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Welcome to Spain!

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COUNTRY QUICK FACTS

Capital City

Madrid

Official Languages

Spanish

Catalan

Bordering Nations

Andorra

France

Portugal

Currency

Euro (€)

OUR favorite Suggestions

Gorgeous weather, spectacular food, and bustling nightlife - Spain has it all!

  1. Indulge in Spanish Tapas

  2. Explore Madrid

  3. Marvel at the Sagrada Familia

  4. Visit the Balearic Islands

  5. Experience Spanish Football

Madrid S&E

SITEs and Experiences

 

Madrid

 

Palacio Real: The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish royal family, and is the largest current functioning royal palace in all of Europe - it has a grand total of 135,000 sq. meters and 3,418 rooms! The interior of the place is known for its vast collection of fine art, and also houses the Royal Armory of Madrid, one of the finest armory collections in the world. A standard ticket into the palace costs €13, and for €4 more you can have a guided tour. A list of people that are eligible for a reduced fare of €5 can be found here, and a list of people that are eligible for free entry can be found here. You can purchase your tickets at the ticket office located at the palace, or you can purchase them online at their official website.

El Retiro: El Parque de Buen Retiro, known simply as El Retiro is one of the largest parks in Madrid, spanning over 1.4 sq. kilometers. The park is filled with a variety of magnificent sculptures, monuments, galleries, and walkways for all to enjoy. One of the most popular spots within the park is the Monument to Alphonso XII, which stands tall over the artificial lake in the center of the park. Visitors can rent rowboats (€6 on weekdays, €8 on the weekends) and enjoy some leisure time floating out on the lake.

Museo del Prado: El Prado museum is one of the most visited sites in the world, and is often considered to have one of the greatest collections of European art anywhere on the globe. Many timeless works from Velázquez, Bosch, El Greco, and other legendary artists line the walls of this historic museum. General admission costs €7.50, with a reduced fare of €3.75 for citizens over 65, and free entry for children under 18, students from 18-25, and visitors with physical impairments. Learn more about the museum and its many collections at their official website

Plaza Mayor: One the two most notorious plazas in all of Madrid, the Plaza Mayor dates back to the 15th century where it was used as the main market in town. Today, it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to eat, shop, and enjoy soaking in the Spanish ambiance. 

Puerta del Sol: Located less than half a kilometer from Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol is the other world-renowned plaza in the center of Madrid. Puerta del Sol serves as the "km 0" to which all radial roads in Spain are measured, which is commemorated by a plaque on the ground of the square. On the east side of the plaza, the famed El Oso y el Madroño statue stands tall to represent the heraldic symbol of the city of Madrid.

Calle Gran Vía: Often referred to as the "Spanish Broadway," this street is the most popular street in the city. It is lined with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants for everyone to enjoy, and is one of the most bustling nightlife areas of Madrid. The architecture that lines it encompasses its charm, including the famed Metropolis and Carrion buildings. 

Flamenco: One of the most recognizable works of Spanish art, a Flamenco show is an experience to behold. Our favorite place to catch a show within Madrid is at the Cardamomo tablao. There are four hour-long shows here each day, beginning at 6:00 pm and going until 11:30 pm, and tickets begin at €39. To supplement your viewing experience, you can also order a wide variety of tapas, along with a fine selection of wine and sangria. It doesn't get more Spanish than a night filled with Flamenco, tapas, and sangria!

Santiago Bernabéu: Home to the world-renowned Real Madrid CF football club, this stadium is the second largest in all of Spain with a capacity of over 81,000 spectators. It's one of the world's most famous stadiums, and was the first European stadium to host both a UEFA Euro final match as well as a FIFA World Cup final match. Visitors can tour the stadium - the 1:30 long tour includes highlights such as the dressing room, the benches and pitch, the press room, and much more. The tour costs €17 for adults, and €14 for children under the age of 14. For football fans looking to catch a Real Madrid home game, their schedule and tickets can be found on their official website

Barcelona / Cataluña Region

 

Sagrada Familia: This stunning Roman Catholic basilica is one of the most brilliant pieces of architecture in the world, and is the grand masterpiece of the legendary Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. Not only is the Gothic-style exterior a wonder to behold, but the interior of the cathedral is equally as impressive, with its stained-glass windows projecting a marvelous array of colors throughout the building. The Basic Ticket into the cathedral costs €20 for adults, with reduced fares for Seniors (€16) and students (€18), as well as free access to children under age 11. There are a variety of other tickets, such as those that include audioguides and access to one of the towers, for an additional fee. Explore all of the ticket options and prices here.

