Practical information on Madrid train station: Atocha - Madrid Traveller (2023)

Practical information on Madrid train station: Atocha - Madrid Traveller (1)

The main Madrid train station is called Atocha, and it’s managed by the public company Renfe Operadora. It’s the first-busiest station in Spain, servicing over 110 million travelers per year.

Actually, the station is so big that it has two names:

The Atocha train station is located to the south-east of the city center, on Glorieta Carlos V. It was inaugurated in 1851 under the name Estación de Mediodía.

In 1992, when Spain’s first high-speed AVE train service was launched, the original building was taken out of service as a terminal, and converted into a concourse with shops, cafés, and a stunning 4,000 m2 (43,056 sq ft) covered tropical garden. A modern terminal was also designed by Moneo, and built in adjacent land to serve all train lines departing from and arriving to Madrid.

It offers regular services to destinations all over Spain (Barcelona,Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Málaga, Seville, Valencia), plus the international line to Paris (France).

Alternatively, you may be interested in reading about getting to Madrid by train.

Have a look at a complete tutorial about train travel in Spain where you can read all the information you need to organize your train journeys around the country.

(Video) Madrid Atocha Station To Madrid Airport: Bus And Train Options Explained

Practical information on Madrid train station Atocha

The train station opens Monday to Sunday from 5:00 to 1:00 of the following day.

It’s the terminus station for most of the AVE high-speed trains. But it’s also the main Cercanías trains station hub, where all the lines connect. Additionally, Atocha has a Metro station.

You can safely leave your stuff at the baggage consignment. It opens from 5:30 to 22:30 and it’s located in the right hand side of the main concourse, if you are facing the tropical garden and leaving the behind the sliding doors that lead to the platforms.

There is also an Madrid tourist office managed by the regional government (Comunidad Autonóma de Madrid) that covers not only Madrid but all the region.

How to purchase your train tickets

The Renfe ticket office is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 20:00. It’s located at the main hall in front of the shops. However, you will be charged a fee for every transaction.

So you should buy your train tickets online.

To get your Cercanías train tickets, you can go to the Renfe ticket office. A much faster alternative is to use the vending machines located in the main concourse. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase them online.

Getting to/from Madrid train station Atocha

The train station is also an intercambiador de transporte, or public transportation hub. It includes the Metro (subway), city buses, Cercanías trains, AVE high-speed trains and other long distance trains.

(Video) ➤ how to travel from Barajas airport ✈️ to the centre of Madrid [2022] #010


There is a Metro station inside the premises, Atocha Renfe, with access to line 1 (light blue).

Unfortunately, there are no Metro direct routes from/to Barajas airport. Therefore if you have lots of luggage it might be preferable to use an alternative.


You can reach the station taking the 10, 14, 24, 26, 32, 37, 54, 57, 59, 85, 86, 102, 121, 203 and C2 Madrid city buses.


Almost all Cercanías lines depart from or stop at Atocha. These are C-1 (light blue), C-2 (dark green), C-3 (purple), C-4a (dark blue), C-4b (dark blue), C-5 (yellow), C-7 (red), C-8 (grey), and C-10 (light green).

That is all, except line C-9 (orange).

Private transfer

You will be glad to book an exclusive ride from the train station to your accommodation.

It provides a much need comfort and rest after a long trip. Your driver will meet you at the main terminal and will walk you to an executive sedan. Your transfer will be safe and sound. On top of it, you can ask for an English speaking driver.

If you have a larger party, up to eight people, the transfer can be arranged in a luxury minivan.

(Video) ➤ the MADRID airport TRAIN 🚇 #046

Use a private car from Atocha train station to central Madrid when you arrive to avoid waiting long lines at the bus and waste a precious time.

Car rental

If you are considering renting a car you’ll find a bunch of car rental offices at the Madrid Atocha train station.

However, my favorite choice to get the best cheap car rental rates is to book your rental car from home before setting a foot in Madrid.


The cabs are located in front of all the train station main entrances. You will have to pay a surcharge for travelling from the train station.

Madrid receives a lot of foreigners every year and taxi drivers know it. Taxis at Atocha generally have a very bad reputation.

Please, make sure you know the exact address you are going to. Do some research in advance and spend some time in front of a map to get an idea of your route. If you can, provide some directions to the driver. At the end of the trip check the final fare and the change you receive!

