How to get to Avila from Madrid

The beautiful city of Avila is a great destination for a day trip from Madrid.

Believe us, you will not regret visiting Avila. It is a small city full of history (declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO), whose origin dates back approximately 2,000 years.

How to get to Avila from Madrid

If you don’t have your own car there are two great options to travel from Madrid to Avila: train and bus.

For those who don’t mind sharing a car with a stranger you can also travel to Avila from Madrid using the app Blablacar. This app is very similar to Waze in the United States.

Although to be honest, if you don’t speak Spanish, we don’t recommend carpooling. It is recommended that you have at least a basic level of Spanish so that you can communicate with the driver.

Madrid to Avila Travel Comparison

  • Train from €12

    Travel Time: 1.5h | Frequency: Every hour

  • Bus from €9

    Travel Time: 1.5h | Frequency: 2 hours

  • Car

    Travel Time: 1h 15 min.


⬇️⬇️ Don’t miss this video recorded from a drone and discover why so many people want to visit Avila ⬇️⬇️

How far is Avila from Madrid?

Avila is a small city located in the province of the same name, in the central part of Spain. If you are visiting Madrid, you are in luck because the distance between Avila and Madrid is just 100 kilometers (62 miles).

The province of Avila is part of the autonomous community of Castile and León.

What is the best way to travel from Madrid to Avila?

Logically this question is very subjective. It depends on your priorities and preferences: saving time, more comfort, saving money, etc.

Cheapest way to travel from Madrid to Avila

The cheapest way to travel to Avila from Madrid is by bus. Although as you can see in our comparison table there is not a big difference in price.

The bus costs 9€ and the train 12€ (these prices are for one-way tickets).

If you buy round-trip tickets for both the bus and the train, there is a small discount. This discount is higher for the train than for the bus.

Thus, although the bus is still cheaper, the price differences between the bus and the train narrow even more when purchasing round-trip tickets.

If you buy round-trip tickets you will get a small discount

Fastest way to go from Madrid to Avila

The travel time by train and bus from Madrid to Avila is practically the same, about 1 hour and a half. As with price, there is not a big difference.

However, the train frequency is higher. On average, 10 trains per day run between Madrid and Ávila.

The train and bus station in Avila are located in the same area of the city, logically outside the walled city.

From the bus and train station it will take you only about 10 minutes walking to get to the historic center of Avila. Keep in mind that Avila is a very small city (60,000 inhabitants).

Most popular way to travel from Madrid to Avila

Undoubtedly the most popular way to travel from Madrid to Avila is by train as it has more frequencies, is more comfortable and is only a few euros more expensive than the bus.

How to get to Avila from Madrid by train?

Trains from Madrid to Avila depart from Príncipe Pío station, which is in the historic center (very close to the Royal Palace).

Attention! Double check your ticket to be sure where your train departs from. Sometimes trains from Madrid to Avila depart from Chamartín Station (North Madrid).

Príncipe Pío Station is attached to a shopping mall, which is ideal if you need to have a coffee or do some shopping before going to Avila.

You can check the list of stores and restaurants in the Principe Pío shopping mall here (https://principe-pio.klepierre.es/tiendas-restaurantes/).

The website is in Spanish, but we are sure it won’t be a problem for you to recognize the international clothing brands and franchise restaurants 😊.

Avila train station is located very close to the historic center.

Although it is a very small train station, if you have to wait a while for the departure of your train to Madrid, don’t worry. The station has a small cafeteria, a newsstand, and vending machines where you can buy a snack or a drink.

-Travel time: 1 hour and a half.

-Price: from 12€ (one-way ticket)

-Trains from Madrid depart from Príncipe Pío Station.