You can buy your tickets online at the official Sagrada Familia website, or at the ticket counters located at the cathedral. Because this is one of the most visited sights in all of Spain, the queue can get lengthy. With an online ticket, you also book a set entry time, so there is no need to worry about waiting in line. Be sure to keep this in mind when planning your visit and buying your tickets to the cathedral.

Parc Güell: Located in the Gràcia district on the northern edge of the city, this stunning park is one of the most iconic in Europe. Designed by none other than Antoni Gaudí, the park offers a spectacular balance of natural beauty and Gaudí mosaics that has impressed its visitors for over a century. The park itself is free to get into, however the main area of the park that holds most of Gaudí's work (known as the "restricted area") does require paid entrance. A general ticket costs €10, with small discounts available for both children (7-12) and seniors (65+). Additional information, including a map of the park and park hours, can be found here.

Gaudí Architecture: In case we haven't made it obvious, Mr. Gaudí left one incredible and unwavering impression on the city of Barcelona. Two other incredible works of his include Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. The façades on both of these buildings ares sights to behold, and there are tickets available to visit the interiors of both as well. For both buildings, tickets are slightly cheaper of booked online as opposed to at the ticket offices. Additional information on Casa Milà can be found here, and additional information on Casa Batlló can be found here.

La Rambla: This tree-lined pedestrian street is a very popular staple to the city. The street stretches a total of 1.2 km, beginning at the Plaça de Catalunya in the north and ending at the Christopher Columbus Monument in the south. The street is lined with a multitude of vendors selling goods such as flowers and souvenirs, as well as several restaurants and pavement cafés. A stroll down La Rambla is a wonderful portrayal of the Barcelona experience!

Camp Nou: Home to the prestigious FC Barcelona football club, this giant stadium is like no other. With a seating capacity of over 99,000 people, this stadium is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world. Tours of the stadium are available for €26, and it includes many highlights such as panoramic views from the press box, the player's locker room, views from the benches, and much more. The official team store that is connected to the stadium, known appropriately as the Megastore, houses over 2,000 sq. meters of FC Barcelona gear and merchandise that is worth a gander for any football fan, even if not embarking on the stadium tour. For ticket and schedule information for FC Barcelona matches, as well as booking tickets for the stadium tour, visit FC Barcelona's official website

Costa Brava: Located on the northeastern coast of Cataluña, this region of Spain is another popular destination for travelers. The coastal terrain of the region is known for its rocky coves and coastline (hence the name "rough coast" in English), but it is also abundant in excellent beaches and is known to offer some of the best seafood in the country. Inland, the town of Girona serves as a magnet for many Costa Brava explorers alike; for any Game of Thrones fans, Girona was the filming location for several scenes that took place in King's Landing and Braavos.

Barcelona S&E

Mallorca (Balearic Islands)

 

Palma de Mallorca: Palma is the largest city and capital of the island, which itself is the largest in the Balearic Island archipelago. Along with its popular Balearic counterpart in Ibiza, the island of Mallorca is one of the most frequented holiday destinations in Europe. With pristine beaches, gorgeous weather, and top-notch restaurants, it's no secret why this city has become a magnet for those looking for a getaway. Palma is much more than what comes with it's "postcard" reputation, however; sights such as La Seu and Parc de la Mar offer a mainland Spain ambiance, and the maze of narrow streets that make up the Old City showcase the influences from the city's Arab past.

Bay of Palma: The city of Palma itself is located at the northern tip of the Bay of Palma, which holds the city's harbor as well as some of the island's best beaches. One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Bay is through the Bay of Palma Catamaran Excursion (link). This five hour cruise takes you sailing around the Bay on a 24m catamaran boat, equipped with bow nets, music, and a bar serving delicious long drinks and cocktails. During the trip, the boat anchors in Cala Blava, and gives passengers an opportunity to swim, snorkel, and enjoy its crystal clear waters. The cruise is topped off with a buffet-style lunch that is included in the ticket price. Bon voyage!

Coves del Hams: Located approximately 60km east of Palma on the eastern edge of the island, the Caves of Hams are a Solutional cave system that is a popular destination for explorers. Also known as "Fishhook Caves," the cave system gets its name from the unique stalactite and stalagmite formations that can be found inside; Hams is the Mallorquí word for fishhooks or harpoons. The caves also hold and underground lake within, known as the Sea of Venice. There are various options for guided tours (both half-day and full-day) from a variety of third-party tour companies.

