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Buying tockets in advance from the US for the train?

The Saturday morning our tour disperses, we are staying a day longer and want to take the train from Seviile to Cordoba and return that night. I am a bit confused, even with the "English" page on actually buying tickets from Rente. I can negotiate the schedule and price, but what happens next? Will I be able to print out an acceptable ticket, does it appear on my phone? Is there a Youtube site that shows this? I couldn't find on in English. Other recommendations? Thanks.

Posted by
3789 posts

I suggest registering with Renfe, then, if it doesn't happen as you think it should, you can go back to the website and look at your account to get the details. This is your built in peace of mind and back up.
I looked back at my tickets, and it was emailed to me with a printable ticket attachment. I never get the correct name for the square scannable 'thing' (not a bar code)....but that is on the ticket. I am old school so prefer that sort of thing in paper, and that is what I used.

If they have an app, and I suspect they do, if you register and create an account, I expect you can get it off the app. Whether the ticket attachment from the email is readable from the phone, I am not sure.

Posted by
6840 posts

Try buying it on the more user friendly sites such as thetrainline.com or loco2.com or you could wait until you get to Seville as those trains don't sell out and are very frequent. Your ticket would come as PDF in your email

Posted by
18875 posts

My experience was the same as Maria's: I received an email with the ticket attached. The process was nerve-wracking, though, because the website switched from English back to Spanish midway through, including some key instructions. I read some Spanish, but it's not something I like doing when a financial transaction is involved.

Both trainline.com and loco2.com are charging fees at this point, I think, so buying from them will be more costly than going direct to renfe.

There have been some references here to detailed online instructions for using the renfe website. I think they may be on the TripAdvisor forum somewhere. Perhaps one of the other posters can provide a link. Or you could try Googling. I'm talking about written instructions, not a YouTube video (though a video would certainly be helpful).

Posted by
3789 posts

I can appreciate it being nerve racking if you don't have an understanding of Spanish. Given that this is the short, relatively inexpensive Seville to Cordoba return, please put it into perspective. I think, despite some Spanish, I went through it as a dummy booking and had google translate open so copied and pasted things I wasn't certain about. Also, review the ticket types. If you are eligible for the senior rate, you can't buy them on line until you get your card in country and it isn't really of much value on these short trips. Maybe 1 Euro off.
Remember to read seat61 dot com for Spanish train travel. He takes out a lot of mystery.
If worst comes to worst, consider taking the bus, buying the tickets in country when perhaps one of your tour peeps can help you out....or the guide; or, buy from the ticket counter day of.

Posted by
315 posts

I practice at home with Spanish and Italian train sites to get the language down plus a train number and time options. I had no problem in Barcelona purchasing Renfe ticket via wifi on their site with non pin CC. It did do this bounce thing, where did the ticket go? Able to go back to site with confirmation number and print via the printer at our lodging. I have pin and paper ready for confirmation numbers. If tech fails, I utilize kiosk or service desk. I did not try Renfe app. Italian train apps provide the ticket on your phone, no need to validate. Conductor scans the bar code on the phone.

Posted by
4697 posts

Jeff, I think we're on the same tour. I bought a ticket to Cordoba on www.loco2.com and it was very easy. I had read about difficulties with the Renfe website and the loco2 service fee was small. I printed out what looks like an actual machine-readable Renfe ticket.

I'll be going to Cordoba the day after the tour ends, spending two nights, then on to Madrid. Look forward to meeting you and Betsy.

Posted by
14323 posts

I've been using renfe.com for several years; I do remember it being a little confusing at first. My browser is Google Chrome and if I right-click on a page, one of the options is "translate to English." The translations aren't perfect but they are good enough to get you through the process.

Renfe doesn't accept many US credit cards, but Paypal works well and the fees/exchange premiums are low.

I haven't used a train in Spain for a couple of years, but my experience in other European countries is that it's enough to have the ticket on your phone.

Posted by
30 posts

I just purchased today on Renfe so I'll see if I can add anything helpful. Navigating the website wasn't too bad with my basic Spanish skills and the help of google translate for any terms I didn't know. There isn't much to type in aside from name, form of ID (passport with number) email, and phone number separately for each traveler. There is a section at the top for special rates and discounts that you will leave blank if it doesn't apply. Select "seating preferences" to be able to see the seating chart and to select specific seats before purchase. I had no trouble with PayPal working for me. Regarding where the ticket gets sent if not printing immediately, I was a little nervous on this, also. Once the transaction was complete, the final page said I could click to print my ticket now or enter an email (again) to have it emailed or a phone number to have it sent to a phone. I selected send email and the thing that was sent was simply a confirmation that I had booked a ticket but without an attachment, and specifically stating "this is not a ticket" in Spanish. Luckily I still had the final page of my transaction open and went back to click on the print ticket PDF now, and from there was able to send that document to my email which came through without trouble. You also get a reference number which supposedly can be used at automated kiosks in the stations to print tickets there, if needed. So you have a few fail safes. Very possibly if you get their app you would be able to pull up your ticket there, that I don't know. It all worked out for me but they did not just automatically send my PDF ticket to my email, as I have experienced on other sites, so just don't close out of your final purchase screen until you've at minimum noted your reference number.

Posted by
3789 posts

I would like to suggest again, that you just make an account with them. Then, you can pull up reservations and tickets at any time you can log in. I did this two years ago and have never had u requested emails or any negative outcomes from this.