*daily rates in Madrid Train Station based on a 1 day rental (24hr period) and for guidance purposes only.
*average daily rates based on 7 day rental, search for todays best prices.
Madrid Train Station Mini Guide
Who Finds Themselves at Madrid Atocha Station?
Whilst flying into Madrid used to be the most popular way of getting to the Spanish capital, the station’s location in the city centre and linked by the AVE high speed train to the south and north of Spain makes it a convenient way to arrive in the city if you’re touring Iberia. With journey times not much longer than the plane ride from Barcelona
, and cheaper fares, many more people now arrive at Atocha, ready to step outside into the city of the Prado Art Museum; the Palacio Real, one of the biggest royal palaces in Europe and the Cathedral of Almuneda where Spanish royalty get married. If that doesn’t satisfy you then there’s the Reina Sofia National Museum and Art Centre and the Museo de America holding thousands of objects from Spain’s conquest of south and Central America.
What is the Station Like?
It’s huge and is actually a complex formed by three stations. Originally built in 1851, it was destroyed by fire in 1891 and then rebuilt, it was modernised in the 1990s when a new terminal was built and the old concourse turned into a 4,000m2 tropical garden. It’s currently struggling to cope with 15m passengers a year and the latest redevelopment seeks to divide the station into arrivals and departures terminals to ease congestion. Adding poignancy to your visit is the memorial to the victims of the Madrid train bombings in 2004. Built as a shrine, you can leave a virtual handprint in a somewhat bizarre and slightly cheesy effort to record your visit.
What Should I Expect When I Arrive at the Station?
You’ll disembark onto one of the thirteen platforms before making your way along to the terminal building. There, you’ll find everything a new arrival in the city might want; places to eat, buy phone credit, shop for essentials and rent a car, for pre-booked car hire, ready to collect when you arrive at the station is very popular. There’s an information desk, assistance for passengers with mobility issues and a tourist information office where you can find accommodation or learn more about the sights of the city.
What Happens on the day of my Departure?
Tickets can be booked online in advance or at the station on the day – a bit of advice; it’s easier to get a grip on all the different prices and categories of ticket if you book online. Arrive early and you’ll have the chance to shop. If you’re hungry there are restaurants around the concourse but they’re generic and not very inspiring. Step outside the station and you’ll find many more restaurants where a ‘menu of the day’ will set you back only €12 and you can choose from traditional Spanish all the way down to McDonalds. Back inside, departures are clearly indicated on information boards with the platform number but you should allow around five to ten minutes to get to your train from the concourse. Once aboard, relax and look forward to your next visit.