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Mardrid to Granada: Best Transportation if short on time

If I'm short on time to travel from Madrid to Granada, what is the best form of transportation with the end goal to move from central Madrid to Old town Granada. Train? or Fly?

Posted by
1097 posts

Railway, probably.

Although that assumes you catch one of the three direct, express "AVE" services each day. They take a little over 3 hours. Note that Granada's railway station is a little out of the centre where most tourists stay, so on arriving you'll be best catching a bus or taking a taxi to your hotel.

Flying will likely take a bit longer overall and will certainly be more hassle. However, if you are willing to get up early, then the first flight would get you into Granada centre a little earlier than the first train (by only about 40 minutes, though).

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you. Somewhere I saw reference to trainline.com. I'm confused over the station to leave Madrid, and what to come into.

I wonder if I made a mistake in booking a flight from Barcelona to Madrid.

Posted by
6387 posts

Yes it would have been easiest to fly from Barcelona to Granada instead of flying to Madrid to take a train to Granada, if that is what you are doing.

Posted by
4153 posts

Also easier, and maybe faster, to take a train from Barcelona to Madrid. Our took 2 1/2 hours, as I recall, with a short stop in Zaragoza. And no airport hassles.

Posted by
1097 posts

"Somewhere I saw reference to trainline.com. I'm confused over the station to leave Madrid, and what to come into."

The Madrid station you'll leave from is Madrid Puerta de Atocha (often just referred to as Atocha). The Granada station is just called "Granada".

The rail services are run by Renfe, who sell tickets online (and at stations). Trainline is a perfectly legitimate agent - I believe it adds a small fee, but that might be worth it since its website is easier to understand than Renfe's. Also for some reason USA credit cards have a problem which means they don't always work on Renfe, but do work on trainline

I recommend having a quick read through this which talks about the trains and buying tickets:

https://www.seat61.com/Spain-trains.htm

Posted by
9 posts

We are staying in Barcelona, then flying to Madrid to stay, then on to Granada. I should probably have not booked the flight from Barcelona to Madrid. Oh well. -) thank you all for the information!

Posted by
16581 posts

Always check travel times by train before buying an airline ticket. There are some extraordinarily fast trains in many European countries.

Posted by
9 posts

I think I did check. The flight I found was quicker than the train I found. But I may have not completely understood the train situation. I also thought I had covered going from the airport to our hotel. I'll study this more. I may be able to cancel the flight.

Posted by
1038 posts

I think I did check. The flight I found was quicker than the train I
found. But I may have not completely understood the train situation.

Make sure to check several trains. On most routes you'll find fast trains that can be direct, as well as local trains that stop more or less everywhere. And regional trains that stop at some stations. The difference in time can be huge. Also, when looking at flights, remember to add time for travel to and from the airports, time for check in and security, waiting for luggage etc.

Posted by
6536 posts

The train is a relatively recent source of transportation for that route. We took a bus from Madrid to Granada last June, and it was a very peaceful 4 1/2 hour ride. That's another option.

Posted by
1791 posts

FYI - Starting in April there is a new AVLO high speed train service from Barcelona to Madrid, about 3:30 hr, and costing as low as €10!

Posted by
16581 posts

You shouldn't just compare the flight time to the train time. You have to add in the extra time it takes to get to and from the airports vs. the trains stations (surely at least 1 hour and often longer) and the security time needed at the airport, where it is often recommended that you arrive 2 hours before your flight (vs. 15 - 30 minutes for a train, depending on how nervous you are about finding the platform). When the train takes just 2-1/2 to 3 hours (as is the case between Barcelona and Madrid), there's no way flying can be faster.

Posted by
9 posts

Can someone provide th link? Am i using Renfe?
Going from Madrid to Granada