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Purchasing train ticket in Spain

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Purchasing train ticket in Spain

Hello,

we will be traveling in Spain for the first time this October. Our group consists of 3 people.

We need to get from Barcelona to Cordoba on October 1st. I've read many good reviews about fast train services in Spain and was ready to purchase our Barcelona-Cordoba AVE ticket (with a short transfer in Madrid) on the official RENFE website. However, I cannot :( RENFE does not like my credit cards (tried different ones multiple times). I have also checked alternative agency selling RENFE tickets (Petrabax), but they do not sell tickets with a transfer (at least not for the trip Barcelona-Cordoba).

MY QUESTIONS:

We must travel on a specific date (October 1st). Do I absolutely have to buy train tickets much in advance or can I just go to the train station in Barcelona 2 days before the trip and get them there?

If I must buy them ASAP, what other options besides the official website of RENFE do I have?

Any advice related to purchasing train tickets in Spain will be highly appreciated!

Barcelona, Spain
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1. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

If you buy them at the station then you can't take advantage of buying in advance discounts (right now you can get around 50% discount).

If Renfe web doesn't work for you some forum regular members has been strongly promoting loco2 web (I never tried it, so can't give you first hand advice).

London, United...
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2. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

You can take the direct train not transferring through Madrid if the times are suiable. One at 08.30 arriving 13.12 with some Turista promo + tickets for sale at under €80.

Or a later direct one at 15.50 arriving at 20.28

The RENFE purchase process can now be done with PayPal if this helps. It is normally easier.

There are numerous notes which may be of value when using Renfe here:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187514-c80518/Madrid…

Read especially the Terms & Conds for buying Promo Tickets.

Loco2 is possible although you buy in GBPounds as web site is in UK and is normally not the cheapest route to go as Renfe does provide the best fares always.

Edited: 21 August 2014, 21:05
Torremolinos, Spain
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3. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

< and is normally not the cheapest route to go as Renfe does provide the best fares always. >

As the OP's credit card isn't being accepted by RENFE it is reasonable to assume she's outside the Eurozone so any currency exchange is frankly irrelevant.

RENFE does NOT always provide the best fares either, other providers often have promotions on.

Use Loco2, it works properly and you can print off your tickets within minutes instead of wasting your time for hours with RENFE's ridiculous site.

www.loco2.com

:

Edited: 21 August 2014, 22:33
Torremolinos, Spain
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4. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

Loco2 are also transparent and upfront about their service, and even list all the alternatives on their site so you can choose and compare - what a pleasant change from all the disinformation spread about on here:

https:/…

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5. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

Thanks everyone for your replies!

I have checked the Loco2 website. The same tickets that are priced around 77 EUR on RENFE website, cost around 142 EUR (113 GBP) on Loco2...

I will keep on looking for alternatives and will post here if I find any.

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6. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

The original question was asking if you had to buy the Barcelona to Cordoba tickets in advance. The short answer is no as you can always reach Cordoba somehow even if the direct train is full. For example you take the Madrid train and then take the next Cordoba train at Atocha station.

However it is convenient to have tickets in hand and the main reason for purchasing early when on a tight schedule is to also take advantage of any discounts available. For example on Oct 1st the direct train leaving at 09.30 has Promo+ seats for under €80.

Getting the credit card to work when you are not situated in Spain can be a problem especially if you are in Australia or USA it seems when buying seats on RENFE. They introduced payment using PayPal which appears to be much easier. If you know someone who has a PayPal account then perhaps ask them to book the seats for you ?

One further thought. If you by any chance you are over 60 you are entitled to a seniors rail card offering discounts when you buy a ticket. This costs a few Euros and can be bought when buying the rail tickets .in Span. For travel on a Wednesday you will receive a 40% discount on the normal walk up fare.

renfe.com/EN/…tarjeta_dorada.html

Edited: 25 August 2014, 08:46
Torremolinos, Spain
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7. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

< I have checked the Loco2 website. The same tickets that are priced around 77 EUR on RENFE website, cost around 142 EUR (113 GBP) on Loco2... >

Looking at both sites for this journey for your date you'll find that the 77 EUR is the price of one ticket, the 142 GBP is the price for three.

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8. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

Haha

The old train ticket ploy ! Such confusion.

Out of interest I just researched this myself. For the direct train leaving at 08.30 on the 1st October.

The RENFE web show Turista Promo + where you can choose seats at €74.80 each giving total €224.40

The Loco2 site gives same class of seat (they describe as Semi Flexible) at £66 each or £198 (GBP) for 3. Plus 2.5 % if using Credit Card.

Trying to work out the actual comparison means doing a currency conversion. But if simple GBP to Euros it works out at

€224 Renfe versus €248 Loco2 at simple current Rate of Exchange however this does not take into account Credit Card charge nor the actual conversion when calculated into final currency of the purchaser on their bank statement.

9. Re: Purchasing train ticket in Spain

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