Vacationing in Madrid promises to be an historic, art-filled respite. While, of course, Barcelona has the Sagrada Familia, Madrid is a true testament to Spain’s narrative-shaping artistic and architectural talent. The Art Nouveau expression is felt throughout the city, especially at the Museo Nacional del Prado, which last year celebrated its 200th anniversary. Art lovers could spend a week in the Museo del Prado and still not have the opportunity to delve into every nuance of the Velasquez works. After days spent at the Prado amidst the treasured works of El Greco and Goya, and taking in the history at the Royal Palace, the distinctive style of Plaza Mayor, and the lush greenery at Retiro Park, an enchanting Seville stint has to be next on the itinerary.
Seville is just over 300 miles southwest of Madrid. The Andalusian capital, embellished with primarily Moorish architecture, is known for attractions like the Royal Alcázar Palace, Giralda Bell Tower, and Torre de Oro. But it’s buildings like Casa de Pilatos—a 15th-century, formerly conquistador-owned mansion with picturesque gardens and a breathtaking facade—that really steal your heart in Seville. The city's essence is felt not only in the detailed ceramic tiling of Plaza de España but in the flamenco dancing at Casa de la Guitarra and the bustle of the tapas bars and food markets, like local favorite Mercado de Feria.
For travelers eager to visit Seville Cathedral and Maria Luisa Park, the best way to travel from Madrid to Seville is by train.
Getting from Madrid to Seville by Train
Travel from Madrid to Seville by train on Spain’s AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) network of high-speed trains. The train, running at 310 kilometers per hour (about 190 miles per hour) brings travelers from Madrid to Seville in less than three hours.
The Madrid to Seville AVE train runs direct from Madrid's Atocha Train Station. You can buy Madrid to Seville train tickets at the station—the price for tickets is always subject to change, but it should cost you approximate €28 (about $32). The high-speed Madrid to Seville train runs on a relatively tight schedule almost every hour. If you’d prefer not to buy your tickets at the station, they can also be purchased in advance on the Rail Europe website. The train route itself takes passengers immediately south, rushing by Toledo, and through the city of Cordoba before dropping travelers in Seville a mere two and a half hours later.
Getting to and From the Train Station
Atocha Train Station is the largest station in Madrid. It dates back to 1851 and the station is known for its stunning indoor tropical garden. Metro line 2—the light blue line—takes commuters from the center of Madrid (around the Puerto del Sol area) to the Atocha Train Station. In Seville, you’ll arrive at the Santa Justa Train Station—the third busiest station in Spain. Take a taxi from the train station, rent a car at the Hertz within the station, or hop on the metro at the nearest stop, which is Nervion, just over half a mile away.
Is Train the Best Way to Get From Madrid to Seville?
Taking the train from Madrid to Seville is by far the most straightforward way to travel between the two cities. You can, of course, fly between the two destinations. While flights are relatively inexpensive and the flight time is about an hour, the amount of time spent waiting in the airport, and commuting to Madrid-Barajas Airport and from Seville Airport may extend the experience such that it takes much longer than the high-speed train.
You can also drive from Madrid to Seville, which will take five to six hours, but allows for scenic stops along the route. The most popular driving route takes you farther west—closer to the Portugese border—through Mérida. However, you can make an extended road trip out of it by driving immediately south of Madrid to Toledo first, or even trekking farther west to spend a night in Badajoz. A car ride is an entirely different approach to the Madrid to Seville trip, but allows travelers to explore smaller Spanish towns along the way.