Buying Renfre tickets at the Madrid Atocha Station.
On our agenda was a visit to the city of Toledo in Spain. We had no idea how to get there or where to buy the tickets. We were told to go to the Atocha Station in Madrid and buy tickets from Renfre. I must admit, it was a little confusing.
We saw the Renfre offices and went inside to buy the tickets only to be told we had to go to another office to purchase them. Trains to Toledo are packed and you have to book in time otherwise you will not be able to get places.
Renfre ticket machines are scattered throughout the station.
As we left the office I saw ticket machines and hanged around one to see what people were doing. Ticket machines are located throughout the station and they are very easy to use.
They accept cash and all major credit cards. The menu is easy to follow and within a couple of minutes you can purchase your tickets. Seats cannot be selected at the time of purchase.
Other options to purchase Renfre tickets.
Tickets can be purchased directly from the Renfre site. We did not go for this option because our plans were flexible. If you prefer to purchase tickets in advance then I suggest you buy them directly from their site. It is also cheaper. They accept all major credit cards and PayPal but a word of caution.
I have learned that Australians and Americans often have their credit cards rejected. This happens in about 25% of the cases and doesn’t mean that this is the norm. This is not the end of the world as other options are available if this happens to you. There are two sites that charge a small fee. They link directly into the Renfre ticket system and you can print your tickets at home. The sites are:
Boarding the Renfre train.
Many years ago, Spain had one of the worst railway systems in the world. That is no longer the case. The trains and tracks are in tip-top condition. Train travel has become one of the preferred options when travelling throughout Spain. The train from Madrid to Toledo was modern and divided into different classes. They have places on board to store luggage and a service is on board to buy snacks and something to eat.
There is not a ticket validating machine on the train but inspectors come to each passenger to check your ticket.
A fast train that gets you there in no time.
The train does not have any on-board entertainment but it is not a problem as the ride goes by very quickly. It took us 30 minutes to travel from Madrid Station to Toledo. Trains follow a tight schedule and they leave on time.
Renfre trains are very popular and the trains fill up quickly. You have to purchase in time to avoid disappointment, especially if you are travelling to a city like Toledo.
We were very impressed with our train from Madrid Atocha station to Toledo. The service was quick, on-time and the condition of the train impeccable. We will definitely be using them again when we are travelling in Spain.
Tourist class is perfectly comfortable and the way that most people travel. If you are looking for extra space and legroom then I recommend a 1st class seat.