We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

Which Barcelona hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Southern California
Level Contributor
9 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

We are arriving in Madrid on September 17th and want to rent a car to drive to Barcelona to go on a cruise on the 19th. What is a good car rental agency and best things to see on the way? (Will also have an extra day in Barcelona on the return before we fly to madrid for our flight home)

Cummington, MA
Level Contributor
1,020 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

Have you considered the AVE train?

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
30,248 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

Options,Train www.renfe.es flights www.vueling.com www.spanair.com

car rental www.autoeurope.com www.viamichelin.com

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
51,277 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

You really don't have enough time in my opinion to warrant renting a car. If you haven't been to either Madrid or Barcelona, spend an extra day at each. Barcelona deserves a full three days. Then you can stick to just trains or flights. Vueling could give you very attractive prices when it comes to flights.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
9,242 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

If I was on your shoes, I'll forget about the car.

If you had a few days to spend on the road, you could build an interesting itinerary. However, doing this in one day, you'll spend 6-7 hours in a very boring highway (believe me, done it many times in the past!), plus negotiating the traffic exiting Madrid and entering Barcelona (not fun). The only interesting bit can be spending a couple of hours in Zaragoza. And you will not be saving much money as you will have to add petrol and tolls to the rental.

You can look for a cheap flight or travel in style with the AVE train (an experience to be had, and city center to city center)

Edited: 17 August 2010, 10:36
Southern California
Level Contributor
9 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

Thanks for the replies! We are considering the train. Someone tell me about the AVE train. Where do you purchase tickets, cost, etc. We thought if we rented a car we could go along the coast and see some small towns south of Barcelona

Oswestry, United...
Level Contributor
5,144 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

TheWindingRoad,

I do not understand how you drive along the coast from Madrid to Barcelona...... but please read this concise info. on buying train tickets on line -

seat61.com/…20website

or this greater information -

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g187514-c80518/Madr…

Best wishes.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
9,242 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

Madrid is in the center of Spain, so just reaching the coast will cost you about the same than reaching Barcelona! You could drive to Valencia (5-6 hours) and then up to Barcelona (4-5 hours). Or, you can drive from Madrid to Tarragona (6-7 hours) and then up to Barcelona (2 hours). These times are of course using the highways and non-stop. You need to add a few hours to reach any nice town (not than many along this coast, but still there are a few) and visit it. The scenic routes are not the highways of course, but using side roads will be much slower. I'm afraid you just have no time. Spain is bigger than it looks at the map.

Southern California
Level Contributor
9 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

So glad you replied. Our idea was Madrid to Tarragona to Barcelona, but indeed that is longer traveling time than we expected. Sounds like the train is the way to go. Any ideas on hotels in madrid and barcelona? We will be going to the port for the cruise in Barcelona.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
30,248 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

Check out www.venere.com

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
Level Contributor
9,242 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Madrid to Barcelona by car rental

If you have time enough, another day you can take a commuter train to Sitges, just a few euros and about 30 minutes, trains every 15 minutes. It makes a nice half or full day trip.

"Any ideas on hotels in madrid and barcelona? We will be going to the port for the cruise in Barcelona."

Please give a budget, there are too many to choose, for all budgets and hotel categories.

In both cities I would stay central. In Madrid I like the areas of Plaza Santa Ana, Opera, Barrio de las Letras, Paseo del Prado.

It makes no sense staying the cruise port in Barcelona as there is nothing on interest nearby, not even hotels by walking distance. You will need a taxi to your cruise ship anyway, so better stay at the very city center (Plaça de Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia), these are a short taxi ride to the cruise port and you will have most sights at walking distance.