The average journey time by train between Málaga and Madrid is 2 hours and 52 minutes, with around 7 trains per day. However, you can get there in as little as 2 hours and 39 minutes on the fastest AVE services operated by Renfe.
The first train leaves Málaga-María Zambrano station at 05:30 and the last service departs at 18:00. AVE trains on this route run on the 258-mile (416 km) Madrid-Málaga high-speed rail line, which supports fast travel between the two cities. You’ll hurtle at speeds of up to 300km/h (186 mph) during the journey. For those who want to travel in style, Renfe’s First Class offers wide reclining leather seats, plenty of legroom, free WiFi and complimentary drinks and snacks.
Arriving into Madrid Atocha station, you’ll be at the heart of the Spanish capital. The Royal Palace is just a short hop on the Cercanías metro, while the Museo Nacional del Prado and El Retiro Park are within walking distance of the station. Need more inspiration? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Madrid, including the best restaurants, parks, museums and shops to go to.
Ready to travel? Book your train tickets from Málaga to Madrid with ease using our Journey Planner at the top of the page. View the cheapest tickets and train timetables; when you book, we’ll send your ticket as a convenient eticket, which you can keep handy on your phone.
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.
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 Málaga 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 Málaga and Madrid is 2 hours and 58 minutes, with around 12 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 Málaga to Madrid is 2 hours and 39 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Málaga 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 Málaga to Madrid without having to change trains. There are 8 direct trains from Málaga to Madrid each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Málaga to Madrid leaves at 05:30. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Málaga to Madrid leaves at 18:00. 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 Málaga to Madrid cover a distance of around 258 miles (416 km) during the journey.