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AVE Train question

We will be travelling end of April to early May to Southern Spain. We have already decided on the 2nd class train ticket to purchase for our longer leg (Barcelona to Madrid) and (Madrid to Sevilla). Question #1 - How many "passes" should we purchase? We looked at the RS guide to trains but I am still confused. Question #2 - Is it safe to use my credit card online to purchase the tickets? Question #3 - Would taking a bus from Sevilla to Granada be a better option? Question #4 - From Granada, we need to travel back to Barcelona. Do you advise AVE train or bus? Thanks ahead!

Posted by
1178 posts

1. Not sure of the "passes" -- you will each need a ticket if that is your question. 2, Safe to purchase on line with credit card. The renfe site can be somewhat confusing. There are several posts here on line on how to navigate the site. Be sure to notify your bank BEFORE you purchase so it will not deline the transaction. I have purchased tickets on several trips and had no problem. You print out the ticket on your computer and take it with you. You can do this up to 62 1/2 days before your trip to get the best price. 3. Not familar with this.
4. And not with this. I have had no problems with the basic tourist class ticket as far as leg room is concerned. The train service there is what the air lines were here years ago...nice people to assist you in any way. The trains do leave on time - no delay.

Posted by
12172 posts

If your long legs are direct, AVE is probably your best bet. We're looking at a similar trip in Sept./Oct., we'll probably land in Madrid and take a circular route to Barcelona, so the AVE won't be our best option. Later, I have to decide between going from Barcelona through Valencia toward Andalucia or taking the AVE to Madrid and connect to another AVE South (or, possibly, fly the leg). I haven't decided yet because I haven't mapped it out well enought to compare. Price, time, and value of sites made/skipped all have to be weighed. For shorter legs, busses are more than likely the best option, but you really have to put it side by side with a train before drawing the right conclusion for you.

Posted by
4535 posts

1. Not sure what you mean by how many passes. You need one ticket for each person. 2. It is perfectly safe but difficult. Renfe site is notorious for declining charges and for your CC to block charges. Even after you call them to tell them. Just keep trying. 3. Sevilla-Grenada by bus is much cheaper and just as quick. Lots more options too - about a bus every 1-2 hours.
4. Granada-Barcelona is a very long trip with no direct train link. There is an overnight train though. Otherwise, I suggest flying. The bus would take forever and would certainly recommend the overnight train over a bus.

Posted by
508 posts

Christine - We found flying Vueling between Barcelona and Granada to be the easiest and cheapest way to get between the two cities. We drove between Granada and Sevilla stopping in Ronda on the way... It was really easy - we didn't even realize until we dropped off the rental car that we left our map behind somewhere - we just followed the road signs.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks Douglas, Brad, Julie and HJ! I will need to look into ALSA and Vueling.

Posted by
112 posts

Hi Christine: We are doing the same Granada to Barcelona trip during a big Spain trip in a few weeks. After thorough research I realized flying would be the most efficient and economical. t is worth noting that the Vueling flights have huge variation depending on who you buy the tickets from. I wound up saving a lot of money compairing prices and buying my air tickets thru Travelocity $129 for 2 tickets. I hope you have seen the potential for airport strikes from April on. I saw that on this site earlier today. Too late for our planning purposes. We fly into Spain 4/24. ouch! Good luck with your trip.