I definitely don’t recommend taking a cab at Atocha. Unless you are in a hurry or you have no other means of transport, avoid taking a taxi!

However, in other areas of the city, catching a taxi is fine. Here is some practical advice to avoid bad surprises using the Madrid taxi service.

(Video) ➤ the MADRID airport METRO 🚇 #030

Your own car

Atocha train station is located in one of the main avenues of the city center so it’s pretty easy to find it.

There is only one car park located on the left side of the main building. The entrance is on Paseo Santa Isabel. There always a lot of free spots.

How to go from Madrid train station Atocha to Madrid Airport

Atocha is very well connected with Barajas airport.

If you need to go from Atocha to Barajas airport you have three options:

  • You can catch the Barajas airport express bus running from 6:00 to 23:30 (between 23:30 and 6:00 terminus is at Plaza de Cibeles) all year round with only two stops on the route. The bus stops at Terminals 1, 2 and 4 (T1, T2 and T4).
  • Or you can take a Cercanías train on line C-1 (light blue). Despite this is a much faster option remember that the airport train station is located in Terminal 4 (T4). So if your flight departs from Terminal 1 or 2 (T1 or T2) you will need to catch the free shuttle bus connecting them to Terminal 4 (T4).
  • You could also use the subway but, as I said before, you need to change lines twice (line 1 > line 10 > line 8 or line 1 > line 6 > line 8), so it’s not very handy if you are carrying lots of luggage.

For more information, have a look at how to exit the airport and how to get to the airport.

How to go from Madrid train station Atocha to Chamartín train station

Chamartín is the city’s second most important train station.

To get there from Atocha, the easiest and fastest way is to catch a Cercanías train using lines C-1 (light blue), C-2 (dark green), C-3 (purple), C-4 (dark blue), C-7 (red) and C-10 (light green).

Alternatively, you can use the Metro as line 1 connects both train stations.

(Video) ALL ABOUT MADRID METRO | Vlog 2019

Finally, you can also get there by bus.

Exit Atocha train station and walk to Paseo del Prado. There is a bus stop at the beginning of the avenue, on the right hand sidewalk. First take a bus on lines 14, 27 or 45. Stop at Emilio Castelar and take bus line 147.


How early should I get to the Madrid train station? ›

Arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before your train departs. This is because there is a security check, with a scanner for your bags and a ticket check before you can enter the platform. Give yourself time to get to and from the train station.

What is Madrid's main train station? ›

Atocha Railway Station is the main station in Madrid.

The capital's first train station was inaugurated in 1851 under the name “Estación del Mediodía” (Midday Station). In 2018, Atocha served over 15 million passengers. The station has been renovated and enlarged on several occasions.

What is the difference between Puerta de Atocha and Atocha cercanias? ›

(2) Madrid Atocha in effect three stations in one building: the main terminal, known as Puerta De Atocha, which is the part of the station used by the high speed trains. the Cercanias station used by the local trains (the Cercanias trains), the Media-Distancia trains; AND the non-high speed long distance trains.

What platform is Atocha? ›

If you have an AVE or other long-distance train ticket, you may get a suburban ticket free, see the advice here. Go to platform 8. Trains from this platform all go to Atocha, leaving every 5-10 minutes.

How do you pay for trains in Madrid? ›

To travel on Metro de Madrid you need a Public Transport Card (TTP) loaded with a valid ticket type for the journey you wish to make. More information about Card types and Cards/tickets to enter/exit Aeropuerto stations.

Is 1 day enough for Madrid? ›

Is One Day Enough in Madrid? In a city as large as Madrid with so much to see and do, you really need three days to see the top sights. But, one day is a great amount of time to get a taste of the city to whet your appetite for more!

What does Atocha mean? ›

esparto or Atocha, a perennial grass in northwest Africa and the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid Atocha railway station, a central railway station of Madrid. Estación del Arte (Madrid Metro), a station on the Madrid Metro previously named Atocha. Nuestra Señora de Atocha, a Spanish ship.

What are the two main train stations in Madrid? ›

There are two main railway stations in Madrid. The biggest is Madrid Atocha in the south. This is a hub for high-speed services from all over the country, commuter trains, and regional services from the south. The second main station is Madrid Chamartín in the north of the city.

