Renfe Avlo

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About the train journey from Santander to Madrid

Looking to travel from Santander to Madrid by train? You've come to the right place!

It usually takes around 4h 13m to travel the 211 miles (339 km) from Santander to Madrid by train, with around 2 trains per day running on this route. You won’t need to worry about making any changes along the way either as direct trains are available. Renfe, which is the main train operator in Spain, will take you from Santander to Madrid in just 4h 12m on the fastest Renfe services.

Train tickets from Santander to Madrid are usually cheaper when you book in advance compared to buying them on the day. Start a search in our Journey Planner to check out the latest prices.

Keen to book your train tickets to Madrid? No need to wait, start a search with us today! If you want to find out a bit more about the journey first, you can find our train timetable below, tips on booking cheap tickets and our FAQs, including first and last train times.

Santander to Madrid by train

It takes an average of 4h 56m to travel from Santander to Madrid by train, over a distance of around 210 miles (339 km). There are normally 7 trains per day travelling from Santander to Madrid and tickets for this journey start from €13.65 when you book in advance.

First train


Last train


Departure station


Arrival station


Journey time

From 4h 0m


210 miles (339 km)


7 trains per day


Direct trains available


From €13.65

Train and bus operators

Renfe, ALSA

Santander to Madrid train times

Check out the next trains departing from Santander to Madrid for Tuesday 4th April 2023. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
06:05 10:19 4h 14m, direct
08:20 14:54 6h 34m, 2 changes
08:20 14:10 5h 50m, 1 change
12:55 17:34 4h 39m, 1 change
12:55 16:55 4h 0m, direct
15:29 20:40 5h 11m, 1 change
18:00 22:07 4h 7m, direct

Renfe and Alvia trains from Santander to Madrid

You can travel from Santander to Madrid on Renfe and Alvia trains. When you search for times and tickets, we might also show you some other options with multiple connections or operators if they’re available.

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.

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.

Cheap train tickets from Santander to Madrid

The price of train tickets from Santander to Madrid starts at €13.65 one-way for a Standard Class ticket if you book in advance. Booking on the day is usually more expensive and costs can vary depending on the time of day, route or class.

Book in advance

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 Santander to Madrid by booking early.§

Be flexible with your travel times

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.

Choose a slower or connecting train

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!

Look out for special deals

Take a look at our handy guides to find out when train operators release their special deals and offers to see if you can find cheap European train tickets for your journey.

For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.

§Some train companies may not offer any Advance ticket types or cheaper deals for early bookings. On rare occasions, train companies may choose to release special offers closer to the date on last-minute or late-release tickets. This is dependent on the individual train operating company you travel with.

Journey details

Want to know more about your journey from Santander to Madrid? We've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions by our customers to help you plan your journey.

How long does the train from Santander to Madrid take?

The average journey time by train between Santander and Madrid is 4 hours and 56 minutes, with around 7 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.

What's the fastest journey time between Santander and Madrid by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Santander to Madrid is 4 hours and 0 minutes.

How much does the train from Santander to Madrid cost?

Train ticket prices from Santander to Madrid can start from as little as €13.65 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.

Is there a direct train from Santander to Madrid?

Yes, it is possible to travel from Santander to Madrid without having to change trains. There are 3 direct trains from Santander to Madrid each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.

What time does the first train from Santander to Madrid leave?

The first train from Santander to Madrid leaves at 07:05. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

What time does the last train from Santander to Madrid leave?

The last train from Santander to Madrid leaves at 19:00. 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.

What's the distance between Santander and Madrid by train?

Trains travelling from Santander to Madrid cover a distance of around 210 miles (339 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from Madrid to Santander. If you’re looking for other options, you can also catch the bus from Santander to Madrid.
The information provided is calculated based on scheduled train services for Santander to Madrid for a typical week day using timetable data for 04/04/2023. On weekends, holidays or other exceptional times, fewer services may be available. The fare range provided has been found by our customers on Trainline on 03/28/2023 for travel on 03/28/2023 and for adult tickets in economy, discount cards and coach journeys excluded.

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