The Fairytale Traveler

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3 Tips for Traveling Between Madrid and Barcelona

Spain is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With so many amazing cities and small towns to visit, the Iberian country has earned the love of travelers from all across the globe.


Madrid and Barcelona are examples of cities that you must visit when you go to Spain. They’re jam-packed and full of history, culture, and beautiful sights you absolutely must see.


In fact, according to the National Institute of Statistics, Spain received 8.8 million international tourists during August 2022, which means arrivals have increased by almost 70% compared with the past year.


Even though 2021 the pandemic was still affecting international travel, Spain received more than 30.000.000 visitors during that year.


These numbers are consistent with the impact of the tourism sector on the national gross domestic product, which is a pre-pandemic context, reached 12.2% and is expected to increase during 2022.


Therefore, Spain must be on your travel bucket list moving forward into the future. Have you already decided on Spain as your dream travel destination this year?


Fantastic, you’re going to have the trip of your life. To make the process easier, we’ve prepared some easy tips on how to get to Spain, as well as from Madrid to Barcelona.


3 Tips to Get from Madrid to Barcelona

Madrid and Barcelona

Although Spain has many unique small towns, which attract thousands of tourists each year, the truth is that the two most important metropolises of the country are the favorite destination of all time.


Both Madrid and Barcelona are among the most visited places in Spain.


It is common for visitors to arrive in Madrid first and spend some time there visiting its main attractions and then move to Barcelona to discover the Catalan culture and, in some cases, take a Spanish course in Barcelona to make the most of the trip.


Many tourists want to get an authentic experience of the Spanish and Catalan culture and sign up at a Spanish school for ex-pats to improve their skills while sharing their trip experience with travelers from around the world.


If you want to learn about Spanish courses in Barcelona or Madrid, click here to learn about one of the most popular schools in town.


How to Travel From Madrid to Barcelona

It is standard for visitors to start visiting Spain by arriving in Madrid and then moving to Barcelona.


Even though Spain is not a particularly big country, the truth is that its two more important metropolises are separated by almost 650 kilometers (320 miles), which is a pretty considerable distance.


Thus, many visitors wonder which is the best way to make that distance while enjoying the trip and not spending too much time.


Fortunately, transportation in Spain is quite efficient, so visitors can quickly go from one city to another comfortably and rapidly.


The best option for traveling from Madrid to Barcelona is definitely by Renfe high-speed train. The trip takes two and a half hours and leaves you in the city center, with access to the primary transportation services.


Renfe High-speed train tickets are not too expensive if you consider the service provided. Depending on the season, you can get them for approximately $15 euros.


Remember that everything is more expensive during summer, so book your tickets in advance.


Nevertheless, the high-speed train is not the cheapest option; as we will see later, many more affordable options are available. Therefore, you should consider your priorities when deciding how to travel.


Traveling by plane is also an option. Many flights leave from Barajas to the Prat de Llobregat airport.


The flight lasts only one hour and 15 minutes, but arriving and leaving airports and then traveling to your accommodation can take longer than traveling by train.


Plane tickets cost approximately 45 euros, depending on the service and the season.


The cheapest way to get to Barcelona from Madrid is definitely by bus. You can buy a direct service for 11 euros, but it takes almost 8 hours.


Remember that tickets are more expensive during the summer, so book in advance. Many people opt for this way of traveling and try to purchase a night ticket so they can sleep during the trip.


However, the truth is that most buses have seats that are unfit for sleeping.


If you have a valid driver’s license, you can also opt to rent a car and drive to Barcelona. This is an excellent option if traveling with more people since it will probably be cheaper than buying four tickets.


The trip will take approximately 6 hours, but you can take your time to explore whatever you like along the way.


Finally, yet importantly, if you are traveling alone, you can use carpool applications to find the cheapest way to get from Madrid to Barcelona.


Applications such as Blablacar, Hoopcarpool, Amovens, and Waze Carpool are available for Madrid and Barcelona trips so that you can check there for the cheapest option.


This is an excellent option if you are not carrying a lot of luggage and do not have to arrive at a specific time in Barcelona.


This will not only help you save time but also money. It will take the weight off some of the biggest stressors of a vacation: travel to the country and travel within it.


The Best Tickets Available to Travel to Barcelona

Buying a ticket on a budget can be a nightmare considering that prices constantly change. Thus, it is essential to know when buying is more convenient to avoid paying for an overpriced ticket.


Buying in advance is always the best option. If you have time ahead of your trip and can plan your moves within the destination, book your ticket at least two months in advance and get a good deal.


If you have flexible dates, pay attention to midweek options when booking tickets for your trip because weekends are always more expensive.


Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are usually more affordable days to travel. Also, avoid holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, summer vacations, or other major holidays in which you will pay for the most expensive ticket ever.


Flying can be a hassle, and so can booking tickets. It can be overwhelming trying to organize everything in a practical, can-do way. That’s why it is important to follow some of these tips to help you on your journey.



To conclude, Spain is a beautiful country with many cities that are worse visited. Madrid and Barcelona are among the favorite destinations within Madrid.


You can arrive first in Madrid and, after spending some time there, get to Barcelona by train, plane, bus, car or carpool services if you buy your tickets in advance.


If you’d like some tips on how to fly more comfortably, check out our guide on flying in style! You want to make sure you’re traveling as comfortably as possible.


We have no doubts in our minds that you will absolutely love Spain. The culture is bright and vibrant, the food is flavorful and tasteful, and the people are just wonderful.


What better way to experience Spain than to go to its crown jewels, Madrid and Barcelona? Those are definitely 2 cities you must visit.


All of Spain is beautiful, but these are the main hotspots that you will definitely enjoy. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to a smoother vacation soon!

Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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