How to Travel by Train

Part of your education experience at Schiller Madrid is enjoying Spanish culture. What better way to do that than planning a sightseeing trip? Spain has many great destinations to visit, no matter if you have a day or a week to travel.

To ease your trip planning, we´d like to tell you about Spain´s extensive network of trains which you can use for day trips or longer travels. The Spanish train system is called Renfe.

Renfe has long-distance , medium-distance  and commuter trains, which are called Cercanías. If you look at a Madrid metro map, Cercanías are noted in the legend. If you click on each link above, there will be a list of where the stations are located for each destination.

Plan Your Trip

You can go to Renfe´s timetables page and enter your departure and destination information, along with the dates of your trip. Once you click “search”, a list of times will load. Under the “Prices” column, when you click on “Query and Buy”, it will tell you the price of the ticket. Note that these are one-way tickets so if you want to buy a return, you´ll need to do that separately.

Purchase Your Tickets

Please take note that if you want to buy your tickets online, you´ll need to have a Spanish credit card. Otherwise you can buy your tickets at the station. During heavy travel periods such as puentes (long weekends), holidays, or in the summer, you might want to buy your tickets in advance, as space is limited. The nice thing about Renfe is tickets are the same price even in high travel season. Remember that even if you´re buying your tickets the day of, during a light travel day, you will need to be there early because sometimes there are long lines to buy tickets. We recommend arriving at least an hour before departure.

Enjoy the Ride

Renfe trains are comfortable and convenient, with much less hassle than flying. You must pass through a scanner, but there are no long lines or other disturbances. Inside the train there is space for your luggage, and clean seating areas.

Some of the trains have meal cars or snack machines, but it´s perfectly acceptable to pack yourself something; many Spanish people do. Once you arrive at your destination, disembarking is quick and painless.

We hope this explanation of how to use Renfe has been helpful. For more information, click here. If you have any questions, please ask a Schiller staff member.

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