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Train Advice - Santiago to Barcelona

temecularevev

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2024
Wife and I would like to take the train from Santiago to Barcelona after our pilgrimage. Online information has been confusing. 11 hours to 6 hours? Through Madrid? Where to buy tickets. Which trains to use? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
The fastest journeys are about 7 hours and involve a change of stations in Madrid. The RENFE website is not very helpful for journeys which involve a change of trains. It might be worth searching using a third-party website instead. That can also overcome the occasional problems with making payments to RENFE with foreign bank cards. raileurope.com or thetrainline.com are more user-friendly.
 
Suggest you look at www.seat61.com, a non-commercial website which explains all about train travel in Europe and gives the best websites to use for timetables and booking tickets. I did this journey on my way home last year, and it gives a great sense of the scale and landscape of Spain.
There is one very slow and very cheap train per day (13 hours) but the better option is the one via Madrid. Seat 61 explains exactly how to switch stations there.
Spanish trains are very spacious and comfortable.
 
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.

€46,-
If you have the time, please consider the slower direct route. I just checked some prices and realised that it's the train I took from Vitoria Gastiez to Santiago in April. For a random day in September the fare to Barcelona is 22 euros and for that you get air-conditioned armchair comfort through some of the finest scenery in Spain. With coffee and spacious washrooms just a short stroll down the train.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Spain's railway is built like spokes on a wheel, with the hub being Madrid. The railways connecting Santiago - Madrid and Madrid - Barcelona arrive at different train stations, basically on opposite sides of the city center. This is probably where the discrepancy in travel time is coming from: you might have a transfer time in Madrid that's a couple of hours, depending on the timings of the specific trains being used to put together your total journey.
 
If you go via Madrid, be sure to have enough transfertime in Madrid. I missed the connecting train and had to pay 175€ for a new ticket for the train Madrid Barcelona. Renfe only validates the ticket you have when the first train was retarded and last minute tickets are very expensive
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
I took a high speed train from Santiago to Madrid. Then at that very same
station, Charmartin, I took a more local train to the Attocha Train Station.
Then I took another high speed train to Barcelona. I think I booked the
two high speed trains in Santiago, and then wasn't sure how to get
between the two stations. I believe I had two hours to get to Attocha.
I was going to take a cab, but after talking to some people on the
first train, I figured out how to take the local train.
 
Be sure to buy your tickets well in advance, as the high speed trains can book out quickly. Maybe about three or four weeks beforehand if you can. Also, the Renfe site will often only provide information for trains in the next month or so, and an error message of some sort for trips further in the future. The difference in trip times primarily relates to the type of train and how often it stops. The price reflects this, and the level of demand, so it can be variable like a plane ticket.
 
Can I reinforce the ‘buy early’ message for RENFE - I’ve often advised that on here.

I’v just got an unexpected week free and, naturally, am heading to Spain to scout out the C. De Ebro around Zaragoza; flying into Barcelona. Usually I’d be reserving travel as soon as it’s available.

My first thought was that I must have accidentally bought a full row of seats; but actually I’ve just fallen foul of ‘dynamic pricing’ as my trains are virtually full and the prices are (relatively) through the roof.
 
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.

€46,-
I took the non-stop ~13-hour train from SdC to Barcelona last November and it was a relaxing ride through beautiful scenery, with the added bonus of revisiting some of the places I’d walked weeks earlier. The train has a bar car with food and you can stock up at the cafe in the SdC Renfe station before departure. If you decide to take it, book early — seats are assigned and it completely sold out about a week before my trip — I managed to snag one of the last seats.
 
I have found the Rome2Rio.com website to both accurate and astonishingly comprehensive for information of all types of travel everywhere you can think of -- or think of traveling to. It lists air, trains, buses and driving, usually with costs and schedules. Of course it's good to follow up with the airlines or bus lines mentioned. It is so detailed that hikers along the various Camino routes can find bus service between cities on the itinerary so that they can supplement their walking if desired. Honestly, the website is incredible.
 
Wife and I would like to take the train from Santiago to Barcelona after our pilgrimage. Online information has been confusing. 11 hours to 6 hours? Through Madrid? Where to buy tickets. Which trains to use? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
There should be a morning train from SdC to Barcelona. It takse 10-11 hours. Direct. Walk to the train station and buy . ticket(s). If you are 60+, you can buy a Gold Card: It gives you a 25-40% discount on train travel for one year. Cast is 6 €.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery

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