A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Train or bus Madrid to Pamplona

Camino(s) past & future
France's (2017)
#1
hello all I'd like some advice on catching either the train or bus from Madrid to Pamplona. Arriving in Madrid airport at midday, leaving same day for Pamplona.

The main question is how long should I leave between arriving at Madrid airport and a departure time for the train - which I can see goes from Atocha involving a transfer, and departure time for a bus which I can see leaves from the airport.
Would be thinking 3 hours for train or 2 hours for the bus?
Am I cutting it too fine...
Also, which would be the more scenic and enjoyable a ride
Thanks for your help
Jenny
 

Advertisment

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#3
I caught a bus from the airport and allowed 3 hours. I had to change terminals to get to the bus station there. There is a cafe right by bus station but also in terminal are shops and a McD. I had an hour and a half to wait but it wasn't a problem. Given flight times and customs and immigration clearance I was happy with the wait. The bus was first class, roads good and because we were very high up it was pretty drive. You could go into city by metro and catch bus at central bus station - more numerous buses. If you did that then I wouldn't pre book as off peak buses are rarely full. It's easy to book and i don't have any Spanish language skills.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#5
I travel to Madrid nearly every year, and from there go to Pamplona.
I walk outside the T4 (Terminal 4) at Madrid, and there are always buses waiting to go to Pamplona.
The buses in Spain are Mercedez Benz buses, almost always.
They have big old comfie seats, are quiet and have big viewing windows.
It is a very comfortable ride.
The buses from Madrid to Pamplona run all day.
You can see the schedule for your day by going to www.movelia.es
You do NOT have to purchase tickets ahead of time. You can purchase them from the bus driver.
Or sometimes there is a little kiosk near the buses.

I've done the train as well, but personally the bus is easier, more comfortable, and less expensive.
I take the bus every chance I get in Spain, over the train.
 

Advertisment

W

whariwharangi

Guest
#9
Do the buses go from central Madrid bus station ?
There are several bus stations in Madrid.

If your destination is Pamplona ... ALSA and PLM Autocares buses leave from Avenida de America ... a major transportation hub in Madrid. Take EMT Madrid bus #200 from all terminals at the airport to Avenida de America where it terminates.

The benefit is that not all buses from Avenida de America call at the airport T4 ... you could end up waiting at the airport a long time while several buses leave Madrid for Pamplona.

PLM Autocares goes direct.

ALSA goes via Soria or Zaragosa where there is a quick transfer (and sometimes the 'transfer' involves the same bus.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017
#10
There are several bus stations in Madrid.

If your destination is Pamplona ... ALSA and PLM Autocares buses leave from Avenida de America ... a major transportation hub in Madrid. Take EMT Madrid bus #200 from all terminals at the airport to Avenida de America where it terminates.

The benefit is that not all buses from Avenida de America call at the airport T4 ... you could end up waiting at the airport a long time while several buses leave Madrid for Pamplona.

PLM Autocares goes direct.

ALSA goes via Soria or Zaragosa where there is a quick transfer (and sometimes the 'transfer' involves the same bus.)
Thank you.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#11
hello all I'd like some advice on catching either the train or bus from Madrid to Pamplona. Arriving in Madrid airport at midday, leaving same day for Pamplona.

The main question is how long should I leave between arriving at Madrid airport and a departure time for the train - which I can see goes from Atocha involving a transfer, and departure time for a bus which I can see leaves from the airport.
Would be thinking 3 hours for train or 2 hours for the bus?
Am I cutting it too fine...
Also, which would be the more scenic and enjoyable a ride
Thanks for your help
Jenny
This is a question with no value answer. The problem is the airplane too often doesn't arrive on time.

My rule of thumb is allow one hour to get off the plane, get your baggage, go through customs. and get oriented for the next leg.

My second rule of thumb is to plan for at least 3 hours before taking further transport after clearing the airport. The rule of thumb fails when the airplane is 3 hours late ... as has happened too all too often (I travel on planes on less than an annual basis and it seems to happen every time)

You'll need an hour to get from Madrid Airport to any of Avenida de America, Puerta de Atocha, Chamartin using either of Renfe Cercanias, Madrid Metro, or EMT bus.

You'll need minimum half hour to get oriented at the bus or train station and buy a ticket . Note there are automated ticket machines at the train stations that don't appear to get much use.

The other hour and a half is slush that will most likely get used up by your airline.

So total 4 hours from stated arrival time to stated departure time. If you plan a tighter window you need to have a 'Plan B' for when it goes all pear shaped.

Bare minimum two hours ... even for a bus from T4.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#12
Do the buses go from central Madrid bus station ?
There are buses that go from right outside the airport terminal at T4.
There are also buses that go from the bus station at Avenida de America - but if you're flying in, it's easier just to step outside the airport doors and walk onto a bus!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#13
Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 10.04.46 AM.png
There are several bus stations in Madrid.

If your destination is Pamplona ... ALSA and PLM Autocares buses leave from Avenida de America ... a major transportation hub in Madrid. Take EMT Madrid bus #200 from all terminals at the airport to Avenida de America where it terminates.

The benefit is that not all buses from Avenida de America call at the airport T4 ... you could end up waiting at the airport a long time while several buses leave Madrid for Pamplona.

PLM Autocares goes direct.

