alta velocidad española.

21 Jun

Ah, the AVE. “Es una maravilla!” proclaimed Carmelo, my loveable and ever-opinionated doorman. I’ll be the judge of that, I thought. My aunt and I decided to travel to and from Barcelona via AVE, or Spain’s high-speed train, mostly due to convenience and luxury. It’s not cheap: We could have both flown to and from Barcelona for the price of one round-trip journey on the AVE, but the AVE is less of a hassle, a lot nicer, and a cool experience.

mi billete.

  • easy check-in. Once you have a ticket, the check-in and boarding process is a cinch. You only need to arrive at the station 15 minutes before departure, pass through a complete and utter joke of a security check-point, and board the train up until 2 minutes before departure. There are no delays…in fact on Friday, we were set to leave at 11:30 and took off at 11:28. Yess.

el tren.


  • pretty stations. Madrid’s Atocha station is a pretty cool sight to behold, even if you’re not traveling via AVE or Renfe! The station itself has a pretty brick motif inside, as well a green-house type garden in the center. Also in the station is an intricate memorial to the victims of the terrorist attack in Madrid, which occurred on an Atocha-bound train, on the 11th of March, 2004.


  • onboard amenities. While the AVE doesn’t have wifi on-board just yet (or at least it didn’t for us), they provide passengers with a movie, super plush seats, and a dining car (the food wasn’t half bad, and not as pricey as airplane food, in my opinion). We also go fast – upwards of 250 km/hr and get to pass by some pretty Spanish cities and picturesque country-side.
  • time-saving. The journey takes 3.25 hours, and since the AVE runs city-center to city-center, travelers don’t have to worry about getting into the city from a far away airport or off-the-beaten-path bus station.

All in all, I’d say Carmelo was right, the AVE is a “maravilla” and I’d definitely recommend traveling this way, at least for a Barcelona to/from Madrid jaunt.

Have you ever traveled by high-speed train? Where? What was your experience like? 

6 Responses to “alta velocidad española.”

  1. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] June 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    I love traveling on the AVE. If it weren’t so expensive, I would do it a lot more. I prefer 100x to plane travel.

    • gillian June 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

      Absolutely! I was so lucky that it was my aunt’s idea haha! Did you take the AVE from Madrid to Salamanca?


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