We Compare the Best Ways to Get Around

We Compare the Best Ways to Get Around

Transportation in Spain presents a good deal of terrific solutions for travelers, from quick higher speed trains to price reduction airlines to shockingly inexpensive bus routes and convenient automobile rentals.

What’s the best transportation in Spain for your excursion? That genuinely depends on your desires.

If you have a good deal of time, then using the bus might be the most very affordable selection. If you are in a rush, traveling may possibly be the quickest way to see the place. If you are on the lookout for velocity and surroundings, but with a a bit even larger spending budget, Spain’s higher speed trains may perhaps be just your ticket.

We Compare the Best Ways to Get Around
Gran Vis Spain in Madrid

Most effective Alternatives for Transportation in Spain

Spain is a single of Europe’s most well known tourist destinations, and it’s uncomplicated to see why. From the sun dappled seashores of Andalucía, to the quaintly cobbled streets of fast paced Madrid, to the affordable tapas and beverages in Granada there’s lots to continue to keep vacationers occupied.

Vacationers asking yourself how to get about Spain have lots of solutions. Now that we have stated a handful of, allows review the main modes of transportation in Spain.


Touring by prepare is one particular of the most well known types of transportation in Spain, and for good rationale. Spain trains and routes are typically successful, effortlessly accessible, and economical.

Trains journey extensively inside of Spain on the other hand they also link to other nations.

The superior-velocity coach or AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) operates involving Spain’s important cities. Operated by Renfe (Pink Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles), the AVE program is the longest HSR method in Europe, and next only to China worldwide. Trains in Spain attain speeds of 300 additionally kilometers for every hour (186 miles for each hour).

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

Trains provide numerous kinds of tickets, together with 1st class (Preferente) and 2nd class (Turista) cabins and some give cafe-bar facilities. You can book most teach tickets by means of the Renfe web page, Rail Europe or a 3rd social gathering web page like Rail.Ninja.

Spherical trip coach fares are usually cheaper in Spain than acquiring two, individual, 1-way tickets.

Worldwide connections from Spain

Spanish trains have superior connections to France and Portugal.

There is no direct rail line to the nation of Andorra, which does not have a rail service in the place. To arrive at Andorra, get a train from Barcelona to L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre (France), and then swap to a bus from France to Andorra la Vella in Andorra.

Similarly, there is no direct coach relationship to Gibraltar, which has no rail service. Nevertheless, you can get a practice to the Spanish facet of the border with Gibraltar), and then consider a bus further more into Gibraltar suitable.

There’s talk of an undersea tunnel connecting Spain and Morocco, but for now there’s no prepare support from Spain to Morocco.

Walking by the train in Marrakech Morocco

Area rail networks in Spain

In addition to the large pace network, there are also smaller sized regional teach solutions in Spain, which work a mainly commuter products and services. They consist of FGC in Catalonia (which include Barcelona), Cercanias RENFE (which operates quite a few suburban rail networks), FEVE (Northern Spain), Euskotren (Bilbao, San Sabastian and a number of scaled-down towns).

Like in other places in Europe, it will take a minor pondering to figure out if a rail move is really worth it for you. There are a few forms of rail passes in Spain.

  • Spain only. Spain only passes occur as the Renfe Spain Go, or the Eurail Spain Pass.
  • Two state passes. You can use the Eurail Select Pass to pair Spain with Portugal, France, or Italy.
  • Several place passes. The Eurail International Move lets you travel on 4 adjacent nations by educate.

It constantly can take a bit of range crunching to determine out if a pass is much more inexpensive than buying particular person tickets, or extra inexpensive than performing a combo like traveling, renting a auto, and having the bus however if you appreciate observing the countryside by ground and favor trains in excess of buses or autos, then getting a practice pass in Spain absolutely can make sense.

Looking down the moat at the Plaza de Espana
On the lookout down the moat at the Plaza de Espana

Driving in Spain – Vehicle

As Canadians, we’re made use of to driving just about everywhere. Canada’s an enormous state, and extensive length public transportation is definitely lacking right here.