What does Santo Nino de Atocha mean in English? ›

Holy Infant of Atocha or Santo Niño de Atocha is a Roman Catholic image of the Christ Child popular among the Hispanic cultures of Spain, Latin America and the southwestern United States.

Is Atocha safe? ›

It is safe. I stay around there often (solo) for business as my company office is near Atocha. I never felt unsafe, just use your common sense, as everywhere. It is a quiet residential area.

How far is Madrid Atocha from airport? ›

The journey from Madrid Airport to Atocha Station takes 20 minutes.

What station is Atocha? ›

Madrid Atocha (Spanish: Estación de Madrid Atocha), also named Madrid Puerta de Atocha, is the first major railway station in Madrid.
Madrid Atocha railway station.
Madrid Atocha
Fare zoneA
Opened9 February 1851
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How deep is the Atocha wreck? ›

While the rich Atocha, which sank in approximately 60 feet of water, eluded searchers until 1985, Melian was able to salvage treasure from the Margarita for several years, though intermittently, as his efforts were interrupted by periods of tempestuous weather and interference from Dutch sea forces.

What are 3 modes of transportation in Madrid? ›

Madrid's public transport consists of the Madrid Metro (underground), day & night buses, the 'Metro Ligero' (Madrid light rail) as well as the regional train system known as the 'Cercanías' which are the suburban trains that connect the city of Madrid with rest of the Madrid region.

Is it better to use cash or card in Madrid? ›

Paying with cash in Spain

It's advisable to always have some cash with you when you travel. Expect to need cash for things like coffee and tapas, and anytime you need to make a purchase for anything between €10 and €20.

Should I take cash to Madrid? ›

Most establishments accept credit and debit cards (although a few may set a minimum amount for card payments). You can use your card to buy metro tickets and to pay for bus and taxi rides. If you need to take cash out, you will find ATMs all around the city.

How much is a train pass in Madrid? ›

Public transport passes in Madrid are recommended for those who are going to be in town for a long time. The main ones are: 30 day pass: € 54.60 ( US$ 56.20) for zone A (the centre) and € 99.30 ( US$ 102.30) for C2.

What is the best month to go to Madrid? ›

The best time to visit Madrid is in the fall (September to November) or spring (March to May), when balmy temps blow through the city, making it come alive. But if you don't mind drab weather and a rather listless Madrid, visit in the winter when hotels reduce their rates.

What should I do on my first day in Madrid? ›

In One Day in Madrid
  • Prado Museum. ...
  • Botanical Gardens. ...
  • Paseo del Prado. ...
  • Congreso de Diputados. ...
  • Ateneo de Madrid. ...
  • Casa Museo de Lope de Vega. ...
  • Take a Break — La Mallorquina Pastelería. ...
  • Puerta del Sol.

Are things cheap in Madrid? ›

Prices in Madrid are slightly less expensive than in most European cities, especially compared to towns like Florence, Amsterdam or Vienna. In Spain's capital, it is relatively easy to find a good hotel for an affordable price and the public transport system is inexpensive.

Who is our Atocha lady? ›

Our Lady of Atocha is the name of a parish in Madrid. The parish was entrusted to the Dominican Order in 1523, and still is today. Originally a hermitage, it became a sanctuary of modest dimensions, intentionally kept small by the then-Moorish government.

Who found the Atocha? ›

Mel Fisher (August 21, 1922 – December 19, 1998) was an American treasure hunter best known for finding the 1622 wreck of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha in Florida waters. Hobart, Indiana, U.S. Key West, Florida, U.S.

What are the symbols on the Atocha coin? ›

The coin design in use during the Atocha time period, referred to as shield type, incorporated the Spanish coat of arms or shield on the obverse side and a cross representing the union of Church and State on the reverse.

Are all H's in Spanish silent? ›

The rule for the Spanish H is that it's always silent unless it is next to the letter C. When you see the letter C next to an H you need to make a ch sound, which is almost identical to the “ch” sound in English.

What is the best way to get around in Madrid? ›

The best way to get around Madrid is by metro. A handful of metro lines extend as far north as the Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) as well as into the city's southern suburbs. Buses are an option, too, as are metered taxis, which can be hailed on the street or found in ranks throughout the city.

What is Madrid famous for? ›

Madrid is known for its historical buildings, food markets, and the royals. It's also known for its renaissance and contemporary art museums, sunny blue skies, unique neighborhoods, and bustling nightlife. Madrid is a city of joy and life. Once you visit, you'll most definitely wish to go back – I know I did!

