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Newbie to travel in Europe

Scubageek

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
Hi fellow pilgrims. I will be starting my first Camino in April of 2020. I am flying into Madrid and need to take a train or bus to Astorga. When I fly into Madrid is there a certain station I should use to travel from? I have been trying to book my tickets now, but I think I am early. I was told to use Rome to Rio.

Any suggestions would be very helpful.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
Hi fellow pilgrims. I will be starting my first Camino in April of 2020. I am flying into Madrid and need to take a train or bus to Astorga. When I fly into Madrid is there a certain station I should use to travel from? I have been trying to book my tickets now, but I think I am early. I was told to use Rome to Rio.

Any suggestions would be very helpful.
jump on the metro at the airport and make your way to metro stop méndez álvaro
prepurchase and print your bus tix at www.alsa.com
board bus and get off at astorga
buen camino
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I would suggest get on the metro to Chamartin station and get the train to Astorga instead, it is a lovely train trip, you can buy the ticket in renfe.es
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I would suggest get on the metro to Chamartin station and get the train to Astorga instead, it is a lovely train trip, you can buy the ticket in renfe.es
Or for a more user friendly experience try ‘Rail Europe’ - the unnecessary new name for good old Loco2.

Train tickets are rarely available more than three months in advance - often less - on the site I recommend you can set an alert to notify you when they become available.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
When you search on the Rail Europe site you can sign up for alerts for when the ticket becomes available. You can save a lot by purchasing as soon as the tickets are released.

 

Scubageek

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
Thanks to all who have replied. It has been very educational.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Just a reminder, if you're over 60 you can buy a senior rail card, valid 1 yr and costs 6€ it gives excellent discounts. Purchase it over the counter before you buy your train ticket.
 

Bodi

For this breath, I am present.
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
@Scubageek, I am planning to make the same trip in September 2020 and have also been pondering the travel question. At the moment, my plan is to take the metro from the airport to Chamartín station and then the train from there to León, stay overnight (because I love León!), and bus the next day to Astorga. I will stay in an albergue there, giving me two nights to recuperate from jet lag. I waffle on this choice constantly, the other option being Alsa bus from T4 at the airport. The train is infinitely more comfortable though. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Another site that I've used (and prefer over raileurope) trainline.eu
 

Donjek

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
Hi fellow pilgrims. I will be starting my first Camino in April of 2020. I am flying into Madrid and need to take a train or bus to Astorga. When I fly into Madrid is there a certain station I should use to travel from? I have been trying to book my tickets now, but I think I am early. I was told to use Rome to Rio.

Any suggestions would be very helpful.
ALSA provides bus service from Madrid to Astorga.

ALSA buses go from several stations but most originate from Estacion Sur. A couple do stop at Madrid Airport T4. Some buses go from Moncloa. You'll have to check the schedule for the bus that best suits you.

Estacion Sur is co-located with Mendez Alvaro station. Mendez Alvaro can be reached using Cercanias train and Madrid Metro from Madrid Airport. Cercanias leaves from T4 only.

Moncloa can be reached by Madrid Metro.

Renfe provides train service from Madrid to Astorga from Chamartin Station.

Chamartin can be reached via Cercanias train and Madrid Metro from Madrid Airport. Cercanias leaves from T4 only.

Cercanias schedules

Madrid Metro

You won't be able to get tickets for bus more than a month in advance. Train tickets are not usually available more than three months in advance.

Its a long trip; train is more comfortable than the bus. Some people take the train from Madrid to Leon and the bus from Leon to Astorga.

Rome-to-Rio is a good tool only for planning and finding the service providers.
 
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Amused212

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
@Scubageek, I am planning to make the same trip in September 2020 and have also been pondering the travel question. At the moment, my plan is to take the metro from the airport to Chamartín station and then the train from there to León, stay overnight (because I love León!), and bus the next day to Astorga. I will stay in an albergue there, giving me two nights to recuperate from jet lag. I waffle on this choice constantly, the other option being Alsa bus from T4 at the airport. The train is infinitely more comfortable though. 🤷🏻‍♀️
In October I took a bus from Leon to Madrid. Earlier I had taken a train from Burgos to Madrid and a bus back to Burgos (the train took longer than the bus). Comparing the 3 experiences, the bus from Leon to Madrid was the most comfy. It had a foot rest, leg rest, an entertainment screen and USB outlet. Initially there was a person in the seat beside me, but as we left the station less than full, she moved so that I had both seats. The bathroom on the bus was cleaner and smelled better than the one on the train. These may be one-off experiences but thought I would share. Also, if your timing is right, you might land in T4 terminal and be able to get a bus to Leon without having to go into Madrid.
 

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