-Check prices, discounts, schedules and more info. CLICK HERE

How to get to Avila from Madrid
How to get to Avila from Madrid | Most trains from Madrid to Avila depart from Principe Pio station (photo). Double check your train ticket to be sure from which station your train to Avila departs | Credits: Michiel1972 (Wikipedia / C.C. License)

How to buy train tickets from Madrid to Avila

You can buy train tickets directly at Principe Pío Station. However, you will have to wait in line, which is sometimes quite long. It may also happen that train tickets for your preferred time are sold out, especially on weekends and during the high season (April, May, September, October).

For me, the best option to buy your train tickets from Madrid to Avila is online.

You have two options to buy your train tickets online (prices are exactly the same on both websites):

  1. Omio.com This website (available in English, French, German, and other languages) allows you to check all schedules, compare prices between train and bus and book easily.

  2. www.renfe.com Renfe is the Spanish national railroad company. If you decide to buy your train tickets at www.renfe.com you will need a lot of patience 😅. The website is not very intuitive and sometimes it is difficult to pay with credit cards issued outside Spain.

Important to know before buying your train tickets to Avila from Madrid

-Usually trains from Madrid to Avila depart from Principe Pio Station. However, sometimes trains depart from Chamartín Station. Check your train ticket to make sure which station your train to Avila departs from.

-In Spain, the high-speed train network is called AVE (Alta Velocidad Española). These high-speed trains connect the country’s main cities and can reach speeds in excess of 250 km/h (155 mph). However, Avila is not yet connected to the high-speed train network.

-There is little point in arriving in Avila too early. Keep in mind that most of the monuments and businesses open at approximately 9 – 10am. Before that time Avila is practically a ghost town.

-Avila is a small city, so usually you don’t need to book your train ticket too far in advance. Normally, you can find tickets a few days before your trip. However, during the high season (April, May, June, September and October) I recommend you to buy your tickets well in advance. Avila is a tourist city and tickets can sell out.

-If you buy your round-trip train tickets, you will have a small discount.

– Tickets to return to Madrid by train tend to sell out easily. We recommend you to buy them in advance. Otherwise, you may have to spend the night in Avila.



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How to get from the Avila train station to the historic center

You can walk from the train station to the historical center. It will take you approximately 15 minutes. Just follow the signs to the Cathedral, Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), or the Tourist Office.

City bus from Avila Train Station to the historic center

If you prefer to take a city bus, it will take you approximately the same time as walking (10-15 min).

Just 50 meters from the train station you will find a bus stop on Paseo de la Estación street. There you have to take the line 1 that will take you to the Cathedral of Avila (the name of the bus stop is San Vicente), located very close to the wall of Avila.

What is the price of the city bus in Avila?

The price from Avila train station to the historical center is 1€. The ticket can be bought directly from the driver. However, try to pay the exact amount, as the drivers don’t have enough change if you pay with a large note.

If you want to save a couple of euros, you can buy a transport card. These cards are rechargeable and can be purchased at newsstands. With this card each city bus trip in Avila costs 0.55 cents. This card must be validated when boarding the bus.

 Cab to go to the historical center of Avila:

Avila’s train station also has a cab rank.

The price of a cab from the train station to the historic center is approximately 5€.

Official cabs in Avila are white with a blue stripe.

If you arrive early in the morning, you may have trouble finding a cab in Avila. Keep in mind that Avila is one of the smallest cities in Spain and has only 44 official cabs. 😀

Some considerations about the Avila train station

-The Avila train station is a sober building built in 1958 during Franco’s dictatorship.

-The interior of the train station is decorated with murals depicting farmers, a traditional profession in the province of Avila.

-The train station of Avila has all the basic services for travelers (cafeteria, toilets, restaurant, ATM, newsstands, etc.).

-Station facilities are adapted for passengers with reduced mobility.

-Despite being a very small train station, it has an annual traffic of approximately 700,000 passengers. Most of them coming from Madrid.

-The station has 4 platforms which are covered by a roof to protect travelers from the frequent snowfalls that occur in Avila.

