Unique Spain by train itinerary – from Costa Brava to Andalusia

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What we talk about in this article

Planning a trip to Spain? How about leaving the traffic jams behind and go on a train adventure! This Spain by train itinerary takes you to some top cities in Spain. Enjoy a great mix of culture and beach fun. No need to look for a parking space and no crazy driving through big city centres, just hop on and off the train.

These are all relatively short rides, so you can just relax and read a book, listen to some music and enjoy the scenery on the way (except on the high-speed trains, they’re just too fast!) Let’s go!

What to pack for a train trip through Spain?

When preparing for a train trip through Spain, it’s essential to find a balance between convenience and necessity in what you pack. The key is to anticipate the diverse experiences and varying climates you might encounter, from the sun-drenched beaches of the Costa del Sol to cooler mountainous regions.

Packing smartly is the way to go, as you don’t want the burden of carrying excess luggage around.  To help you out, we made a packing list with all the items you might need for your train trip. Now, this is an extensive list, to make sure you think about everything. Tip: Only take the items that you’re going to use regularly. It feels great to travel light weight. 

Spain by train itinerary: Barcelona - Valencia - Madrid - Málaga - Sevilla

Let me tell you a bit more about this itinerary. This is a fun route that begins in the Costa Brava, and ends slightly inland from the Andalusian coast. So, expect plenty of sunshine along the way.

  • Start your journey in the popular city of Barcelona, known for its stunning architecture and lively energy. Explore the Gothic Quarter, visit the iconic Sagrada Familia, and indulge in some delicious tapas.
  • Next stop is Valencia, a coastal city with a mix of modern and historical charm. Stroll through the charming streets and visit the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. Don’t forget to try some traditional Valencian paella!
  • From there, hop on a train to Madrid, the bustling capital city known for its world-class museums, lively nightlife, and delicious food. Visit the Royal Palace, take a walk in Retiro Park, and enjoy a flamenco show in the evening.
  • Continue your journey to Malaga, a coastal gem with beautiful beaches and a rich history. Explore the Alcazaba fortress, visit the Picasso Museum, and soak up the sun on La Malagueta beach.
  • Last but certainly not least, end your trip in Sevilla, known for its stunning architecture, lively culture, and delicious cuisine. Visit the iconic Alcázar palace, take a stroll through the charming Santa Cruz neighbourhood, and try some tasty tapas in one of the many local bars.


With these top cities on your itinerary, you can’t go wrong. So, let’s go on an unforgettable journey. ¡Buen viaje!


What better place to start your trip than in Barcelona! It’s full of nice bars and restaurants, great architecture and even has a beach. So you should definitely pack swimwear for this trip. 

Culture lovers will not know what to visit first! Stroll through the centre of the old city of Barcelona in the Barri Gòtic, get some pictures of the world-famous Sagrada Família or visit one of the bazillion museums.

Spain by train itinerary - Barcelona
View on Barcelona from Park Güell
Spain by train itinerary - Barcelona
Arc de Triomf

Some top spots to visit are:

  • Basílica Sagrada Família
  • Parque Güell
  • La Rambla
  • Plaça de Catalunya
  • Font Màgica
  • Mercat de la Boqueria
  • Barceloneta beach

But these are just the tip of the iceberg. You will not get bored here!

If you love football you can take a tour of Camp Nou, the football stadium of FC Barcelona.

And it’s also easy to find a few unusual things to do in Barcelona!

Spain by train itinerary - Barceloneta beach
Barceloneta beach

Where to sleep in Barcelona

Finding the perfect place to stay in Barcelona is easy, as the city offers a variety of accommodations for every budget and preference. From luxurious hotels to cosy apartments, there’s something for everyone.

  • Barcelona has many charming neighbourhoods such as Gràcia or El Raval. These areas offer a mix of traditional and modern vibes, with plenty of restaurants and cafés to explore.
  • If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, then the Eixample district is the place to be. This upscale area boasts grand boulevards, high-end boutiques, and top-rated hotels.
  • For a budget-friendly option, hostels are a great choice in Barcelona. You can find affordable options in most neighbourhoods.