Mallorca S&E

Practical Information

Arriving in Madrid

 

ARRIVING BY PLANE

Madrid-Bajaras Airport (MAD) is the primary international airport that serves Madrid. Located within the city limits of Madrid, the airport is located only 13 km northeast of the de facto city center of Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. 

Terminal T1 - This terminal is the primarily serves international flights outside of the Schengen zone. This terminal contains all gates prefixed with A, all gates prefixed with B, as well as gates C30 through C42.

Terminal T2 - This terminal mainly serves domestic flights within Spain as well as international flights within the Schengen zone. This terminal contains gates C43 through C50 as well as all gates prefixed with D.

Terminal T3 - This terminal is the smallest in the airport, and is only used for domestic and regional flights within Spain. In this terminal, you'll find all gates prefixed with E and F. 

Terminal T4 - Terminal T4 is the largest terminal in the airport, and consists of the main T4 building as well as a satellite building T4S which are connected via an underground train. The main building serves domestic and Schengen zone flights, while the satellite building only serves non-Schengen international flights. This terminal houses all gates prefixed H and later.

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Oneworld member airline Iberia is the flag carrier of Spain and houses its main hub at Madrid-Bajaras Airport; if you are a member of any Oneworld member's rewards program and are flying Iberia into Madrid, you will be able to earn miles towards your Oneworld status.

Getting to the City from Madrid-Bajaras Airport

Train - The national Spanish railway company Renfe connects the airport to the city center via the C1 and C10 lines. The train station at the airport, named Aeropuerto T4, is located on level -1 within Terminal T4. There is a shuttle bus that connects Terminal T4 with the rest of the terminals in the airport. The main train station in Madrid that both of these lines serve is Príncipe Pío and is located on the north side of the Royal Palace. The journey to this station from the airport takes about 40-45 minutes, and trains run every 15 to 20 minutes. A single one-way ticket on these lines will cost €2.60; more information on these train lines can be found here.

Metro - Metro Line 8 (Nuevos Minesterios - Aeropuerto T4) is the line that connects Madrid's metro system with the airport. There are two stops on this line within the airport - Aeropuerto T4 as well as Aeropuerto T1-T2-T3, the latter of which is located on level 1 of Terminal T2. The end of this metro line is at the Nuevos Ministerios stop, and the journey from the airport takes about 15 minutes. This stop is located on the northern edge of the city, about 4.5 km from Plaza Mayor, so you would likely want to take an additional ride on another line to get to the heart of the city. Luckily you can transfer to lines 6 and 10 at the Nuevos Ministerios stop. You can find a map of the Madrid Metro plan here, and you can find more info on metro ticket pricing down below.

Bus - There are a plethora of bus lines that run in and out of the airport, but the main line is Line 203, otherwise known as the Exprés Aeropuerto. This express line connects Madrid Atocha train station directly with the airport (Terminals T1, T2, and T4) in 45 minutes. Busses run every 15-20 minutes on this route. For additional info on all bus routes that serve the airport, you can click here

Taxi - The Airport Fixed Rate 4 is a fixed one-way taxi rate of €30 between the airport and anywhere within the Madrid city center, given that the destination is within the M-30 ring highway that circles the city. This fare runs 24 hours a day, and is exempt from all surcharges or fees. 

Rental Car - The car rental companies that serve Madrid Airport include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, Goldcar, and Sixt. Offices for all companies are located in the arrivals area of both Terminals T1 and T4. More information can be found here.

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ARRIVING BY TRAIN

Train Station - there are two main train stations in Madrid: the first one, Madrid Atocha, is located at the southern edge of Buen Retiro park, while the second one, Madrid Chamartín, is located on the northern edge of the city, near Plaza de Castilla. The large majority of train travel coming into Madrid is domestic travel from within Spain; the only international destination with direct links into Madrid is Lisbon (Portugal). Below, we'll go over how to get to Madrid from some of these main Spanish destinations, as well as from Lisbon:

From Barcelona

Every couple of hours, there are high-speed AVE trains (via the Spanish railway company Renfe) that link the Barcelona Sants station with Madrid Atocha in about 2h 30m. Fares for these tickets start at €32, but these fares are dynamic and do change depending on when you book your ticket. Tickets are limited so in theory these trains can sell out, so booking in advance will guarantee you a spot on the train as well as get you the lowest possible price on the ticket.