Fortunately, the general public transportation process in Spain, like most European countries, is exceptional. Throughout our time in Spain, we did hire a auto for our road vacation by way of Spain and Portugal, but most of the time we relied on public transportation to get about,

In Spain, you travel on the ideal hand facet of the highway, and the driver’s seat is on the still left aspect of the auto. Coming from Canada, this was common to us, producing driving simpler, but if you occur from the British isles or Australia, the place you travel on the left side the highway, it may be far more of a obstacle to get altered.

The driving age in Spain is 18, and you will will need equally a legitimate driver’s license and an Global Driver’s Permit (IDP).

Freeways (autovias in Spanish) are plentiful and nicely managed during Spain. We discovered the highways we traveled in Southern Spain to be efficiently paved, with traces lately painted. We did locate lots of roundabouts on the roadways in Spain, which include substantial, occupied roundabouts in Madrid.

As North Us citizens, we’re utilized to wide roads with a good deal of parking. It was absolutely a challenge to alter to driving in Spain by means of the narrow, winding streets of historic city facilities like Avila, Spain, where roadways had been originally designed for pedestrian or horse targeted visitors.

Flamenco dancing at La Carboneria in Sevilla

Parking in Spain

Parking in massive metropolitan areas like Seville and Madrid was exceptionally difficult, and even lesser centers like Avila’s metropolis heart did not have a large amount of commonly accessible parking. On avenue parking is frequently in little, restricted spaces, which may possibly be a obstacle if your parallel parking competencies aren’t on issue even so there are parking a lot and even parking garages all around some of the main vacationer places all-around the region.

Spain’s toll method

We located Spain’s highway toll program to be a great deal fewer intricate and baffling than toll roads in Portugal.

You can pay back Spanish tolls with a credit card or hard cash manually, or electronically, via the By using-T technique.

For guide tolls, you get a ticket from a booth when you enter the motorway, and then spend the toll at one more booth as you exit, in both the credit card or hard cash lane.

Some motorways allow digital payments, but you’ll have to have a distinctive By means of-T product. Glance for the Telepeaje, By using-T or T indicator on the motorway. You will have to use 1 of the lanes with the By using-T indication if you’re making use of a product and the product quickly registers the quantity of the toll. These units are offered, for a little payment, from lots of banking companies in Spain even so you’ll need an account at the financial institution to get 1.

Toll charges fluctuate dependent on the street and the charges differ from area to area. You can locate Spain’s toll expenses on many internet sites nevertheless this just one from Sixt (just click on on Spain) is rapid and simple.

Cala S’Amarador Mondrago Natural Park in Majorca Spain

Pros of Leasing a Car in Spain

Renting a automobile in Spain enable us pay a visit to modest cities and villages in Spain and Portugal that would have been extremely difficult to see without the need of a vehicle. It was also the most price tag helpful solution for our household of four and allowed us to shell out as substantially or as minimal time at every single location with no stressing about tight timelines.

Downsides of Renting a Auto in Spain

A single of the main hassles of renting a vehicle in Spain was the renting a car or truck hassle factor. We had to figure out insurance plan for the vehicle, tolls on the motorways, and deal with in some cases complicated directions. The worst was most likely having to come across parking, particularly in city centers, in which parking was tough to discover and usually pricey.


Whilst Spain has a great practice procedure, buses choose up exactly where trains are not out there. Buses also run on lots of routes that are also served by trains, and we usually uncovered the bus fares to be extra economical than train fares. On the other hand, bus routes generally took a lot for a longer time than educate routes.

We located bus transportation in Spain normally incredibly affordable. Most lesser centers, like Nerja, Spain, are properly served by public long distance bus routes.

In modern years, ALSA has bought out numerous more compact bus providers, offering it a far more regular sensation and a lot more choices when booking on the internet.

Buses can be booked by way of Movelia, Alsa, or Avanza sites.

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

Pros of Using the Bus in Spain

One particular of the ideal issues about using the bus in Spain is that buses serve virtually each compact city in Spain. Absolutely sure, there are some distant sections without the need of bus support, but most towns have superior bus connections. Furthermore, buses are frequently clear and relaxed, and run on a affordable routine.

