Trains in Spain

I will be visiting Spain for a week this fall. Is it better to purhase a Renfe four city pass or go with Rail Europe. We will be traveling from Granada, to Algeciras, then to Seville.
Thanks very much.

Posted by Anita
Philadelphia, PA, USA
331 posts

Kathy, it sounds like a nice trip. The only way to get the best price is to do some comparison shopping. Go to the Renfe site and price the four city pass. Then checkout whatever price Eurail or Rail Europe is giving., and compare. I'd also suggest pricing the tickets individually on Renfe. By playing with time of day, type of train, advance purchases, etc., you can get a variety of prices. Years ago passes were a bargain but that isn't necessarily true today. Fortunately, with access to exact pricing through computers, it is way easier to do a bit of homework in order to save a lot of money. Last year I saved a significant amount of money on some of my train travel in Spain by choosing midday travel instead of rush hour trains. Write if you have specific questions.

Posted by Kathy
San Antonio, TX, United States
7 posts

Thanks very much for the information. I have looked at some individual train ticket prices, and am looking at bus routes and prices too. I am looking for the best way to get from Algeciras to Seville and it looks like there is no direct train route. You can take the train to Ronda then a bus from there to Seville. Have you done this trip, and do you have any suggestions.
Thanks

Posted by Neil
Whittington
583 posts

'I am looking for the best way to get from Algeciras to Seville and it looks like there is no direct train route' - Correct, so your only alternative by public transport is bus - http://www.tgcomes.es/horarios_33_english.htm And to reinforce what has already been advised - do the maths. comparisons for passes against point to point purchase. Agencies like RailEurope are certainly not the way to compare and RENFE has it's own four journey pass, but again you need to do the maths. A simple guide -
http://www.seat61.com/Spain-trains.htm#Spain_by_train,_in_a_nutshell A hugely comprehensive guide to all trials and tribulations - http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187514-c80518/Madrid:Spain:Buying.Renfe.Tickets.Online.html I cannot see with the little you advise why you would want any pass.

Posted by Kathy
San Antonio, TX, United States
7 posts

Thank you for your help. Originally on the 13th, I was considering a train pass, but did look at the numbers this weekend and it is much more expensive for me to get a pass versus individual tickets. I have looked on both the Rail Europe and Renfe sites and I will check into bus prices too. There is still no direct route to Seville via train, so will either take the bus or do a train bus combination. The websites were very helpful. Thanks again.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17789 posts

@James, LOL! I was tempted to post the same comment.

Posted by Neil
Whittington
583 posts

James and Ken and 'stay mainly on the plain' - Why? How boring that would be.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

It was a pun. They meant plane. Pygmalion. Dr Dolittle and the dancing fleas. He talks to them. It's a pun on bedbug posts. Actually, bedpost bugs.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
683 posts

"It was a pun. They meant plane.
Pygmalion" Surely the pun was train/rain. It is plain, not plane, obviously. Also "Pygmalion", really? GBS would be turning in his grave at that further re-write of his book. It's My Fair (fare to you?) Lady.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7213 posts

My Fare Lady implies something else entirely. To add to the conversation, it's been at least ten years since I bought a train pass (other than the day passes in Germany). These days passes cost more than all but the longest legs on trains (and those are too long for comfortable traveling). The first thing to do is price point to point tickets and buy them 62 days out, when the best fare is available (as I recall 62 days is the earliest you can buy them). Tripadvisor has an excellent users guide for navigating the Renfe website - there are a lot of complications trying to use it from the US - google it before you use the Renfe site. Also, as has been said, Spain's train system isn't nearly as complete as other parts of Europe. Buses are widely available, used by everyone, and cheap (even without any advance purchase). I've never searched ahead of time for buses. Every town has a bus station (most house several competing bus companies), every bus station I checked in Spain had an information booth (or desk) with an English speaker to help you navigate purchasing your tickets. I usually stop in at least a day before (often before I leave the station when arriving) to get my tickets to the next destination - so I know I have tickets and can plan my travel day.

Posted by Kathy
San Antonio, TX, United States
7 posts

Good morning, Thanks for your response. After looking all over the internet I've decided to do just that. I don't have 62 days out to purchase tickets online, so am going to purchase any train and bus tickets the day before our next stop. I did see the Tripadvisor information and it is very informative. Take care,
Kathy