From Valencia

The quickest way to get to Madrid from Valencia is on a high-speed AVE train, of which there are several that link Madrid Atocha station with Valencia's Joaquín Sorolla station in about 1h 54m. Fares for these tickets start for around €74, and the pricing is dynamic, just as are all Renfe tickets. However, there is a cheaper (albeit longer) way to get to Madrid from Valencia: there are regional Renfe trains that link Madrid Atocha with Valencia's Estaciò Nord station in about 7h 30m, and fares for these tickets begin at around €28

From Seville

The quickest way to get to Madrid from Seville is also via Renfe's high-speed AVE trains, which connect Madrid Atocha with Seville's Santa Justa station in about 2h 30m; fares for these tickets begin at €77, and pricing is dynamic, as is the case with all Renfe tickets. There are also cheaper regional Renfe trains that directly link these two stations in just over 8 hours; fares for these tickets begin at around €50.

From Lisbon (Portugal)

If you're looking for a direct train from Lisbon to Madrid, there is a daily overnight sleeper train called the Trenhotel Lusitania that leaves Lisbon Santa Apolonia station at 9:25pm (as well as from Oriente station at 9:34pm) and arrives at Madrid Chamartín station the next day at 8:40am. This is a popular option for those who would like to save a night of lodging expense, as well as those who would like to save time they have during the day by traveling overnight. With regards to pricing, if you book early enough with a Promo fare, you can get a bed in a 4-bed sleeper cabin for €34; if these tickets sell out, then this same bed costs €86 with a standard flexible ticket. You can also book a bed in a private 2-bed cabin for €122, or a private one-bed cabin for €181. For more specific information about this trip, head to this amazing website created by renowned train traveler Mark Smith, otherwise known as "The Man in Seat 61."

All of these aforementioned train tickets can be purchased directly on Renfe's official website; however, we have found this website to be a little quirky with some translation errors as well as credit card acceptance issues. We would recommend booking through trainline.eu or raileurope.co.uk which are two excellent third-party train ticket providers in Europe that link directly with Renfe's ticketing system (as well as the ticketing systems of all major European railway companies). 

Arriving in Madrid

Arriving in Barcelona

 

ARRIVING BY PLANE

Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) is the primary airport that serves the Barcelona metropolitan area, and is located about 12km southwest of the city center. In early 2019, the airport was named after former Catalonian president Josep Tarradellas, and is often referred to as Aeropuerto Josep Tarradellas

Terminal T1 - As the larger of the two terminals, this terminal handles both Schengen and non-Schengen flights. This terminal is split into 5 modules (or "Boarding Areas") labeled A through E:

Module A - flights to Madrid

Module B - flights to Schengen Area destinations

Module C - Air Nostrum flights (Spanish regional airline)

Module D - flights to non-Schengen destinations in Europe

Module E - flights to non-Schengen, non-European international destinations

Terminal T2 -This terminal split into three linked sections, known as Terminal 2A, 2B, and 2C. This terminal is mostly occupied by low-cost airlines, but there are some full-cost airlines that do use this terminal as well.

BCN is a very popular destination for low-cost budget airlines, and is the hub for both Vueling and Level. It is also a focus city for EasyJet, Norwegian, and Ryanair, all of which are also budget airlines. With that being said, Barcelona is a very accessible destination for travelers who may be on a tighter budget.

Getting to the City from Barcelona-El Prat Airport

Train - The national Spanish railway company Renfe connects the airport to the city center via the R2 Nord line. This direct line links Terminal 2 to Barcelona-Sants station in about 22 minutes, and departs every half-hour. The airport is shown on Renfe's map in Zone 4, so you'll need a 4-zone ticket which will cost you €4.60. You can only buy these tickets at the various ticket machines that are located at the train stations; there are a few of these located within the airport itself as well.

Metro - The metro line L9 South (orange line) connects both of the terminals at the airport to the city, but in order to get to Plaça de Catalunya, you will have to transfer lines. You can get to the plaza by transferring  to the L1 (red) line at Torrassa station, or via the L3 (green) line at Zona Universitària station. A single use one-way ticket costs €5.15 and you can buy your tickets online or at any TMB ticket machine located at every metro station. A map of the Barcelona metro network can be found here.

