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Barcelona to Madrid AVE or Air?

We are traveling from Barcelona L'Eixample to Madrid. Should we take the AVE train or fly? I'd like to hear your experiences either way.

Posted by
1237 posts

Definitely go by rail, it will probably be faster overall and certainly be a more pleasant journey.

Posted by
21156 posts

Train unless you are already at the Barcelona airport then fly. Train is probably faster and cheaper depending on discounts that could be available to you.

Posted by
2202 posts

While the actual flight is 80 minutes, add 30+ minutes on each end for to and from the airport from the city, along with at least 2 hours for check-in, security, deplaning, etc.
Hi-speed train city center to city center is under 3 hours, and likely to the same place you will wind going to and coming from the airport. For probably less money if purchased in advance. And yes, we took the train from Barcelona to Madrid a couple years ago, it was a fine ride, very scenic, reserved seats.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks to all for your advice! I will make train reservations. The commenters here are the greatest!

Posted by
11259 posts

Unless you're already at the airport, train is faster, easier, and less stressful.

On my first trip to Spain in 1995, I flew between Madrid and Barcelona. But that was before there was a high speed rail link; the train took 8 hours! Now that it takes 3 hours or less, it's clearly the way to go.