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Blog · Top Train Journeys in Spain: Where To Go and What To See
September 4, 2022

Top Train Journeys in Spain: Where To Go and What To See

By Linda
Spain Train
takespace

Spain is a country with a rich railway history. In the 19th century, the first trains in the country were built to transport goods and people between Barcelona and Mataró. Today, Spain’s railways are used for both local and long-distance travel.

When visiting the country, train travel is a great option for getting around, and it allows you to explore more of what Spain has to offer. Here are our top picks for the best train journeys in Spain, where you can see everything from snow-capped mountains to vibrant cultural sites.

Madrid to Barcelona

Madrid to Barcelona train

The Madrid to Barcelona route is one of the most popular, and it’s easy to see why. The scenery is stunning, and there’s so much to see and do along the way. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking mountain views, stunning coastal scenery, or charming Spanish towns and villages, this journey has it all. 

Recommended stops include:

  • Zaragoza, where you can visit the magnificent Aljaferia Palace
  • Valencia, where you can explore the city’s fascinating old town
  • Barcelona, where you can explore ancient markets, Gaudí architecture, and more

So if you’re looking for an amazing train journey in Spain, the Madrid to Barcelona route is certainly a top contender.

Transcantábrico

Transcantábrico

There are many reasons to love the Transcantabrico, one of Spain’s top train journeys. With its elegant cars and luxurious amenities, the Transcantabrico, a popular tourist train in northern Spain, is like a 5-star hotel on wheels. For many, it’s the perfect way to see some of Spain’s most beautiful and varied scenery.

The route runs from Santiago de Compostela to León, passing through the stunning Cantabrian Mountains pictured above. Along the way, passengers can enjoy views of snow-capped peaks, green valleys, and picturesque villages. Several stops along the route also allow passengers to explore some of the area’s highlights, such as the Cave of Altamira and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Madrid to Seville

Seville

The Madrid to Seville train journey takes approximately two and a half hours, and is an express tour through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the pretty white villages of Andalusia. There are also some great stops along the way to explore.

One of the best stops is the lovely city of Córdoba, with its Moorish architecture and floral courtyards. If you can go during the Córdoba Patio Festival (la Fiesta de los Patios de Córdoba), do. The locals open their brightly decorated, flower-strewn courtyards to the public for one of the most beautiful festivals in the world.

And, of course, arriving in Seville, one of Spain’s most vibrant and historic cities, is the perfect way to end this amazing journey.

Barcelona to Montserrat

Montserrat

The Barcelona to Montserrat train journey is a spectacular one, filled with beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities to explore and take in the sights. The journey passes through several places of interest, including the stunning mountain town of Montserrat, home to the world-famous Montserrat Abbey, perched among the peaks.

Spend the hour-long journey admiring the enchanting and varied landscapes that fly past the windows, or take the time to plan your Montserrat itinerary. However you spend the time, it’s sure to be a journey you won’t soon forget.

Euskotren train journey

Euskotren train journey

The Euskotren train journey is a great way to see the Basque region of Spain. The train passes through Bilbao, San Sebastian before reaching the French border. The journey takes about two hours, during which time passengers can enjoy unparalleled views of the Pyrenees Mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, and the open countryside.

If you’re feeling a little peckish en route, fear not – Basque Country is known for its range of Michelin-starred restaurants. Leave the packed lunch at home and indulge in the local specialties that have put this food-obsessed region on the culinary map. 

Galicia’s tourist trains

Galicia's tourist trains

Galicia’s tourist trains run between May and October and go through some of the most scenic landscapes in the country. The Galician wine is also a big draw for tourists visiting the area. Even if you don’t fancy a cool glass of wine, the vineyards and the Sil and Miño rivers create a magical background to your journey. 

Other sights en route (depending on which train you take) include cliffs, manor houses, gardens, and monasteries.

The Sigüenza Medieval Train

Sigüenza is a beautiful city located in the province of Guadalajara, in the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, in central Spain. It’s best known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, which is on display most notably at the city’s emblematic castle.

The Sigüenza Medieval Train is a great way to travel back in time and experience the Middle Ages. This train takes you on a journey through the Spanish countryside, and you can even stop at different medieval villages along the way as you travel in comfort.

The trip of a lifetime

We love Barcelona but always recommend you journeying farther in the country if you have the time. There’s so much to experience in Spain that even a month only scratches the surface.

In each city you explore, be sure to connect with locals, whether guides or friendly staff at visitor centers, to find out the best places to check out while you’re there. Local tips are always the best, especially since they can be customized to the specific day or season of your visit.

Looking for some trips closer to your stay in Barcelona? Check out these nine day trips from Barcelona, shared by one of our tour guides.

Happy exploring!