How to Travel From Madrid to A Coruña by Train, Bus, Plane, and Car

Torre de Hercules
Alberto Pérez Barahona / Getty Images

In the most northwestern corner of Spain, A Coruña is 370 miles (597 kilometers) away from Madrid. It's the capital of the region of Galicia, which has a unique culture and its own language that is actually a dialect of Portuguese and not Spanish. For this reason, the name of the city is technically written as "A Coruña" but online booking agents may occasionally refer to it as the Spanish "La Coruña."

Despite being the capital of Galicia, nearby Santiago de Compostela is more famous for being the ending point of the Camino de Santiago and many travelers visiting Galicia make this city their first stop. However, if you need to travel directly between Madrid and La Coruña, you can either fly there, drive, or take a train or bus.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 6 hours from $69 Convenience
Bus 7 hours from $57 Alternative budget travel
Flight 1 hour, 15 minutes from $24 Fast and cheap
Car 5 hours, 45 minutes 371 miles (597 kilometers) A Spanish road trip

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Madrid to A Coruña?

Air travel in Europe can be extremely cheap thanks to competing budget airlines and one-way flights between Madrid and A Coruña can be found for as low as $24—if you book early enough in advance. Iberia and Air Europa are the only airlines that run nonstop flights between Madrid and La Coruña and while Air Europa tends to offer lower prices, Iberia's tickets are sometimes sold for as low as $35. If you are booking last-minute travel and can't find cheap plane tickets, be sure to look up the going rates for bus and train fares.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Madrid to A Coruña?

In addition to being one of the cheapest ways to travel to La Coruña from Madrid, flying is also the quickest way and a nonstop flight takes just one hour, 15 minutes. Even when you factor the time it will take you to get from your accommodation in Madrid to the Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD) and into A Coruña, which could add about two hours to your total travel time, it's still much faster to fly than to drive or take the train or bus.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

Without making any stops along the way or hitting traffic, it would take you five hours, 45 minutes to drive from Madrid to A Coruña. It won't be cheap once you factor in the cost of gas, tolls, and parking in the city. However, a long drive is an excellent way to see the northwestern region of Spain on your way to Galicia and if you're up for a detour, you can even travel a little out of your way to visit the stunning city of Salamanca. From Madrid, you'll travel northwest along the AP-6, which will eventually turn into the A-6 for about five and a half hours. Then, you'll get on the AP-9, which you can follow all the way into A Coruña via the AC-11. If you need a break from driving, León is a good city to stop in without going too far out of your way.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

It's a six-hour train ride from Madrid to A Coruña, but there is only one departure per day from Madrid's Chamartín Station. The train is one of the most convenient ways to travel since it will take you from city center to city center and you can still see much of the countryside along the way. There are no transfers on this route and you don't have to worry about hitting traffic. It's worth noting that train seats in Spain don't typically recline, unlike bus seats, so if you are hoping to sleep on the way, the bus, albeit slower, might be more comfortable.

Is There a Bus That Goes From Madrid to A Coruña?

There are regular buses throughout the day between Madrid and A Coruña which typically cost about $57 one-way. It's a long trip with many stops along the way and can take anywhere between seven and nine hours—or longer if you need to transfer. From Madrid, buses leave from Chamartín Station, though one or two a day leave from Avenida de America. ALSA is the only bus company that offers direct service on this route.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to A Coruña?

Standing out from the rest of Spain, Galicia is known for being rainy and cold due to its northern position on the Atlantic coast. Therefore, the best time to visit is in the summer, particularly in July and August when temperatures are at their warmest. While Galician weather is not typical for Spain, it does lend a hand to a nice winter ski season and the area around A Coruña is home to a number of ski resorts which are worth taking advantage of during a winter trip. If you visit in the winter, try to plan your trip for sometime in late February so you can experience Carnival, one of the biggest public events of the year. Or, you could plan a trip in the summer to coincide with the Night of San Juan in June, when the locals celebrate the shortest nights of the year, the summer solstice, with bonfires and all-night parties on the beach.  

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

A Coruña's airport is about 9 miles away from the city center, but you don't need to take a cab if you don't want to. For less than $2, you can take the public bus Line 4051 from the airport into town. The bus stops at Puerta Real, Marina (Casino), Plaza de Orense, Avenida A. Molina, Alcampo, Portazgo, Corveira, and Vilaboa. Service runs on weekdays every half hour from 7:15 a.m. to 10 p.m. On weekends, the buses only run once per hour between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

What Is There to Do in A Coruña?

At first glance, A Coruña seems much more modern than neighboring Santiago, but the city's biggest attraction is quite old. Unlike any other lighthouses you've seen before, the Tower of Hercules is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the world, dating back 2,000 years to the Roman age, and a UNESCO world heritage site. If you only have a short amount of time in A Coruña, the tower is a must-see. However, you should also make sure you have enough time to dine in at a restaurant and try some of Galicia's famous octopus dishes. If you are not traveling anywhere else along the coast, this is the best opportunity you'll have to eat it fresh.

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