Which train is best in Spain? ›

Renfe's AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona is the most popular high-speed train route in Spain.

What does the word nino mean in English? ›

noun, plural ni·ños [nee-nyaws; English neen-yohz]. Spanish. boy; child.

Is Santo Niño and Jesus the same? ›

The Santo Niño de Cebú is a Roman Catholic title of the Child Jesus associated with a religious image of the Christ Child widely venerated as miraculous by Filipino Catholics.

Is the Holy Child of Atocha a saint? ›

Today, there are two main shrines in the Americas to the Holy Child of Atocha: one in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico and the other is in the Sanctuario in Chimayo, New Mexico. The Holy Child is the patron saint of the unjustly imprisoned, the protector of travelers and rescuer of those in danger.

What should I avoid in Madrid? ›

Things Tourists Should Never Do in Madrid
  • Don't disrupt the siesta. ...
  • Don't wear flip flops unless you're at the pool. ...
  • Don't wear shorts before June or July. ...
  • Don't eat lunch before 1pm. ...
  • Don't eat dinner before 9pm. ...
  • Don't order eggs for breakfast. ...
  • Don't eat in the Plaza Mayor. ...
  • Don't be careless with your belongings.
19 May 2017

Can I leave luggage at Atocha station? ›

Located next to the Tropical Garden, Atocha train station's left luggage offices are the perfect place to store luggage if you still have time to visit Madrid before leaving the city.

What kind of place in Madrid is Atocha? ›

This district is a destination for the hip and bohemian, with national art museums, cultural centres and lots of tapas bars, restaurants and trendy sidewalk cafes. Atocha belongs to the Arganzuela district and is bordered by Calle de Méndez Álvaro, the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V and Calle de Pedro Bosch.

How long does it take to get from Terminal 1 to 4 in Madrid airport? ›

Transport between terminals
From the terminalI want to go toEstimated time
Terminal T2 (Arrivals)Terminal T1 (Departures)4 minutes
From the terminalI want to go toEstimated time
Terminal T2 (Departures)Terminal T4 (Departures)8 minutes
From the terminalI want to go toEstimated time
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Can you walk Madrid terminals? ›

- Passengers without a boarding pass: Madrid-Barajas Airport has a free bus service connecting terminals T1, T2, T3 and T4, 24 hours a day. You can also walk between terminals T1, T2 and T3.

How much is a taxi from Madrid airport to the city? ›

Madrid Airport to center by taxi

You can take a taxi from Madrid airport to city centre! With this option, the Madrid airport to city center taxi price will be between 30 and 40 euros, depending on the traffic and the area of Madrid in which you are staying.

How do I get from Madrid airport to Atocha? ›

Underground train from Atocha Station to Madrid Airport

Simply head into Madrid's underground and catch a Metro to Madrid airport from the station. The journey takes just 35 minutes and costs between €4.50 and €6, with the airport supplement included.

When was Atocha station built? ›

The Atocha station was originally opened in 1851 when the second railroad connected Madrid with Aranjuez, 47km away from Madrid. It was then known as Estación de Mediodia. It was rebuilt in 1892, after a large part of the station was destroyed by fire.

What train station was in heartbeat? ›

A must-see is the celebrity station which became Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film and featured as Aidensfield in the ITV programme Heartbeat.

What caused the Atocha to sink? ›

It was hit by a hurricane and sank in 1622. 260 people lost their lives in this accident. Only five survived by climbing the mizzen, which remained above the water. Senora de Atocha was loaded with several precious items.

How old is the Atocha? ›

The Atocha was built for the Spanish Crown in Havana in 1620. She was rated at 550 tons, with an overall length of 112 feet, a beam of 34 feet, and a draft of 14 feet. She carried a square-rigged fore and mainmast and a lateen-rigged mizzenmast.

How much money did Mel Fisher get from the Atocha? ›

"The Atocha Motherlode" was worth an estimated $450 million and included 40 tons of silver and gold. The find included over 100,000 Spanish "pieces of eight" silver coins, gold coins, Colombian emeralds, artifacts, and 1000 silver ingots.
Mel Fisher Net Worth.
Net Worth:$100 Million
NationalityUnited States of America
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Is public transport free in Madrid? ›

Madrid Public Transportation Ticket Costs

A single journey on public transportation in Madrid starts at €1.50. This is the flat rate for bus tickets, but multi-zone single journeys can cost up to €2 on the metro and €5.50 on the commuter train (cercanías).

