How to get from Barcelona to Madrid in 2023 by train, bus, plane or car? Schedule, travel time, prices. Where to buy transport tickets, is it possible to get to Madrid directly from Barcelona airport, where to stay and what to see in the capital of Spain – in the material of good Time for Trip.
Madrid can hardly be attributed to the suburbs of Barcelona – the distance of 625 km hints that you won’t go there between breakfast and dinner. Again, the size of the Spanish capital, as well as the abundance of attractions, clearly don’t contribute to a short trip.
Then you need to plan a long one – will you say? And, of course, will be right!
Moreover, today such trips are gradually turning into a trend. And many foreigners looking for new interesting experiences get to Madrid from Barcelona by rail.
After that, characteristically, they leave only enthusiastic reviews about the road time. And, equally, about everything else: hotels, excursions, restaurants and tapas bars, the number of which the capital of Spain knows no equal.
It’s worth considering that if you correctly plan the route of inspection and use the services of the rapid AVE train running on the Barcelona-Madrid route, you won’t spend much time. And get a very vivid, three-dimensional view of the capital of Spain in just a couple of days.
About twenty trains depart from Barcelona to Madrid every day. The travel time usually does not exceed 3 hours and 20 minutes, but there are rail “flights” that cover the distance just in 2.5 hours.
Because they are rushing fast, and the developed speed sometimes exceeds 300 km/h. You can find the full schedule and actual prices here: renfe.com/es/en.
The express trains leave Barcelona Sants Station and arrive at Madrid Atocha. Both mentioned points are installed in the city metro system. And you can get to the departure point in Barcelona, including from El Prat International Airport – just to get off at Sants-Estacio (intersection of lines 3 and 5).
The cost of tickets depends significantly on how many days before departure you purchase them. And also from the time of day – if you go in the evening, you’ll spend substantially less!
You can buy a train ticket from Barcelona to Madrid for today’s date by spending a little more than 40 € – however, in this case you’ll arrive in the Spanish capital at about midnight. The cost of a trip in the middle of the day starts from 100 € per seat.
Tickets for children under the age of 14 are 40% cheaper. Kids aged 0-3 years travel for free, provided that they don’t occupy a separate seat.
In April 2020, low-cost AVLO trains with a 30% increased passenger capacity were launched between Madrid and Barcelona. This is achieved by increasing the number of seats in a row from 4 to 5.
There’re no cafeterias in the cars – only vending machines. AVLO also refused business class seats, and the road attendant will be one for the entire train. Wi-Fi will be available for for extra money.
Every day, 4 AVLO trains run the route Barcelona-Madrid and back.
You can also get from Barcelona to Madrid by ALSA buses. They get off from the Nord bus station, the trip lasts for at least 7.5 hours. Non-refundable tickets can be purchased for only 14 €, the standard price is over 37 €.
Transport runs 24h, so if you wish, you can leave the capital of Catalonia at least at midnight and arrive in Madrid in the morning. On the road, buses make only 1 stop – in Zaragoza.
We advise you to get acquainted with the schedule and current tariffs on the official website of the carrier –
Note that a bus ride is suitable primarily for those who would like to save money. We don’t recommend going to it with young children, because, despite the spacious salon and the presence of a toilet, the journey takes a lot of time and is tiring.
You can get to the Nord bus station in Barcelona using the metro – it’s served by Arc de Triomf on line 1.
Obviously, this is the fastest way to get to your destination, the duration of the flight from Barcelona to Madrid doesn’t exceed 1.5 hours. Another half an hour of time must be added to move from the airport to the center of the Spanish capital.
The prices for tickets of the budget airline Vuelos are also not shocking – if you buy them just 1-2 days before the flight, youll spend only 40 € per person.
The trip, however, will take place in the middle of the day. But for a tourist who is not tied to a certain time, this can hardly be considered a problem?!
From Barajas Airport (terminal T4) to Madrid (Cibeles or Atocha station) around the clock (!) 24 h a day runs the bus express. The ticket price is only 5 € – esmadrid.com/en/airport-express. The standard and not changing depending on the time of year taxi fare is 30 €.
When renting a car directly at Barcelona airport and traveling to Madrid, you plan the duration and route of the trip yourself.
Along the way you’ll be able to see some of the best attractions of the country. And, for example, for an additional fee will return the car in the capital of Spain – if you don’t want to go back on it. Well, or going to stay in Madrid longer than originally planned.
Earlier wrote detailed material about the features of car rental in Spain. Below are just some of the figures provided by the portal viamichelin.com.
If you start from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, you will reach Madrid by car in about 6.5-7 hours (through Zaragoza). The distance to be overcome is slightly less than 630 km, you need to pay less than 8 € for driving on toll highways.
Where to Stay
We recommend a simple, but very well located guest house, Hostal Carracedo, within walking distance of the main museum of Madrid, the Prado, and the Puerta del Sol. In September, for example, a day’s stay for two here will cost ~ 100 €.
Very good, but more expensive are the Apartments Moratín Las Letras on Calle de Moratín, 11. Which is almost never empty.
It’s worth paying attention to the Apartamento en Calle Relatores. After leaving which you will explore the Plaza Mayor or reach the Royal Palace in a very short time.
What to Do
A little more earlier we’ve compiled a list of places to visit in Madrid in 3 to 5 days. If you arrive from another city and are limited in time, the route will have to be optimized rather than shortened.
On the first day, that is, after getting off the train at Atocha, you can immediately head to Retiro Park, and then explore any of the museums of the “Golden Triangle of Arts”. For the evening, leaving the main squares of Madrid, the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral.
And on the second, for example, go to the Escorial. After all, the palace-monastery there, revered by the Spaniards as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, must be seen at least once in a lifetime.
Segovia and Toledo are also worth a visit. As, perhaps, they are most interesting towns in the vicinity of Madrid.
In the case of a short visit, citizens who don’t tolerate fuss it’s better not to leave the Spanish capital and see its other attractions. Like Gran Via Avenue, Neptune Fountain or St. Francis Cathedral. The last is located, by the way, not far from the Royal Palace!
We advise you to pay attention to the completely non-monumental Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida Church next to the vast Oeste Park. It was painted by one of the most controversial artists in Spain, Francisco Goya. In the local chapel he found eternal rest.
By the way, Oeste, that is, the Western Park, is an amazingly beautiful attraction of Madrid. Inside which, in addition, there is also a precious “casket”, the original ancient Egyptian temple of Debod. Brought here straight from the banks of the Nile!