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Train travel in Spain

Has anyone used Renfe to purchase train tickets online? We are planning on taking the night train from Barcelona to Granada and want to know if we can purchase these before we leave home or if it's ok to wait till we get to Barcelona.

Posted by
4535 posts

I have not bought tickets on Renfe but highly recommend advance purchase for the overnight train. Otherwise it may well fill up by the time you arrive in Spain. You might also consider flying. It could save you time, money, sleep and a lot of hassle.

Posted by
30 posts

You have to reserve RENFE AVE train tickets and you get the best prices online (if you book early) as well. Booking is an adventure though. I used a 17 page guide I got from another Rick Steves person. If you go to and query Renfe you'll find it. Discounts are listed on the Spanish site, not the English site... GREAT trains! We did Madrid to Sevilla and then Codoba to Madrid. Very easy, once you've got the tickets!

Posted by
1178 posts

By all means, check the renfe site and get your tickets up to 62 1/2 days before your travel. Substantial discounts available if you do this...Also, the tickets show both the car number and the seat numbers on them. I did this for travel in October and had no trouble accessing the site. A great means of transportation...wish we had them in the states!

Posted by
359 posts

We were looking into the night train when we decided to take the advice of those who recommended flying. It was much quicker, turned out to be cheaper, and worked with our itinerary better. We ended up flying Spanair from Granada to Barcelona.