We Compare the Best Ways to Get Around

Transportation in Spain delivers loads of terrific possibilities for travelers, from quick superior pace trains to price reduction airlines to shockingly reasonably priced bus routes and effortless automobile rentals.

What’s the ideal transportation in Spain for your excursion? That really relies upon on your needs.

If you have plenty of time, then getting the bus may perhaps be the most economical possibility. If you are in a rush, traveling may perhaps be the speediest way to see the place. If you’re looking for speed and surroundings, but with a slightly bigger spending budget, Spain’s substantial velocity trains may perhaps be just your ticket.

The best Transportation in Spain
Gran Vis Spain in Madrid

Ideal Solutions for Transportation in Spain

Spain is 1 of Europe’s most well known vacationer destinations, and it is uncomplicated to see why. From the solar dappled seashores of Andalucía, to the quaintly cobbled streets of fast paced Madrid, to the reasonably priced tapas and drinks in Granada there’s a lot to maintain vacationers occupied.

Travellers pondering how to get all over Spain have lots of alternatives. Now that we have listed a couple of, lets compare the main modes of transportation in Spain.


Traveling by practice is a single of the most popular types of transportation in Spain, and for excellent rationale. Spain trains and routes are normally productive, effortlessly available, and cost-effective.

Trains travel thoroughly within just Spain even so they also join to other nations around the world.

The high-speed train or AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) runs in between Spain’s big cities. Operated by Renfe (Crimson Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles), the AVE system is the longest HSR program in Europe, and next only to China worldwide. Trains in Spain achieve speeds of 300 plus kilometers for each hour (186 miles per hour).

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

Trains offer a lot of varieties of tickets, such as 1st course (Preferente) and 2nd class (Turista) cabins and some give cafe-bar amenities. You can reserve most coach tickets by using the Renfe website, Rail Europe or a 3rd party web-site like Rail.Ninja.

Round trip train fares are frequently less expensive in Spain than getting two, separate, a single-way tickets.

Global 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 support in the region. To reach Andorra, consider a teach from Barcelona to L’Hospitalet-près-l’Andorre (France), and then change to a bus from France to Andorra la Vella in Andorra.

Similarly, there is no direct coach relationship to Gibraltar, which has no rail assistance. However, you can just take a teach to the Spanish aspect of the border with Gibraltar), and then choose a bus further more into Gibraltar good.

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

Walking by the train in Marrakech Morocco

Local rail networks in Spain

In addition to the large velocity network, there are also lesser regional practice companies in Spain, which run a largely commuter expert services. They contain FGC in Catalonia (which includes Barcelona), Cercanias RENFE (which operates a lot of suburban rail networks), FEVE (Northern Spain), Euskotren (Bilbao, San Sabastian and a number of smaller towns).

Like in other places in Europe, it can take a very little considering to determine out if a rail go is worth it for you. There are 3 kinds of rail passes in Spain.

  • Spain only. Spain only passes arrive as the Renfe Spain Pass, or the Eurail Spain Pass.
  • Two region passes. You can use the Eurail Pick Move to pair Spain with Portugal, France, or Italy.
  • A number of state passes. The Eurail International Go lets you journey on 4 adjacent nations by teach.

It often normally takes a little bit of number crunching to determine out if a pass is more inexpensive than obtaining unique tickets, or extra affordable than carrying out a combo like flying, leasing a car, and taking the bus however if you adore looking at the countryside by floor and favor trains above buses or cars and trucks, then acquiring a practice move in Spain definitely would make sense.

Looking down the moat at the Plaza de Espana
Hunting down the moat at the Plaza de Espana

Driving in Spain – Vehicle

As Canadians, we’re utilized to driving in all places. Canada’s an enormous region, and extensive length public transportation is unquestionably missing here.

Fortunately, the community transportation technique in Spain, like most European nations around the world, is exceptional. Throughout our time in Spain, we did rent a motor vehicle for our road vacation via Spain and Portugal, but most of the time we relied on community transportation to get all over,

In Spain, you push on the right hand aspect of the highway, and the driver’s seat is on the remaining side of the vehicle. Coming from Canada, this was common to us, earning driving easier, but if you come from the United kingdom or Australia, the place you push on the left aspect the highway, it might be more of a challenge to get adjusted.

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

Freeways (autovias in Spanish) are plentiful and nicely managed in the course of Spain. We identified the highways we traveled in Southern Spain to be easily paved, with strains just lately painted. We did uncover a good deal of roundabouts on the streets in Spain, like big, chaotic roundabouts in Madrid.

As North Americans, we’re used to huge roads with a lot of parking. It was unquestionably a problem to alter to driving in Spain via the slender, winding streets of historic metropolis centers like Avila, Spain, wherever roadways were initially designed for pedestrian or horse targeted visitors.

Flamenco dancing at La Carboneria in Sevilla

Parking in Spain

Parking in huge metropolitan areas like Seville and Madrid was unbelievably challenging, and even smaller facilities like Avila’s city center didn’t have a great deal of commonly obtainable parking. On street parking is usually in little, restricted areas, which could be a problem if your parallel parking techniques are not on point nonetheless there are parking a lot and even parking garages all-around some of the key vacationer spots close to the nation.

Spain’s toll program

We uncovered Spain’s street toll procedure to be a great deal significantly less intricate and baffling than toll streets in Portugal.

You can pay back Spanish tolls with a credit card or funds manually, or electronically, by way of the By way of-T technique.

For manual tolls, you grab a ticket from a booth when you enter the motorway, and then pay out the toll at an additional booth as you exit, in either the credit rating card or dollars lane.