Disadvantages of Traveling by Bus in Spain

Whilst buses are affordable in Spain, one of the principal down sides of having the bus is that it is significantly slower than large velocity trains, flying, or even driving by automobile. This is specifically troublesome on non-immediate bus routes that have multiple stops. If time if of the essence, then definitely decide for the additional pricey direct buses with small stops.


Ferries aren’t the initially thing most individuals assume of when it arrives to transportation in Spain.

That stated, all around 20 ferry companies function in Spain. They work to and from:

  • the Canary Islands
  • the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca (most depart from Barcelona, but some route via Dénia and Valencia.)
  • Spain to Morocco
  • the Uk, Italy and other nations around the world, together with North Africa and Morocco.
  • among islands in Spain (for illustration, from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote)
Torreveija La Mata Beach
Torreveija La Mata Seaside

We took the ferry from the extreme south of Spain in the town of Tarifa to the Moroccan city of Tangier, across the Gibraltar Strait. There are two businesses that run the route, FRS and Inter Delivery.

The crossing is somewhat short, at only about an hour and the ferries normally have food stuff and enjoyment onboard.

Tip: If the water’s choppy, the crossing from Tarifa to Tangier by ferry can be quite nausea inducing.

You can also just take a ferry specifically from Barcelona to both Tanger Med (on GNV ferries) or Nador (on Grimaldi Strains) . Ferry sailings from Barcelona to Tanger Med are operated by the ferry providers GNV and Grimaldi Lines. Both of those crossings just take about 30 hours.

Touring by Plane in Spain

Spain is perfectly served by price cut and normal fare airways, and traveling is often the quickest (and even lowest priced) way of having all around the region. Spain is a big nation (the next greatest in Western Europe), so it can acquire a whilst to get from the north down to south or even from east to west.

Walking into the Seville airport
Ola, Seville. Going for walks into the Seville airport

It is a whopping 529.5 kilometers (321 miles) from the big centers of Madrid to Seville, for instance. The journey usually takes about two and a 50 % several hours by practice, five and a fifty percent several hours by vehicle, and only one hour by aircraft.

If time permits, numerous holidaymakers like to gradual down and see the Spanish countryside by educate, bus, or vehicle.

Spain’s key airways are Iberia, Iberia Categorical, Vueling, Air Europa, Wamos Air, and Level. A lot of other airways operating in Spain, which includes Ryanair, EasyJet and Lufthansa.

Heads up! Legal guidelines banning short haul flights in Spain are beneath consideration in 2022, to support shrink the region’s carbon output. It’s a major likelihood, as France established a law in effect that banned short-haul domestic flights on routes the place educate journeys of two and a fifty percent several hours or much less existed as an alternate.

Going for walks

Although most individuals think of major treks like the renowned El Camino de Santiago, it is probable to get all-around most towns and towns just by walking.

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

So, even though strolling might not be feasible for very long distances involving metropolitan areas in Spain, it’s a fantastic way to see a lot of of the web sites in city.

Strolling is 1 of our favorite methods to see a new region, and wandering by means of the narrow streets of the city heart confirmed us the very best of Seville and the centro of Madrid. Strolling the winding city facilities is also a single of the factors we cherished about Spain.


Taxis, Ubers and Other Trip Hailing Solutions

To get about domestically, taxi services and Uber* (or neighborhood ride hailing expert services) are normally superior possibilities in Spain. Though in town fees are not terrible, extensive distance prices can get quite significant so other techniques of transportation is recommended.

*Uber is regulated in Spain and it does not operate in each individual metropolis, together with Valencia. It just returned to Barcelona in 2021 just after a two 12 months absence.

The Ideal Means to Get About Spain

Regardless of whether you choose trains and airplanes to buses or vehicle rentals, there’s no denying Spain is a significant, attractive state with a good deal to see and loads to do. No make any difference which mode of transportation you select, Spain has plenty of possibilities for you and you cannot really go erroneous with any of them.

When planning a tour of the nation, pay out notice to not only your spending budget but also your timelines. Conserving a few dollars can charge you hrs that may well be far better put in viewing a beautiful spot in Spain or chomping down on some delicious tapas.

Harmless travels!