The fastest way to travel from Madrid to Málaga is by high-speed AVE train. Operated by Renfe, AVE trains between Málaga and Madrid run on the Madrid-Málaga high-speed rail line, which supports speeds of up to 300km/h (186 mph). The fastest trains take just 2h 33m, while the average journey time is 2h 54m. 7 services depart from Madrid Atocha station per day – the first departing at 06:35 and the last at 18:35.
Situated 259 miles (417 km) south of Madrid, Málaga makes an interesting change from the Spanish capital. You’ll go from skyscrapers to sandy beaches, from the hustle and bustle of the city to the tranquillity of Costa del Sol. If you can drag yourself off the beach, be sure to visit the stunning Alcazaba Castle and the Picasso Museum – after all, you’re in the city where Picasso was born! Wherever you choose to visit, AVE trains will get you there in comfort, boasting air-conditioned carriages throughout and luxurious reclining leather seats in First Class.
Need more info? Keep reading to find today’s train timetables, journey FAQs and ticket prices. Once you’re ready to travel, use our Journey Planner above to buy your train ticket. Find the cheapest fares for your chosen day of travel and the most convenient travel times. After booking, we’ll send you a convenient eticket, which you can keep handy on your phone.
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.
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 to Málaga-María Zambrano 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 and Málaga-María Zambrano is 3 hours and 30 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 Madrid to Málaga-María Zambrano is 2 hours and 31 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Madrid to Málaga-María Zambrano can start from as little as €21.20 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 Madrid to Málaga-María Zambrano without having to change trains. There are 11 direct trains from Madrid to Málaga-María Zambrano each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Madrid to Málaga-María Zambrano leaves at 07:00. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Madrid to Málaga-María Zambrano leaves at 21:00. 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 to Málaga-María Zambrano cover a distance of around 259 miles (417 km) during the journey.