The Best Ways to Travel Around Spain

Traffic circling Placa d'Espanya in Barcelona, Spain.

Traffic circling Placa d'Espanya in Barcelona, Spain.

Finding your way around Spain can be intimidating, but travelers with Zicasso move around with ease. When in the hands of local travel experts, you can relax knowing that these travel logistics are taken care of. Helpful guides can include personalized trip apps for your mobile phone or classic maps that help you to explore a city, the countryside, or the broader country with ease during your trip. Your preferences for how you travel are a factor in organizing your trip.

Best for Long Distances: Trains & Flights

Train in the Barcelona train station.

Train in the Barcelona train station.

Trains:

Trains are the easiest way to travel between popular cities with an extensive network for travel connections from major cities like Madrid to Barcelona or Madrid to Seville. The high-speed trains travel upwards of 192 miles per hour, bringing you across Spain in less than three hours.

Not all trains travel as fast as the high-speed trains, but the slower trains are great for traveling shorter distances to outlying suburbs and towns. Beyond the high-speed trains or local routes, Spain also has popular scenic trains that are great for a picturesque journey, such as the Al-Andalus that will take you on a luxury ride through Andalusia or the Transcantabrico that travels the Santiago de Compostela along the coast to Leon.

Flights:

Spain has more than 40 airports between the islands and the mainland for easy national and international connections. The number and diversity of airports across Spain make it much easier for you to travel long distances quickly to make the most of your vacation time. While the logistics of train travel are much easier with destinations that are connected by high-speed trains, longer distances or island destinations, such as Bilbao to Cordoba or Barcelona to Ibiza, are faster and accessible by plane.

Best for Short Travel: Private Chauffeur, Cars, and Buses

Drive up to Cap Formentor lighthouse in Mallorca, Spain.

Drive up to Cap Formentor lighthouse in Mallorca, Spain.

Private Chauffeur:

Spain is a safe and beautiful country, and a private driver offers a more immersive experience for your benefit. A driver often acts as a guide and can give you more information on the local history, cultural insights, and hidden treasures inside a city and when traveling through the countryside. A private driver is a great idea for a variety of travelers, whether honeymooners interested in a secluded excursion or a family interested in convenience. Private drivers usually transfer you from the airport to your accommodation and can offer a degree of personal attention during a private tour or day excursion.

Car Rental:

Spain offers one of the most fulfilling driving experiences in Europe with spectacular scenery to fill your journey. Roads in Spain are generally in good condition in the city and the countryside. A vast network of highways sprawl outward from Madrid to reach all corners of the country and link to smaller, picturesque roads. Drivers in big cities like Barcelona or Madrid drive more aggressively than other parts of Spain, but when outside of the city, you can take your time to enjoy the splendid scenery.Buses:Buses are a fantastic way to travel through Spain with the varying roadside that is too complicated for building train tracks but perfect for scenic roads. The unique experience provides panoramic views from the Sierra de Madrid to the Pyrenees, as well as along the vast countryside. The majority of long-route buses have WiFi, air conditioning, and comfy seats, making long-distance travel much more comfortable while also offering easy access to towns, cities, and rural communities that are not connected by the train network.

Best for Urban Travel: Taxis, Buses, and Ridesharing Apps

Taxis and tourist bus at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

Taxis and tourist bus at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

Taxis & Local Buses:

Taxis, local buses, and regional trains are great alternatives to walking or using the metro system when visiting larger cities like Madrid or Barcelona. Not every city in Spain has a metro system, but public transport in popular destinations like Malaga, Bilbao, Seville, and Valencia include buses, suburban train services, and metro systems. The metro systems across Spain are reliable and clean, and licensed taxis provide quality services and are easily hailed anywhere in a major city.

Ridesharing Apps:

The legality of ridesharing apps in Spain is spotty. While popular in the United States and a number of other countries around the world, ridesharing apps like Uber are not available in cities across the country. Uber Black is an option for luxury service, and Uber Taxi will let you hail a cab and pay through the app. Many of the ridesharing apps are focused on either private luxury services as opposed to quick transfers or for hailing traditional taxis.

Best Alternative Travel: Boats

Ferry boat in Spain.

Ferry boat in Spain.

Travel by Boat:

Spain is surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and the Bay of Biscay, which has made traveling along the coastline by boats or ferries a necessity throughout history. Boats are not the most efficient way to travel around Spain but will give you unique experiences and fantastic views of the coastline. Ferries and boats are also a great way to reach islands like Ibiza, Mallorca, or the Canary Islands.

More Travel Information & Tips

Understanding how to navigate a foreign nation while on vacation will allow for a seamless trip. With logistical considerations understood, consider how you want to personalize your vacation by deciding the best time of year to visit for you, what top destinations you want to see, and what main attractions are best suited for your preferences. With Zicasso’s Spain Travel Guide, you have access to a litany of information and inspiration to guide in the right direction. When you’re ready to start planning, submit a Trip Request or call us at 1-888-265-9707 and get connected with a top travel specialist.