505 km

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The charming Spanish capital, Madrid, and the popular Catalonian gem, Barcelona, are surely worth seeing at least once in a lifetime. And taking a well-equipped high-speed Barcelona to Madrid train is certainly a great and comfortable option, saving a lot of your time. Below you can find out more about travel from Barcelona to Madrid, the route, and the trains, including answers to frequently asked questions.

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How far is Barcelona from Madrid?

The distance from Barcelona to Madrid is 505 kilometers which is approximately 314 miles. Although it may seem that traveling on an airplane for your connection between the cities is the wisest choice when covering such a long distance, taking a train from Barcelona to Madrid has proven itself to be a more time-efficient option.

Are there direct train services?

The most popular choice among travelers is the direct train which runs on the route, the high-speed AVE, which can reach the speed of 186 mph. Such trains are operated by the Renfe company and are favored for their onboard comfort and convenience of departure and arrival locations (right in the city centers: the Sants Station in Barcelona and the Puerta de Atocha Station in Madrid).

How long does it take to travel?

As mentioned before, one of the fastest and most advantageous travel options is taking the bullet train. If you’re wondering how long is the train from Barcelona to Madrid, the trip duration varies from 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours 10 minutes and the train doesn’t make any stops along the way after its departure.

What time is the first and last train of the day?

Luckily, the fast train from Barcelona to Madrid boasts an extensive schedule with practically hourly departures. Therefore, no matter which day of the week you’ll be traveling, you can count on over 10 options. As a rule, the first train departs at around 6 a.m. and the last train leaves at about 9 p.m.

When to buy tickets - now or in advance?

When it comes to purchasing your train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid, the smartest way to go is “the earlier - the better”, especially if you’re sure about your travel dates. On Rail Ninja you can book rail tickets for departures as early as 2 years in advance. This way can avoid higher rates and safeguard yourself from the unfortunate cases of little or no availability for your specific date or needed departure time, which is possible when booking last-minute.

What is the minimum price of a ticket?

Ticket prices for the bullet train Barcelona to Madrid vary based on the departure time, the chosen coach class, the traveler's age (child or adult), as well as on the proximity to the departure. Generally, ticket prices start from around 100 USD.

What class to choose?

If you plan to take the high-speed AVE Barcelona to Madrid train, you’ll have the choice of several classes: First Class, also called Preferente, or the Second Class, referred to as Turista. All train cars are air-conditioned, modern, and have comfortable seats. First Class cars are more spacious and designed for a smaller number of passengers. You can read more about the seat classes and the train here: AVE high-speed train.

Do you need seat reservation?

Seat reservation is included in the ticket. When booking your ticket you may indicate your preferable seat choice and, depending on the availability, the best option will be provided for you. Information about your assigned seat and the seat number will be displayed in the ticket.


Plan an amazing stay in Madrid

Browse our collection of recommended things to do and events to attend created in partnership with WhatWhere.

9.5 / 10 based on 62 reviews

Barcelona to Madrid Train Review & Rating

Really fast and smart connection, very clean and modern trains

Caroline K. about traveling from Barcelona to Madrid