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What's the best way to get from Barcelona to Madrid and then to Lisbon?

Hello Everyone!
Just wondering if you can help me out about transportation between Barcelona to Madrid and then to Lisbon.I plan to spend about 5 days in each city. I don't mind spending more money if that means more time to sightsee than spend in transit. Any suggestions? I'll be traveling in mid January 2014.

Thank you ahead of time!!

Posted by
32105 posts


The quickest and easiest method from Barcelona to Madrid is the AVE high speed train, which travels at up to 300 kmH. Check the RENFE website for details. It's a very pleasant trip and you'll be able to relax and enjoy the scenery. Your departure station will be Barcelona Sants and arrival station will be Madrid Puerta de Atocha. You should be able to buy your tickets online.

From Madrid to Lisbon, I'd probably use an EasyJet flight as that will be the quickest and most efficient. Flight time is about 1H:20M, but some airline schedules may indicate a 20-minute flight (I believe there's a one hour time difference between Madrid and Lisbon). They currently have flights in mid-January listed at ~€35 PP, but those will increase as the flight fills.

If you decide to book a flight, be sure to read their Terms & Conditions carefully, especially related to luggage weights. Note that they usually only allow ONE carry-on item per passenger, and they DO enforce that. If your checked bag will be over their allowable weight limit, it's cheaper to pay for the excess weight at the time of booking rather than at the gate. As I recall, you can check-in for your flight and print out your boarding pass at home up to a month prior to the flight. At many airports they only have a bag drop, so there's no longer any airport check-in.

Happy travels!

Posted by
12154 posts

I'll second what Ken proposed. The high speed train from Barcelona to Madrid is convenient (and cheap if you book early).

There is little or no convenient transportation between Spain and Portugal. An Easy Jet, Vueling, or other budget flight is the best option.

Be prepared for cold weather in January. Even though people think of Spain as a warm destination, Madrid can get very cold in the winter.

Posted by
1178 posts

Take the AVE...leave Sants Station in Barcelona, and arrive at Atocha in Madrid 2 1/2+ hours later....get tickets about 60 days ahead on the Renfe Site and save a good bit. Tourist class will be somewhere less than 50 euros by buying ahead.

See this site: and be sure to register on the screen at the first opportunity.

Have not been from Madrid Portugal, but do not think there is a direct land route.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you so much for your help. I'm gonna do online booking now. Travel is fun but I think the planning part is also very interesting!! Full of anticipation!

Posted by
4535 posts

FYI - There is an overnight train between Madrid and Lisbon. I recommend to fly though. The only reason NOT to take the AVE between Barcelona and Madrid is if you were already at the airport.