Bus - Aerobús is a private company that links a couple of main points in Barcelona with both terminals of the airport; stops on the bus include Plaça de Catalunya, Gran Via - Urgell, and Plaça Espanya. It is important to know that there are separate busses that serve each terminal, and busses do not serve both terminals on the same trip. A one-way ticket to any stop costs €5.90, and you can buy at the airport or online at their website

Taxi - Taxi stops can be found outside of both terminals, and run 24 hours a day. Fares do vary by trip, but generally speaking a trip to the city center will be in the range of €25 to €30. Taxis from the airport run 24 hours a day. 

Rental Car - The car rental companies that serve Madrid Airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Goldcar, Hertz, National, Sixt, and Thrifty. Offices for all companies are located in Terminal 1 on the ground floor just after the baggage claims, and in Terminal 2B at the main exit hall.

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ARRIVING BY TRAIN

Train Station - the main train station in Barcelona is Barcelona Sants station, and is located approximately 3.5km southwest of Plaça de Catalunya. This station is the primary departure and arrival destination for both domestic and international train travel, and it is often considered to be one of the most utilized transportation hubs in all of Europe. The only direct international trains into Barcelona Sants come from France; if you are coming from any other destination north of France (Amsterdam, Milan, Zürich, etc.) you would likely be connecting either through Pais or Lyon. If coming from Portugal, you would be connecting through Madrid Atocha station in Madrid.

From Madrid

Every couple of hours, there are high-speed AVE trains (via the Spanish railway company Renfe) that link the Barcelona Sants station with Madrid Atocha in about 2h 30m. Fares for these tickets start at €32, but these fares are dynamic and do change depending on when you book your ticket. Tickets are limited so in theory these trains can sell out, so booking in advance will guarantee you a spot on the train as well as get you the lowest possible price on the ticket.

From Valencia

There are multiple daily high-speed Euromed trains that link Joaquín Sorolla station in Valencia with Barcelona Sants in 2h 40m; fares for these trains begin for as little as €30. There are also regional Talgo trains that link Estaciò Nord station in Valencia to Barcelona Sants; these trains take a little longer (3h 30m) and fares begin at a slightly cheaper €28. The fares for both of these options are dynamic and do change as the departure date gets closer, so be sure to book in advance if looking for lower fares.

From Seville, Córdoba

There are daily afternoon high-speed AVE trains that link Sevilla Santa Justa station (5h 30m) and Córdoba Central station (4h 40m) with Barcelona Sants station; both of these trains arrive in Barcelona just before 8:30pm. As with all Renfe tickets, fares for these trains are dynamic and are subject to increases. It is not uncommon to find these fares to be €120+. For travelers on a budget, it may be more economical to look for a flight on Vueling or Iberia instead; not only might it be cheaper, but you'd also save a couple hours of travel time.

From Paris (France)

Multiple double-deck, high-speed TGV Duplex trains link Paris Gare de Lyon train station (departures at 10:14 and 15:08) with Barcelona Sants station every day in just under 6h 30m. Fares begin for as little as €39 if booked well in advance; for comparison, a full-flex ticket begins from €170. Bookings typically open up to 120 days before departure, so be sure to keep an eye out for those advance fare tickets!

All of these aforementioned train tickets can be purchased directly on Renfe's official website; however, we have found this website to be a little quirky with some translation errors as well as credit card acceptance issues. We would recommend booking through trainline.eu or raileurope.co.uk which are two excellent third-party train ticket providers in Europe that link directly with Renfe's ticketing system (as well as the ticketing systems of all major European railway companies).

 

Arriving in Barcelona
Arriving in Mallorca

Arriving in Mallorca

 

ARRIVING BY PLANE

Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) is the primary airport on the island of Mallorca and is located about 8km east of the city of Palma. Despite being off shore from mainland Spain, it is the third largest airport in the country behind MAD and BCN. 

Module A - This module is primarily used for non-Schengen flights, the majority of those being flights to and from the U.K. and Ireland. This was the old Terminal A before the airport was expanded to four terminals in 1997.

Module B - The smallest module in the airport, it is mainly used by regional aircraft serving other destinations in the Balearic Islands (Ibiza & Menorca) as well as smaller airports on the east coast of mainland Spain.

