Traveling in Spain by train is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and variety of the Spanish landscape. Spanish rail infrastructure has expanded rapidly, with high-speed AVE trains linking major cities in Spain at velocities of up to 186 mph. Renfe, Spain’s national rail company, offers numerous high-speed train routes that connect most parts of the Iberian Peninsula by rail. From popular destinations and train routes to information about train companies and how to buy cheap train tickets, this page provides an overview of everything you need to know about trains in Spain. Alternatively, if you are planning on taking multiple train trips you can choose to purchase a Eurail pass for train travel in Spain.
Renfe is a state-owned company which dominates the Spanish rail market. It operates passenger trains throughout certain regions in Spain, including the Transcantábrico (which runs along the Cantabrian coast), Tren Al Andalus (which offers the possibility to travel to the north and walk the Camino de Santiago), as well as several cities in Extremadura and Andalusia. Many services connect Spain with its neighbouring countries, Portugal and France. There are various types of trains in operation in Spain, though the rail network is most typically made up of regional and intercity trains. Media Distancia trains link regional destinations with the country's larger cities with long-distance high-speed trains while Cercanias (suburban trains) operate in and around the country's major cities such as Barcelona and Valencia. There are a number of different AVE trains in operation, all of which are modern and offer high-speed services between Spain's main cities. There are also a number of domestic Estrella and Trenhotel trains, as well as international night trains connecting Spain with France, Portugal, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
AVE: the fastest way to travel between the main Spanish cities, such as Seville and Madrid. Some AVE trains have also free Wi-Fi.
Euromed: connects the cities of Mediterranean Sea. It is the route that offers breathtaking landscapes such as the ones one can admire on the train from Barcelona to Valencia.
Alvia: Alvia trains run on both high speed and traditional routes; therefore they arrive to destinations, which are not reached by high speed trains, e.g. the trains from Madrid to Valladolid.
Renfe also offers travelers tourist trains that run through some Spanish regions. In particular, the Transcantábrico, which crosses the entire Cantabrian region, the Tren Al Andalus, which offers the possibility to travel to the north and walk the Camino de Santiago. In addition to that, there are numerous trips to neighbouring countries, such as Portugal and France, where Renfe and SNCF offer combined high-speed services.
There are also a number of domestic Estrella and Trenhotel trains, as well as international night trains connecting Spain with France, Portugal, Luxembourg and Switzerland.