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Driving from Madrid to Barcelona

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Driving from Madrid to Barcelona

I will be in Madrid on March 2013 for 3 nights and then driving directly to Barcelona for 4 nights. I'm wondering, how long does the drive takes? and is it safe? is it OK to make the drive overnight? are there a restaurants or stops on the way? any recommended city or sightseeing that we must to visit during this trip? any other tips?

I appreciate your support as this is my first time in Spain!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Driving from Madrid to Barcelona

Why would you want to drive? It will take you at least 6 hours of driving (plus stops) on busy toll motorways. A train would get you there much faster and with less stress.

Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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2. Re: Driving from Madrid to Barcelona


You can take the AVE with less effort. Read Buying Renfe Tickets Online.

According to the Via Michelin website, you can go there in 6 hours and 12 minutes by the most rapid highways. It is about 600 km.

Torremolinos, Spain
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3. Re: Driving from Madrid to Barcelona

You really don't want to have a car in Madrid or Barcelona either, it will be an absolute pain. Both cities have excellent public transport systems and relatively inexpensive taxis. Don't hire a car for a two-city holiday.

Madrid, Spain
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4. Re: Driving from Madrid to Barcelona

I agree, a car is more of a hindrance than a help in both Madrid and Barcelona. Parking is a complete nightmare and can be quite expensive. Most of the time you will find yourself exploring both cities on foot or by metro - why pay hire and parking costs for a car to stand in a parking bay? If you really do need a car once you get to Barcelona, just hire it on an as and when basis, and only on the days you need it.

If you still wish to drive, the roads are very good, I have actually made this journey in just over 5 hours, but I timed it right and the traffic was light. There are service stations en route where you can stop for a coffee and comfort break.

For sightseeing ideas please see 'Things to see' on both the Madrid and Barcelona forums. The top questions section also provides lots of useful information.

Shanghai Region...
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for Barcelona
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5. Re: Driving from Madrid to Barcelona


Car rental plus gas, toll fees and drop-off fees could cost you hundreds of euros. Barcelona-Madrid is a popular route for both visitors and Spanish residents. The AVE train could cost as low as 35.95€ one way for Turista (tourist) class! Or you could pay a little more and travel Business or Club.

Tickets are currently offered up to 3 March.


For the cheapest price, buy directly from the Renfe website (read the Top Question mentioned by BennyMalaga). RailEurope is a more user-friendly website but you'll have to pay service charges. Either way, it's better and cheaper than driving.

Madison, Wisconsin
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for Madrid
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6. Re: Driving from Madrid to Barcelona

Agree with all the above posters. It's the train in Spain.

7. Re: Driving from Madrid to Barcelona

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