How to get to Avila from Madrid
How to get to Avila from Madrid | Train Station in Avila | Credits: Aliance (Wikipedia C.C. License)

How to get to Avila from Madrid by bus?

Buses from Madrid to Avila depart from Mendez Alvaro Station, also popularly known as “Estación Sur“.

This bus station is located far from the center (south-east of Madrid’s city center), so you will have to take the public transport to get there.

Anyway, Mendez Alvaro station is perfectly connected to the rest of the city thanks to the metro line 6 and the “Cercanías” (Commuter train).

If you have to wait for the departure of your bus to Avila, Mendez Alvaro station has several restaurants and cafeterias, as well as a small area with shops and services.

As if this were not enough, very close to Mendez Alvaro Station there is a department store (El Corte Ingles) and an office area where there are numerous restaurants.

The main bus station in Madrid (Mendez Alvaro) is located far from the historic center, in the southeast part of the city.

How to get to Avila from Madrid by bus
How to get to Avila from Madrid | Mendez Alvaro Bus Station is the busiest bus station in Madrid. More than 50 bus companies operate from this station | Credits: OgoTours

In Spain the bus routes between cities are a concession granted by the government. In other words, the transportation of passengers by bus is not liberalized.

Specifically, the Madrid-Avila route was granted to Jimenez Dorado Autocares. This Spanish company has a modern fleet of buses equipped with all kinds of comforts (air conditioning, reclining seats, etc.) and safety certificates.

In addition, the highway connecting Madrid with Avila (A6) is totally modern and safe.

Spain has a radial highway system. This means that Spain’s main highways start in Madrid and spread throughout the country like the tentacles of an octopus 😊.

The A6 highway connects Madrid with Galicia through Castilla León and is one of the busiest highways in the country.

Buses from Madrid arrive at Avila’s main bus station located in the modern part of the city and inaugurated in 2014.

Although it is a small bus station, you will find several stores, a cafeteria and even a Domino’s Pizza restaurant.

To get to the historic center of Avila you will have to walk about 15 minutes. Just follow the instructions. It is almost impossible to get lost.

-Travel time: 1 hour and a half.

-Price: from 9€ (one-way ticket)

-Buses from Madrid to Avila depart from Méndez Alvaro.

-Check prices, schedules and more info, CLICK HERE

How to buy bus tickets from Madrid to Avila

Of course, I recommend you to buy your bus tickets to Avila online. This way you can plan your trip much better, check schedules, compare prices and choose the best option for you.

Link to book your bus tickets to Avila here

You can also buy tickets directly at the bus station, but you run the risk that there are no tickets for the next bus to Avila and you will have to wait a couple of hours at the station.

Important before buying your bus ticket to Avila

-In general Madrid is a very safe city, but Mendez Alvaro station is a place frequented by pickpockets. Always keep an eye on your belongings.

-Round-trip tickets have a small discount.

-The first bus from Madrid leaves at approximately 6:30AM. The last bus from Avila to Madrid leaves between 7 and 8 PM (depending on whether it is a weekend or midweek day). 

-When buying your bus ticket from Madrid to Avila pay attention because there are two types of tickets: “Direct” ticket (travel time from Madrid to Avila 1 hour and a quarter) and “Route” (travel time 1 hour 45 minutes as it makes many stops in different towns).

-If you don’t want to spend the night in Avila, buy a round trip ticket. You will save a few euros and secure your seat to return to Madrid. Sometimes, especially on weekends, the buses from Avila to Madrid are full.

How to get from the Avila bus station to the historic center

From the Avila bus station you can walk to the historic center. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Just follow the signs.

How to go to the historic center from the bus station by city bus?

You can take line 1 at Puente de la Estación (5 minutes from the bus station) and get off at San Vicente (very close to the Cathedral of Avila).

-Price: 1€. Remember, as explained above, always try to pay the driver the exact amount or with small bills.

Taking a cab from the bus station to the historic center of Avila

Undoubtedly the most comfortable option is to go by cab, but the bus station has no cab rank ☹.

