5 easy ways to get to Barcelona from Madrid

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Going to Barcelona by train, car, bus or excursion is quite easy. It is to be expected if we speak of two of the main cities in Spain that this is so. In this post I will start by telling you the free options to connect both cities.

How to get to Barcelona by AVE. One of the fastest, safest, and most practical ways to connect Madrid with Barcelona is undoubtedly the AVE (High Speed) train. I say practical option because the train stations headwaters in both cities are very well located one step away from the best points of Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Second, because compared to the plane, the train doesn’t have to arrive so far in advance (30 minutes before we’ll be fine). And thirdly, because we will enjoy a quick itinerary travelling by land, enjoying the train, the view and the landscapes. You can buy the ticket to travel by AVE to Barcelona on the Renfe website. How long does the AVE train between Madrid and BCN take? The duration between Madrid Atocha Station and Barcelona Sants is between two and a half hours (without intermediate stops) and three hours (with intermediate stops). This means that you can even make your getaway to Barcelona from the capital of Spain on the same day. Although it is clear that with everything there is to see in Barcelona, a single day is not exactly a recommended time.

2. By bus for free. One of the bus companies with the best price to travel between both cities is ALSA. They even have buses that depart directly from Barajas Airport’s T4, or from Madrid’s South Station. Of course the counterpart is that the time here is between seven and eight hours travel time. However, in terms of price, the bus almost doesn’t have to be given: it will be the cheapest option (unless you can find a good flight offer well in advance).

3. Organized Excursion. There are several options for organized tours. I’ll name at least these two:

Excursion in the day with AVE: if you want to make a visit in the day to Barcelona in train AVE I recommend you to see this option to make the visit for free in train of high speed that includes the pass to the tourist bus. You can see the details and price here. (You will see that if you plan this trip with little anticipation, it can even agree on a price).

Excursion circuit from Madrid to Barcelona, Valencia and Zaragoza in 4 days. In this case, you will find a whole excursion of several days to do in the northeastern part of Spain. Departing from Madrir, this tour includes one day in Valendia, two days in Barcelona, and one day in Zaragoza, with charges that include the Madrid-Valencia AVE ticket, bus transport, Spanish speaking guide, 3 nights accommodation, breakfast and guided tours in Valencia and Barcelona. You can see all the details and prices here. Advantages: you forget all the logistics, and you dedicate yourself to enjoying and getting to know several cities in Spain.

4. By car. The option to do this itinerary is to rent a car and leave to explore the roads of Spain on this journey. I will first share with you the fastest and most usual way to make the route, but also an alternative that may make you fall in love with this trip following an itinerary through beautiful villages.

The fastest route: by the way, the fastest route between Madrid and Barcelona can be done between five and a half to six hours, and the most recommended route to do it fast is through Zaragoza.

The most beautiful route. If you are a blog user, you will know that there are a lot of car routes around Europe (we even have a Facebook group with the blog on the subject of original routes around Europe). One of the things I really like to recommend to you for this itinerary is the route that passes through beautiful villages on the way. Of course it is not the fastest, but it is a walk to dedicate at least two days (or three) and make night on the way. You can see the detail of the route in this post:

Tip to rent a car: on the blog we manage more than 1,500 rental car bookings with Rentalcars from this search engine. If you wish, make your search from the link and you will get results sorted by price. Finally try to rent your car at the airports as they are the best prices there.

5. By plane. Of course the plane is another of the recommended options in terms of speed (obviously the flight section is unsurpassed in terms of time). However, the airplane must always be calculated with the cost of the transfer to the airport, in addition to the waiting times at the airport that usually add several hours to our trip. Here is a post with tricks to find cheap flights.

Tips for transfers: if you need it, here you have reliable options to book the transfer from the hotel-airport in Madrid / And this other option for the transfer airport-hotel in Barcelona

Finally, I leave a series of recommendations and discounts to organize your trip for free in Spain 🙂



Recommendations and discounts for Spain

Book your flight to Spain here

Hotels at very good prices in Spain here (take advantage of the discounted prices)

Rent a car in Spain here up to 15% less

Find organized tours and excursions in Spain here (in Spanish)

Travel insurance with 5% discount for our readers here

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