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

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

You probably have loads of time, then taking the bus could be the most inexpensive choice. For those who’re in a rush, flying could be the quickest method to see the nation. For those who’re on the lookout for pace and surroundings, however with a barely larger price range, Spain’s excessive pace trains could also be simply your ticket.

Gran Vis Spain in Madrid

Greatest Choices for Transportation in Spain

Spain is certainly one of Europe’s hottest vacationer 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 inexpensive tapas and drinks in Granada there’s loads to maintain vacationers occupied.

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


Touring by prepare is likely one of the hottest varieties of transportation in Spain, and for good purpose. Spain trains and routes are typically environment friendly, simply accessible, and inexpensive.

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 provide many varieties of tickets, together with 1st class (Preferente) and 2nd class (Turista) cabins and a few provide cafe-bar amenities. You’ll be able to guide most prepare tickets through the Renfe web site, Rail Europe or a third get together website like Rail.Ninja.

Spherical journey prepare fares are typically 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 succeed in 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 isn’t any direct prepare connection to Gibraltar, which has no rail service. Nonetheless, 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 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 pace community, there are additionally smaller regional prepare providers in Spain, which function a largely commuter providers. 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 a bit of pondering to determine if a rail cross is value it for you. There are three varieties 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 should utilize the Eurail Choose Go to pair Spain with Portugal, France, or Italy.
  • A number of nation passes. The Eurail International Go 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 cross is extra inexpensive than shopping for particular person tickets, or extra inexpensive than doing a combo like flying, renting a automobile, and taking the bus nevertheless in case you love seeing the countryside by floor and like trains over buses or automobiles, then getting a prepare cross in Spain undoubtedly 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 in all places. Canada’s an unlimited nation, and lengthy distance public transportation is unquestionably 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 lease a automobile 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 appropriate hand facet of the street, and the motive force’s seat is on the left facet of the automobile. Coming from Canada, this was acquainted to us, making driving simpler, however in case you come from the UK or Australia, the place you drive on the left facet 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 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 massive, busy roundabouts in Madrid.

As North People, we’re used to huge roads with loads of parking. It was undoubtedly a problem to regulate to driving in Spain by the slim, winding roads of historic metropolis facilities like Avila, Spain, the place roads had 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 loads of available parking. On road parking is commonly in small, tight areas, which can be a problem in case your parallel parking expertise aren’t on level nevertheless there are parking heaps and even parking garages round among the main vacationer areas across the nation.

Spain’s toll system

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

You’ll be able to 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 enable digital funds, however you’ll want a particular VIA-T gadget. 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 in case you’re utilizing a tool and the gadget routinely registers the quantity of the toll. These gadgets can be found, for a small payment, from many banks in Spain nevertheless you’ll want an account on the financial institution to get one.

Toll prices differ relying on the street and the costs differ from area to area. You could find 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

Professionals of Renting a Automotive in Spain

Renting a automobile in Spain allow us to go to small cities and villages in Spain and Portugal that will have been very tough to see with no automobile. It was additionally essentially the most value 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 automobile in Spain was the renting a automobile trouble issue. We had to determine insurance coverage for the automobile, tolls on the motorways, and cope with typically complicated instructions. The worst was in all probability having to search out parking, particularly in metropolis facilities, the place parking was arduous to search out and infrequently costly.


Whereas Spain has an excellent prepare system, buses decide up the place trains aren’t accessible. Buses additionally run on many routes which might be additionally served by trains, and we regularly discovered the bus fares to be extra inexpensive than prepare fares. Nonetheless, bus routes typically took for much longer than prepare routes.

We discovered bus transportation in Spain typically very inexpensive. 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 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

Probably the greatest issues about taking the bus in Spain is that buses serve virtually each small city in Spain. Certain, there are some distant components with out bus service, however most cities have good bus connections. Plus, buses are typically clear and cozy, and run on an affordable schedule.

Cons of Touring by Bus in Spain

Whereas buses are inexpensive in Spain, one of many major disadvantages of taking the bus is that it’s a lot slower than excessive pace 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 undoubtedly go for the dearer direct buses with minimal stops.


Ferries aren’t the very first thing most individuals consider in relation to 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 Seashore

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 brief, 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 may as well take a ferry instantly 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 Aircraft in Spain

Spain is nicely served by low cost and common fare airways, and flying is commonly the quickest (and even least expensive) method of getting across the nation. Spain is a big nation (the second largest in Western Europe), so it might probably take some time to get from the north all the way 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 foremost 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 want to decelerate and see the Spanish countryside by prepare, bus, or automobile.

Spain’s major airways are Iberia, Iberia Categorical, 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 brief haul flights in Spain are into account in 2022, to assist shrink the area’s carbon output. It’s a severe chance, 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 as a substitute.


Whereas most individuals consider main treks just like the well-known El Camino de Santiago, it’s attainable 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 implausible method to see most of the websites on the town.

Strolling is certainly one of our favourite methods to see a brand new nation, and wandering by the slim streets of the 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 Experience Hailing Choices

To get round regionally, taxi providers and Uber* (or native journey hailing providers) are typically 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 Greatest 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 loads to see and plenty to do. Irrespective of which mode of transportation you select, Spain has a number of choices for you and you may’t actually go mistaken 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 value you hours that may be higher spent visiting a good looking vacation spot in Spain or chomping down on some scrumptious tapas.

Protected travels!