Rail Travel in Spain

Find out about getting around Spain using the national trains and urban railways...

  • RENFE (Red de los Ferrocarriles Españoles) is the Spanish national rail train service
  • Cercanías is the commuter train network which operates in all major cities in Spain
  • Media Distancia is the regional train network operated by RENFE in each of the autonomous regions
  • Rail Europe has all the information about travelling by train around the continent

Regional trains

In addition to the national rail network, the north of Spain has its own narrow gauge rail network, operated by Renfe FEVE. Tickets and information are on the Renfe website.

The Basque Country also has a small narrow gauge railway formerly operated by FEVE, called Eusko Tren. This regional network runs as a commuter and tourist rail service in the area, and also acts as an international bridge between Spain and France. Further details on the Eusko Tren website.

The east coast of Spain also has regionalised rail services.

  • Catalonia: FGC
  • Alicante: FGV runs a service from Alicante to Denia
  • Murcia: A stretch of narrow gauge track owned by Renfe FEVE runs from Cartagena to Los Nietos on the Mar Menor

High speed trains

Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) is a high-speed train service travelling up to speeds of 300 Km/h. The system links Madrid to Barcelona, Sevilla, Malaga, Valladolid and Huesca. Further lines are planned including a link to Valencia and Alicante. The service is operated by RENFE.

Metros (Underground)

Madrid has the sixth longest metro system in the world with 13 lines and 301 stations. It services the city and its suburbs. Further information on the Metro Madrid website.

Barcelona has an 11 line metro system called Metro de Barcelona that runs underground in the city and its suburbs.

Valencia has a five line metro system, Metro Valencia, that services the city and its suburbs. A portion of its network runs partly underground.

Bilbao runs a two line metro system, Metro Bilbao, that serves the city. A third line to service the airport was approved in 2007 and two further lines have been proposed.

Sevilla has a light, one line metro system, Metro de Sevilla, that services the city. There are three further lines in the planning stages.

Palma de Majorca in the Balearic Islands has a single metro line that runs from Plaça d'Espanya to the university.

There is also a Metro in Málaga.

Pets On Trains

Dogs, cats and domestic animals may travel on RENFE trains, however, the following restrictions apply for national RENFE trains (Grandes Lineas):

  • Only one pet per accompanying passenger is allowed on board
  • The person accompanying the animal is responsible for it and any damage caused by it on the journey
  • Animals must weigh less than 6 Kg
  • Animals must be kept in a cage (unless seats in a cabin are booked); the cage may be no larger than 65cm x 35cm x 35cm and must be able to contain any excrement made by the animal
  • Where applicable, dogs must wear a muzzle
  • A ticket must be purchased for the travelling animal; the fare is usually 50 percent of the accompanying human fare
  • Guide dogs for the blind are allowed free of charge on RENFE trains
  • For information from RENFE on travelling with animals on national RENFE trains: Click here

Bicycles on Trains

Bicycles may be taken on some RENFE trains.

Reductions and Discounts

  • Children under six years of age travel free on RENFE trains
  • A reduction of 50 percent is given on the price of a single or return ticket for children under twelve years of age
  • Group discounts are available, but apply only if the group is making the same journey at the same time on the same date
  • A Tarjeta Dorada (Golden Ticket) is available for pensioners (over 60 years of age) and people with a 65 percent or more disability. The ticket qualifies holders for a 40 percent reduction on the price of single or return journeys any day of the week. Those accompanying a disabled traveller also receive the discount
  • Family discounts are also available, but are dependent on family size and circumstance. Inquire at ticket offices