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Madrid airport RENFE direct to Atocha train station? Combinado Cercanias help!

We will be arriving at the Madrid airport and traveling to the Atocha station for our train trip to Seville. I was planning to take a cab but am concerned about the time and expense. As I read some posts it now seems that there is a train that runs from Terminal 4 of the airport directly to the Atocha station, which is much easier than using the metro and transferring. We will be arriving via Lufthansa at Terminal 1.

So my plan is to take the shuttle to terminal 4 and take the Cercania line C1 train to the Atocha station. Our Ave tickets are marked 'combinado cercanias'. Does this mean we have a free ride to the train station? I found this option difficult to find so I was glad to see it mentioned here. Can someone confirm that this will work? We are a family of four traveling with a carry on for each person, including two teens who navigate New York and mastered the Paris metro easily so we are not afraid to try the train system!

Thanks

Posted by
9363 posts

The easiest and cheapest thing to do is take the Airport Express bus from the airport. It only has two stops after it leaves the airport, Plaza de Cibeles, and Atocha Station. It is 5 euro per person and leaves right from T1. The trip takes less than 30 minutes.

Posted by
14454 posts

If you take the AVE train from Madrid, the train from the airport to Atocha is included. I bought my ticket at the airport and was given a separate ticket for the local train. You may need to stop in the ticket office to get them. Try asking on the Madrid forum at TripAdvisor ( or send a PM to the guy who wrote - and updates - the "top question" about trains in Spain). I seem to remember that I needed an electronic ticket to get through the gate to the train.

Posted by
16878 posts

In stations that have an electronic ticket reader, if your ticket doesn't work in the reader or if you have a railpass, etc., then there often is a staff person who can look at your ticket and let you through. I'm basing this thought on experience in British train stations and various metro stations, since most railways don't yet use e-readers. If there is no e-reader, then just board the train and show your inclusive ticket to any conductor who comes through.

Posted by
79 posts

We were in Spain in February and used the Express Bus from the airport to Atocha. It was a breeze. I actually went to Madridman.com website and downloaded pictures of the bus to bring with me but it wasn't necessary. Get on the bus, pay the driver, and off you go. They are brightly colored, well-marked and Atocha is the last stop so just stay on until the end. A bargain and a pretty quick ride. (PS., the Madridman web site has lots of useful info).

Posted by
14454 posts

I checked on the TripAdvisor board. According to BennyMalaga, whose information is usually spot on:

Travelers on AVE trains have the option of beginning or completing their journey on the Cercanías network . . . at no extra charge. . . . When the AVE ticket is purchased, it generates a password which will be printed on the ticket. . . . . You can obtain your Cercanías tickets at ticket booths, or by using the automatic ticket machines, on the travel date shown on your AVE ticket.

Posted by
14454 posts

The Cercania leaves from Terminal 4. There is free shuttle service between terminals.

Posted by
1178 posts

You can take the train, but as I recall from using it a couple of times, you will have a good deal of walking and stairs (some elevators) to navigate. As noted above, the airport express bus in the way to make the trip. Get on the bus, put your luggage in the storage bin, and sit down for an effortless journey (on your part, not on the part of the driver!) to the front door of the Atocha Station.. This is the best improvement in the connection from Barajas to Atocha in years, and is only five euros!!!!

Posted by
69 posts

Thanks very much to everyone who replied. I will make a game time decision on bus v train but at least now I know exactly how to do both! Love the forum.

Joan

Posted by
44 posts

Hi All,

I am in the late stages of our trip planning. We will be arriving in Madrid on Iberia, which I believe is T4. The plan is to take the train to Barcelona. I see from a previous post that the bus leaves from T1. Do we have to shuttle to T1 or an we get on from T4? Also, how long should I allow from landing, around 6:30 am, to get through customs and getting to the train station? Would booking a departure 4 hours after our scheduled arrival be sufficient or be safer and go 5 hours.

Thanks