Module C - This is the largest module in the airport, and is used for Schengen flights. The three airlines that hold primary use of the module are Condor, EasyJet, and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Module D - This module coincides with Module C in that it is used primarily for Schengen flights. Both Modules C & D were added as an expansion to handle the increasing flight capacity coming from the rest of Europe over the last few decades

Getting to the City from Palma de Mallorca Airport

Bus - Bus route A1 connects the Palma airport to the city center; one of the stops on this route is at the Plaza de España, but there are also additional stops in the city, including some in Old Town. You can find an interactive map here. Tickets on this bus will cost you €5. 

Taxi - Taxis can be found directly outside of the arrivals hall on the ground level of the airport. Airport taxis' costs are charged by the km and do vary by the time of day you are taking one. On weekdays from 7:00 to 21:00, the minimum fare is €3 + €0.93 per km. On weekdays from 21:00 to 7:00, weekends, and holidays, the minimum fare is €4 + €1.10 per km. More info can be found here

Rental Car - The major car rental companies that serve Palma de Mallroca Airport include Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Goldcar, Hertz, Sixt, and Thrifty. Offices for all companies can be found inside of the arrivals hall on the ground floor.

ARRIVING BY FERRY

Where there are islands, there are ferries! There are two main ferry companies (Baleària and Transmediterránea) that offer multiple passenger ferries to the Balearic Islands from the east coast of mainland Spain. Both companies have nearly identical timetables and pricing on these ferries, which are described below from Barcelona and Valencia:

From Barcelona

Regardless of which of the two companies you choose, this journey on the ferry will be an overnight one. Your departure time from the port in Barcelona will be between 10:00pm and 11:00pm, and a one-way ticket price will range between €60 and €65. The Barcelona seaport is located about 500 meters from the Christopher Columbus Monument at the southern tip of La Rambla. The journey time to get to Palma takes about 7h 30m, which will get you there early-morning the following day.

From Valencia

As is the case with the ferries coming from Barcelona, ferries coming from Valencia will also be overnight journeys departing between 10:15pm and 11:00 pm. One-way tickets range from €55- €60, and the journey from Valencia to Palma is a slightly longer 7h 45m. You would embark your ferry at the Puerto de Valencia, which is located on the southeastern edge of the city

 

Train Transportation Within Spain

 

Renfe - formerly known as Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles, Renfe is the national Spanish railway operator. Renfe is mainly responsible for both high-speed services (on their famed AVE trains) between major cities, as well as most regional and local train services throughout the country. You can book your tickets directly through their website at www.renfe.com, or through the third-party providers www.trainline.eu and www.raileurope.com without a booking fee.

  • Unlike some European railway operators, seat reservation on Renfe is required; you do need to pre-book your tickets in advance if you want to ensure your spot on the train. Generally, there are still spots open on the trains on the day of travel, but you risk taking on some substantially higher fares if you choose not to pre-book in advance.

  • Fares on Renfe trains can generally be split into two categories: Flexible and Promo:

    • Flexible tickets are the full-price, refundable, and changeable tickets. These are the tickets that you can buy on the day of travel, assuming there are still spots available on the train you wish to take. Flexible tickets also allow you to choose your seat during the booking process (if booking via Renfe's website).

    • Promo tickets are the advance-fare tickets that sell for much lower prices if booked in advance. Prices on these tickets are dynamic, and will go up as the departure date gets closer. Promo tickets do not offer seat selection in advance. 

  • Reservations for Renfe trains will typically open 60 days in advance (90 days for any trips on AVE trains); however, this is not consistently concrete. Renfe can sometimes be slow in uploading trains onto the website. If you are looking to book a trip 60-90 days in advance that isn't populating on the website, chances are Refne has not yet uploaded the journey. Be sure to continue to check back so you can hop on the tickets as soon as they become available. 

  • Children under the age of 14 will pay a discounted child fare, and all infants under the age of 4 travel free. However, it is very important to note that Renfe requires you to hold a free infant ticket for each infant that will be traveling with you. During your booking, be sure to note that you are traveling with an infant and a free infant ticket will be included with yours. If you forget your infant ticket on the day of your journey, you can still get one for free at the ticketing offices before you board the train.

Transport Within Spain

Public Transportation in Madrid

With 13 lines and over 300 stations throughout the city, the Madrid Metro is a super convenient way to get around the city. Trains run from 06:00 through 01:30 the following day, and a map of the Metro lines can be found here. The Metro map is split into three zones, labeled Zone A,  Zone B1, and Zone B2. The municipality of Madrid is encompassed by Zone A, and the other two Zones connect the outskirts with the city itself. With that being said, all major sites and attractions that you will be enjoying in Madrid are within Zone A.

