Please recommend the fastest and most economical fast train from Seville to Madrid.TIA
The AVE or ALVIA is the way to go--less than 3 hours, and could be as little as 2 hr. 25 min. The slower trains are less expensive but much slower, probably over 6 hours.
The cost will usually be a lot lower if you buy you ticket shortly after you date goes on sale, but the cheaper "Promo" tickets for Turista (standard) class may remain available for quite some time. Different trains on the same day may sell for different fares, so you need to check the actual date you want to travel on Renfe.com.
You will be departing from Sevilla-Santa Justa. You can use Madrid (Todas) as your destination, but the train will go to Madrid-Puerta de Atocha. The fares you see will be for buying the ticket right now. They may be higher tomorrow, next week, or next month.
Buying tickets directly from Renfe can be tricky, especially for those with US credit cards. You can currently buy Renfe tickets without extra charge from loco2.com; it will start charging service fees in November. Another option is trainline.com, which already charges a modest service fee. Either of those is likely to be cheaper than buying from RailEurope.
I would also recommend the AVE, it's just so convenient. However, I once found a really good price for a flight on Iberia for 55 euros roundtrip to and from Madrid so it might be worth checking out flights as well. Just keep in mind the time and money you'd have to spend traveling to and from the airport.
We did that same trip on the AVE in the other direction - it was fantastic. No hesitation on recommending it. If you do decide to fly, keep in mind that sometimes it is more expensive for your checked suitcase to fly than it is for the seat you sit in...
Thank you all. So did you book Ave on Renfe??? I found the Renfe options to be more expensive than Rail Europe.
Renfe absolutely should not be more expensive. I believe you aren't comparing apples to apples, somehow. Give us your travel date(s) so we can take a look. You can also take a look at loco2.com. It is currently not charging a booking fee, though it will begin doing so in September.
Buying from the Renfe website can be tricky. I managed to get one ticket that way this spring, but midway through the process I started seeing screens in Spanish, which made me nervous since I was conducting a financial transaction. Some European websites don't much like US credit cards, either. The Renfe purchase did work out for me, but I can understand why some folks run to loco2.com or trainline.com. Trainline is already charging a booking fee. Both of those options have been cheaper than RailEurope in the past.
Thanks for your help. I was looking at Sunday Oct 13th from seville to madrid. 2 adults, 2 kids. I ended up buying on raileurope...it was $4 more expensive than loco2 after all taxes and fees for the morning train I was looking at.
How far ahead does Renfe allow you to purchase a ticket?