Booking your accommodation in advance makes your train trip easier. No need to worry about a place to sleep, you’ll know exactly where to go when you arrive.  

Best hostel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best 5-star boutique hotel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best luxury hotel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Barcelona to Valencia train ride

  • The train ride from Barcelona to Valencia will take about 3 to 4 hours, and you will not have to switch trains in between.
  • You will leave Barcelona from the Barcelona Sants Station, the most important station from Barcelona.
  • When you travel by the train company Euromed you will arrive at the Valencia Joaquin Sorolla Station. 
  • When you take a Talgo train you will arrive at the Valencia- Estacio del Nord, this option will take 30 minutes longer than the Euromed train.
  • Both the stations or located at the South of Valencia’s urban centre. Booking in advance is recommended.
Estacion del Nord, Valencia
Estación del Nord, Valencia


Stop 2 on this epic Spain by train itinerary is Valencia.

Just like Barcelona, this city is packed with historic sites like the Valencia Cathedral, the Basilica of Valencia and the Lonja de la Seda which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Another very popular point on your ‘what to see in Valencia’ list is the beautifully designed museum La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and the aquarium L’Océanographic.

Spain by train itinerary - Valencia
Plaza de la Virgen
Spain by train itinerary - Valencia

In addition, Valencia has multiple plazas you could explore with the most famous ones La Plaza de la Reina and la Plaza del Ayuntamiento where you can find the city hall.

Craving some beach time? Then head over to Playa de las Arenas close to the city centre or choose one of the beaches like Playa el Saler or La Garrofera.

Are you travelling through Spain in March? Check out the Las Fallas Festival in Valencia!

Oh! And while you’re there, get a taste of the famous Valencian paella

Where to sleep in Valencia

Valencia offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveller’s needs. From luxurious resorts to cosy guest houses, there’s something for everyone in this charming city.

  • For those seeking a taste of luxury, the upscale neighbourhood of El Pla del Real is the perfect choice. Here you’ll find 5-star hotels with all the amenities you might need. 
  • If you want to be in the heart of all the action, then stay in Barrio del Carmen. This lively neighbourhood is known for its bustling streets filled with bars, restaurants, and street performers.
  • For a hip, modern and artistic vibe, choose accommodation in Ruzafa
  • For a more budget-friendly option, check out Benimaclet. This neighbourhood offers affordable accommodation options without compromising on location or charm.


No matter where you choose to stay, finding good accommodations will not be a problem. Book in advance, so you can settle in quickly after your arrival and can start enjoying all the city has to offer. 

Best hostel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best 5-star boutique hotel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best 5-star Wellness hotel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Valencia to Madrid train ride

  • The train ride from Valencia to Madrid takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • You will leave Valencia at the Valencia Joaquin Sorolla station and arrive in Madrid at the Madrid- Puerto de Atocha station.
  • The AVE high- speed train will take you in no time to the next highlight of your train adventure!
  • Also here don’t forget to book your ticket in advance!
Turia gardens, Valencia
Turia gardens, Valencia


The capital of Spain is without a doubt one of our favourite cities in the world and I have a feeling you will fall in love with it too.

You can easily spend a day walking around the city park El Retiro. Not to mention all the plazas you can saunter around like the Plaza Mayor and the Puerta del Sol.

If you would like to go on a shopping spree the Gran Via is the place to be.


Segovia Bridge Madrid
Segovia Bridge Madrid
Lavapies district Madrid
Lavapies district Madrid

Football fanatics can hit Bernabéu, the football stadium of Real Madrid.

Do you want to see the Royal Palace? Then head over to the Plaza de Oriente.

Barrio La Latina is the neighbourhood to go to if you’re looking for a cool bar or a cozy terrace. And this is just an introduction of what Madrid has to offer. There are innumerable gorgeous sites to see, and it’s not difficult to spend an awesome weekend in Madrid!

Where to sleep in Madrid

Finding the perfect accommodation will make your stay even more memorable. Like any other capital city, Madrid has a lot of districts, which have a different character, feel and vibe.

To help you choose which district or neighbourhood suits you best, we made a post about the districts and neighbourhoods in Madrid. In this overview, you can check out the cons and pro’s of each area, so you have no problem deciding where you want to stay. 

