Ave map (2016?)
A Texan in Spain's "How to Ride the Train in Spain"
For those over 60 years old:
RENFE's "Tarjeta Dorada Card"
(but someone said
"beware of the card because i found that travelling during the day there were cheaper fares than the card fare").
The RENFE web site is notorious for not working. I find it works for seeing train schedules and prices,
but sometimes not for actually buying tickets (whether I'm a logged-in user or not). And each time buying a ticket
fails and you start again, you have to re-type ALL of the information. [I sent an email complaint to RENFE 11/2014
and got a response that included: "We are having some troubles with some foreign credit and debit cards payments ...
there is an error produced when Renfe's server try to connect with some of the overseas Bank's servers".
This may well be the problem I was seeing. But the RENFE site should handle that better.]
Buying an AVE ticket at the machines in Barcelona Sants Estacio worked. But if you get the PIN
on your credit card wrong, it makes you start all over from the beginning; no second try at the PIN,
no opportunity to try a different card.
Finally managed to buy tickets through the RENFE web site ! Bought Euromed tickets.
I think the trick to make it work was that I paid with PayPal, instead of credit card.
Buying tickets at the machines in Barcelona San Andreu Estacio never works for me. Various mysterious errors,
and I end up going to the counter.
There is a RENFE frequent-flyer card called TEMPO. I don't know how it works.
It is free; you can apply for it through the web site. Someone says the "basic" level
has very little pay-off.
From /u/Dr_Gage on reddit's /r/spain
The worst dates to travel [in summer] are the beginning, middle and end of July and August,
so reserving would be a very good idea. Most Spaniards take fortnight vacations that start the 1st or 15th of the month.
From people on TripAdvisor's "Barcelona Travel Forum"
> I'll be travelling on the AVE. I'm staying near
> the X station, do I have to pay to take the train
> from X station to Y station where the AVE leaves,
> or is the ride inclusive in my AVE ticket?
With every ticket to the AVE or long distance trains you get a free ride with the commuter trains (Cercanias/Rodalies/Feve).
You can use it up to 3h before your trip in the origin area and up to 3h after your arrival to the destination.
To get your ticket you need to go to the automatic machines and display the bar code on your ticket or,
if there are no automatic machines (or ones without a bar code reader) you can go to the cashier.
Of course, if you still have local rides on your public transport card (like the T-10) you can also
use it to get to Y from X with the commuter trains (it's quicker then taking the metro).
Your AVE ticket allows you to use the commuter trains from X to Y (commuter train, not metro).
You must get your free ticket at the station ATMs with a combinados cercanias number printed in your AVE ticket.
At the tickets ATM you must look for an option called Combinados Cercanias.
In your AVE train you have a "Combinado Cercanias" number that allows you to get a free commuter train ticket.
Get it at the tickets ATMs (they are orange for the commuter trains and it says Rodalies on them).
If your AVE train arrives late, you may be eligible for a partial refund; see
RENFE's "Punctuality Commitment"
But often they will deny a refund, saying they were late because of factors out of their control (such as
people cutting wires).
It seems you have to wait 24 hours after arrival to find out if they will give refunds, then
you have 30 days to file request for refund. Maybe you can look up the status and file request at
(login before clicking this link),
or do the request via paper form (if in Barcelona, at Sants Estacio).