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We Evaluate the Finest Methods to Get Round

Transportation in Spain presents loads of nice choices for vacationers, from quick excessive velocity trains to low cost airways to shockingly reasonably priced bus routes and handy automobile leases.

What’s one of the best transportation in Spain in your journey? That actually depends upon your wants.

You probably have loads of time, then taking the bus would be the most reasonably priced possibility. For those who’re in a rush, flying would be the quickest technique to see the nation. For those who’re searching for velocity and surroundings, however with a barely larger finances, Spain’s excessive velocity trains could also be simply your ticket.

Gran Vis Spain in Madrid

Finest Choices for Transportation in Spain

Spain is considered one of Europe’s hottest vacationer and TEFL locations, and it’s simple to see why. From the solar dappled seashores of Andalucía, to the quaintly cobbled streets of busy Madrid, to the reasonably priced tapas and drinks in Granada there’s lots to maintain vacationers occupied.

Vacationers questioning how you can get round Spain have loads of choices. Now that we’ve listed a couple of, lets evaluate the main modes of transportation in Spain.


Touring by prepare is among the hottest sorts of transportation in Spain, and for good cause. Spain trains and routes are usually environment friendly, simply out there, and reasonably priced.

Trains journey extensively inside Spain nonetheless in addition they hook up with different nations.

The high-speed prepare or AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) runs between Spain’s main cities. Operated by Renfe (Purple Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles), the AVE system is the longest HSR system in Europe, and second solely to China worldwide. Trains in Spain attain speeds of 300 plus kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour).

Transportation in Spain RENFE Avant and Alvia in Desfiladero de los Gaitane Spain

Trains supply many sorts of tickets, together with 1st class (Preferente) and 2nd class (Turista) cabins and a few supply cafe-bar services. You possibly can e book most prepare tickets through the Renfe web site, Rail Europe or a third social gathering web site like Rail.Ninja.

Spherical journey prepare fares are usually cheaper in Spain than getting two, separate, one-way tickets.

Worldwide connections from Spain

Spanish trains have good connections to France and Portugal.

There isn’t a direct rail line to the nation of Andorra, which doesn’t have a rail service within the nation. To achieve Andorra, take a prepare from Barcelona to L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre (France), after which change to a bus from France to Andorra la Vella in Andorra.

Equally, there is no such thing as a direct prepare connection to Gibraltar, which has no rail service. Nevertheless, you may take a prepare to the Spanish facet of the border with Gibraltar), after which take a bus additional into Gibraltar correct.

There’s discuss of an undersea tunnel connecting Spain and Morocco, however for now there’s no prepare service from Spain to Morocco.

Walking by the train in Marrakech Morocco

Native rail networks in Spain

Along with the excessive velocity community, there are additionally smaller regional prepare providers in Spain, which function a largely commuter providers. They embody FGC in Catalonia (together with Barcelona), Cercanias RENFE (which operates many suburban rail networks), FEVE (Northern Spain), Euskotren (Bilbao, San Sabastian and some smaller cities).

Like elsewhere in Europe, it takes a bit of pondering to determine if a rail cross is price it for you. There are three sorts of rail passes in Spain.

  • Spain solely. Spain solely passes come because the Renfe Spain Go, or the Eurail Spain Go.
  • Two nation passes. You need to use the Eurail Choose Go to pair Spain with Portugal, France, or Italy.
  • A number of nation passes. The Eurail World Go allows you to journey on 4 adjoining nations by prepare.

It at all times takes a little bit of quantity crunching to determine if a cross is extra reasonably priced than shopping for particular person tickets, or extra reasonably priced than doing a combo like flying, renting a automobile, and taking the bus nonetheless if you happen to love seeing the countryside by floor and like trains over buses or vehicles, then getting a prepare cross in Spain positively is sensible.

Looking down the moat at the Plaza de Espana
Wanting down the moat on the Plaza de Espana

Driving in Spain – Automobile

As Canadians, we’re used to driving in all places. Canada’s an infinite nation, and lengthy distance public transportation is unquestionably missing right here.

