Danielle Froio

shared this question
4 years ago

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Rail Europe

Travel Expert





Barcelona to Madrid - April 18th 2016 (No schedules match request)

Hi, I've been trying to book a trip from Barcelona to Madrid on the 18th of April 2016. I've been looking every day for the last 2 months for tickets to become available. When I search it now says no schedules match my request. Could you please advise when these tickets will be available. They are also still not available for the week before (i.e. Monday 11th April)

Official Answer
photo Travel Expert
Rail Europe Posted 4 years ago

Hello Danielle,

Thanks for the question.

There are no direct trains from Barcelona to Madrid on 18th April.

You will have to book the sectors separately.

You can book and travel as follows :

- Barcelona to Perpignan France - Spain High Speed train.

- Perpignan to Madrid - France - Spain High Speed train.

In order to book tickets, please visit our website.

You would need to feed in the Departure city and the Arrival city along with the travel date and preferred time & the number of passengers (Senior, adults, youth and children), and then click on “search tickets”. Once you do so, you would find the schedules along with the fares. You need to select the fare which is preferable to you and then add it to Cart. Once added, you need to mention the names of the passengers to make the payment on the next page.

Hope this helps!!!

Best Regards,

Leora, Rail Europe Travel Expert.

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Comments (5)


Hi Leora,

I'm sorry I don't understand.... Why are there no direct trains? The times show up on the RENFE website. And you have times available to book tickets from Madrid to Barcelona on a direct high speed line for that day, why not the other direction?

We do not have 7 hours to take two trains - we are running on a very tight schedule, I have been planning this holiday for months and this is the last thing I have left to book. And everything I have read and enquired into has led me to believe there are high speed services running almost every 30 minutes every day. How can it be that there are now no services running at all??




The answer given by the "travel expert" appears to be absurd. Has he ever been to Barcelona? Or looked at a map? Trains cannot get from Perpignan to Madrid except via Barcelona.


Danielle, you will probably have to buy directly from the RENFE website, or turn up at the Barcelona station. The last time I travelled in Spain, advance booking was not needed. unfortunately the Eurail pass has become poor value for money. You may be able to get some discount on the "rack rate" for the fare, perhaps similar to the advance purchase discount, but I can't be certain of this. The Australian Rail4A site his dysfunctional, probably because the European Premium trains no longer recognise the Eurorail Pass. The companied selling these passes (which were once good value) hide behind the excuse of "limited set allocations." In fact, there appear to be no seat allocations for the premium fast trains for pass holders.

Their business model is dead but they can't face up to burying it.

Now, online purchase of advance purchase tickets with a big discount is best value.

We all plan an itinerary in advance so it only requires a little more work to choose your train travel dates. Buy direct from the train company on line. Advance purchase is cheap enough to take the loss if you have a change of plan.

It is almost impossible to get a return of value from a Eurail pass or Britrail pass, as I have recently discovered. There may be exceptions - if you wish to wander free with no fixed itinerary (as I have done in the past) a Eurail pass might work, but even this is a dodgy idea, as there are almost always cheaper trains to use, eg. in UK use off peak tickets.




Hi John,

Thanks for your help. We are travelling as a family of 4 to celebrate my Mum's 50th and shes a little paranoid with travelling and likes to make sure everything is booked in advance. It probably doesn't help that we've never been to Europe before! All these train booking systems have had me utterly confused... but I think I've finally worked them out. We did look into the Eurail passes and yes I agree they seem to be hard to get your moneys worth. So far for our trip I've booked train tickets for separate dates from London to Paris and from Paris to Nice for all 4 of us for roughly the price of your average 4-day France-Spain Eurail pass.

I think I will be purchasing from the RENFE website - it just seems like the times for that day have not been uploaded yet - but the timetable search shows that there are definitely trains on that day. Thanks again John - you should consider a career in becoming a travel expert.

Danielle :)


Hi all,

It seems there are magically now direct trains on the 18th of April from Barcelona to Madrid available for booking on your website. Thanks for your extremely illogical advice RailEurope - all it did was utterly confuse me and you have embarrassed your own company by giving the above advice.

For those wanting to book the AVE from Barcelona to Madrid I advise you to try the RENFE website direct - it took me a few goes both last night and today as it is a little temperamental but please give it a chance - the savings are worthwhile. You also can't book between 9am and 5pm Australian time (from 23:00 to 7:00 Spain time) - so it's a little confusing if you try during the day, you just receive error messages. In the end I managed to book 4 Turista Plus tickets (first class seats but without the meal) for AUD$360. Paid using Paypal - no issues with any credit card rejection. Hope this helps others! I'm quite happy with the savings I made - I would have paid over $640 for the same tickets on this site.

Thanks! Happy travelling!

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