Please sign in to post.

When to purchase Spanish Rail Tickets

Why does everyone recommending waiting to 62 days before booking Spain rail tickets? Are more discounts released then? Are there more time options released? I see some rail tickets with promo and promo+ discounts now for my upcoming trip(November). Should I go ahead and try to book? I anticipate problems with ( and want to get them cleared up now.


Posted by
56 posts

I purchased tickets from the Renfe website a few days ago. I used the guidelines posted on the Trip Advisor Website Forum "Madrid: Buying Renfe Tickets on-line" It has a helpful description of the various ticket discounts and description of the symbols you will see on the Renfe website that indicate the discount category for tickets. By the way, I did hit a snag and the issue was resolved by calling my credit card company, getting clearance on their end, and then repeating the ordering process. So it was tedious but ultimately successful. One thing I found on the Renfe website is that even after translating the site, some terms still appeared in Spanish. The Trip Advisor posting demystifies these Spanish terms so that I was able to check the appropriate boxes during the purchase process. At least I hope so, we haven't actually used the tickets yet!

Posted by
984 posts

'Why does everyone recommending waiting to 62 days before booking Spain rail tickets?' -
Some confusion here - schedules and advance discount prices were at one time not released until 62 days or thereabouts prior. These days release on some routes can be well in advance, although I am surprised so far as November. They will not decrease in price.

Posted by
16893 posts

I'm also surprised to hear of anything for sale this far out through Renfe. I assume it's for a limited schedule of departures and that more departure times will be released for booking later, but not lower fares. It's worth a try, if you are ready to make a nonrefundable committment.

Posted by
1186 posts


I bought tickets through Renfe (a real rabbit hole of an experience) and the tickets I wanted only came up for sale about 62 days in advance of the travel date. This may be out dated but I wanted to go from Madrid to Barcelona April 2, 2014 and couldn't get the Renfe site to sell me the tickets until two months in advance. This was as of The very end of January/early february of 2014. Ticket consolidators would, but at no discount.

The Renfe Discounts were GREAT. Half price. The rail service was GREAT too. Left exactly on time, arrived exactly on time. To the minute. Nice AC, comfortable seating (unlike airlines), smooth fast ride.

wayne INWI

Posted by
28 posts

I just booked tickets for September thru I purchased the Spain rail pass for four trips (the most expensive legs of our three week trips) and additional tickets for the less expensive routes. The discounted fares are available for the tickets and the transaction was very easy with no reservation fees. With the pass, you can change each ticket if needed without any fees if you do so at least 15 minutes prior to the departure. You can select any train without regard to price using the pass. The Barcelona-Madrid tickets opened up more than 90 days as did the Madrid-Seville. I understand there was a minimal surcharge and for me we'll worth the no hassle easy transaction.

Posted by
12154 posts

62 days worked for me on an AVE from Cordoba to Madrid. It may have been there earlier, I didn't check, but the good prices were there, which go away as tickets get sold.

Posted by
44 posts

Renfe website is clumsy. Book discounted tickets as soon as you can. I think you can book multiple tickets at once to avoid blocked credit card issue. Last Nov. 2013 two weeks before my departure I was able to book one ticket Madrid-Valencia. Other attempts failed. Using different cards Visa and debit, I bought my other rail tickets in Madrid both online and kiosk but at full price. Met a lady from Texas who travels regularly to Spain. She books her train tickets through Spanish travel agency Nautalia (?). Next time I will try petrabax or loco2. Petrabax said train seats can not be selected, their system pre-selects seats for you.

Posted by
32 posts

I have purchased almost all of our train tickets for our September trip to Spain already via the RENFE site. It seems that the only leg that's not in the system yet is Granada-Ronda. But I've booked San Sebastian-Leon, Leon-Santiago, Barcelona-Madrid, Madrid-Granada, Seville-Cordoba and Sevilla-Madrid.

Posted by
26 posts

I just wanted to report back. I was able to buy tickets from Renfe website using my Visa Debit Card for my upcoming trip. I called my local branch manager and she setup my card so that it would work. Once this was done I had no issues. My bank currently does not support Verified by Visa on their cards so I did not have this on my card.

Posted by
253 posts

Ave fares load the earliest. I just bought for mid Sept. And prices are a half to 2/3 off.
Definitely worth buying a head of time.