You will have to go to the train station, located very close to the bus station, in order to take a cab.

The cab ride from the train station to the historic center is approximately 5€.

Day trip to Avila: Going on your own to Avila or booking a guided tour from Madrid?

This is a great question. Personally, I think time is the key factor in answering this question.If you are short on time, the best option is a tour to Avila from Madrid. You will make the most of your time in Avila.

The price of these day trips to Avila is approximately 50-60€ and includes round trip transportation from Madrid and a local guide.

Usually, the tours to Avila from Madrid include another city (Segovia, Toledo, Salamanca, etc.) and their duration is around 8-10 hours.

👉 Avila and Segovia Full-Day (9 hours) | Price from 65€ (tickets included) | More than 450 reviews. More info click here

👉 Avila and Segovia Day Trip (9 hours) | Price from 38€ | More than 450 reviews. More info click here

👉 Avila & Salamanca (11 hours) | Price from 89€ (ticket to Salamanca Cathedral included) | More than 150 reviews. More info click here


Some tours combine 3 cities (Avila, Toledo and Segovia) in one day. We do not recommend this option as they are cities with a lot of history and cannot be visited in such a short time.

In addition, these tours usually leave Avila as the last destination and sometimes they are only 1 hour in the city ☹, which is a shame.

On the contrary, if you want to spend the whole day in Avila and get to know the city in depth, we recommend you to go on your own and then book a guided tour in Avila. This is undoubtedly the best option to immerse yourself in Avila and discover its fascinating history.

👉 Private Walking Tour in Avila | 2 hours | Price from 92€. More info click here

👉 Avila Guided Tour in TUK TUK | 35 min | Price from 7€. More info click here

👉 Tourist Tram in Avila | Price from 6€  | More info click here

Share a car (carpooling) from Madrid to Avila

BlaBlacar is the leading long distance carpooling service in Europe.

BlaBlacar connects drivers with empty seats to passengers looking for a ride. It’s an affordable and a great way to meet new people and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Although, as I mentioned before, if you don’t have a conversational level of Spanish, it can be a little embarrassing and annoying.

Think about the situation for a second. If you don’t speak Spanish, you won’t be able to communicate with your driver or fellow passengers, make small talk, or even just follow the conversation.

Keep in mind that in general the English level of Spanish people is quite low.

This is why it is so important to try to learn at least some basic phrases in Spanish. Even if you only know a few words, it will make a world of difference in your ability to communicate with others.

I’ve used BlaBlacar a few times as a passenger, and I’ve always had a positive experience. But, please, don’t forget to check the drivers’ reviews.

The process to book on BlaBlacar is simple and straightforward – you create a profile, search for trips that match your itinerary, and request to book a seat. Once the driver accepts your request, you’re all set!

Avila Tourist Information

If you’re planning a trip to Avila here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit😊:

Keep warm in winter:

Avila is the highest city (provincial capital) in Spain and the fourth highest in Europe. 1100 meters (3600 feet) above sea level!

In other words, winter is very harsh in Avila. Temperatures drop below zero and it snows regularly.

How much time do yo need in Avila?

The ideal is to spend at least 1 night in Avila. This way you can get to know in depth the incredible history of Avila, and enjoy the local food.

If your idea is to do a day trip from Madrid, I recommend spending at least 8-10 hours in Avila. This time is more than enough to get to know the main sights of the city.

In winter it gets dark around 5PM and in autumn around 7PM. I recommend you to admire the sunset in Avila before returning to Madrid, you will not regret it. The wall of Avila illuminated is a really wonderful spectacle.

In spring it gets dark around 8PM and in summer around 10PM, so it is more difficult to see the sunset if you don’t spend the night in Avila.

Is Avila worth visiting?

