Getting around Spain: Car Vs. Train/Bus with 2 CASES SCENARIOS

Getting virtually Spain: Car Vs. Train/Bus with 2 CASES SCENARIOS

Navigating the vibrant landscapes and diverse cities while getting virtually Spain can be an venture in itself.

The nomination between renting a car and using public transportation in Spain can significantly shape your travel experience.

Based on your type of trip, you can find all the advantages and drawbacks of both options.

I’ll explore two unshared travel scenarios, each highlighting the advantages and challenges of car rental versus public transportation.

Are you a solo traveller or planning a family holiday? This guide will help you with the insights you need for an unforgettable Spanish trip.

Spain - Winding Road of Palma de Mallorca

Spain – Winding Road of Palma de Mallorca

Getting virtually Spain with Public Transportation: Process, Costs, Benefits, and Drawbacks

The public transport system in Spain is user-friendly and hands accessible.

There is an wide-stretching network of buses and trains to imbricate the major destination in the country.

Moreover, you can take metros, trams and buses to explore the major cities, like Madrid, Barcellona and others.

Getting virtually Spain with public transportation has plenty of benefits, however, they are a few drawbacks that you should know surpassing taking the final visualization on the meaning of transportation to use in your future trip.

There are today 3 companies offering rail transportation. They differ in price and quality of service.

  1. Renfe: Once the sole rail operator in Spain, Renfe continues to provide a wide variety of services. In wing to its main operations, it moreover offers budget-friendly options through its subsidiary, Avlo.
  2. OUIGO: This low-cost, high-speed train service is operated by SNCF, the French train operator. OUIGO provides long-distance services on the Spanish rail network’s cadre routes, making it a popular nomination for budget-conscious travellers.
  3. Iryo: Operated by ILSA, a consortium that includes Spanish airline Air Nostrum, transport infrastructure visitor Globalvia, and Italy’s main train operator Trenitalia, Iryo brings a wealth of wits and expertise to Spain’s rail industry.


The price tag of public transport in Spain is as varied as the country’s landscapes. A bus ticket for a single journey in Madrid financing virtually €1.50.

The ticket price for a train trip can vary widely based on the time of the year, time of the day and other factors.

As an example, expect to pay anything between €40 and €130 for a high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona.

But don’t fret – discounts often come to the rescue for children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Here is a table of the 15 most popular routes with the travelling time and a forfeit estimate. As a rule of thumb, the closer to the trip you typesetting your ticket the increasingly expensive it gets.

Train Type Route Time Estimated Forfeit in July
(if booked in advance, higher on the day)
AVE Madrid to Barcelona 2h 30m From €40 if booked in advance, up to €130 on the day
AVE Madrid to Seville 2h 21m From €30
AVE Madrid to Valencia 1h 40m From €22
AVE Madrid to Malaga 2h 30m From €25
AVE Barcelona to Seville 5h 15m From €35
Euromed Barcelona to Alicante 4h 40m From €32
AVE Barcelona to Malaga 5h 40m From €35
AVE Madrid to Alicante 2h 22m From €22
AVE Madrid to Zaragoza 1h 20m From €20
AVE Barcelona to Zaragoza 1h 30m From €20
AVE Madrid to Cordoba 1h 40m From €20
AVE Barcelona to Valencia 2h 40m From €25
AVE Madrid to Granada 3h 5m From €30
Alvia Madrid to Bilbao 4h 50m From €25
Alvia Madrid to San Sebastian 5h 10m From €25

The 15 most popular train routes in Spain


Public transport in Spain is a ticket to convenience. The wide-stretching network of trains and buses ensures that you can get virtually cities and regions without breaking a sweat.

Plus, by choosing public transport, you’re doing your bit for the planet by reducing traffic congestion and stat emissions.

Summary Vellum on the benefits of public transportation in Spain

  1. Cost-effective, expressly for solo travellers.
  2. Eco-friendly way to travel.
  3. No need to worry well-nigh parking.
  4. Allows time to relax or sightsee.
  5. Often offers reliable schedules.
  6. Can be faster in congested cities.
  7. No need for a driver’s license.


Now let’s get t the painful part. Public transport in Spain can sometimes be a victim of its own success, with crowdedness during peak times stuff a worldwide gripe.

