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Best Of Both Worlds! Visit 2 Iconic Spanish Cities In Record Time On This Spectacular High-Speed Train

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Like The Jeffersons, Spain is ‘movin' on up' in 2024. It was recently announced that the mega-popular country had overtaken the United States.

No, not like that. We still get to hear two octogenarians duke it out at the podium this month in the all-too-talked-about bid for the White House. Oh, joy!

Point being Spain is now the second most visited country in the world, kicking the U.S. into the third spot ahead of Turkiye.

Female train passenger sitting in window seat

As summer is upon us, hordes of travelers will flock across Europe, but almost nowhere more than Spain.

The two most renowned cities here are Barcelona and Madrid, and both are brimming with fascinating attractions, bustling streets, and incredible food and wine.

While it's culturally inappropriate to double dip your shared tapas, it's perfectly suitable to double dip on your itinerary with the help of convenient high-speed trains.

Only 2 hours and 30 minutes apart by rail, travelers can have the best of both worlds visiting this pair of iconic cities.

4 High Speed Trains Directly Connect Barcelona And Madrid

View of Madrid cityscape

Spain may not be Tokyo or Seoul when it comes to lightning fast trains, but it sure beats dealing with the frustrations of summer travel at airports any way you slice it.

Normally, travelers would have to deal with the hassle of crowds just to fly a short distance or opt for the slow route of driving or taking a bus.

What travelers may not know is there are much more efficient (and fun!) options by taking these 4 high-speed trains:

Renfe:
26 trains depart on weekdays compared to 27 on weekends (all with different departure times).

Renfe train ticket

Quickest travel times are 2 hours and 30 minutes with the longest duration topping out at 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Free wifi is offered on board for both Standard and Comfort classes. Fares begin at roughly $46 one-way, though can change based on times and demand.

Iryo:

This newer rail line only around since 2022 has 32 modern sleek trains taking off daily with 16 going each way, whether your starting point is Barcelona or Madrid.

Trains are outfitted with speedy wifi and leather seats for ultimate comfort, and provide tasty lunch options via their Bistro Dining Service.

Iryo train in Spain

Fares begin at approximately $50 for one-way tickets, but can change based on times and demand.

Ouigo:

Ouigo is a low-cost option – think the Ryanair of trains. Don't expect leather seats, top notch service with all the bells and whistles.

No, Ouigo's purpose is to get you where you need to go timely and safely while ballin' on a budget hence the tickets start at only $9! (Dependent upon time/demand)

The first train departs at 6:45 am, running continuously through the day until 8:45 pm. Despite the cheap price, you won't be sacrificing time as this train option is also 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Ouigo high-speed trains

Avlo:

Avlo, not to be confused with America's Avelo, is yet another cost-saving option for train travelers. Not to
make matters even more confusing, but this rail line is owned by Renfe.

Directly competing with Ouigo, you can save an extra couple of bucks for coffee money with tickets starting at just $7. (Dependent upon time/demand)

Don't expect a high-end meal service rather vending machines for refreshments and snacks. There is also wifi on board and exclusive entertainment offered by their signature PlayRenfe.

Avlo train in Spain countryside

Why Visit These Iconic Cities?

Barcelona and Madrid are two of Spain's most popular tourist destinations, along with the beautiful islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, among others.

Like many countries, the vast urban jungles are a perpetual playground to endlessly explore the heartbeat of their culture.

In this case, rather than flipping a coin on where to go, you can enjoy both cities whether on a day trip, weekend getaway, or if time permits, weeks if not months.

Woman visiting Barcelona Spain

While both cities are historic, gorgeous, and waiting to appease your tastebuds with famous cuisine like paella, they also have their own personalities.

For example, Madrid doesn't have beautiful beaches like Barcelona does, while Barcelona is more of a cosmopolitan feel while Madrid feels more like true Spain.

Yes, there will be crowds, but these two cities fit the “iconic” category for a reason and are simply too good to pass up, especially when you can easily visit both without breaking the bank.

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