How to buy a train or metro ticket in Spain

How to buy a train or metro ticket in Spain

Having arrived in Spain, you can face such a problem as buying tickets for Cercanias (suburban trains) and Renfe throughout the country. Spain has a well-developed transport infrastructure, so if you speak English (at least a little), you have a good chance.

How to buy a train ticket (Spain) online ( – it is quite easy, but you need a bank credit card with the needed sum on your account.

Instruction for the purchase of train tickets (Renfe) in Spain:

  1. The first thing you should do is to visit the website You can buy the tickets not earlier than 90 days before the planned travel.

The start of buying tickets:

– Ida y vuelta – round trip ticket
– Ida – one-way ticket
– Origen – departure point
– Destino – arrival point
– Salida – choose the date of departure
– Regresa – choose the date of return
– Adultos – the number of passengers
– Niños – 4-13 – children from 4 to 13 years old
– Niños – children under 4 years old
– Comprar – to buy the tickets ( you can always change it before entering the data of your credit card)

Skip the rest and don’t put any ticks.

  1. Choose the time and place of your travel.

You must review everything carefully to avoid mistakes.

Choose the wagon:

Turista – conventional wagon. It is simpler that the others and don’t have so much space. Food is not included, but there is a dining car.

Turista +   This wagon is better than Turista. The seats are softer, more comfortable and spacious. Food is included, but not always.

Preferente – Luxury Wagon, very similar to the business-class on the plane. It has much more space than the previous wagons and very comfortable seats. Food is included.
Choose the tariff and wagon seats:

Ticket return and date change are impossible. You can’t choose the place, it is made automatically.

Buying the round trip ticket, you can change the date of travel for free. However, if you refund the ticket, you will lose about 40 %.

If you want to change the date, you’ll have to pay extra (20 %). The full ticket refund is possible with a loss of about 30 %.

You can change the date of travel for free, and a full ticket refund is possible with a loss of 5 % . If you missed your train, you’ll have to wait for about 35 minutes. You can take the next train without paying extra (if there are free seats).

You must be careful, as there are connecting trains ( Con transborde). Pay attention to the blue down arrow when choosing the ticket

If you’re done with the choice of the ticket “there” (Ida), make the same with the return ticket (Vuelta), then press the button “continue” (Continuar) below.

Now we turn to the confirmation of tariff and additional services:

Enter the personal data of all passengers in turn and press Continuar”:

Start the payment. Check all the data, enter the card information and press “Comprar” (buy) :

After entering your card data, they will send a message to your mobile number. Enter this code into the certain window and print the ticket after the confirmation of your purchase.

THE PURCHASE OF TICKET IS COMPLETED!!! If you have any other questions, contact us by e-mail:

You can buy the train (electric train) tickets from the cashier at the station, in the special ticket vending machine, and on the website Your task is to indicate the point of departure and arrival and introduce money into the machine slot. Don’t worry about the change– the machine takes both banknotes and coins and (if necessary) gives change together with the ticket (paper ticket with the magnetic strip). There are control turnstiles at every station before the access to the platform. Enter the purchased ticket into the turnstile slot. After that, the machine will type the date and time of travel on the back, and returns you a ticket while opening the passage. Round trip ticket is “punched” every time you leave and enter the platform. After returning, you will see the first date-time of your departure on the back of the ticket, and below- the date of your return. I don’t recommend you to dodge the fare. The numbering of wagon seats isn’t necessary. The passengers shall be seated in random order.

Vending machines are very comfortable, as they work 24/7.  You won’t have to stand in line (in contrast to the cashier window). The machine will indicate the time of departure of the next train (electric train) in the specified direction.

If you took the wrong train and drove the wrong day, you’ll have to buy the new ticket.

Another important point. For passengers’ convenience in the cities without the direct rail link (such as Lloret de Mar), you can buy the combined ticket “Bus+Train” at the ticket offices of the bus stations. Such ticket allows you to get to the nearest train station by suburban bus, switch the train (electric train) and reach your destination (for example, Barcelona). You can buy the round trip ticket “Bus+Train”.

Usually, there are day trains with sitting places in Spain. You can also find the speed international trains (for example, to Paris). The first train (electric train) leaves a little after 5 a.m., and the last one – about 23:00-24:00.