how to buy train tickets in Spain

By

Traveling by train in Spain is such a wonderful way of getting to know the country. The high-speed train, in particular, offers a unique and ultra modern of getting places at 300 km/h.

On the video below we share with your our tips for purchasing high-speed train tickets in Spain using the Trainline, the website we have used for a decade now to purchase all our train tickets in Spain.

Our top tip on the issue is: if you are after the best deals, buy your tickets as soon as they go on sale. Each operator (Renfe or Ouigo) make their tickets available at different times, so you will have to check out as soon as you know the dates of your trip to Spain.

We advice against purchasing your tickets once in Spain. Not only you will pay the most expensive fares, there is a surcharge for tickets purchased at the ticket office, and the risk of finding sold out trains is very real.

11 thoughts on “how to buy train tickets in Spain”

  1. Hello Tony, I found your website from the youtube. Thanks for many informative videos! It help us plan Spain/Portugal trip a lot.
    We are planning to visit Barcelona by car and take a train to Madrid. I found the public parking lot in front of the El Casar train station, I’m wondering if It’s ok to park for 4-5 days there and hop on the train and come back.

    Reply
    • Hi there, Owen. We are not familiar with the region of the El Casar railway station, so I’m afraid we can’t share much infomation with you.

      Reply
      • It looks like a park and ride thing in Madrid (Sorry I said it is in Barcelona) . but was wondering if it’s good for multiple days.
        Thanks for replying.

        Reply
        • We prefer not to guess an answer to your question (even if educated) as we are not really familiar with that specific spot and would hate to mislead you.

          Reply
  2. Hello Tony, We planning a trip to Spain the second two weeks in October 2022. Your Utube videos been very helpful! I tried to book train travel from Madrid to Toledo on the trainline.com site for 10/18 today, but site said no tickets available. I am wondering if this is because it’s to early to book them at this time, or am I doing something wrong?

    Reply
    • Hi Elisa, it shouldn’t be too early to book them, but the fact is that RENFE hasn’t introduced yet the tickets in the system, you will have to wait a little while longer – hopefully not much more!

      Reply
  3. Hi Tony! My husband and I will be flying into Madrid from Florence in May. (We will be visiting Ireland, England, and Italy before Spain). We will spend our first night in Madrid then take the train to Seville for 2 nights there, take the train to Cordoba for 2 nights there, and then back to Madrid on the train for our last two nights in Madrid before flying back to California. We are both over 65 yr. I am in the process of watching all your videos but I still am unsure as to what the least expensive way to pay for our various train rides would be. I understand there is a senior discount card we could get from Renfe but we can’t purchase it online. Should we purchase individual tickets online without the senior discounts? Wait until we get there to get the senior discount card and then purchase tickets? Or buy a pass? (I understand you still have to pay for seat reservations with the Eurail pass, so not sure if that is a good idea). Can you please tell me what the best method would be for me to use to purchase our various train rides as inexpensively as possible? Thank you so much for all the information you provide, you have been so very helpful in my trip planning!!

    Reply
    • Hello Mary Cruz! As we explained on our video with tips on the high-speed train in Spain, if you want to save money, your best bet is to buy your tickets as soon as they are made available, thus getting the maximum discount. The Senior card won’t get you that level of discounts and the Eurail pass, in the specific case of Spain, it’s a bad idea. So wait till the tickets you’re looking for appear in the system, and buy them as soon as you can. All the best!

      Reply
      • Thank you, Tony! One more question, please. Do you have any recommendation or warning on the new Iryo trains? They have good prices listed on Trainline, but I know it is very new and don’t see any information about how it is for the passengers on Youtube. Thank you again for your time and expertise! You really are a Godsend for those of us desperate for dependable information on visiting Spain!

        Reply
        • There isn’t much we can say about Iryo at present, their service only starts at the end of November. But sounds like a reliable operator and if you find a good fare to travel with them, we wouldn’t hesitate to grab it. All the best!

          Reply

Leave a comment