London to Madrid by train Find train times and tickets

Prices explained

Prices explained

At Loco2 we believe in price transparency. We use real data from Loco2 searches to estimate the cheapest fares you should be able to find for your journey.

The cheapest price is the lowest fare we've ever found for this journey. These prices can usually be found by searching when booking opens but they vary due to availability, which depends on factors like the day of the week or time of year.

More popular journeys include 30 day advance and 7 day advance prices. These are updated every two weeks using prices we've found by searching exactly 7 or 30 days from the most recent Thursday (we picked Thursday because this is when average prices are usually found).

30 day and 7 day prices fluctuate based on demand and availability at the time of search. For example, the 7-day price in summer is likely to be more expensive than the same journey in winter.

Prices are sourced in GBP and converted to other currencies using the daily market exchange rate.

We're always seeking to improve how price-checking works, and we welcome feedback on how we can make it better.

More advice about how to find the cheapest tickets can be found in our infographic.

  1. Cheapest price £120.50
  2. 30 day advance £309.00
  • First train
    05:40
  • Last train
    20:31
  • Avg changes
    2
  • Fastest journey
    13hr 38m
  1. Taking the train from London to Madrid is straightforward, especially since the opening in 2013 of a high-speed rail route from France to Spain. The entire journey takes just under 14 hrs. So while London to Madrid can easily be managed in a single day, many travellers opt to stop off for a night along the way.

    Take a morning Eurostar train from London to Paris, where you connect with an afternoon TGV to Barcelona. This is usually a double-decker train, so book a seat on the upper level for the best views. Your train through France speeds through Burgundy and the Rhône Valley towards Avignon, then west along the Mediterranean coast, before diving under the Pyrenees in a tunnel to reach Spain. It's an easy change of train in Barcelona to join the AVE service for the final leg to Madrid.

    You can buy tickets for the entire itinerary in a single booking here on Loco2. Bookings for this journey normally open 90 days prior to travel. If you want to find cheap tickets, it is important to book as early as possible.

    This itinerary relies on the last fast train of the day from Barcelona to Madrid. Depending on the day of the week and time of year, that train departs at 21.00, 21.15 or 21.25. Bookings on this particular AVE train sometimes do not open until just a month (or even less) prior to departure – unlike other AVE trains from Barcelona to Madrid which can often be booked three or even four months in advance. Our advice is to go ahead and book London to Barcelona as soon as it becomes available, for that's a route on which prices hike up quickly after bookings have opened. Later you can book the ticket for the final leg.

    London to Paris

    London to Paris

    Board a Eurostar service from London to Paris. There are upwards of 15 trains to Paris from London each day with departures at least hourly from the beautifully restored station at St Pancras in London. The fastest trains speed to Paris in just 2 hrs 16 mins, with slower services taking up to 20 mins longer to reach the Gare du Nord in Paris. The first part of the journey from London sweeps through Thameside landscapes and rural Kent to reach the Channel Tunnel. Little more than an hour after leaving London you'll already be in northern France, tracking south through Flanders fields towards Paris.

    Remember to factor in at least half an hour for Eurostar's airline-style baggage check prior to boarding your train. There is a luggage and body scan and you'll be asked to show your passport. There are no restrictions on taking liquids on board Eurostar trains.

    Paris interchange

    Paris interchange: Paris Nord to Paris Lyon

    When you alight from the train at Gare du Nord look for signs to the Metro and RER. Once you've bought a ticket follow the signs to 'RER D', direction 'Melun' or 'Malesherbes'. So long as you're heading in the right direction, all the trains on this line stop at Gare de Lyon. The actual train journey takes around 10 mins with just one stop on the way at Châtelet-les-Halles. Upon alighting from the RER train at Gare de Lyon, follow the signs to the mainline station. The signs read 'Accès aux trains Grandes Lignes'. The whole journey from the concourse at Gare du Nord to the mainline departure platforms at Gare de Lyon will normally take about 40 mins but we recommend leaving at least 50 mins.

    If you are arriving at Gare du Nord from London, bear in mind that you can buy Paris Métro tickets at the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras and on board the Eurostar train. Similarly, passengers arriving at the Gare du Nord on Thalys trains from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands can buy Metro tickets on the train (at the Thalys Bar). Although universally referred to as Métro tickets, they are in fact valid on RER trains too.

    Paris to Barcelona

    Paris to Barcelona

    Direct TGV trains to Barcelona leave Paris two to four times per day. The frequency is higher in summer than winter. The TGVs to Barcelona leave from the Gare de Lyon in Paris. In Barcelona they terminate at Sants station. This journey is focused on speed, so there are not a lot of stops along the way - from six to ten depending on which train you take. All trains stop at the historic cities of Montpellier, Perpignan and Girona. The part of the journey south from Perpignan has good views of the Pyrenees.

    Barcelona to Madrid

    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.

Search accommodation in Madrid

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Other journeys to Madrid View all journeys to Madrid

Country guide

Trains to Spain

Read our country guide

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and rail operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.

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