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Each fare is the lowest adult economy ticket fare found by our customers on Trainline. Fares booked further in advance than the dates displayed may be cheaper. Prices are updated daily, subject to change and indicative of price last update. Limited availability. Discount cards and coach journeys excluded, prices exclusive of booking fee.

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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 Clase Confort and you’ll enjoy all the perks of a premium carriage, including 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 5h 32m 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 £16.49 when you book in advance.

First train


Last train


Departure station


Arrival station


Journey time

From 4h 28m


201 miles (323 km)


4 trains per day


Direct trains available


From £16.49

Train and bus operators

Renfe, ALSA

Bilbao to Madrid train times

Check out the next trains departing from Bilbao to Madrid for Thursday 23rd May 2024. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
07:00 Bilbao Abando11:28 Madrid-Chamartín-Clara CampoamorAlvia/Avant 4186 Get tickets4h 28m, direct
12:15 Bilbao Abando18:55 Madrid-Chamartín-Clara CampoamorIC 283 Get tickets6h 40m, 2 changes
15:20 Bilbao Abando21:45 Madrid AtochaAlvia/Avant 437 Get tickets6h 25m, 1 change
17:35 Bilbao Abando22:13 Madrid-Chamartín-Clara CampoamorAlvia/Avant 4366 Get tickets4h 38m, direct

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 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.

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.

Alvia classes from Bilbao to Madrid

Compare the different travel classes offered by Alvia when travelling from Bilbao to Madrid.

Onboard services on Alvia

Discover more about the onboard services offered on trains from Bilbao to Madrid.


On Alvia trains you can take up to three pieces of luggage on board, provided that they are less than 290cm long and weigh less than 25kg in total. Pushchairs and instruments smaller than 30 x 120 x 38 cm are also classed as hand luggage.

RestaurantRestaurantFood and drink

Most Alvia trains have an onboard café-bar, as well as an at-seat trolley service with a wide selection of food and drinks.


On board Alvia services, you can connect to PlayRenfe, a platform offering free WiFi and hours of entertainment.

ChildPassengerChildPassengerTravel with children

Children under 4 travel free on Alvia services with a free child's ticket. Plus, passengers under 14 get a 40% discount on their chosen tariff.


With Alvia, folded bicycles that are less than 180cm long and are stored in a case count as hand luggage. If your bike is larger than this, it will count as special luggage and must be no larger than 120 x 90 x 40 cm - you must also detach the pedals and rotate the handlebars 90 degrees.


You can take your pet with you if they weigh less than 10kg, travel in a carrier no larger than 60 x 35 x 35 cm, and have a pet ticket. In Elige Confort a pet ticket is free, while in Básico a pet ticket costs 25% of the price of a ticket.

WheelchairWheelchairSpecial Assistance

Alvia has an assistance service for passengers with reduced mobility or a disability. To arrange assistance, you can call (+34) 900 400 555 (international calling charges may apply).

Cheap train tickets from Bilbao to Madrid

The price of train tickets from Bilbao to Madrid starts at £16.49 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 5 hours and 32 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 4 hours and 28 minutes.

How much does the train from Bilbao to Madrid cost?

Train ticket prices from Bilbao to Madrid can start from as little as £16.49 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 are 2 direct trains 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 07:00. 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 17:35. 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.

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