Please sign in to post.

Advance reservations needed for train from Madrid to Toledo?

My husband and I will fly from the US to Madrid, scheduled to arrive in Madrid at 10 am on 9/2. We will then travel by train to Toledo to spend 3 nights, and then travel by train back to Madrid for 3 nights. What is the best way to get from the Madrid airport to the train station to catch the AVE train to Toledo? Is the Atocha station the one we need to go in order to catch the AVE train to Toledo ? Do we need to buy/make reservations in advance for this train and the return train to Madrid or can we just buy the tickets when we arrive at the station? Thanks so much for your help.

Posted by
16679 posts

We like the yellow aerobus which goes from the airport to Atocha station! with one or two stops on the way. Fare is 5 euros:

http://www.emtmadrid.es/lineaAeropuerto/index.html

It runs every 20 minutes during the day.

Atocha is where you will catch your train to Toledo. Buying tickets in advance to match your flight arrival is tricky, as you cannot account for flight delays, long immigration lines, etc. the trains run frequently enough that you could just buy when you arrive.

I believe Rick says this train can sell out but I think that applies to the popular morning departures. You will be traveling after noon, by the time you get to Atocha.

Posted by
2528 posts

I concur with the previous comment, except to add that the train from Atocha station to Toledo often does sell out, and there is more than one class of service, and if you are getting over the long flight, I recommend booking ahead and booking a 'preferente' class seat. Make a reasonable guess about the timing. You don't want to deal with the line of daytrippers at the ticket counter, nor do you want to be crammed into the same carriage with them.
[I could be wrong, though -- maybe you like loud people in cargo shorts speculating about how to fit a souvenir sword into their luggage]

Posted by
15643 posts

There are too many ways you can be delayed on the way to the Toledo train. I would not buy in advance. If you miss the train, you'll be in the same position as if you hadn't. Do buy the tickets at the airport. They will sell you tickets for the first train that you can connect to from the airport train. If you have a long wait at Atocha, that's not terrible. It's a big station with restaurants and a lovely atrium garden.

It's probably a good idea to buy your tickets from Toledo to Madrid in advance.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks so much for your helpful responses. My husband and I are 68 and have travelled several time to Europe using the Rick Steves guidebooks. We are excited about visiting Spain and Portugal in September. We know how tired we will be after our flight and want the easiest way, without breaking the budget, to get to Toledo from the Madrid airport. Is there a direct train from the Madrid airport to the Atocha station? We don't want to change trains to get there. If we don't take a train from the Madrid airport, can we still buy train tickets from Atocha to Toledo at the airport? We appreciate the links for the golden age passes and for the train tickets. This forum is such a wonderful resource, and you all have been so kind to take the time to respond.

Posted by
5258 posts

Barbara,
No, there is no direct train from the airport to the Atocha train station.

Your best option is to take the yellow 'Airport Express' bus that Lola mentioned on her reply above.

You may also choose to take a taxi, but it's more expensive.

You may find this website helpful as it's full of information regarding transportation in Madrid:http://www.gomadrid.com/transport/madrid-transport.html

Enjoy!

Posted by
15643 posts

There is train service. See the official airport information here. It's not a Renfe train, it is the suburban train line, Cercanias. At the Renfe station in the airport, you can buy your Tarjetas Doradas and the tickets to Atocha and Toledo.

Posted by
5258 posts

Barbara,

I was wrong... sorry.

Chani, thanks for correcting my error!

EDIT: Here is the link to check the Cercanias train schedule:http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/index.html

You will choose the following from the drop down menu:

  • Departure: Aeropuerto -T4
  • Destination: Atocha
  • Date: your date

I learned something today, thanks *Chani* as I will be taking this C1 cercanias train too!

I don't believe this (C1 line) existed many years ago when I was in Madrid ;-)