I would like to buy 2 AVE train tickets roundtrip Madrid to Seville for June 25th-28th both days leaving around 7AM. Also, I will be buying 2 AVE train tickets from Madrid to Segovia (day trip). I am confused about buying a railpass vs. tickets for a single train, and what is the best low cost option. Should I buy a railpass, and if so then how do I reserve the seats for a specific train and are there additional costs to reserve a seat? Should I buy individual train tickets, and if so what is the best way to book them - website, phone, once we get there? Any help would be appreciated!
If you are only taking one train, a rail pass will be a big waste of money. The best fares will be obtained by buying in advance online. The prices go up closer to travel. The tickets come with seat reservations. The train is operated by RENFE, so start with their website: http://www.renfe.com/. Here's an extensive TripAdvisor tutorial on how to use it: http://tinyurl.com/cu48wk5 Near the bottom of that TripAdvisor page, they explain that if you can't get RENFE's site to work for you, you can use http://petrabax.com/renfe/, http://www.palacetours.com/renfe, or http://www.rumbo.es (the last won't hotlink for some reason). Others here have had mixed results with RENFE, and report success with these other sites in those cases. They are not quite as cheap as RENFE (they're resellers), but still cheaper than buying a pass.
I have checked Renfe several times today to check on the availability of discount Promo fares on the Madridto Sevilla on June 25. the website is cranky and says no trains are vailable, but it also says that for every other day I checked. So they must be doing maintenance or something. Mi would just keep checking back. I was able to buy all out tickets for a 2011 trip on Renfe with great savings. Read the instructions cited by Harold and pay particular attention to registering your card with Verified by Visa.