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What could be more fun that a few days in Madrid? A few days in Madrid AND a few days in Barcelona.
After you’ve ogled the Royal Palace, checked out Guernica at the Reina Sofia museum and strolled through the Plaza Mayor, it’s time to discover Barcelona. Barcelona is one of the world’s most popular destinations and for good reason! To help made this journey easier, we’ve put together the best tips for planes, trains and automobiles to make your journey from Madrid to Barcelona hassle free!
Photo Credit: Francesc_2000
1. By train
The journey takes only two and half hours and leaves from the Atocha train station in the center of Madrid. The AVE or high-speed train is perhaps the most comfortable choice to travel from Madrid to Barcelona. There are frequent trains throughout the day.
- AVE trains are comfortable and modern and allow you to watch the countryside side speed by!
- You’ll arrive at the Barcelona Sants train station and from there it’s a quick trip to see sights.
- Please note that you might not be able to use a non-Spanish credit card to buy tickets on the Renfe website (Spanish rail service) but you can pay with PayPal.
2. By plane
The Puente Aereo or Air Bridge from Madrid to Barcelona is another popular option. A number of companies including several low-cost operators fly frequently between the two cities.
- The flight is about one hour and ten minutes.
- Once at the Barcelona airport you can take a train, bus or taxi into the city center (about 25 minutes, depending on the time of day).
- If you buy your tickets in advance, you can find great deals.
Once you arrive in Barcelona, there are several ways to get to the city center.
- Metro: Line L9 Sud connects the airport to Barcelona proper.
- Bus: The popular AeroBus runs between the airport and Plaça Catalunya.
- Rodalies: Barcelona’s commuter train network serves the airport on the R2 Nord line.
- Private transfer: Welcome Pickups allows you to secure your ride in advance, giving you one less thing to worry about when you’re jet lagged. After you reserve online, you’ll get an email with your driver’s photo, contact details and the meeting point a few days before your trip, and once you arrive, they’ll be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it. Drivers even monitor your flight status in case of delays. And all this comes at a comparable price to an airport taxi!
3. By car
You can rent a car either at the airport or in central Madrid. The drive from Madrid to Barcelona takes about six hours on an easy to navigate highway.
- Have cash ready to pay tolls or you can use a credit card. Be aware that many toll roads only accept chip-and-PIN cards.
- Consider stopping for lunch in Zaragoza to enjoy the city’s famous roasted lamb called ternasco.
- Another beautiful option is to drive to the coast and stop in Valencia for paella or fideuá (a paella style dish made with pasta!) then head North to Barcelona.
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