  • For those looking for a luxurious experience, look no further than the upscale neighbourhood of Salamanca. Here you’ll find 5-star hotels and boutique resorts that offer top-notch amenities and exceptional service.
  • El Retiro also has an upscale vibe, but more green areas than Salamanca. 
  • If you want to be in the heart of all the action, then consider staying in the lively district of Chueca. This trendy area is filled with charming cafés, chic boutiques, and a buzzing nightlife scene.
  • You can find budget-friendly options in a lot of area’s, check out Malasaña if you like to party. This neighbourhood offers affordable hostels and hotels close to the party-scene.
  • If budget is your main concern, check out Tetuán, an upcoming district with more affordable lodging, but with easy access to popular districts. 

Best budget hotel in Malasaña

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best boutique hotel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best luxurious retreat

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia
  • The train ride from Madrid to Malaga is going to take about 2.30 to 3 hours.
  • In Madrid, you leave from the station called Madrid-Puerta de Atocha.
  • In Malaga, you will arrive at the Maria Zambrano station.
  • The AVE train is a very modern high-speed train which will take you comfortably to your next destination, in this case, Malaga.
  • Don’t forget to make a reservation for this trip, preferably a couple of weeks in advance. You can also try your luck at the booth at the train station but don’t be surprised if the train is full! Especially in high season.
Almudena Cathedral Madrid
Almudena Cathedral Madrid


Welcome to sun-soaked Málaga at the Costa del Sol, the home of Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas!

After your busy city trip to Madrid, it is now time to relax at one of the city beaches like Playa de la Malagueta or Playa Caleta where close by you will find numerous cafés and restaurants. Or you could do a food tour in Malaga to explore the local cuisine!

Málaga is a port city and strolling around its grand Puerto de Málaga will keep you amused for a while.


Spain by train itinerary - Malaga
Aerial view of Málaga taken from Gibralfaro Castle
Spain by train itinerary - Malagueta Beach in Malaga.
Malagueta beach

Do you want a throwback in time?  Then you must visit El Castillo de Gibralfaro and the remains of a Moorish Palace the Alcazaba.

Furthermore, you can find plenty of Museums like the Museo Picasso and there are plenty of other things to do in Malaga!

Up for a beach party? Go take a look at El Pedregalejo. A gorgeous stretch of beach where there are plenty of bars and parties around.

Where to sleep in Málaga?

With so much to see and do in this charming destination, it’s important to find the perfect accommodation that suits your needs.

  • Staying in Centro Historico will place you in the middle of the action, close to a lot of tourist attractions, but also in a very busy area. 
  • Looking for a beach location, close to the centre, choose Malagueta. If you want to stay here, make sure to book way in advance, because it’s a very popular area, especially in summer. 
  • If you want to stay close to the beach but on a quieter location, consider Pedregalejo, with its stunning beaches, tiny beach bars and great seafood. 
  • El Limonar is an historic and up-scale neighbourhood with a lot of charm and green area’s. 
  • Soho is the place to go for luxury and great restaurants. It’s a busy area that’s also kind of pricy. 

Best hostel in Centro

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best boutique hotel in El Limonar

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best 5-star hotel at the beach

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Malaga to Seville train ride

  • The Malaga to Seville train just sets you back 2 hours if you take the option without a transfer in between.
  • You depart in Malaga from the Malaga Maria Zambrano station. Your fastest option is to take the Avant high-speed train that will take you to Seville in less than 2 hours.
  • You will arrive at the Sevilla-Santa Justa station.
Castillo de Gibralfaro, Valencia
Castillo de Gibralfaro


End this legendary Spain by train tour in one of Spain’s most stunning cities: Seville.

The city of Seville lies around the river Guadalquivir and has so much to offer you will not know what to discover first.

It is known for its famous Flamenco shows so make sure you go and see one! A show is often combined with a dinner or tapas menu so you can make a whole evening out of it.

Culture buffs will be in awe for the magnificent architecture of the Seville Cathedral. Right next to it you’ll find La Giralda, the bell tower of Seville.


