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Train from London to Madrid

Madrid city centre
Photo © Turespaña


Route: London St Pancras International to Madrid via Paris (sleeper)
Journey time: About 18 hours
Journey highlights:

Don't miss the restaurant carriage - it is a veritable fiesta, with Spanish diners seemingly eating and drinking their way from north to south, toasting the Spanish border with national wines. Worth booking a luxury couchette (for two) with hot shower to clear the post-party head in the morning.

Intense, colourful, and throbbing with life, the Spanish capital boasts some of the world’s finest art collections (including the Prado and Reina Sofia galleries), a fine architectural legacy, and more tapas bars than you could possibly imagine. There are lovely parks, historic sights, and some great shopping: but what makes Madrid special is the vibrant atmosphere pulsing along its boulevards and the narrow streets of its neighbourhoods – from the pavement cafés of its grand squares and restored old town to the almost 24-hour bar and club scene. A sensory, cultural immersion with all the splendour of a great European capital: Madrid is always alive, always bustling, and always inviting you to join in the experience. 


Detailed itinerary

Option 1: via Paris (sleeper)

Sample itinerary: Take any Eurostar to Paris in time to catch the 1947 from Paris Austerlitz, which arrives Madrid at arrives Madrid at 0955.
Price: From £202 return
Leg 1:

London St Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris. Don't forget check-in time for Eurostar is at least 30 mins before departure.

First train departs 0540 (Mon-Fri), 0618 (Sat), 0819 (Sun).

Last train departs 2001 (Mon-Sat), 2031 (Sun).

Frequency of service: 18 trains Mon-Thur, 20 trains Friday, 22 on Saturday, 17 on Sunday.


Journey time: From 2 hrs 16 mins

Cross the centre of Paris by metro from Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austeritz. From the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for Metro line M5 to Gare d'Austerlitz (which is signposted 'direction Place d'Italie'). It's 9 stops from Gare de Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz and takes 20-30 minutes, but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer.

Long hop

Transfer time: Allow 50 mins.
Book a hotel near Gare du Nord
Book a hotel near Gare d'Austerlitz
Leg 2: Paris Gare d'Austerlitz to Madrid (sleeper)

Train departs 1947 arrives Madrid 0955.
Frequency of service: Daily


Journey time: 14 hrs 08 mins

Bievenido a Madrid

Mainline and international train services arrive at one of Madrid’s two principal railway stations, Chamartín (in the north, on metro lines one and ten) and Atocha (in the south-east, on metro line one).

The simplest way to get around Madrid is by metro: the second largest network in Western Europe, it is constantly being expanded and offers regular, rapid services and is easy to navigate thanks to a clear, colour coded network map. Almost all of central Madrid and points of interest are within easy walking distance of a metro station; and much of the centre (including the old town) is surprisingly walkable – allowing you to explore and see the sights at the same time. Most of Madrid is located in metro fare zone A, and the metro website has a breakdown of tickets and fares in English. The bus network has a similar fare structure, Madrid bus information in English can be found on the city’s tourist website, whilst bus operator EMT offers a journey planner and map of key visitor bus routes (in Spanish). There is also a range of tourist-orientated simplified public transport passes available.

Should you want to travel around Madrid by bike, the city’s tourist website offers visitor cycling information, including recommended cycle hire providers; whilst infobicimadrid has an interactive Madrid cycle route map.

Book a hotel near Madrid Chamartin

Your route to Madrid

The lines on the map are for illustrative purposes only - they don't show the exact route taken by the train.


Through-fare tickets

>> You can now buy a 'through-fare' ticket from over 300 UK rail stations to London that connect with Eurostar departures to Europe. These tickets cut the cost of the journey from your local station to London when used in conjunction with a Eurostar ticket. See: Through-fare tickets connecting with Eurostar

Changing Stations

The key to travelling by train to Europe is to plan the most convenient connections. Here's our guide to how to change stations within the key hub cities of Paris, Brussels and Lille for onward connections to the rest of Europe.

>> How to Change Train Stations in Paris, Brussels and Lille

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