prices from Barcelona to Madrid can start from as little as €7 when you book in advance. The cost of tickets can vary depending on the time of day, route and class you book and are usually more expensive if you book on the day.

Is there a direct train from Barcelona to Madrid?

Yes, it is possible to travel from Barcelona to Madrid without having to change trains. There are 22 direct trains from Barcelona 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 Barcelona to Madrid leave?

The first train from Barcelona to Madrid leaves at 06:20. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

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

The last train from Barcelona to Madrid leaves at 21:25. 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 Barcelona and Madrid by train?

Trains travelling from Barcelona to Madrid cover a distance of around 314 miles (506 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from Madrid to Barcelona. If you’re looking for other options, you can also catch the bus from Barcelona to Madrid.

Tips and tricks from our Trainline team blog

We love helping our customers find inspiration for their next train journey. We also believe about taking those journeys and sharing our experiences with you, so you can sit back, relax and get the most out of your trip.

Barcelona to Madrid by high speed train

Review by Jaime Campoamor Velasco

The AVE train from Barcelona to Madrid is one of the most important high-speed routes in Spain. Even if you can travel by plane, car or bus between the two cities, the train is definitely the best way to do so. Thanks to the AVE high-speed service, you can take a train from Barcelona city centre and get off in Madrid after only 2h 45m.

Barcelona Sants train station

Since its inauguration in 2008, this train has seen more than 35 million passengers between the two cities. About 25 Renfe trains run daily between Barcelona and Madrid, with possible variations based on the day and time of year.

Even if most of the AVE trains stop in cities like Guadalajara, Zaragoza, Lleida or Tarragona, some trains are direct and take 2h 45m rather 3h 10m to get to the final destination.

Located in the Sants-Montjuïc district, Barcelona Sants is the second most important train station in Spain both for connections and passenger traffic. The station is served by Renfe’s regional trains (Rodalies), long and middle-distance trains and high-speed trains that go to many Spanish cities as well as many international destinations, including Paris and Marseille.

My last journey from Barcelona to Madrid was very fast and comfortable. For work reasons, I had to go to Barcelona on a Tuesday and work from there for a couple of days. However, on Wednesday evening I was told to go to an important meeting in Madrid on Thursday early morning. Luckily I managed to find a quite cheap train ticket to Madrid with an AVE train departing from Barcelona at 07:00.

Since you need to go through security checks before boarding an AVE train, I got to Barcelona Sants at 06:30. After a nice coffee and security checks, I went to the platform from which my train was leaving. In my case, it was the AVE 3072 departing at 07:05.

As I bought a last-minute train ticket, I couldn’t choose the 07:00 train which goes directly from Barcelona to Madrid in only 2h 30m. For this reason, I had to pick the next available train and a Básico ticket in Second Class (Clase Estandár), which doesn’t allow any refund or cancellation.

Once I got to my seat, I used the two available plug sockets to charge my cell phone and laptop. The seats had armrests, footrests, reclining tables, coat hooks and luggage racks.

 

Train stop in Zaragoza

The AVE train from Barcelona to Madrid can reach speeds of more than 300 km/h. While I was working, the staff came to offer coffee, tea and an a la carte breakfast. Unlike First Class (Clase Confort), Second Class (Clase Estandár) train tickets neither include meals nor free WiFi. If you want one of these services, you’ll need to pay an extra fee.

After travelling for 1h 17m, the train stopped at 08:28 for 3 minutes at Zaragoza-Delicias train station. I reached Madrid Atocha at 09:50.

 

About Jaime 

Jaime is one of our trusted writers. The information for this review was obtained first-hand and is based on his own travel experience.

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The information provided is calculated based on scheduled train services for Barcelona to Madrid for a typical week day using timetable data for 02/07/2023. 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 08/01/2023 for travel on 08/01/2023 and for adult tickets in economy, discount cards and coach journeys excluded.

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