Transportation in Spain

One of the key components when it comes to studying abroad, or even briefly visiting, Spain is learning to navigate public transportation. Spanish modes of transportation, such as the train or bus service, can make getting around in a foreign country as easy and natural as can be. Public transport in Spain is useful for traveling from city to city, or even from one part of town to another. For those wondering how to travel in Spain, we’ve put together a guide on how to get around in Spain as a student or tourist. Once you’ve got it down, you’ll feel like a local in no time! 

Forms of Transportation in Spain

There are many forms of public transport in Spain, all of which are easily accessible. Typically, you have to buy one of the many options for travel passes, but doing so can save you tons of money in the long run. Spanish public transportation is also known for being relatively clean, easy, and convenient. Therefore, it’s the best way to get around to explore everything on your travel checklist and get to know this beautiful country. 

The Metro 

Most of the large cities in Spain, such as Barcelona and Madrid, have their own metro systems. The metro is essentially the same as a subway, and is a form of intercity transportation that helps people more efficiently get around town via trains underground. There are typically multiple lines per city for this form of transportation in Spain to help people reach all different locations around the city. However, it can certainly take some practice to learn the hours of use and properly navigate the metro stations to get on the correct metro or even switch metro lines if necessary for getting to your destination. But once you get the hang of it, the metro is so easy and convenient for getting around the city. Passes must be purchased to use this form of transportation in Spain and can many times be used for other forms of public transportation in the same city such as the bus. A variety of options exist, from a one ride pass to a one month pass, so it’s easy to find what works for you and your travels while making the most of your spending. 

The Train 

If you need to get from city to city, like from Valencia to Granada, Spain’s national train system is your best bet for getting around in Spain as a student or tourist. Its structure is very similar to that of the metro, with its array of passes to choose from based on your needs and budget. There is also a high-speed option, with a slightly less expansive outreach, but can greatly reduce the time of your travels. The AVE, or Alta Velocidad Española, has services that can reach up to 311 km/hr. Even without utilizing the fastest train options, taking the train is still a highly cost and time effective form of transportation in Spain. 

The Bus 

Another form of easy-to-use public transportation in Spain is the bus service. It’s convenient, comfortable, and incredibly useful for getting around a city. Similarly to the metro, this form of transportation in Spain is used for shorter distances around a city most often. However, buses can also take people from city to city, making the bus system the most popular in Spain. It’s perfect for students going from home to their university, such as the University of Barcelona or the University of Grenada. To buy bus tickets or passes, locate the nearest station since you shouldn’t rely on the possibility of purchasing on the bus. Like other Spanish modes of transportation, vehicles can get pretty packed, especially during the summer. Planning ahead of time and making sure to have a pass can help make this busy mode of transport even easier. 


If you’re looking for a more private feel to your time with transportation in Spain, taxis are a great option. Although they are more on the expensive side compared to forms of transportation in Spain that utilize passes, there are also plenty of benefits. For one, you can download certain apps structured similarly to private vehicle apps used in the United States. This can help users know the price of their travels before hopping in the car, and they can schedule rides for specific times and for a specific number of passengers. You can also take the more classic route of grabbing a taxi on the street for an easy ride to your next destination. Payment for taxis can typically be in cash or with a card, and payments can be automatic on ordering if you input your card information in your preferred taxi app. Taxis, while being more expensive than previously discussed public transport in Spain, are perfect if you’re in a rush or want a more private experience. 

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