Travelling in my home country Spain - Rules

  • 16 December 2022
  • 10 replies

Hello,  We are using an interrail pass to travel from Spain (my home country) to the UK.  On the way back we are stopping in Paris and then want to get from Paris to Madrid.  As I understand it to get from Paris to Madrid I have to go Paris-Barcelona and then Barcelona-Madrid.  Is that correct?  And if yes.  Can I include both the Paris-Barcelona and Barcelona-Madrid journeys with my interrail ticket if I do the whole journey on one day??  RENFE have said I cannot travel at all in my home country.  But I think that is wrong.  Please could someone send me a link to the rules so that I can take them to RENFE?  


Many thanks.


Best answer by Anonymous 16 December 2022, 13:43

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@Martha Hello! Thank you for your question. I am not sure why this was communicated, since you can use your Interrail Global Pass in your own country during two travel days of your choice for one outbound trip (leaving your own country) and one inbound trip (entering your own country). You can take as many trains as necessary to complete these journeys, but you are not allowed to make any extra trips within your own country. You can also use them in the order you prefer (that is, you may use the inbound trip before using the outbound one if that better suits your travel plans). You can read this page for more details.

Userlevel 6
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Yes - with a global interrail pass you can travel for two days in your home country.

On the Renfe site itself - they should trust that:  “Tu pase Interrail Global Pass te permite realizar dos viajes en tu país de residencia, para facilitarte el inicio y el final de tu viaje por Europa: un viaje de ida desde tu lugar de residencia hasta la frontera, puerto o aeropuerto de salida, y un viaje de vuelta desde la frontera, puerto o aeropuerto de llegada hasta tu lugar de residencia.”

Userlevel 7
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If you have a global pass you can travel on a maximum of 2 travel days (i00.00-23.59 CET) in your country of residence. Interrail writes outbound/inbound journey but this journey can consist of as many trains as you want during the travel day. If you board a train before midnight you can stay on that train after midnight without using a new travel day. This means that your travel Paris - Barcelona- Madrid is fully possible within one day.

The reservation from Paris to Barcelona you must make either through Interrail/Eurail or through SNCF

Here is info from Interrail about travels in your own country.

Userlevel 7
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Do make sure you have a global pass. One country passes can be used in one country only and not in your country of residence.

Userlevel 7
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Hola! Well, usted/tu es ESpanol, so probably know that servicio desde RENFE -del Estado- is often not that good. I also often get the feeling, as non-ES, using a pass there (and sometimes last yr also with a Tarjeta Dorada as senior) seems to cause distrust by their staff-not always, but pretty often-to the extent one gets the idea they hardly know what they are doing-or perhaps never have been properly instructed-or did not pay attencion. From official sources of course you will never get any hint that may be seen as negative.

You can in fact even use that pass if you lived in Cadiz or A Coruna to go to frontera-via Mad+Barca-if the timings would allow it-en un solo dia. NOTe that the now only 2 FRench TGV trenes Barca-Paris are far too few for the demand (and a ridiculous under use of that expensive hi-speed line).

Userlevel 7
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In the event you cannot get a reservation for the Barcelona to Paris train you can of course use the non-reservation services via Port Bou/Cerberes and then onto a French TGV station then onward to Paris or even Lille for the Eurostar to LOndon. Takes a bit longer but saves some of the extortionate reservation fee.

Userlevel 6
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By the way, another alternative for the Paris-Madrid route is getting the early morning TGV to Hendaye (€10-€20 passholder reservation, depending on demand), crossing the border towards San Sebastián on the Euskotren local train (33 minutes, €2.75, not included in Interrail), walk to the mainline (Estación de Atotxa) station (15 minutes) and from there take the Alvia to Madrid (€6.50/€10 for the passholder reservation). Cheaper than the €35+10 for the Barcelona route, and also nice. Less straightforward as it requires an out of station change in San Sebastián.

As there are only a few Alvia's from Madrid, be sure to plan sufficient time to get from Hendaye to San Sebastián. Euskotren trains leave every 30 minutes and take 33 minutes (have been punctual the times I've taken them), plus the 15 minute walk mean you minimally need about 2 hours between arrival in Hendaye and departure from San Sebastián.


Now that I have checked the timetables I might as well share them.


07:11 Paris-Montparnasse - 11:47 Hendaye

12:03 Hendaye - 12:40 San Sebastián-Amara

15:17 San Sebastián-Atotxa - 20:10 Madrid-Chamartín


On Sundays:

10:11 Paris-Montparnasse - 14:47 Hendaye

15:03 Hendaye - 15:40 San Sebastián-Amara

17:03 San Sebastián-Atotxa - 22:03 Madrid-Chamartín

Thanks everyone for all the information.  @Schelte I have a question:  Is the reservation for the train from Paris to Barcelona 35E?!  We are a family of 4… that’s a lot of money!  I also didn’t realise that the reservations increased in value as the number of seats become limited.  It all seems a bit of a con to me! I remember to good old days when interrail was a not too expensive single ticket that covered limitless journeys for a whole month…. those were the days!

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Thanks everyone for all the information.  @Schelte I have a question:  Is the reservation for the train from Paris to Barcelona 35E?!  We are a family of 4… that’s a lot of money!

That is correct. SNCF see pass holders as a cash cow, in particular pass holders using international trains.

I also didn’t realise that the reservations increased in value as the number of seats become limited.

That is only the case for domestic trains in France: €10 or €20.

Userlevel 6
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@Schelte I have a question:  Is the reservation for the train from Paris to Barcelona 35E?!  

Unfortunately, yes. As I said: consider alternatives, such as the route Madrid-Irún-Hendaye-Paris (about between €20 and €30 per person, indeed depending on demand), the Latour de Carol-Paris night train (about €22 reservation fee per couchette I believe) or going to Perpignan (€10-€20) and continuing from there on regional trains to Barcelona (to get to Madrid you'll need a further €10 reservation). Unfortunate consequence of high speed rail, I believe, and of the general increase in price of these trains (I'm travelling next week, SNCF was asking €225 for a second class ticket from Paris to Barcelona)