My AVE Speed Train journey from Madrid to Barcelona | Spain | One I had to decide whether to fly or take the speed train from Madrid to Barcelona, the answer came to me right away. What did I take into consideration ? well time, comfort, price and hassle. As you might know by now, if you follow me, I am a huge fan of trains. I try to take them anywhere and everywhere around the world, either if it is for a few hours or even overnight or for an entire week. Here you can read more on my global train experiences.
Literarily door-to-door from my hotel in Madrid, the Hotel Ritz by Belmond to my hotel in Barcelona, the Majestic Hotel & Spa, it took me 3 hours and 30 minutes. The one way ticket on Economy Class cost me EUR 121. Mind that this booking was made last minute on the day of travel. Otherwise, planned in advance, prices go as low as EUR 40.
My second decision was which class to book. The AVE offers three different classes, and several fare types for each class. Note that none of the classes offer WiFi as for today (which it is rather strange to me). All classes feature a movie, public toilets, cafeteria. Seats regardless the class feature power outlets. The pitch between seats, is practically the same. So the BIG difference riding the higher class is: Access to the lounge at the train stations + less amount of people, offering a more intimate car + single leather seats + Newspapers + meal (which BTW did not look to tempting).
So this was my train on thought. There are trains every 30 minutes – when I went to book seats online my car looked empty – there was a cafeteria and you are allowed to bring food onboard – they had the option to book a silent car – I was not planning to work… So without a doubt I went for the Economy Class seat, and indeed had a lovely experience, being only 4 of us on the entire car.
Departure/Arrival in Madrid is at the lovely Atocha Train Station, which happened to be only 10 minutes walk from my hotel the Hotel Ritz by Belmond. Being a gorgeous day, I decided to walk. My train was departing at 6PM, and I left the lobby of my hotel at 5.30PM. Since I bought my ticket online, I just had to show up with my email and check in was seamless and quick. The station has a huge array of options for food, beverages, magazines etc. I only had to go through one security check. Departure was on time.
I arrived to to Barcelona-Sants, five minutes delayed, at 8.35PM. From there I took a taxi to my hotel the Majestic Hotel & Spa, located right in Paseo de Gracia. This took me 15 minutes and EUR 10. By 9PM I was checked into my suite, and heading out for dinner. It is obvious, and I don’t need to tell you, how much time, money and hazard I would have have to endured, if I would have decided to fly economy on this route. You make your own choosing. !!! Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
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