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Madrid to Oveido


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I am planning to do the Camino Primitivo next fall. I haven't booked my flight but expect that I will be flying in to Madrid. I then have to get to Oveido. I don't know how to do this and am sue there are options. I expect I could take a bus but am wondering if I cold take a train to Leon and then a bus from there or even better a train from Madrid to Oveido? Is it relatively simple to get to the train station in Madrid from the airport?

Are there any other suggestions out there for getting to Oveido?

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Hi, John,
Our son lived in a small town outside Oviedo last year and went to Madrid a number of times. He had a strong preference for the train (if you check RENFE's website you'll see there are three or four trains a day, usually between 4 to 4 1/2 hours travel time). There are many more buses, probably almost a dozen a day (check and they take about an hour longer, assuming they are on time.

Prices: train is about 47E (but RENFE has many online purchase offers that would bring that down substantially). Bus is either 30E (slower) or 49E (faster)

Getting there from the airport. Train leaves from Chamartin Station; bus from Menendez Alvaro station. If you look at a Madrid metro map (many on line) you'll see that the trip to Menendez Alvaro is much longer but involves only one change of metro lines (although the change, at the Nuevos Ministerios metro stop is a LONG walk between platforms). The trip to Chamartin is more complicated, involving two line changes, but the distance is much shorter. There is a help desk at both Madrid airport metro stations and good maps.

In Oviedo, the train station and bus station are about two blocks away from each other. There are buses that would take you to the old part of town (near the cathedral and albergue). I'd estimate a 30 minute walk from either station.

And, though you didn't ask about air travel, FYI the Oviedo airport is about 40 minutes outside Oviedo by public transit. I have flown into the airport directly from Barcelona on Iberia and I think there are some cheaper airlines that fly there as well.

Hope that helps you to get started with the planning, Laurie
Thanks Laurie for the information.

The train still sounds good. I thought there might be cheap airlines but I am going to be taking tooooo many cheap flights later in my trip and I thought that a train trip would be an enjoyable way to get to Oveido and see parts of Spain through the windows of the train.

John, the earlier you buy your train tickets the more likely that you will purchase it for the lowest price. A few months in advance would be a good time to purchase it.

Happy New Year and Bonne Route,
Hi, John and Michael,

Michael's advice is very good -- the web fares can be as low as 1/3 of the regular price. I would just add two things. First, tickets can only be bought online 120 days in advance. And second, purchasing tickets via the RENFE website is not a task for the faint of heart. Unless there have been massive improvements since the last time I did it, about a year ago, I can promise you many moments of frustration, complicated convoluted directions, and the possibility that once you get to the end of the lengthy process, your credit card will be rejected. I know that the RENFE side of the transaction has purportedly changed its system to accept out-of-Europe credit cards, but even so, I know of a lot of frustrated failed attempts to buy online. I don't mean to paint a grim picture, and in fact, I'm going to attempt it again in a few months when I'm 120 days away from my travel date.

If you go to the Fodors Europe Travel forum and do a search "RENFE" you will bring up many threads with questions about how to buy online from RENFE. I just took a quick look and here's the title of one of the most recent topics:

Tagged: Spain
Pleeeeeeeeeese Helpppppp with Renfe! Think I'm going insane!

That was my experience as well. But hope springs eternal. Good luck! Laurie
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.
Thanks again for the good advice.

Fortunately I am planning, and anticipating, well in advance. I don't have my flight booked yet but when I do I cn figure out when I will get to Madrid and book my ticket then. Any suggestions on how long it will take me to get from the airport to the train station?

any reasonably priced alternatives to the city buses for getting from the airport to the train station?


an afterthought. I found it interesting when you mentioned that the online booking system didn't like foreign credit cards. I found the same experience when trying to use my credit card last year in Spain. Noone wanted to take it and I don't think I ever used it. It wasn't a problem as I just used my bank card every few days or more to get cash and used that. Worked fine. I will bring my credit card with me but don't really expect to use it in Spain.

Thanks for that link, Ribeirasacra. I will definitely use it the next time I try to navigate the RENFE system.

About getting from the airport to Chamartin, I think metro is going to be quicker and more reliable. The official Madrid metro site has a trip planner, and here's what they recommend:

From the airport on pink line to Nuevos Ministerios. Transfer there to Line 8, and it's 4 stops to Chamartin. They give the total trip time estimate as 40 minutes, and that seems right to me.

From the Madrid bus site,, it looks like a somewhat complicated trip on public transit from the airport to Chamartin. If I'm reading it right, you have to take the 200 line from the airport and walk a few blocks to change to the 70 line somewhere on the Avenida de America. Total riding time, not including transfers nor waiting, is estimated at 55 minutes. I think you'd be happier on the metro.

One other alternative is a private airport shuttle, running around $30 (dollars, not euro). ... 0MADAPTHTL I do know some people who have used this, but I think it's kind of expensive and not much cheaper than a taxi would be, especially since Chamartin is on the northern side of Madrid as is the airport.

Thanks Laurie

the Metro sounds a good option to me and I believe that with this information it should work fine even for a jet lagged traveller from Western Canada. And once I get on the train I can sit back and enjoy the view and maybe even snooze a bit.

Months away and I am already enjoying the anticipation.

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