Services may moreover not imbricate all areas, particularly in rural regions. And if you’re a tourist, the language windbreak and ramified ticketing systems can sometimes turn navigating the public transport system into a bit of a puzzle.

Summary Vellum on the drawbacks of public transportation in Spain

  1. Limited service to remote areas.
  2. Can be crowded during peak times.
  3. Fixed schedules may limit flexibility.
  4. Potential for delays or cancellations.
  5. May require transfers between lines.
  6. Limited operating hours for some services.
  7. Language barriers can complicate use.
Spain - Waiting for the next train

Spain – Waiting for the next train

Getting virtually Spain with a Car: Process, Costs, Benefits, and Drawbacks

Renting a car in Spain can be your passport to self-rule and flexibility.

But surpassing you rent your next car to get virtually Spain, let’s see what works well and what is not.

Costs of Renting a Car in Spain

The forfeit of car rental in Spain is a bit like a tapas menu – it varies based on the unelevated factors.

  • size of the car
  • duration of the rental
  • season

The most expensive time of the year to rent a car is usually summer

Moreover, the popular cities tend to tuition increasingly for a car, however, you will find a wider nomination of vehicles too.

Here is a table of the stereotype daily price in EUR for a mid-size car. This table was built from a huge data deject and the very price may vary widely based on how long in whop you typesetting your vehicle.

City May June July August September October Winter (December)
Madrid 37 38 40 41 38 37 37
Barcelona 35 36 38 39 36 35 35
Valencia 33 34 36 37 34 33 33
Malaga 34 35 37 38 35 34 34
Sevilla 39 40 42 43 40 39 39
Zaragoza 32 33 35 36 33 32 32
Bilbao 37 38 40 41 38 37 37

The stereotype fuel price is virtually €1.60/litre. Diesel is usually 10-15% cheaper.

And remember, there may be spare financing such as insurance, GPS, child seats, and uneaten suburbanite fees. Plus, many rental companies require a deposit, which is usually pre-authorised on your credit card.

Attention. Debit cards are often not wonted for the deposit. Make sure to have a credit vellum to pick up your car. You can still use the debit vellum during the booking process.

As aforementioned, I unchangingly highly suggest booking your car well in advance. The sooner the largest nomination and prices.

I usually rent my cars on the DiscoverCars website, a rental aggregator that compares the prices of local and global operators providing the weightier deal around, with the possibility to add full insurance for just 7 Euros/day, such a unconfined peace of mind.

They moreover have a rating system of the rental companies based on consumer reviews (similar to Airbnb but for cars), such a piece of mind when you typesetting a vehicle and you want to stay yonder from possible scams

Check Car Prices in Spain
Spain - Winding roads in Confrides - Marina Baixa

Spain – Winding roads in Confrides – Marina Baixa


Renting a car in Spain can be a ticket to adventure.

Getting virtually Spain with your own vehicle will indulge you to explore the subconscious gems of Spain: the small villages withal the route.

I will forever remember my momentum in Andalusia, in the southern part of the country. Absolutely stunning, such a diverse landscape from the rest of the country.

And I still remember my detour to Gibraltar for an easy day trip, something that would require lots of planning with public transportation.

There is moreover flipside unconfined advantage. It is probably cheaper to rent a car for a group of people, family or friends, than ownership train/bus tickets.

And surely, it is increasingly user-friendly to load and unload your tons to/from the car than delivering them virtually on public transportation.

Summary Vellum on the benefits of renting a car in Spain

  1. Flexibility to visit off-the-beaten-path locations.
  2. Convenience for families or groups.
  3. No waiting for public transportation.
  4. Control over your travel schedule.
  5. Comfort and privacy during travel.
  6. Ability to siphon increasingly luggage.


As usual, when you momentum in a foreign country, you will come wideness new challenges. There are possibly new laws or rules that you should be enlightened of.

You may be used to driving on the left side of the road like I do in Australia. Well, upkeep a bit of adaption. I usually master the right side of the road in a couple of days.

Parking in the big cities can be challenging. This is a problem that you will not have with public transportation.

And the forfeit of fuel, toll roads, and potential fines for traffic violations can add to the overall forfeit of renting a car.

