After beginning their trip in Madrid, many travelers head north to Barcelona and finish their time in Spain there without even so much as glancing to the south—a huge mistake. Seville is the capital of the southern region of Andalusia and just 329 miles from Madrid by car. You can fly there, but the train is your fastest option and—if you're lucky—also the cheapest. Buses are only good for last-minute plans when the other options have jumped up in price, since it's the slowest method. If you don't want to drive yourself, you can also look into a rideshare and split the gas.
|How to Get From Madrid to Seville|
|Train||2 hours, 35 minutes||from $32||Relaxed traveling|
|Bus||6 hours, 10 minutes||from $35||Last-minute plans|
|Flight||1 hour||from $42||Arriving quickly|
|Car||5 hours||329 miles (530 kilometers)||Enjoying the journey|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Madrid to Seville?
The train has the potential to be the cheapest way to travel from Madrid to Seville and also the most expensive. It all depends on when you buy your tickets and the demand for your travel date. When seats first open up, tickets start at about $32 for the high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Seville but can quickly double or even triple in price. Unlike plane tickets that can fluctuate, the trains only get more expensive as your travel date gets nearer, so buy them as early as possible.
When purchasing your tickets on the Spanish Renfe website, you'll have to type in your destination using the Spanish spelling, "Sevilla." There are multiple stations in both cities, but trains from Madrid to Seville always leave from Atocha Station. In Seville, the most central train station and your likely destination is Sevilla Santa Justa.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Madrid to Seville?
Whether or not the train is the cheapest way to Seville depends, but it's always the fastest. The high-speed AVE train takes just over two and a half hours to get from Atocha Station in Madrid to Sevilla Santa Justa Station. And unlike the airports which are located at the city limits, both train stations are centrally located and easy to reach. The check-in process for boarding a train takes a couple of minutes, at most, compared to the delays that you may experience getting your boarding pass and going through security at an airport.
The time spent sitting on the plane may technically be shorter, but the total travel time is significantly faster when you go by train. And as an added bonus, it's much healthier for the environment.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
The fastest route to Seville takes just over five hours, primarily by driving along the A-5 highway through the province of Extremadura or the A-4 highway through Castilla-La Mancha. It's about 329 miles between the two cities regardless of which route you take and as long as you avoid turn-offs for tolled expressways, it's also a toll-free drive.
Another option for driving without renting your own vehicle is to use Blablacar. This rideshare service lets you search for drivers already heading toward Seville and you can book a seat in their car. It's a popular and safe service in Spain, and you can even read reviews of the driver. A ride to Seville typically starts at about $32 so it's not much cheaper than other options, but it is a way to meet a new friend and learn about local culture.
How Long Is the Flight?
Even though a direct flight to Seville takes just over an hour, the total travel time ends up being much more after you factor in getting to the airport, checking in, going through security, and waiting at your gate. Madrid-Barajas Airport is about 45 minutes from the city center by public transit, while Atocha station is conveniently located downtown.
Is There a Bus That Goes From Madrid to Seville?
Even though buses are the favorite choice for most budget travelers in Europe, the limited options mean that buses aren't as cheap as in other countries. ALSA is the only bus company in Spain so there's no real competition and tickets cost about $35, which isn't a great price considering it's the slowest method and takes over six hours.
One important perk to the bus, however, is that the prices don't go up with demand. You can buy your ticket for a trip in three months or for a trip tomorrow, and the price stays the same (although it may sell out). For those last-minute plans when train tickets are exorbitantly priced, the bus may be your saving grace.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Seville?
Even though it's the most popular time to visit, nothing beats springtime in Seville. First is Semana Santa, or Holy Week, which usually falls in April and involves massive religious floats being carried through the city. Two weeks after Semana Santa begins the Feria de Abril, one of the biggest annual festivals in all of Spain. During the two-week festival people stay up in the streets all night listening to live music, dancing sevillanas, and eating typical Andalusian fare.
The time you want to avoid Seville is in the summer. Temperatures rise across Spain in the summer, but Seville is often unbearable. Days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit is the norm, and it can rise to 120 degrees if you happen to hit a heatwave. If you're planning a summer trip to Spain, stick to cities up north and along the coast.
What’s the Most Scenic Route to Seville?
Most people wouldn't consider either the A-4 nor the A-5 route particularly "scenic," since both routes are primarily through agricultural land with little elevation change. However, each one has something unique to offer. The A-4 highway drives directly through the city of Cordoba, famous for its centuries-old mosque and rich culture. It's one of Andalusia's most visited cities and well worth a pitstop.
If you take the A-5 route, you'll pass through the town of Merida which has one of the best-preserved Ancient Roman amphitheaters in the world. If you're a fan of Spanish cured ham, the route also goes directly through jamón territory. You can tour the pastures where the pigs roam and snack on acorns to see how the world-famous tapa is made.
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
From the Seville Airport, there's an airport bus that stops in several locations throughout the city, including the Santa Justa train station and Plaza de Armas, that takes about 35 minutes and costs just 4 euros, or roughly $5.
A taxi is even faster and takes just 15 minutes to get downtown, with fares starting at about $20 (although rates are higher at night, on weekends, and on holidays).
What Is There to Do in Seville?
When you imagine Spanish traditions like flamenco music, generous plates of tapas, and bullfighters being cheered on, it's more accurate to say you're imagining Seville (pronounced Suh-vee-yuh by the locals). The southern Andalusia region was once the stronghold for the Islamic Empire in Spain and Muslim architecture dating back centuries is still on display at the Giralda bell tower and the Torre del Oro. Flamenco music was born in Andalusia and you'll have no trouble finding venues to watch a performance in Seville. On warm days, order a glass of cold gazpacho soup to enjoy before your meal, a Seville classic. A bullfight definitely isn't for everyone, but if you're curious about this gory Spanish pastime, there are shows available in Seville.