Fastest journey5hr 36m
Travel by train from Barcelona to Málaga on a direct AVE service. Or opt instead for the higher-frequency route via Madrid, with an easy change of train in the Spanish capital.
It is very easy to travel by train from Barcelona to Málaga. Fast AVE services cover the 1100 km between the two cities in just 6 hrs. If the timings of the direct trains don’t suit you, you’ll find several other options each day, all involving a change of train in Madrid Atocha. This adds 20 to 50 mins to the overall journey time.
The route tracks west from Barcelona into Aragon, crossing the River Ebro near Zaragoza. Then it’s a fast dash across the plains of Castilla–La Mancha, with distant views of the Madrid conurbation to your right. Your train sweeps through the rugged Sierra Morena to reach Córdoba and then continues to Málaga on Spain's southern coast.
Booking generally opens about four months in advance of travel, which is when you'll find the cheapest tickets. However, this can vary. If you're having trouble finding tickets, contact us and we'll email you as soon as booking opens.
Barcelona to Málaga
High-speed AVE trains speed from Barcelona Sants directly to Málaga María Zambrano station two times a day. The trains leave in the morning and in the afternoon. The AVE services stop seven to eight times on the way, including Zaragoza, Ciudad Real and Córdoba. From Córdoba it is just another hour through the hills of Andalucía to Málaga.
It is very easy to travel by train from Barcelona to Málaga. There are frequent connections that require just one easy change of train in Madrid. Fast AVE services take 6 hrs 15 mins for the run between the two cities. If you choose the peak premium services (which might not offer the cheapest tickets), the travel time is cut down to 5 hrs 30 mins. Alternatively, you can take a direct AVE service to travel from Barcelona to Málaga, which runs twice a day and gets you to Málaga in under 6 hrs.
Setting off from Barcelona the route travels west into Aragon, crossing the River Ebro near Zaragoza. Then it’s a fast dash across the plains to Madrid. After the change at Madrid, your train sweeps through La Mancha and the rugged Sierra Morena to reach Córdoba. From there it is just an hour through the hills to the coast at Málaga.
Booking generally opens about four months in advance of travel, but this can vary. If you're having trouble finding tickets contact us and we'll email you as soon as booking opens.
Barcelona to Madrid
Take a high-speed AVE train directly from Barcelona Sants station to Madrid Atocha. At peak times Barcelona to Madrid trains depart every 30 minutes, with the fastest services taking just 2 hrs 30 mins to reach the Spanish capital. Trains that stop up to four times along the way may take 30 to 40 minutes longer. This journey along Spain's premier high-speed rail route reveals a variety of passing landscapes as you speed from Catalonia through Aragon to the Spanish heartland.
Madrid to Málaga
Direct high-speed trains from Madrid Atocha to Malága María Zambrano station run 10 times a day. A couple of services run non-stop between the two cities, but the great majority stop at Córdoba. Some trains make up to five further stops along the way. The route is mainly served by modern AVE trains that reach Málaga in 2 hrs 30 mins. Trains making additional stops may take up to 1 hr longer. From María Zambrano station it is an easy transfer onto suburban trains (called Cercanías) which run east to Centro-Alameda, north to Álora and along the coast to the airport and Fuengirola.
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Image credits: Málaga, Spain © Chert61