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Where to buy train tickets online?

Where to Madrid explains you how and where to buy train tickets online in Spain

There is only one railway company in Spain, Renfe.

Only long and medium distance Renfe train tickets can be purchased online.

Short distance train tickets, called "Cercanías", must be purchased directly at the train station ticket machine or ticket office.

To buy Renfe tickets online you just need to follow the next steps:
  1. Go to www.renfe.com
  2. Click Welcome (if your language is English)
  3. Cick Purchase
  4. Select your trip (one way or return back ticket) departure station and destination, date, time and number of passengers.
  5. The webpage will show you a list of available trains with the price of the different rates (normally "Turista" (Tourist class), "Preferente" (First class), "Club" (First Class +, leather seats and better catering). 
  6. Choose your train and rate by clicking next to the price and click "Continue" (bottom right corner).
  7. Check the available rates and discounts. Choose between "Adulto"(adult), "Niño" (kid), "C.Joven < 26" (young under 26) and "Tfa. Tarjeta Dorada" (discount for golden card holders, it means passenger with large family benefits). Click "Continue" (bottom right corner).
  8.  Fill in the purchase´s details formulary.
  9. Choose method of payment, fill in payment details, approve the company agreement and click "Buy".
  10. The system will automatically load your boarding pass. Saved the file and print it, you will need it to get into the train.
  11. You will receive an email with the purchase information.
  12. With your boarding pass printed, you can go directly to the train platform. Renfe staff will require your boarding pass there in the platform or in the train station terminal.