ALSA goes via Soria or Zaragosa where there is a quick transfer (and sometimes the 'transfer' involves the same bus.)
Personally I have never found that to be a problem.
I have always been able to catch a bus soon after flying in.
Here is a schedule for tomorrow.
I guess if you are arriving in the middle of the night you might have a wait.
But I always try to plan ahead.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017
#14
There are buses that go from right outside the airport terminal at T4.
There are also buses that go from the bus station at Avenida de America - but if you're flying in, it's easier just to step outside the airport doors and walk onto a bus!
There are buses that go from right outside the airport terminal at T4.
There are also buses that go from the bus station at Avenida de America - but if you're flying in, it's easier just to step outside the airport doors and walk onto a bus!
Mmm now you have me thinking my plans,i have hotel booked in Madrid and was travelling to Pamplona next day as i couldn't find bus,i arrive at 11AM so i would imagine i could get bus straight from airport n bypass Madrid central.However it would appear i would have a 4 hour wait at airport for 15:15 bus :(((
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
May (2017)
#15
I travel to Madrid nearly every year, and from there go to Pamplona.
I walk outside the T4 (Terminal 4) at Madrid, and there are always buses waiting to go to Pamplona.
The buses in Spain are Mercedez Benz buses, almost always.
They have big old comfie seats, are quiet and have big viewing windows.
It is a very comfortable ride.
The buses from Madrid to Pamplona run all day.
You can see the schedule for your day by going to www.movelia.es
You do NOT have to purchase tickets ahead of time. You can purchase them from the bus driver.
Or sometimes there is a little kiosk near the buses.

I've done the train as well, but personally the bus is easier, more comfortable, and less expensive.
I take the bus every chance I get in Spain, over the train.
When I go to this website (movelia.es) I do not get a schedule just the opportunity to buy a ticket. I confess I understand very little Spanish but do not see the link for a list of times.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#16
Mmm now you have me thinking my plans,i have hotel booked in Madrid and was travelling to Pamplona next day as i couldn't find bus,i arrive at 11AM so i would imagine i could get bus straight from airport n bypass Madrid central.However it would appear i would have a 4 hour wait at airport for 15:15 bus :(((
Yeah ... much better chance of a bus leaving soon (almost hourly) by going to intercambiador de avenida de america.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#17
When I go to this website (movelia.es) I do not get a schedule just the opportunity to buy a ticket. I confess I understand very little Spanish but do not see the link for a list of times.
Go to service provider website. Movelia is a ticket vendor, not a service provider, and you will have problems purchasing from them from outside of Europe.

ALSA bus to Pamplona (via Soria or Zaragosa), San Sebastian, and most other places of interest to pilgrims. ALSA owns CONDA, Navarra flagship bus that goes from Pamplona to SJPdP ... so use ALSA schedule for CONDA buses.
https://www.alsa.es/en/home

PLM Autocares bus direct to Pamplona.
http://plmautocares.com/

Renfe train from Madrid Puerta de Atocha to Pamplona. Faster than the bus.
http://www.renfe.com/
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#19
Mmm now you have me thinking my plans,i have hotel booked in Madrid and was travelling to Pamplona next day as i couldn't find bus,i arrive at 11AM so i would imagine i could get bus straight from airport n bypass Madrid central.However it would appear i would have a 4 hour wait at airport for 15:15 bus :(((
Well, it's going to take some time from the time you land, go through customs, etc.
The airport is huge.
You can get cash from the machine, have a coffee or lunch, the time will pass
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#21
Bus is best from T4 .
Hehe , I once went all the way to Avenida de America only to discover the bus stopped where I had started off ............Pre-Forum times.
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#23
Having done the Auz journey the other way around a few times when walking there I would recommend a night in Madrid before onward journey - lovely city. There are hotels within easy reach of terminal and very reasonable if you book over a weekend.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017
#25
Having done the Auz journey the other way around a few times when walking there I would recommend a night in Madrid before onward journey - lovely city. There are hotels within easy reach of terminal and very reasonable if you book over a weekend.
Have stayed there before n wasn't really my cup of tea.
 

jaksample

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 June
#27
I travel to Madrid nearly every year, and from there go to Pamplona.
I walk outside the T4 (Terminal 4) at Madrid, and there are always buses waiting to go to Pamplona.
The buses in Spain are Mercedez Benz buses, almost always.
They have big old comfie seats, are quiet and have big viewing windows.
It is a very comfortable ride.
The buses from Madrid to Pamplona run all day.
You can see the schedule for your day by going to www.movelia.es
You do NOT have to purchase tickets ahead of time. You can purchase them from the bus driver.
Or sometimes there is a little kiosk near the buses.

I've done the train as well, but personally the bus is easier, more comfortable, and less expensive.
I take the bus every chance I get in Spain, over the train.

Do you remember how much the bus was that was waiting outside he airport?
 
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
#28
Jaksample, I travelled Madrid to Pamplona on the bus April 2016 and the cost was 31.82 euro.
Buen Camino Judy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2018) May
#30
Our experiencece was arrival at T1 on Etihad at 8.30am on a Friday. Was directed to shuttle bus to T4. Stood in line at ALSA bus desk for half an hour til it opened. Was told emphatically we could not take a bus to Pamplona which I knew wasn’t true after reading this forum but the woman was so insistent and the queues behind us long that couldn’t be bothered pursuing.
Walked over to the train information desk, purchased tickets to Pamplona which included the 6 stop train to Madrid Atocha. Pleasant wait at Atocha and pleasant train trip (more cost than the bus). Asked for seniors discount for train and told not available. Sometimes the language barrier and tiredness means you have a different result than planned. Stayed night Pamplona before continuing to St Jean.
Buen Camino
 

OLDER threads on this topic




Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 29 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 102 15.7%
  • May

    Votes: 165 25.4%
  • June

    Votes: 48 7.4%
  • July

    Votes: 14 2.2%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 185 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 73 11.2%
  • November

    Votes: 10 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.8%
Top