Spain is one of the most diverse countries in the world.
The different regions all offer up unique treasures for tourists to pounce on.
From the sun-drenched beaches of Malaga to the astounding architecture of Madrid, there’s something for you here.
So what’s the best way to travel between the regions of this dynamic state?
By using the Spain railways.
Going by train is an awesome experience. You’ll be able to take in the Spanish countryside as you travel between cities, all for a great price you might not find in an airport.
We know that navigating transportation in a foreign country can be difficult.
That’s why we’ve created this guide. Read on to learn all about where you can go by train, and how to use the railroad to make the most of your journey.
Spain Railways: Where Can You Go?
Train routes go all over the country.
All major cities in Spain are connected by train. The routes connect the coastal cities like Barcelona to the uppermost northern parts like Santiago.
Everything in between is fair game to go by train. If you’re unsure about your starting city or your destination, take a look at the Spanish Eurorail map.
International trains are also available and widely used. You can travel from Barcelona, Spain to Paris, France directly. You can also go from Vigo, Spain to Porto, Portugal directly. These trips are offered on high-speed trains.
Alternately, you may be able to use a slower train for a smaller amount of money. This all depends on when and where you want to go.
There are many different types of trains traveling the Spain railways. These range from regional trains to high-speed, long-distance trains.
Regional ones are cheaper but much longer. High-speed trains are more expensive, but they’ll get you there quicker.
Not sure which one you want to take? You can rest assured that any intercity train will be clean and up to standard.
You’ll to reach your destination in no time flat on Spain railways.
So how do you buy your tickets?
Spain Railways: How Do You Buy Tickets?
The national rail company Renfe operates most of the trains you’ll find in Spain.
Buying your train tickets online is better than buying in person and for many cities, it’s your only option. Long-distance trains always require a reservation beforehand.
Buying tickets is easy, quick, and it can be cheaper than in many other European countries.
Single Trip Tickets
Single trip tickets are what you’ll need if you only plan on traveling to one or two cities.
Visit the tickets page of the Renfe website. Simply type in your origin city and your destination city, and you’ll be directed to a purchasing page.
On the website, you’ll have the option to choose the hours you want to go — morning, afternoon, or night. Trains generally run at all hours.
You’ll also have the option of choosing your class and which station you depart from and arrive at. This is convenient because major cities usually have a few train stations.
Once you find the ticket that’s right for you, you can make your purchase online.
Multicity passes can save you a lot of money if you’re taking a longer trip.
There are a few options for buying a train pass in Spain.
A Eurail pass is a safe bet no matter where you want to go. You may purchase a single-country pass for Spain, and then make the decision of how many days you want your pass to be valid for. This is a very flexible system, and you don’t have to choose your dates right away.
It’s important to note that having an Eurail pass does not grant you unconditional access to the train. You must go online and make advance reservations, which cost 10 euro.
Your other option is Renfe’s SpainPass, which may be of greater value than the Eurail pass. The SpainPass still requires you to make reservations, but they don’t cost any money. You can also make them at the train station when you arrive.
No matter which pass you choose, you won’t go hungry. Intercity and international trains normally come equipped with a bar and snack lounge.
Spain Railways: Other Important Information
It’s important to note that Renfe offers a complimentary city ticket with the purchase of any long-distance ticket.
This is known as Combinados Cercanias. It means you can get free travel from your hotel to the train station and from your destination station to the next hotel.
Eligible tickets have a Combinados Cercanias password on them and can be redeemed at self-service kiosks or at staffed counters around the station.
This has the potential to save you a lot of money on your journey, so take advantage of it.
Explore Spain by Train to Get the Most Out of Your Visit
Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. There’s no better way to view the countryside than from the comfortable seat of a train whizzing by.
Now that you understand the basics of Spain railways, it’s time to hop on board.