trains from Portugal

My group and I received the interrail pass and we try to plan our trip so we can book accommodation and etc. However, we could not find connections from Lisbon to other destinations in Europe. We have already tried Irun, Hendaye and Madrid, which were the ones recommended for us to start, but it always appears as unavailable. At the stations we are told that there are no trains outside of Portugal.Can you give us some kind of tip or place to go?

4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

What date are you looking at? Right now it is only possible to make reservations until the the 10th of June on the web site of the Portuguese Railway.

We've tried different dates and it's always unavailable


Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Bom dia.

The former overnight comboio to Hendaya (plus MADrid) has disappeared before covid , it was run by RENFE of ESpana and will not come back. RENFE does not do nor want any overnight trenes.

There are now only 2 ways left to do it all by tren: a 3-step way Lisboa-IC to Entroncamento-regionais to Badajoz-RENFE/MD to Mad.

Or Porto-Celta to Vigo-change stations/walk or bus-then new style RENFE AVE=fast to Mad.

The AVe (or slower, cheaper other) to Barca and then choice of very expensive TGV/AVE direct to FRancia or slower, but free with local trenes.

On the site (is written for english on overland travel from UK) you can find more details+tips.

Many people skip this and use the ovrnight bus (avanza) to Mad from Lisboa, or fly out for much less on EasyRyan or whatever.

Many people who want to visit your country by train and with these passes face the same problemos.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

There's a few things to take into account for Spain:

  • Spain is always difficult because RENFE don't always tell the rest of the world about their timetables and they don't publish their timetables a long time in advance.
  • Recently, RENFE finally did send all their long distance timetables to the European Timetable Centre, but currently only with timetables until the end June. That's why the otherwise very good DB planner doesn't find journeys beyond that.
  • The rail planner app is only updated about once per month and was only updated with Spanish timetables this week. Of course only until the end of June. The DB planner is more reliable though. The rail planner app is not reliable enough for planning purposes.
  • Spanish long distance trains can also be found on, who seem to retrieve their timetables from RENFE directly, but only as far as RENFE have published them of course.
  • The RENFE website is terrible and does not offer a real planner but rather a train database which may sometimes also offer journeys with a change but only if RENFE explicitly programmed it.
  • There are only a few trains from Portugal to Spain. See e.g. Seat61.
  • RENFE trains to Irún don't continue to Hendaye anymore and SNCF trains don't continue to Irún anymore. Euskotren does connect them every 30 minutes but they're not in any planner except their own.

You see, it matters a great deal when, how and where you look for timetables. I suggest you try the  DB planner and and if that doesn't help, then please say which journey on which date you are looking for.

Lisbon-Madrid on a random date using the DB planner (in compact old layout):