Transportation in Spain: We Examine the Greatest Methods to Get Round

1k share, 74 points
Transportation in Spain: We Examine the Greatest 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 automotive leases.

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

If in case you have loads of time, then taking the bus could be the most reasonably priced choice. In case you’re in a rush, flying could be the quickest method to see the nation. In case you’re on the lookout for velocity and surroundings, however with a barely greater price range, Spain’s excessive velocity trains could also be simply your ticket.

Transportation in Spain: We Examine the Greatest Methods to Get Round
Gran Vis Spain in Madrid

Greatest Choices for Transportation in Spain

Spain is one in every of Europe’s hottest vacationer locations, and it’s straightforward 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 a lot to maintain vacationers occupied.

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


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

Trains journey extensively inside Spain nevertheless additionally they hook up with different international locations.

The high-speed prepare or AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) runs between Spain’s main cities. Operated by Renfe (Crimson 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 forms of tickets, together with 1st class (Preferente) and 2nd class (Turista) cabins and a few supply cafe-bar services. You possibly can ebook most prepare tickets through the Renfe web site, Rail Europe or a third get together 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 any 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 swap 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 aspect of the border with Gibraltar), after which take a bus additional into Gibraltar correct.

There’s speak 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 companies in Spain, which function a largely commuter companies. They embrace 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 slightly pondering to determine if a rail move is price it for you. There are three forms of rail passes in Spain.

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

It all the time takes a little bit of quantity crunching to determine if a move is extra reasonably priced than shopping for particular person tickets, or extra reasonably priced than doing a combo like flying, renting a automotive, and taking the bus nevertheless if you happen to love seeing the countryside by floor and like trains over buses or vehicles, then getting a prepare move 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 – Automotive

As Canadians, we’re used to driving all over the place. Canada’s an infinite nation, and lengthy distance public transportation is certainly missing right here.

Fortunately, the general public transportation system in Spain, like most European international locations, is superb. Throughout our time in Spain, we did hire a automotive for our road trip through Spain and Portugal, however more often than not we relied on public transportation to get round,

In Spain, you drive on the best hand aspect of the street, and the motive force’s seat is on the left aspect of the automobile. 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 aspect the street, it might be extra of a problem to get adjusted.

The driving age in Spain is eighteen, and also you’ll want both a valid driver’s license and an International Driver’s Permit (IDP).

Freeways (autovias in Spanish) are plentiful and properly maintained all through Spain. We discovered the highways we traveled in Southern Spain to be easily paved, with traces just lately painted. We did discover loads of roundabouts on the roads in Spain, together with massive, busy roundabouts in Madrid.

As North Individuals, we’re used to large roads with loads of parking. It was positively a problem to regulate to driving in Spain via the slender, 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 massive cities like Seville and Madrid was extremely tough, and even smaller facilities like Avila’s metropolis middle didn’t have a variety of available parking. On road parking is commonly in small, tight areas, which can be a problem in case your parallel parking abilities aren’t on level nevertheless there are parking heaps and even parking garages round a few of the main vacationer areas across the nation.

Spain’s toll system

We discovered Spain’s street 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 handbook 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 enable digital funds, however you’ll want a particular VIA-T machine. Search for the Telepeaje, VIA-T or T signal on the motorway. You have to use one of many lanes with the VIA-T signal if you happen to’re utilizing a tool and the machine mechanically registers the quantity of the toll. These gadgets can be found, for a small charge, from many banks in Spain nevertheless you’ll want an account on the financial institution to get one.

Toll prices range relying on the street and the costs range from area to area. Yow will discover Spain’s toll prices on quite a few websites nevertheless this one from Sixt (simply click on on Spain) is fast and easy.

Cala S’Amarador Mondrago Pure Park in Majorca Spain

Execs of Renting a Automotive in Spain

Renting a automotive in Spain allow us to go to small cities and villages in Spain and Portugal that will have been very tough to see and not using a automobile. It was additionally essentially the most price efficient choice 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 Automotive in Spain

One of many main hassles of renting a automotive in Spain was the renting a automotive trouble issue. We had to determine insurance coverage for the automotive, tolls on the motorways, and take care of generally complicated instructions. The worst was in all probability having to seek out parking, particularly in metropolis facilities, the place parking was onerous to seek out and sometimes costly.


Whereas Spain has prepare system, buses decide up the place trains aren’t obtainable. Buses additionally run on many routes which can 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 properly served by public lengthy distance bus routes.

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

Buses will 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

The most effective issues about taking the bus in Spain is that buses serve nearly each small city in Spain. Positive, there are some distant components with out bus service, however most cities have good bus connections. Plus, buses are usually clear and cozy, and run on an affordable schedule.

Cons of Touring by Bus in Spain

Whereas buses are reasonably priced in Spain, one of many important disadvantages of taking the bus is that it’s a lot slower than excessive velocity trains, flying, and even driving by automotive. 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 dearer direct buses with minimal stops.


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

That stated, round 20 ferry companies 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 international locations, together with North Africa and Morocco.
  • between islands in Spain (for instance, from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote)
Torreveija La Mata Beach
Torreveija La Mata Seaside

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

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 will 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 firms GNV and Grimaldi Traces. Each crossings take about 30 hours.

Touring by Airplane in Spain

Spain is properly served by low cost and common fare airways, and flying is commonly the quickest (and even most cost-effective) means of getting across the nation. Spain is a big nation (the second largest in Western Europe), so it may 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 automotive, and just one hour by airplane.

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

Spain’s important 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 consideration in 2022, to assist shrink the area’s carbon output. It’s a critical risk, as France set a regulation 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 potential 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 is probably not possible for lengthy distances between cities in Spain, it’s a improbable method to see lots of the websites on the town.

Strolling is one in every of our favourite methods to see a brand new nation, and wandering via the slender streets of town middle confirmed us the best of Seville and the centro of Madrid. Strolling the winding metropolis facilities can also be one of many things we loved about Spain.

Taxis, Ubers and Different Trip Hailing Choices

To get round regionally, taxi companies and Uber* (or native journey hailing companies) 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 yr absence.

The Greatest Methods to Get Round Spain

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

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

Secure travels!

Like it? Share with your friends!

1k share, 74 points


Your email address will not be published.