Some motorways enable digital payments, but you are going to want a exclusive Through-T device. Glance for the Telepeaje, By means of-T or T signal on the motorway. You must use one of the lanes with the By means of-T signal if you’re utilizing a gadget and the machine instantly registers the quantity of the toll. These gadgets are offered, for a modest price, from several financial institutions in Spain on the other hand you’ll want an account at the bank to get one.

Toll prices vary based on the street and the costs range from area to region. You can locate Spain’s toll expenses on quite a few web sites nevertheless this a single from Sixt (just click on on Spain) is fast and uncomplicated.

Cala S’Amarador Mondrago Pure Park in Majorca Spain

Pros of Renting a Car in Spain

Leasing a auto in Spain permit us take a look at tiny cities and villages in Spain and Portugal that would have been really complicated to see devoid of a car or truck. It was also the most value productive selection for our loved ones of four and authorized us to expend as substantially or as minor time at each and every spot without worrying about limited timelines.

Downsides of Leasing a Car in Spain

1 of the key hassles of renting a automobile in Spain was the renting a vehicle inconvenience factor. We had to figure out coverage for the motor vehicle, tolls on the motorways, and offer with from time to time baffling instructions. The worst was in all probability obtaining to come across parking, in particular in city facilities, where by parking was really hard to locate and generally high priced.


Although Spain has a superior educate process, buses decide up exactly where trains aren’t offered. Buses also run on numerous routes that are also served by trains, and we typically found the bus fares to be extra very affordable than educate fares. Nevertheless, bus routes typically took a great deal lengthier than educate routes.

We discovered bus transportation in Spain typically very very affordable. Most smaller centers, like Nerja, Spain, are well served by general public lengthy distance bus routes.

In new many years, ALSA has bought out lots of smaller sized bus organizations, offering it a a lot more steady experience and much more choices when booking on the web.

Buses can be booked by means of Movelia, Alsa, or Avanza web 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 finest things about having the bus in Spain is that buses provide virtually every small town in Spain. Positive, there are some remote parts with no bus services, but most cities have very good bus connections. In addition, buses are commonly clean and comfy, and operate on a realistic plan.

Cons of Traveling by Bus in Spain

Though buses are cost-effective in Spain, one of the most important drawbacks of using the bus is that it is significantly slower than substantial speed trains, flying, or even driving by car. This is primarily troublesome on non-direct bus routes that have numerous stops. If time if of the essence, then surely opt for the additional pricey immediate buses with negligible stops.


Ferries are not the 1st factor most persons believe of when it comes to transportation in Spain.

That mentioned, all over 20 ferry organizations function in Spain. They run to and from:

  • the Canary Islands
  • the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca (most depart from Barcelona, but some route through Dénia and Valencia.)
  • Spain to Morocco
  • the United kingdom, Italy and other countries, including North Africa and Morocco.
  • concerning islands in Spain (for instance, from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote)
Torreveija La Mata Beach
Torreveija La Mata Beach front

We took the ferry from the severe south of Spain in the town of Tarifa to the Moroccan metropolis of Tangier, throughout the Gibraltar Strait. There are two providers that operate the route, FRS and Inter Shipping and delivery.

The crossing is fairly short, at only about an hour and the ferries generally have meals and leisure onboard.

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

You can also acquire a ferry immediately 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 companies GNV and Grimaldi Traces. Both of those crossings consider about 30 hrs.

Traveling by Aircraft in Spain

Spain is properly served by lower price and common fare airlines, and traveling is normally the quickest (and even least expensive) way of getting around the country. Spain is a massive nation (the 2nd major in Western Europe), so it can get a when to get from the north down to south or even from east to west.

Walking into the Seville airport
Ola, Seville. Walking 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 normally takes about two and a 50 % hours by practice, 5 and a 50 percent hours by car, and only one particular hour by airplane.

If time permits, lots of vacationers like to slow down and see the Spanish countryside by coach, bus, or automobile.

Spain’s most important airlines are Iberia, Iberia Express, Vueling, Air Europa, Wamos Air, and Stage. Loads of other airlines running in Spain, like Ryanair, EasyJet and Lufthansa.

Heads up! Laws banning shorter haul flights in Spain are less than thought in 2022, to enable shrink the region’s carbon output. It’s a really serious likelihood, as France set a legislation in outcome that banned brief-haul domestic flights on routes where by train journeys of two and a 50 % hours or a lot less existed as an substitute.


Although most persons believe of main treks like the renowned El Camino de Santiago, it is possible to get all over most metropolitan areas and cities just by strolling.

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

So, while going for walks may not be possible for extended distances concerning towns in Spain, it is a superb way to see lots of of the websites in city.

Strolling is one particular of our preferred means to see a new place, and wandering by means of the narrow streets of the metropolis middle confirmed us the very best of Seville and the centro of Madrid. Strolling the winding city centers is also one particular of the factors we beloved about Spain.


Taxis, Ubers and Other Trip Hailing Selections

To get all over locally, taxi expert services and Uber* (or regional trip hailing providers) are typically excellent selections in Spain. Even though in town prices are not poor, long distance premiums can get fairly large so other methods of transportation is advised.

*Uber is controlled in Spain and it doesn’t function in each individual town, which includes Valencia. It just returned to Barcelona in 2021 following a two year absence.

The Most effective Strategies to Get About Spain

No matter if you choose trains and airplanes to buses or auto rentals, there’s no denying Spain is a significant, stunning region with lots to see and heaps to do. No issue which mode of transportation you choose, Spain has a lot of solutions for you and you can’t seriously go erroneous with any of them.

When arranging a tour of the region, pay back consideration to not only your budget but also your timelines. Conserving a handful of dollars can cost you several hours that may possibly be far better invested checking out a beautiful vacation spot in Spain or chomping down on some tasty tapas.

Safe travels!