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AVE Train from Madrid to Barcelona

I am planning on taking the AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona. I already bought the ticket beforehand. How early do I need to arrive at the train station to be safe. For example 2 hours when flying internationally...etc. How early do I need to arrive and get through security at the Atosha Renfe train station? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
4555 posts

Half an hour before departure time should be plenty of time. You'll take the escalator up to the second floor "departure lounge" and go thru security there. They check your ticket and scan your bags and personal secuity. Then you want until they post the track for your train. Then you go thru the departure "gate" where they'll scan your ticket, and down the escalator to the platform.
If you've never been to Atocha station, maybe arrive at least 45 minutes before departure, so you can orient yourself to the surroundings.

Posted by
10 posts

We took the AVE from Madrid to Barcelona Saturday morning, 7/10, arriving via metro (subway) about 1.5 hours early. The signage from the metro to the Atocha AVE entrance was not well marked, but we saw a security checkpoint and asked. It was one of 2 entrances (and less busy then buses/taxis were dropping travelers).
45 minutes early should be adequate. All security did was look at he ticket and x-ray the baggage. Very quick, but no line when were were there. If you want time to grab a cup of coffee or snack and browse the stores, arrive a bit earlier. Trains leave frequently and AVE seems to have an efficient process for getting folks onto their trains quickly.