Fortunately, the general public transportation system in Spain, like most European nations, is great. Throughout our time in Spain, we did lease a automobile for our highway journey by way of Spain and Portugal, however more often than not we relied on public transportation to get round,

In Spain, you drive on the precise hand facet of the highway, and the driving force’s seat is on the left facet of the car. Coming from Canada, this was acquainted to us, making driving simpler, however if you happen to come from the UK or Australia, the place you drive on the left facet the highway, it might be extra of a problem to get adjusted.

The driving age in Spain is eighteen, and also you’ll want each a legitimate driver’s license and an Worldwide Driver’s Allow (IDP).

Freeways (autovias in Spanish) are plentiful and nicely maintained all through Spain. We discovered the highways we traveled in Southern Spain to be easily paved, with strains not too long ago painted. We did discover loads of roundabouts on the roads in Spain, together with giant, busy roundabouts in Madrid.

As North Individuals, we’re used to extensive roads with loads of parking. It was positively a problem to regulate to driving in Spain by way of the slim, winding roads of historic metropolis facilities like Avila, Spain, the place roads have been initially designed for pedestrian or horse site visitors.

Flamenco dancing at La Carboneria in Sevilla

Parking in Spain

Parking in giant cities like Seville and Madrid was extremely troublesome, and even smaller facilities like Avila’s metropolis middle didn’t have a variety of available parking. On avenue parking is commonly in small, tight areas, which can be a problem in case your parallel parking expertise aren’t on level nonetheless there are parking tons and even parking garages round a number of the main vacationer areas across the nation.

Spain’s toll system

We discovered Spain’s highway toll system to be a lot easier and complicated than toll roads in Portugal.

You possibly can pay Spanish tolls with a bank card or money manually, or electronically, through the Through-T system.

For guide tolls, you seize a ticket from a sales space once you enter the motorway, after which pay the toll at one other sales space as you exit, in both the bank card or money lane.

Some motorways permit digital funds, however you’ll want a particular VIA-T machine. Search for the Telepeaje, VIA-T or T signal on the motorway. You will need to use one of many lanes with the VIA-T signal if you happen to’re utilizing a tool and the machine routinely registers the quantity of the toll. These gadgets can be found, for a small payment, from many banks in Spain nonetheless you’ll want an account on the financial institution to get one.

Toll prices fluctuate relying on the highway and the costs fluctuate from area to area. You’ll find Spain’s toll prices on quite a few websites nonetheless this one from Sixt (simply click on on Spain) is fast and easy.

Cala S’Amarador Mondrago Pure Park in Majorca Spain

Professionals of Renting a Automobile in Spain

Renting a automobile in Spain allow us to go to small cities and villages in Spain and Portugal that may have been very troublesome to see and not using a car. It was additionally essentially the most value efficient possibility for our household of 4 and allowed us to spend as a lot or as little time at every vacation spot with out worrying about tight timelines.

Cons of Renting a Automobile in Spain

One of many main hassles of renting a automobile in Spain was the renting a automobile problem issue. We had to determine insurance coverage for the automobile, tolls on the motorways, and take care of generally complicated instructions. The worst was most likely having to search out parking, particularly in metropolis facilities, the place parking was laborious to search out and infrequently costly.


Whereas Spain has a superb prepare system, buses choose up the place trains aren’t out there. Buses additionally run on many routes which might be additionally served by trains, and we frequently discovered the bus fares to be extra reasonably priced than prepare fares. Nevertheless, bus routes typically took for much longer than prepare routes.

We discovered bus transportation in Spain usually very reasonably priced. Most smaller facilities, like Nerja, Spain, are nicely served by public lengthy distance bus routes.

In recent times, ALSA has purchased out many smaller bus corporations, giving it a extra constant feeling and extra choices when reserving on-line.

Buses might be booked through Movelia, Alsa, or Avanza web sites.

Kids on the bus in Spain
Our kiddos on the bus in Spain

Benefits of Taking the Bus in Spain

Top-of-the-line issues about taking the bus in Spain is that buses serve virtually each small city in Spain. Positive, there are some distant elements with out bus service, however most cities have good bus connections. Plus, buses are usually clear and comfy, and run on an affordable schedule.