Summary Vellum on the drawbacks of getting virtually Spain by car

  1. Potential upper financing (rental, fuel, tolls).
  2. Stress of navigating unfamiliar roads.
  3. Difficulty finding parking in cities.
  4. Risk of traffic violations and fines.
  5. Driving can be tiring on long trips.
  6. Environmental impact of driving.
  7. Need for a valid driver’s license, possibly an International Driving Permit for Spain.

Spain - An wondrous drone view of Barcelona

Spain – An wondrous drone view of Barcelona

Renting A Car In Spain Vs. Public Transportation – 2 Case Studies

Case Study #1: A Cultural Odyssey Wideness Spain’s Major Cities

Car Rental

Imagine you’re overdue the wheel, cruising from the architectural marvels of Barcelona to the vibrant life of Madrid, then onto the historic recreate of Seville, and finally, the coastal voodoo of Valencia.

Renting a car gives you the liberty to weave your own journey, stopping at lesser-known towns or scenic spots withal the way.

However, municipality driving can be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, with traffic rules, one-way systems, and ever-elusive parking spaces.

Public Transportation

Alternatively, picture yourself hopping on Spain’s efficient public transportation, a tapestry of trains and buses.

Start in Barcelona, then reservation the AVE, Spain’s high-speed train, to Madrid (2.5 hours) for virtually €40-€130.

From Madrid, a high-speed train can whisk you off to Seville in well-nigh 2.5 hours for approximately €30-€90.

Finally, workbench a Euromed train from Seville to Valencia, a journey of well-nigh 4.5 hours costing virtually €40-€80.

It’s a stress-free way to travel. Relax, read a typesetting and you will be at your destination without worrying well-nigh parking or fuel.


If you’re planning a cultural odyssey wideness Spain’s major cities, public transportation might be your trusty companion.

It’s efficient, relatively cost-effective, and lets you stave the potential headaches of municipality driving.

Sure, you will not wits any of the landscape between the cities. You will not moreover be worldly-wise to stop in any of the typical small villages on the route.

But, this is a small drawback compared to the practicality of public transportation.

Spain - Cityscape of Murcia at sunset time

Spain – Cityscape of Murcia at sunset time

Case Study #2: A Coastal Voyage from Barcelona to Seville

Car Rental

Start your road trip from the vibrant municipality of Barcelona, heading south withal the coast.

You pass through the mannerly municipality of Valencia, with its futuristic tracery and sandy beaches. Next, you reach Murcia, a municipality known for its rich history and succulent cuisine.

As you protract your journey, you victorious in Granada, home to the stunning Alhambra Palace.

You then momentum through the sunny municipality of Malaga, surpassing finally reaching your destination, the flamenco heartland of Seville.

Renting a car will requite so much flexibility on this trip. It’s not only well-nigh travelling at your own pace but moreover stopping withal the route to explore the subconscious gems of Spain and the many beaches withal the coast.

Public Transportation

Now, let’s imagine the same journey, but this time on public transportation. You start in Barcelona, then reservation a Euromed train to Valencia, a journey of well-nigh 3 hours.

From Valencia, you take a combination of trains/buses to Murcia, which takes virtually 6.5 hours. The connections between Valencia and Murcia are not great.

Next, you workbench an ALSA train from Murcia to Granada, a journey of approximately 3.5 hours.

From Granada, you take an AVE/AVANT train to Malaga, which takes well-nigh 1.5-2 hours.

Finally, you reservation a high-speed AVE train from Malaga to Seville, a journey of virtually 2 hours.

These are stereotype times and the very journey times may vary. Moreover, there may be just 1 or 2 trains/day. Sometimes they leave early in the day (6-7 AM) or late in the afternoon.

I highly suggest booking the train tickets in whop to save some money. Last-minute tickets are usually increasingly expensive.

In saying that, this, unfortunately, takes yonder something from the spontaneous part of travelling.


If you’re planning a coastal trip from Barcelona to Seville, both car rental and public transportation have their merits.

Renting a car gives you the self-rule to explore at your own pace and make spontaneous stops.

Andalusia and Murcia’s regions have stunning landscapes which you will love it.

Besides stopping in smaller towns and villages withal the route, like Osuna in the south or Alicante on the east coast.