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Trains in July

I will be travelling in Spain with my family this July. We will need a couple of larger train Trips (Barcelona-Madrid and Madrid-Seville). Since these dates are not flexible I figured I might as well book them sooner rather than later. From what I’ve read, I should wait for a “sweet spot” in booking, until the prices are at their lowest but with the most options available. For non- peak time, I read about 1.5 months. What about for peak times? Now is 3 months…. I’m not sure there will be more options opening up.
This is at least what I have read for Ave/ Renfe trains. Would the same be true of Ouigo? They are quite a bit cheaper. Thanks

Posted by
2144 posts

RENFE has the habit of releasing tickets at unpredictable times. However, as with most railways they release all tickets at once, so once the cheapest are gone, no more cheap tickets will appear later. So that there would be a "sweet spot" is not likely.

So it is very well possible that if you try to book these routes now with RENFE you will simple not find tickets. But Ouigo and Iryo are good alternatives, and hopefully they will force RENFE to improve (like Italo forced Trenitalia...)

Posted by
6679 posts

I don't know where you read that, but it sounds like nonsense. There is generally no "sweet spot" when if comes to train ticket, the price goes up. But with Renfe it's very hard to know what trains are available and which aren't. So in general I recommend Iryo, www.iryo.eu. Their website is also much easier to use. Note that Ouigo is a "low cost operator" so there are extra fees for luggage and 30 minute minimum check in time.

Posted by
23472 posts

Train ticket price is not like the dynamic pricing of US airlines. Prices do not change daily or hourly. There is no "sweet spot." When the tickets are release, the train line designates a fixed numbers of discount tickets depending on date and time. Once the discount tickets are sold they are gone -- no more will be release. The tickets availability may last a couple weeks for popular times and maybe a few months if an off time. So buy now. If you wait till one month or so, tickets could be gone. Don't know what you are read but it is not very accurate.

Posted by
51 posts

Thanks so much for the input everyone.

Follow up question - We are scheduled to land into Barclona at 12:05pm and then are planning on taking a train to Madrid. To allow for any flight delays, clearing customs, unfamiliarity with the area and travel time to the train station, I'm thinking a departure time of like 4:00 or 5:00 would be reasonable. This would allow for a lunch and maybe a little bit of walking around/stretching without too much or a rush. Does that seem reasonable? Thanks again.

Posted by
2494 posts

What - you are flying all the way from Calgary to Barcelona and then plan to catch a train to Madrid! Why would you fly into one of Spain's most interesting cities to leave straight away on a train to Madrid?

I suggest you spend time looking at this walking tour of Barcelona on You Tube.

Posted by
51 posts

We are also flying out of Barcelona, so will be spending the last 5 days of our trip there. With the flight schedule, it makes sense to leave Barcelona until the end.

Posted by
23472 posts

First, I would NOT book a train ticket on the day of arrival. Too many things that can go wrong and you cannot control. Buy your tickets when you get there. Second I would use open jaw/multi-city tickets. Probably cheaper and far more convenient. Either into Madrid and home from Barcelona or reverse. I would probably do Barcelona and then Madrid. Remember Renfe is the train company and everyone else is a travel agency.

Posted by
6679 posts

Spend the first night in Barcelona and take the train to Madrid the next day.

Remember Renfe is the train company and everyone else is a travel
agency.

Renfe is one of the train companies. Iryo is another, and so is Ouigo España.

Posted by
23472 posts

I guess I should have said, main train company. The other are other train lines using RENFE tracks and trying to provide some alternatives to RENFE.