Eurail Spain Pass or the Renfe Spain Pass? Day-trips out of Madrid for Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Valencia, and Barcelona.

Hi

I will be in Madrid and wanted to make day trips to other cities like, Seville, Barcelona, Cordoba, Granada and Valencia. We have two adults and a four year old child with us. Our hotel reservation is in Madrid so we would need to get back to Madrid every night. I wanted to know which pass would be the most economical for me to purchase as a tourist for round trip tickets. Please advise me on the best option for my train travels.

Thank you
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 15, 2016 15:57
    Hi Basma,

    Between the Eurail Spain Pass and the Renfe Spain Pass, the most economical option would depend on the specifics of your itinerary. If you're planning on doing day-trips as your way to visit each of these destinations, then your most economical option of the two choices would likely be to purchase the Eurail Spain Pass.

    Even though reservations are included in the cost of the Renfe Spain Pass, this pass is sold based on 'travel segments', as opposed to 'travel days'. A 'segment' refers to each individual train you take (i.e. '10 Segments in 1 Month'=10 different trains in 1 month). Generally, when the number of travel segments equals the number of travel days, the Renfe Spain Pass would be more economical than the Eurail Spain Pass. When the number of travel segments exceeds the number of travel days, you would want to start looking at the Eurail Spain Pass, because it may end up being the less expensive option.

    To give you an idea how it works, a round-trip between Madrid and Seville done within the time-frame of a day would count as only 1 'travel day' on a Eurail Spain Pass, whereas this same travel would require 2 'segments' on a Renfe Spain Pass. The more 'segments' on your Renfe Spain Pass, the higher the cost would be.

    Additionally, due to ongoing engineering work on the rail line just outside Granada, you would currently only be able to get to Granada by taking a bus from the town of Antequera. Conveniently, both the Eurail Spain Pass and the Renfe Spain Pass are valid on the buses between Antequera and Granada; however, it would count as an additional 'segment' on a Renfe Spain Pass. Thus, a one-way trip from Madrid to Granada would require 2 'segments' on a Renfe Spain Pass (the train from Madrid to Antequera and the bus from Antequera to Madrid) and round-trip between Madrid and Granada would require 4 'segments' on a Renfe Spain Pass. In contrast, a round-trip between Madrid and Granada would count for only 1 'travel day' (if you do the round-trip as a day-trip) or 2 'travel days' (if you head back to Madrid on a different day).

    Considering all this, the best option would depend on the specifics of what you intend to do.

    Keep in mind that a one-way between Madrid and Granada would take about 5 hours, so this is one trip that you might not want to do as a 'day-trip'.

    For the Eurail Spain Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-spain-pass/index.html.

    Current promotion (for bookings made by September 29, 2016) for the Eurail Spain Pass to receive 1 extra 'travel day': https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-spain-pass-free-day/index.html.

    For the Renfe Spain Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/renfe-spain-pass/index.html.
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