Question

Making Renfe / AVE reservations AT Spanish Railway stations | How does it work?

  • 28 June 2022
  • 5 replies
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  • Keeps calm and carries on
  • 14 replies

We are trying very hard to make our Renfe / AVE reservations for our ‘Spain cityhopping trip’ on time, which is rather complicated as most people here know, so if all else fails we will be forced to try making our reservations very last-minute, AT the Renfe / AVE stations.

So these questions are basically about this worst case scenario:
 

-How last-minute can we make reservations AT the departure stations? At least 48 hours in advance? 24 hours in advance? 1 hour in advance?

-Can we -for example- reserve seats between Madrid and Bilbao when we are in the -for example- Seville RENFE station? Or can we only reserve trips starting from Seville from there? 

-In hindsight: As we have planned only 5 trips (Seville - Granada | Granada - Madrid | Madrid - Bilbao | Bilbao - Zaragoza | Zaragoza - Girona) wouldn’t we have been better off with a Renfe pass for international travellers? Would this have saved us all the reservation hassle that we got ‘for free’ with our One Country Passes Spain, as Renfe really seems to have a ‘my way or the highway’ policy?


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Userlevel 7
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1.till 4-5 mins before dep. AND its highly advisable to not wait till so long-can do at any main counter and any means also:

2.any, not just the place you depart from that time (mostly meant for returns-but its country wide).

In fact-for the uninitiated-this system has worked in the whole of EUR since nearly a century-by fone, mail, telex. Its a thing of the last 4-5 yrs now that all railways set up their very own system-and change/update it also ev 2-3 yrs-that things have become so complicated.

If you have the pass already its too late. Its daft easy-ever heard of google?-to find ´Spain railway pass´ cost per TRIP (not per day) is then 40-50€, INCL the RES, depending on how many trips you buy (5 not possible). This is a virtual pass-you only get a code with you use to make the REServ on-users say its very easy and even works (not often a garantee in ESpana).

SVl-GRan is better done by bus-though there are few local MD trenes. Its by far the cheapest-so best to drop that if buy pass for 4 trips.

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Thx again Mcadv, the first two answers (and also the bus Sevilla - Granada) are a relief!

And yes, Google rings a bell 😊It not really cost difference I wondered about, mainly ‘convenience difference’ in real life, and the latter was a bit unclear.

If we had known that Treinreiswinkel / Happyrail wouldn’t keep their promise about making the reservations I guess we would have bought Renfe passes instead…

I have a similar question to yours. If they are recommending booking reservations a month in advance, and Eurail reservations have to be made in-person (let’s say only 1-5 days in advance), is there much point in getting a Eurail pass for travel in Spain?

I don’t have a good sense for how quickly the rail reservations fill up, are reservations for routes like Madrid-Granada or Granada-Barcelona likely to still be available 1 or 2 days before the trip, or will they be sold out?

Userlevel 6
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I have a similar question to yours. If they are recommending booking reservations a month in advance, and Eurail reservations have to be made in-person (let’s say only 1-5 days in advance), is there much point in getting a Eurail pass for travel in Spain?

I don’t have a good sense for how quickly the rail reservations fill up, are reservations for routes like Madrid-Granada or Granada-Barcelona likely to still be available 1 or 2 days before the trip, or will they be sold out?

The answer to that is that it depends. It depends what travelling you will do in Spain as well as other European countries.

My view is that for a lot of tourists, particularly those visiting mainly/only Spain and France that Interrail/Eurail passes are not particularly good value and definitely not worth the aggravation caused by the rail companies in these countries.

I would advise anyone planning a trip to make an outline of their plans then cost up buying individual tickets before just buying a railpass and trying to figure it all out a few weeks before travelling.

The RENFE Spain pass is a very different product, a fixed price for X journeys within in a set timeframe. After costing your individual journeys if the RENFE pass is cheaper then go for that as it is just as easy to book your trains with it as it is buy the normal tickets.

 

Regarding the reservations, easiest thing is to look on the RENFE website at the routes/times you want but for the current week, it will give a reasonable guess as to how much the trains are booked up within the short time you would be able to reserve once in Spain.

Thanks! I think we will just use RENFE or an online booking service to get individual tickets.

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