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Renfe is Spain's national train company and a popular way to travel around the country. With GoEuro, travelers can find train route information and buy Renfe train tickets. GoEuro's search allows you to select between high-speed AVE trains and cheaper Regional Express trains. Renfe trains also travel from Spain into France in cooperation with France's national train company, SNCF
Book your Renfe Train Ticket with GoEuro
The first step of traveling with Renfe is by booking your train ticket. Where should you book your ticket, online on the company's website or directly at the train station in Spain? How cheap are Renfe train tickets?
- Online booking: You can book your e-ticket online directly on GoEuro or the website of the train company. To buy your Renfe ticket in English, and to compare over 300 train and bus companies on the GoEuro app.
- Purchase tickets at the train station: You can also buy your ticket directly at one of Spain's many train stations. You can buy your ticket at one of the station's sales offices, in advance or directly on the same day. In general, it is more advantageous to buy your ticket in advance.
- Printing e-tickets at the station: Some electronic tickets must be printed on the automatic terminals, be careful when booking online. With GoEuro, you will not need to print your e-ticket and you can travel by train directly with your phone. To collect your tickets in the automatic stations, you must bring your reservation code received by mail. You can also buy your tickets directly at the stations at the automatic stations until 5 minutes before the departure of the train. Payment is made by cash or credit card.
History of Renfe
The Spanish state railway company, Renfe, was created in 1941 to run the nation's rail network when it was nationalized. Renfe operates a wide variety of services ranging from regional rural lines and commuter links to the modern, high-speed AVE intercity trains. Renfe train routes cover around 15,000 kilometers of Spain.
Renfe Stations and Destinations
Renfe has major hubs in Madrid and Barcelona, rail services to all the regions of Spain and international routes to France and Portugal. Spain has invested substantially in developing its high-speed AVE services. These lines now connect Madrid with Barcelona, Malaga, Seville, Alicante, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Santiago De Compostela, La Coruna and points in-between, significantly reducing the times of long-distance train journeys across much of Spain.
Some of Renfe's intercity services feature a cafe offering hot meals. AVE trains provide an in-seat meal service or a snack trolley. Many train stations on the AVE network include club lounges for holders of first-class tickets. The company's Atendo service provides trained personnel to assist disabled passengers and ease access to trains and station facilities. Onboard luggage on Renfe trains is restricted to 3 items per passenger. The Renfe network includes several long-distance sleeper routes with a variety of berths and cabins available for reservation.
Renfe Ticket Types
Renfe's ticket system offers first and standard class seats and includes a wide variety of discounts. Buying promo or promo+ tickets in advance online can earn a discount of up to 70% of the regular price, but these tickets have limited flexibility. Return tickets usually offer a discount of 20% on the full fare. Groups can book a table for four with a saving of 60% on the normal price. Children's tickets offer a 40% reduction, with children under 4 traveling for free.
Renfe Train Types
Renfe operates different types of trains depending on the route. Renfe offers: Suburban trains, which usually operate within a single province; Middle-Distance trains, which travel within an autonomous region and adjacent communities; and Long-Distance trains, which travel from one end of Spain to the other. Long-Distance Renfe trains feature numerous services including meals, refreshments, newspapers and movies.
Renfe's fleet of trains include:
- AVE: These are Renfe's high-speed trains, most commonly used for long-distance routes. The AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona is the most popular high-speed train route in Spain. AVE trains offer a variety of services, including a "silent car" for those wishing to rest for the duration of their journey.
- Alvia: Alvia trains operate on AVE tracks at lower speeds. Alvia trains are also used to reach destinations in Spain which are not located on AVE routes.
- Euromed: Euromed trains connect cities along Spain's Mediterranean coast. The train from Barcelona to Valencia is the most popular Euromed Renfe route.
- Altaria: The main Altaria train routes are trains from Madrid to Murcia, Madrid to Granada, and Granada to Algeciras.
- Trenhotel: Renfe's night train service, Trenhotel's most popular routes is the train from Madrid to Lisbon.
High-Speed Trains in Spain
Renfe Train Tickets and Discounts
The price of Renfe train tickets vary depending on both the route and type of train. However, it is possible to get discounts:
- for children
- for large families
- for people over 65 years old
- for round trip train journeys
- for occasional promotions
Renfe ticket types include: one-way, round-trip, group and subscription. Each ticket type has specific terms and conditions which should be read before purchasing.
Renfe offers several discount cards and loyalty programs including:
- Renfe Youth Card + 50: Travelers under 26 years old can get a 50% discount on some types of train tickets.
- Renfe Gold Card: Available for travelers over 60 years old, this card offers discounts between 25-40% on certain train trips.
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