Cons of Touring by Bus in Spain

Whereas buses are reasonably priced in Spain, one of many principal disadvantages of taking the bus is that it’s a lot slower than excessive velocity trains, flying, and even driving by automobile. That is particularly annoying on non-direct bus routes which have a number of stops. If time if of the essence, then positively go for the costlier direct buses with minimal stops.


Ferries aren’t the very first thing most individuals consider in the case of transportation in Spain.

That stated, round 20 ferry corporations function in Spain. They function to and from:

  • the Canary Islands
  • the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca (most depart from Barcelona, however some route through Dénia and Valencia.)
  • Spain to Morocco
  • the UK, Italy and different nations, together with North Africa and Morocco.
  • between islands in Spain (for instance, from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote)
Torreveija La Mata Beach
Torreveija La Mata Seashore

We took the ferry from the acute south of Spain within the city of Tarifa to the Moroccan metropolis of Tangier, throughout the Gibraltar Strait. There are two corporations that run the route, FRS and Inter Transport.

The crossing is comparatively quick, at solely about an hour and the ferries typically have meals and leisure onboard.

Tip: If the water’s uneven, the crossing from Tarifa to Tangier by ferry might be fairly nausea inducing.

You can even take a ferry straight from Barcelona to both Tanger Med (on GNV ferries) or Nador (on Grimaldi Traces) . Ferry sailings from Barcelona to Tanger Med are operated by the ferry corporations GNV and Grimaldi Traces. Each crossings take about 30 hours.

Touring by Aircraft in Spain

Spain is nicely served by low cost and common fare airways, and flying is commonly the quickest (and even least expensive) means of getting across the nation. Spain is a big nation (the second largest in Western Europe), so it might take some time to get from the north right down to south and even from east to west.

Walking into the Seville airport
Ola, Seville. Strolling into the Seville airport

It’s a whopping 529.5 kilometers (321 miles) from the main facilities of Madrid to Seville, for instance. The journey takes about two and a half hours by prepare, 5 and a half hours by automobile, and just one hour by aircraft.

If time permits, many vacationers favor to decelerate and see the Spanish countryside by prepare, bus, or automobile.

Spain’s principal airways are Iberia, Iberia Specific, Vueling, Air Europa, Wamos Air, and LEVEL. Loads of different airways working in Spain, together with Ryanair, EasyJet and Lufthansa.

Heads up! Legal guidelines banning quick haul flights in Spain are into account in 2022, to assist shrink the area’s carbon output. It’s a critical risk, as France set a legislation in impact that banned short-haul home flights on routes the place prepare journeys of two and a half hours or much less existed instead.


Whereas most individuals consider main treks just like the well-known El Camino de Santiago, it’s doable to get round most cities and cities simply by strolling.

Charles Kosman and the kids walking down a lane in Avila, Spain
Strolling in Avila, Spain

So, whereas strolling will not be possible for lengthy distances between cities in Spain, it’s a incredible technique to see lots of the websites on the town.

Strolling is considered one of our favourite methods to see a brand new nation, and wandering by way of the slim streets of the town middle confirmed us the better of Seville and the centro of Madrid. Strolling the winding metropolis facilities can also be one of many issues we beloved about Spain.

Taxis, Ubers and Different Trip Hailing Choices

To get round regionally, taxi providers and Uber* (or native journey hailing providers) are usually good choices in Spain. Whereas in metropolis charges aren’t unhealthy, lengthy distance charges can get fairly excessive so different strategies of transportation is suggested.

*Uber is regulated in Spain and it doesn’t function in each metropolis, together with Valencia. It simply returned to Barcelona in 2021 after a two 12 months absence.

The Finest Methods to Get Round Spain

Whether or not you select trains and airplanes to buses or automobile leases, there’s no denying Spain is a big, lovely nation with lots to see and plenty to do. Regardless of which mode of transportation you select, Spain has a number of choices for you and you’ll’t actually go unsuitable with any of them.

When planning a tour of the nation, take note of not solely your finances but additionally your timelines. Saving a couple of {dollars} can value you hours that could be higher spent visiting an attractive vacation spot in Spain or chomping down on some scrumptious tapas.

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