Fastest journey3hr 28m
There is no direct train from Barcelona to Toledo, but this is an easy journey, requiring just one change of train at Madrid Atocha station. Make sure to give yourself time for the connection at Atocha as it's a large station and it can take a while to find the right platform for your onward train to Toledo. It's good to allow at least 40 mins for that connection. The entire journey is 4 hrs 15 mins long.
The first leg of the journey, from Barcelona to Madrid, is much the longer of the two. It is a high-speed run on one of Spain's premier business routes. The second leg takes barely more than 30 mins, and you'll be rewarded with a fine view of Toledo as you approach your destination.
Tickets for the journey from Barcelona to Madrid normally go on sale around three months in advance. The Spanish rail operator often releases tickets in batches, so if you're having trouble finding trains, contact us and we'll email you when 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 Toledo
The non-stop Avant trains from Madrid to Toledo depart from Atocha station. It may be only a short journey, but you'll still need to go through the Atocha security scan, so make sure to be at the station 15 mins before departure. Toledo station is inconveniently distant from the city centre on the opposite bank of the river. There is however a shuttle bus into town which meets most trains. Otherwise it is a 20-min walk. On weekdays up to 15 trains each way serve the route, but on Saturdays and Sundays the number of services drops to 10.
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Image credits: Toledo Bridge © David Moras Sarabia