How to Get from Madrid to Santander by Train

Located in the north of Spain, Santander has become one of the main tourist destinations in the country. Santander offers beaches, nature, leisure, gastronomy, and culture in a tranquil and welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect getaway for couples or families.

Moreover, you can easily get from Madrid to Santander by train compared to the complexities of airports and the constraints of road travel.

From schedules and ticketing to alternative transportation options, in this comprehensive guide I will provide you with all the crucial details you need to know about getting from Madrid to Santander by train.

Routes, Schedules, Tickets and more

Which train companies serve the route from Madrid to Santander?

Renfe is the primary train company that serves the route from Madrid to Santander by train.

Where does the train from Madrid to Santander depart from?

The trains from Madrid to Santander typically depart from Chamartín-Clara Campoamor railway station. Located in the north of the city, this is one of the main railway stations in Madrid and serves as a major hub for long-distance and high-speed train services.

How much does it cost to get from Madrid to Santander by train?

The cost of train tickets from Madrid to Santander can vary depending on several factors, including the class of service, the type of train, and how far in advance you book.

Standard class tickets typically start from around €30, but they can easily reach up to €50. To get the most accurate and current prices, don´t forget to visit Renfe’s official website or use online booking platforms that provide real-time fare details.

How long does the Madrid train to Santander take?

Getting from Madrid to Santander by train typically takes approximately 4 hours. As of now, no high-speed trains are operating on this route.

In my opinion, a 4-hour travel duration is not excessive, especially if you plan to spend a couple of days in Santander.

What are the train times from Madrid to Santander?

There are 3 trains (2 on Sundays) from Madrid to Santander at 7:45 (except on Sundays), 13:40, and 19:08. This offers you enough flexibility in selecting a schedule that aligns with your preferences.

Where does the train from Madrid stop in Santander?

The train from Madrid stops at the Santander train station, conveniently located in the city center. You can easily reach your final destination by various means of transportation such as taxis, buses, or even on foot.

Alternative Transportation Options from Madrid to Santander

Bus from Madrid to Santander

While trains offer a convenient mode of transportation from Madrid to Santander, buses present another viable option for travelers.

The distance between Madrid and Santander is approximately 450 kilometers (280 miles). The journey from Madrid to Santander by bus typically takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes and the price of a one-way ticket is around € 38.

Alsa buses depart from the Avenida de América Station and Airport Terminal 4 and get to the Santander Bus Station.

How to get from Madrid to Santander by car

The most common route for driving from Madrid to Santander is via the A-1 and A-67 highways. The approximate travel time is around 4.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the number of stops.

If you opt to drive, it is advisable to take it easy and, if possible, take turns at the wheel. Nonetheless, if you are not keen on driving, I highly recommend getting from Madrid to Santander by train.

From Madrid to Santander by plane

Flying is one of the best options to travel from Madrid to Santander, as the flight takes only about an hour. Moreover, Seve Ballesteros-Santander Airport is conveniently located just 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the city center.

However, you have to consider waiting times at airports and keep in mind that the cost is usually somewhat higher, though not excessively so, especially if you purchase tickets well in advance.

What to do in Santander

Here’s a glimpse into 5 of the most popular things to do in Santander:

  • Explore the stunning Palacio de la Magdalena, a royal palace located on the Magdalena Peninsula. The palace, with its eclectic architectural style, offers guided tours allowing you to discover its history and enjoy breathtaking views of the Bay of Santander.
  • Take a stroll along Paseo Pereda, a charming waterfront promenade lined with historic buildings, cafes, and sculptures. It’s a great place to enjoy the maritime atmosphere, indulge in local cuisine, and capture beautiful views of the bay.
  • Spend a day soaking up the sun at Playa del Sardinero, one of Santander’s most famous beaches. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxing beach day or a leisurely stroll.
  • Indulge in Santander’s rich culinary scene. Don’t miss trying the popular “rabas” (fried squid) and the traditional Cantabrian cuisine at one of the local restaurants.
  • Take a day trip to the charming medieval town of Santillana del Mar, located a short drive from Santander. Explore its well-preserved historic streets, visit the impressive Colegiata, and soak in the medieval atmosphere.


Santander stands as a gem in the north of Spain, inviting travelers to discover its unique blend of architectural wonders, beautiful beaches, lush parks, delectable gastronomy, and the warm hospitality of its people.

The city’s architectural marvels, such as the Palacio de la Magdalena and Centro Botín, showcase a rich history and a commitment to contemporary culture.

Beyond the city limits, a day trip to Santillana del Mar provides a glimpse into medieval history, adding another layer to the tapestry of experiences Santander has to offer.

In every corner, Santander captivates with its beauty and charm, making a visit to this city not just recommended but essential for those seeking a well-rounded exploration of Spain’s cultural and natural wonders.


What is the distance from Madrid to Santander?

The distance from Madrid to Santander is approximately 450 kilometers (280 miles).

How long does the train journey from Madrid to Santander take?

The train journey takes approximately 4 hours.

Does the high-speed train reach Santander?

Unfortunately, as of today, there are no high-speed trains connecting Madrid to Santander.

Leave a Comment