Situated at the heart of Spain, Madrid is ideally located for access to the cities across the country, including its Andalusian capital of Seville. During your trip to Spain, you can spend days exploring the many historical landmarks and cultural attractions of both cities. But first, you need to figure out how to get from the Spanish central capital to its Andalusian counterpart. Luckily, there are many ways to travel from Madrid to Seville, including trains, airplanes, buses, and rental cars. The fastest of these, however, is the AVE trains.
Here is a quick guide on your transportation choices for your short getaway from Madrid to Seville.
Madrid to Seville with AVE Trains
The fastest and most efficient way to travel from Madrid to Seville is by the Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) train, Spain’s national railroad service. This high-speed train runs at a maximum speed of 300km/hour. It runs so fast that if day trips to Seville are your thing, the AVE has you covered. You can be in and out of Seville from Madrid in no time.
In terms of reliability, the AVE is so reliable that Renfe, its operator, even refunds tickets if the train arrives more than five minutes late. AVE trains aren’t just reliable and quick, it’s also more convenient than flying.
Types of Train Seats and Classes
AVE trains have different classes: Turista, Turista Plus, and Preferente. Of course, depends on your preference and your budget, the prices for these seats are varied.
- Turista (Standard Class)
It features air-conditioned compartments, deluxe comfort reclining seats, individual entertainment access, baby changing facilities, and a Cafe Car. Turista Plus offers the same amenities. Turista Plus, however, features wider seats with spacious legroom.
- Preferente (First Class)
As a first-class passenger, you will be treated to reclining leather seats, individual entertainment access, and bar service and restaurant dining right at your seat. Preferente passengers are also provided with AVE’s VIP Lounge access and free parking.
*Note: If you’re traveling with a group or with children, it’s recommended to choose a booth in any of AVE’s seat classes. There is limited seating for this choice, so arrange your train bookings and reservations ahead of time.
AVE’s Cost and Train Schedules
AVE train tickets are reasonably priced. Turista and Turista Plus tickets range from $92 to $102, while Preferente seats sell for $142 to $173. You can get these tickets at a discount if you reserve your seat long before your trip. You may book your tickets in advance with Euro Railways.
If you have availed of an Interrail Pass or Eurail Pass, you may board the AVE trains from Madrid to Seville for free. However, seat reservations are obligatory, so book your reservations ahead of time. Both Interrail and Eurail passes are all-in-one train tickets that give you flexible access to most trains in all of Europe. However, Interrail is exclusive for European residents, while Eurail is recommended for non-European tourists.
AVE trains bound for Seville depart Madrid every hour daily. With this schedule, there are approximately 17 Seville-bound trains to choose from every day. The first train departs the Madrid Atocha station at 7 AM, and the last one leaves by 7 PM. The average travel time for this train ride is only 2 hours and 20 minutes and features quick stops to 3 Spanish towns along the way.
Boarding the AVE
If you’re coming directly from Madrid–Barajas Airport, you can take the Express Aeropuerto bus to Madrid Atocha Railway Station. This railway station is the largest in Madrid, and all Seville-bound AVE trains depart this station. Upon arriving at Seville, you will be dropped off at Seville-Santa Justa station, which is located within Seville’s city center.
Other Ways To Travel From Madrid To Seville
If riding a high-speed train isn’t your thing, there are other means of transportation you can take to travel from the Spanish central capital to its Andalusian counterpart.
Whether or not it’s the best time to visit Spain, there are many flights from Madrid to Seville that you can buy for cheap. Flights bound for Seville depart from the Madrid-Barajas Airport three times daily. You will land at Seville San Pablo Airport, which is an hour away from the city of Seville. Though a flight from Madrid to Seville only takes 1 hour and 10 minutes, you also have to consider the hour-long distance from Seville airport to the city center. The plane ride and the subsequent cab ride to Seville will take as much time as it does AVE trains to cover the same distance.
The typical cost for a plane ticket from Madrid to Seville one-way is around $80 – $200 depending on the season and the airlines you’ve chosen. If taking a flight is your preference, a more cost-efficient airline to choose is Iberia and Iberia Express.
Buses are your best option if you’re looking for the cheapest way to get to Seville from Madrid. With over 6 hours of travel time, taking the bus is not the fastest or the most luxurious way to get to the Spanish Andalusian capital. However, with this option, you get to see more of the Spanish countryside while you save. Buses from Madrid depart the Méndez Álvaro regularly, and a ticket costs $24 to $34.
By A Private or Rental Car
Like taking the bus, driving a car from Madrid to Seville also takes at least 6 hours. However, if you want to see more of Spain and to take detours along the way, driving to Seville is the choice for you. Just a word of caution, renting a car in Spain can be quite challenging if you haven’t done your research beforehand. When there’s a demand during peak season, the prices might skyrocket. We suggest renting your car directly from Sixt or Centauro and make a booking in advance. Alternatively, it would also be a good option to make a booking on Kayak and Expedia.
Time to take the Train!
While planning your perfect trip to Madrid, consider spending a day or two at nearby Seville where you can see Andalusian architecture and other tourist attractions. There are many ways to close the 500-kilometer distance between these two cities. However, with this guide, you now know what the fastest option is. Take the train to Seville to make the most out of your trip.