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Trains from Bilbao to Madrid

Settle in for a peaceful ride on the five-hour train from Bilbao to Madrid. With so much going on in the city, day and night, you’ll be glad you preserved your energy.

From sport to shops, cafes to culture – Madrid has it all, and within easy reach of the train station, too. If you’re one of the many visitors making the pilgrimage for the football, the stadium is just 20 minutes away by public transport.

The reliable Renfe service offers a choice of four trains a day, operating from 06:30 to 17:00. Upgrade your ticket to Turista Plus and you’ll enjoy all the perks of a premium carriage. Better still, book a First-Class ticket and you can benefit from lounge access and at-seat table service on board. There’s also a generous luggage allowance of up to three items, without any extra charge.

Once you’re ready to book, or to find out more, consult our helpful information below including FAQs.

Bilbao to Madrid by train

It takes an average of 6h 18m to travel from Bilbao to Madrid by train, over a distance of around 201 miles (323 km). There are normally 4 trains per day travelling from Bilbao to Madrid and tickets for this journey start from €17.80 when you book in advance.
Journey timeFrom 5h 8m
PriceFrom €17.80
Distance201 miles (323 km)
Frequency4 trains per day
Departure stationBilbao
Arrival stationMadrid
ChangesDirect trains available
Train and bus operatorsRenfe, ALSA

Bilbao to Madrid train times

Check out the next trains departing from Bilbao to Madrid for Tuesday 18th May 2021. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
08:20 01:28 5h 8m, direct
11:32 06:31 6h 59m, 3 changes
11:32 05:50 6h 18m, 2 changes
02:20 09:07 6h 47m, 1 change

Renfe and Alvia trains from Bilbao to Madrid

You can travel from Bilbao 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 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).

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.

Cheap train tickets from Bilbao to Madrid

The price of train tickets from Bilbao to Madrid starts at €17.80 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 Bilbao 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.

Journey details

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

The average journey time by train between Bilbao and Madrid is 6 hours and 18 minutes, with around 4 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 Bilbao and Madrid by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Bilbao to Madrid is 5 hours and 8 minutes.

How much does the train from Bilbao to Madrid cost?

Train ticket prices from Bilbao to Madrid can start from as little as €17.80 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 Bilbao to Madrid?

Yes, it is possible to travel from Bilbao to Madrid without having to change trains. There is 1 direct train from Bilbao 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 Bilbao to Madrid leave?

The first train from Bilbao to Madrid leaves at 11:32. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

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

The last train from Bilbao to Madrid leaves at 08:20. 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 Bilbao and Madrid by train?

Trains travelling from Bilbao to Madrid cover a distance of around 201 miles (323 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from Madrid to Bilbao. If you’re looking for other options, you can also catch the bus from Bilbao to Madrid.
The information provided is calculated based on scheduled train services for Bilbao to Madrid for a typical week day using timetable data for 05/18/2021. 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 06/10/2021 for travel on 06/10/2021 and for adult tickets in economy, discount cards and coach journeys excluded.

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