Getting from the south of Spain to the capital is a lot easier than you might think on board a high-speed train. Without any lengthy check-in procedures or tiring security lines, Renfe’s AVE trains can take you from Cordoba to Madrid in less than two hours.
You'll step onto the platform in Madrid feeling refreshed and ready to explore, mere minutes away from the city's most iconic sights and landmarks. Art and culture lovers will want to head over to the Royal Palace and Prado Museum, with Madrid also offering plenty of opportunities for shopaholics and foodies too. Read on to learn more about this train journey - we've got helpful information below, including train times and FAQs.
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.
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.
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.
The Altaria service is operated by Talgo trains that make day trips over long distances and connect central and southern Spain at speeds of up to 125 mph (200 km/h). Altaria services connects Madrid with the Murcia and Andalusia regions, and have two classes with different levels of comfort – Turista (Second Class) and Preferente (First Class).
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 Cordoba to Madrid by booking early.§
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.
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!
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Cordoba and Madrid is 1 hour and 51 minutes, with around 15 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.
The fastest journey time by train from Cordoba to Madrid is 1 hour and 43 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Cordoba to Madrid can start from as little as €15 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.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Cordoba to Madrid without having to change trains. There are 15 direct trains from Cordoba to Madrid each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Cordoba to Madrid leaves at 09:05. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Cordoba to Madrid leaves at 17:54. 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.
Trains travelling from Cordoba to Madrid cover a distance of around 184 miles (296 km) during the journey.