Absolutely yes! Just to admire the medieval city walls (11th century) is worth a visit to Avila. In total, the walls (UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1985) have a perimeter of more than 2 kilometers and 88 towers. And the best part is that visitors can walk along the top of the walls, which offer stunning views of the city below.

How to get to Avila from Madrid
How to get to Avila from Madrid | Plaza del Mercado Grande in Avila | Credits: Xavier Bejar (Wikipedia C.C. License)

Shop for local handicrafts:

Avila is a great place to find traditional Spanish ceramics. You will find many artisans who create beautiful hand-painted tiles, which are used to decorate many of the city’s buildings. Other popular crafts include weaving, and woodworking.

Pay a visit to the Cathedral of Avila:

This Gothic cathedral is one of the most important religious buildings in Spain.

Sample the local cuisine:

We love food, so please let us talk a little bit about the traditional dishes of Avila 😊

Avila is known for its hearty stews (“Castilian garlic soup” or “Morañego stew””) and meat dishes.

Undoubtedly the most popular dish in Avila is the “Chuletón” (Steak). Even many people from Madrid travel to Avila just to eat this enormous piece of meat (it usually weighs more than a kilo / 2 pounds). This meat, so appreciated in Spain, comes from a breed of cow (Avileña-Negra Ibérica) that is raised exclusively in Avila.

Other popular meat dishes in Avila include the “Lechazo asado”, which is a slow-roasted lamb dish, “Cochinillo asado” (roast suckling pig), and “Cordero asado” (roast lamb).

How to travel to Avila from Madrid
How to get to Avila from Madrid | "Chuletón de Avila" (Steak) is must-try dish in Avila | Credits: Daniella Orsi (Wikipedia C.C. License)

Yemas de Santa Teresa

Yemas de Santa Teresa are a traditional delicacy from the city of Avila. They are small balls made exclusively with eggs and sugar. A caloric bomb but extremely delicious. You cannot leave Ávila without tasting them.

If for some reason you cannot buy them during your trip to Avila. Don’t worry, you can also find them in the traditional pastry shops in Madrid such as “La Mallorquina” or “El Riojano”.

Saint Teresa de Jesus

If you visit Avila, you must know one of its most illustrious characters, Saint Teresa of Jesus.

Santa Teresa de Jesús, born Ávila in 1515, was one of the great mystics, reformers, and religious women in Spain.

She entered the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation at Ávila in 1535, where she remained for the rest of her life. In her early years there she experienced religious ecstasy and developed a rich interior life, but she also became increasingly aware of the worldliness and laxity of the religious orders, particularly her own. This led her, with the permission of her superiors, to establish the first of a number of monasteries of barefoot Carmelites—the Order of Discalced (or Barefoot) Carmelites—where both men and women observed a strict regime of poverty, chastity, and prayer

In 1565 she wrote “The Book of Life”, considered one of the most remarkable spiritual documents of all time. In this book she describes her childhood, her years in the Carmelite convent, and the mystical experiences that began to occur in her life after she had been a nun for some 20 years. She also tells of the difficulties she encountered in trying to establish the new monasteries and of the opposition she faced from both Church and state.

Santa Teresa de Jesus was canonized in 1622 and declared a doctor of the Church in 1970.

Places in Avila to learn more about the life of St. Teresa of Jesus:

-The birthplace of St. Teresa of Jesus is now a museum where you can learn more about this important figure of the sixteenth century.

 -San Juan Bautista Church: Saint Teresa de Jesus was baptized in this place. In fact, the original baptismal font where Santa Teresa de Jesus was baptized is still preserved.

-Convent of the Incarnation. Saint Teresa of Jesus lived in this convent from 1535 to 1574.

About Javier

Hola! My name is Javier Redondo, tour guide in Madrid for more than 8 years.
As a good "Madrileño", I love football (I support Atlético de Madrid), eating tapas and walk the cobblestone streets of old Madrid 🙂

This Madrid blog is where I share tips on popular attractions, local food and off-beat spots.

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