With regards to tickets for the Metro, visitors have a couple of options to choose from:

  • single use ticket can be purchased for one trip on the metro, and will cost anywhere between €1.50 and €2.

  • 10-journey ticket (which is good for the Metro as well as the public urban busses) valid for Zone A for a flat fare of €12.20.

Upon your first purchase, you will receive a small red card (known as a Personal Card) loaded with the ticket; this is scanned at the turnstiles upon making your way to the platform. This card is rechargeable, and you can load additional single journey or 10-journey tickets on this card as you see fit.  This card can hold up to 10 single journey tickets and two 10-journey tickets at one time.

Alternatively to the Personal Card, travelers can purchase a Multi Card, a multi-personal and reloadable card that is similar in nature to the Personal Card, albeit it comes with a little more functionality. There is a one-time fee of €2.50 to purchase the card itself (which can be bought with or without adding tickets) and can be used to load both the single journey and 10-journey tickets that are outlined above. On top of being able to load those types of tickets, Multi Card holders also have the option to purchase a tourist ticket; this ticket allows for unlimited travel for a certain amount of consecutive days (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7). A breakdown of the tourist ticket options and pricing can be found here. It is important to note that once purchased, no other ticket types can be loaded onto the Multi Card until the tourist ticket expires.

More information on the Madrid Metro network can be found here. In addition to the Metro network, Madrid also has an extensive bus network. Known as the EMT Madrid, this bus network has over 200 lines serving the city and surrounding area. You can find an interactive map of the bus network here. Normal buses run daily from 0:600 to 23:30, and night buses run from 23:45 to 06:00 the next morning. As mentioned above, both the 10-journey ticket and tourist ticket are valid for bus trips as well. If you are looking for a single-use bus ticket, those are bought on the bus itself and cost a flat €1.50 per ride.

Public Transport in Madrid

Public Transportation in Barcelona

Barcelona is a very large city, and appropriately has a very large and convenient Metro network to help travelers get around. A map of the Metro network can be found here. Barcelona and its surrounding towns are split into 6 Zones, but the city of Barcelona itself is completely encompassed within Zone 1. Unless you'll be traveling to another town that is outside of Barcelona (such as Terrassa to the north), Zone 1 is all you'll be traveling in. There are a few different ticket options on the Metro, some of which are outlined below. You can purchase all of the tickets shown below online or at any of the TMB ticket machines located at each Metro stop.

  • single ticket on the Metro costs €2.40, regardless of how many stops you will be traveling.

  • T-casual card is good for 10 journeys within a specified number of Zones; a one-Zone ticket will cost €11.35

  • An Airport Ticket must be purchased to get to and from the airport via the L9 Sud (orange) line. One way tickets cost €5.15.

Another multi-journey card that is available is known as the Hola Barcelona Card; this card gives the holder unlimited travel on all modes of public transportation in Barcelona, including the Metro and bus networks described above. Unlike the T-casual card and the single ticket, this card is also valid for any Metro journeys to and from the airport. The card can be used at any time of the day, and is valid for a specified period of consecutive days. The pricing options on the Hola Barcelona Card are shown below; you can purchase your Hola Barcelona Card at any TMB ticketing machine at the Metro stations, or online at this link. For added incentive, TMB offers a 10% discount on the Hola Barcelona Card if purchased online. 

Hola Barcelona Card Pricing Breakdown

Hola Barcelona Card

Price

€16.30

2 Days

3 Days

4 Days

5 Days

€23.70

€30.80

€38.00

Public Transportation in Mallorca

The island of Mallorca has an intricate public transportation system of busses, trains, and a metro that connects the city of Palma with the rest of the island. A full map of the public transportation routes can be found here, and it includes all modes of transportation. If traveling from Palma out to other points on the island, you can catch everything (busses, trains, and metro) at the Estació Intermodal Palma, which is located right across the street from Plaza de España. For trips on any of these modes of transportation, visitors have two options to choose from: a single ticket is good for one trip between two destinations, while a return ticket is valid for a round-trip journey between two specified destinations. Prices on these tickets vary by which stops you will be traveling to, but you can route your journey and see the price of the ticket by heading to this link. If you are taking the train or metro, you can purchase your tickets at the ticketing machines located at the stations, and if you are taking the bus you will purchase your ticket directly from the bus driver.

This page was last updated on February 4, 2021.