Madrid to Bilbao 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 £14.00
  2. 30 day advance £24.00
  • First train
  • Last train
  • Avg changes
  • Fastest journey
    5hr 4m
  1. Direct Alvia trains from Madrid to Bilbao run north from Madrid using a new high-speed line that tunnels under the Sierra de Guadarrama. Trains stay on the high-speed line to Valladolid, capital of Spain's Castilla y León region. Beyond Valladolid, the pace becomes much slower as the train winds around hills and through valleys on the way to the coastal city of Bilbao (known as Bilbo in the Basque language).

    Booking for this route opens 90 days in advance, which is when you'll find the cheapest tickets. Note, however, that the Spanish rail operator often releases tickets in batches, sometimes as early as 120 days or more. If you're having trouble finding trains, contact us and we'll email you when booking opens.

    If the timings of the direct trains from Madrid to Bilbao do not suit your plans, there are additional options requiring one change of train at either Zaragoza or Miranda de Ebro.

    Madrid to Bilbao

    Madrid to Bilbao

    High-speed Alvia trains from Madrid to Bilbao leave twice daily from Chamartin station, which is in the northern suburbs of the Spanish capital. Chamartin is well served by Madrid's efficient cercanías (ie. local train) network. In Bilbao, you'll arrive at Abando station - which is a hub for local metro and suburban rail services. The Alvia trains make five stops on the 5 hr journey from Madrid to Bilbao. If you want a little extra comfort on the train, opt when you book for preferente rather than turista class.

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Other journeys to Bilbao-Abando View all journeys to Bilbao

Country guide

Trains to Spain

Read our country guide

Image credits: © Plotnikov

Passenger age requirements

Different countries have different classifications for "Child" and "Youth". That's why we ask you to enter the age of young passengers when you search.

Countries Children Youths
Belgium and Luxembourg 6 - 11 12 - 25
Eurostar 4 - 11 12 - 25
France* 4 - 11 12 - 25
Germany* 6 - 14 15 - 25
Italy 4 - 11 12 - 25
Netherlands (including Thalys) 4 - 11 12 - 25
Spain* 4 - 13 14 - 25
Switzerland 6 - 16 17 - 25
United Kingdom* 5 - 15 16 - 25
others 4 - 11 12 - 25

* There are some exceptions to these definitions. Please see child and youth passenger age requirements for more information.

You can also read about Youth and Senior discounts and railcards.

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