Imagine this – you arrive at Madrid Atocha Train Station on the edge of Madrid's city centre about 30 minutes before your train departure time, you breeze through a two-minute security bag check, you jump on an AVE high-speed train, and in around 1h 40m you’re pulling into Valencia's Joaquín Sorolla Train Station in the heart of the city. Sounds awesome, right? Well, we think it is!
The train slices through the mountainous countryside at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) as you descend from almost 700m above sea level down towards Valencia which is located right on the Mediterranean seaside. You're constantly suspended on hillsides, whooshing through tunnels, and around an hour into your journey, you'll cross the spectacular bridge across the Contreras Reservoir with views out over the vast Hoces del Cabriel Nature Reserve. You’re going to need to have your camera handy for that!
With multiple ticket options available for the budget-conscious, the flexible folk, or for those who want to treat themselves and upgrade to Preferente (First Class) which includes reclining leather seats and complimentary drinks and snacks, the AVE train from Madrid to Valencia has everything you need. Start your search for times and tickets above, or continue reading to find out more about the journey, daily timetables, how to find cheap tickets, and much more.
Pictured: Train bridge crossing the Contreras Reservoir in the Hoces del Cabriel Nature Reserve, Spain. Bridge infrastructure owned by ADIF. Photo by CFCSL.
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 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 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.
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.
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 Valencia 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 Valencia is 1 hour and 49 minutes, with around 9 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 Valencia is 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Madrid to Valencia 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 Madrid to Valencia without having to change trains. There are 9 direct trains from Madrid to Valencia each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Madrid to Valencia leaves at 00:40. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Madrid to Valencia leaves at 10:40. 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 Valencia cover a distance of around 188 miles (303 km) during the journey.