Are buses free in Madrid? ›

The price of a single ticket in Madrid for travelling by metro or bus is 1,50€. It can be bought at metro stations, at any 'estanco' (the place where they sell tobacco) or on the bus itself, to the driver. This price includes a journey from one to five stations.

Is Madrid easy to walk around? ›

Is Madrid easy to get around on foot? Indeed it is—in fact, that's the best way to experience the city! Most of the city's iconic sites are within walking distance of each other, and the main roads and plazas are easy to navigate around as well.

How much time ahead should I get to the train station? ›

Plan to arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before your train is scheduled to depart (Auto Train passengers should arrive at the station at least two hours prior to departure).

How many hours early should I arrive at the railway station? ›

Reach atleast 30 min prior to departure if u want to board ur train easily as there will be rush on the platform. Will the train start to operate after May 3 in India? Can I board a train from a station 1120 km after the station on my ticket?

How early should I get to the railway station? ›

Passengers will have to arrive at the departure station at least 90 minutes before the departure time of the train.

How early should we reach railway station? ›

30 minutes is an ideal time to be at the station ... trains are sometimes delayed and arriving before time is very rarely. Hi, 30 Minutes before the time is always good and safe.

Is it cheaper to buy train tickets in advance or on the day? ›

Advance tickets are usually the cheapest way to travel by train, and generally go on sale 12 weeks before your date of travel. You have to travel on the train you're booked on, but you get a much cheaper price by foregoing flexible travel times. Full details on Advance tickets can be found here.

Is 5 minutes enough time to change trains? ›

These times are automatically calculated by the rail operator in accordance with the type of station and your connecting train. This means that if you are given a 5 to 10 minute connection at a smaller station then it is assumed that this will be enough time.

How early can I board a train? ›

If you're boarding at a station where a train is starting its journey, boarding could start 10 minutes before the train is due to depart. Please remember that doors can close one minute before the departure time.

What is not allowed in train? ›

Offensive articles, explosive, dangerous, inflammable articles and empty gas cylinders, dead poultry, and game, acids and other corrosive substance are not permitted to be booked as luggage. Trunks, suitcase and boxes having outside measurement of 100 cms.

What time of day are trains busiest? ›

Peak times are when there is most demand such as when everyone is going home from work or back to university. Usually trains start to get busy from 7.00am to 9.00am and from 4.30pm until after 6pm during the week. Fridays and Sundays are typically the busiest days as passengers travel away for the weekend.

Do I have to travel at the time on my train ticket? ›

Anytime Single tickets are valid for any train on the date written on your ticket. If you've booked an Anytime Return ticket, then you can take your outbound journey at any time, up to five days after the date written on your ticket.

At what time we can sleep in train? ›

When berths are reserved for passengers, the intention is to provide sleeping accommodation between ✅ 9 PM to 6 AM.

Do you have to buy a train ticket before getting on the train? ›

Like all train companies*, you must buy a ticket before you board, or risk getting a penalty fare.

Is it better to book train tickets early? ›

Is it cheaper to buy a train ticket in advance? Yes. Advance train tickets are usually the cheapest way to travel by train, and generally go on sale 12 weeks before your date of travel. You'll need to travel on the train you're booked on, but you'll get a cheaper price by foregoing flexible travel times.

Do and don'ts in railway station? ›

Don't use passenger alarm between stops unless it's a real emergency. Do not block train doors while standing in front of door. Do not play music speakers on the train or at station. Do not sit on the floor of the train.

What is the new rules for railway passengers? ›

As per the new guidelines of the railways, no passenger in your seat, compartment or coach can talk on the mobile in a loud voice or listen to songs in a loud voice. Railways has issued new guidelines so that the sleep of the passengers is not disturbed and they can sleep peacefully during the journey.

What are the rules of train? ›

6. Indian Railway 'After 10 PM' Rule
  • TTE can't come to check your ticket after 10 PM.
  • All lights should be switched off except the night light.
  • Passengers travelling in groups can't interact after 10 PM.
  • Lower-berth Passengers can't say anything if a middle-berth co-passenger opens up their seat.
29 Oct 2022


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