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.
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.
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.§
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 Santander and Madrid is 4 hours and 55 minutes, with around 3 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 Santander to Madrid is 4 hours and 10 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Santander to Madrid can start from as little as €15.65 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.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Santander to Madrid without having to change trains. There are 2 direct trains from Santander to Madrid each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Santander to Madrid leaves at 07:05. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
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.
Trains travelling from Santander to Madrid cover a distance of around 210 miles (339 km) during the journey.