Boutique hotels in Seville
Plaza de España
Real Alcazar de Seville
Real Alcazar de Seville

You can also have a look at the Royal Palace Real Alcazar or visit one of the many museums like the Museo de Bellas Artes or the Roman Ruins Italica.

Certainly, pay a visit to Plaza de Espana which is based at the Maria Luisa Park. You will never want to leave!

If you plan an extra day in this city, you’ll have plenty of time to plan a day trip from Seville to Ronda, which is famous for the impressive Puente Nuevo.

Just like the other cities in this list, Seville has much more to offer than what is described here. There are tons of cool things to see, do and eat here, so go and explore Seville!

Do you have more time in Seville? Take a trip to Ronda, a gorgeous old-soul city

Perched high on a cliff and known for its breathtaking views and historic charm, Ronda has spectacular vistas of the surroundings and the deep chasm of the Guadalevín River Gorge below. Marvel at the ancient Arab walls, wander through narrow streets lined with whitewashed buildings, and visit the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest bullrings.

Check out why you should include Ronda in your itinerary

Where to stay in Seville

Seville caters to every budget and travel style with a variety of charming boutique hotels, ranging from budget-friendly to high-end options. Here are the best boutique hotels in Seville to choose from: 

  • For those looking for luxury accommodation, have a look at the upscale neighbourhood of Santa Cruz. Here you’ll find luxurious hotels with beautiful courtyards and elegant interiors, perfect for a romantic getaway in the heart of Seville. 
  • If you want to be in the middle of all the action, the bustling area of Triana is also a good option. This lively neighbourhood is full of traditional tapas bars, flamenco shows, and charming streets lined with orange trees.
  • For budget travellers, check out the Macarena district. This Bohemian neighbourhood offers a variety of affordable accommodations and is just a short walk from the city’s main attractions.

Best hostel in the old town

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best mid-range hotel in Triana

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Best high-end boutique hotel

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia

Getting train tickets for this trip

Interrail Spain Pass

  • Interrail is a great way to manage all your train transportation and bookings all at once.
  • This travel itinerary will take you through 1 country: Spain. Your best option, therefore, is to take the one country pass for Spain.
  • You can choose how many days you want to travel in 1 month.
  • For this train itinerary through Spain, you will need at least 4 train travel days.
Botanical garden in Atocha train station
Botanical garden in Atocha train station in Madrid

Are there any extra costs for this interrail pass?

  • Kids younger than 12 years old will travel for free.
  • Youngsters between 12 and 27 years old get a discount on their pass.
  • You will need to pay extra on top of this pass for all trains that require a reservation.
  • For Spain, there is also the alternative to choose a one country Spain premium pass. This one is a bit more expensive, but you don’t have to pay any extra reservation costs. So no unpleasant surprises of surplus costs with the premium pass!
  • We travelled with a global pass as we hit more than one country and the extra costs for reservations where often costly.
Barcelona Pride

Traveling without Interrail pass

Of course you can also buy tickets without an interrail Pass.

Take a look at this list of the best train booking apps and train journey planners for Europe.

Check the current prices for separate train tickets for this journey here.

Traveling without a European Passport

Are you traveling without a European passport?

Read our article on How to get a Schengen Visa to travel through Europe.

Will I miss my car?

No need to drive endless hours at a time with your car, and look for a parking spot everywhere.

And once you are in a city, especially big cities like in this list you just use public transportation.

A lot of cities have a very good functioning metro system that gets you easily from A to B.

Most parts of the city you discover by foot. In case you get too tired you can always grab a cab.

Unique Spain by train itinerary - from Costa Brava to Andalusia
Madrid Metro Station

Conclusion - Spain by train itinerary

So that was the complete Spain by train itinerary which includes some of the best holiday destinations in Spain.

We also wrote an article about road tripping in Spain. During our travels in this beautiful country, we noticed a lot of cultural and religious differences with what we already knew.

That’s why it’s a good idea to do some research and read a great Spain travel guide before leaving your home!

Traveling Europe by rail is very different from travelling by car or aeroplane, and we absolutely adore it and hope you do too.

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Spain by rail in 2 weeks
Spain by rail in 2 weeks
Spain by rail in 2 weeks
Spain by rail in 2 weeks
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