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).
AVE is Renfe's high-speed train, with trains capable of reaching up to 330 km/h. It’s one of the fastest trains in Europe and connects the main cities of Spain. Most AVE trains offer four comfort classes – Turista (standard class), Turista Plus (wider, more comfortable seats), Preferente (lounge access, wide leather seats, food and drink service) and Club (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.
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 Madrid Atocha to Barcelona 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 Madrid Atocha and Barcelona is 3 hours and 1 minute, with around 26 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 Madrid Atocha to Barcelona is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Train tickets from Madrid Atocha to Barcelona can start from as little as €32.30 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Madrid Atocha to Barcelona without having to change trains. There are 25 direct trains from Madrid Atocha to Barcelona. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Madrid Atocha to Barcelona leaves at 06:10. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Madrid Atocha to Barcelona leaves at 21:30. 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 Madrid Atocha to Barcelona cover a distance of around 505km during the journey.