Madrid is the capital of Spain and is located some 1,450km south-west from Amsterdam.
Let’s look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and Madrid by air, train and bus. Note that there have been some significant changes to service frequencies due to the ‘coronavirus’ measures.
1. Flights Amsterdam-Madrid
Flying is generally the quickest and easiest option. Flights between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Madrid Barajas (MAD) airports take around 2 hours 30 minutes.
Both Spain and the Netherlands belong to the Schengen Zone meaning you do not need a passport control check when travelling between Amsterdam and Madrid.
Madrid airport is connected to the city centre by train and metro. See here for Getting from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam.
Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam alliance) flies up to 4x daily non-stop between Amsterdam and Madrid using Boeing 737s.
Spanish carrier Air Europa flies a daily service between Amsterdam and Madrid – currently with a Boeing 737 aircraft.
Iberia flies 3x weekly between Amsterdam and Madrid using Airbus A320 series aircraft.
Return prices are broadly similar between the airlines and start from around €110 – not including checked luggage.
Other airlines that serve Amsterdam and Madrid indirectly are Air France (via Paris), British Airways (via London), Lufthansa (via Munich), Swiss (via Zurich) or Vueling (via Barcelona).
2. Amsterdam-Madrid by Train
There are no direct rail services between Amsterdam and Madrid and no plans in the future for such a service. However, it is possible to travel by rail from Amsterdam to Madrid using daytime services and making connections either in Paris, France and Barcelona or via Brussels, Lyon and Barcelona.
Although it is technically possible to make the Amsterdam-Madrid journey in a single day, it would probably be advisable to break the journey by staying overnight en-route.
There are 4 components to the Amsterdam-Madrid train trip via Paris:
(1) A Thalys high speed train between Amsterdam Central and Paris Gare du Nord which takes 3 hours 17 minutes. Thalys normally runs 7-9x daily (weekdays), 4x daily (Saturdays) and 5-6x daily (Sundays). It stops at Schiphol, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels. Note, Thalys is running a greatly reduced service at the moment.
(2) Overnight in Paris. By the way, the transfer across Paris between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon is achieved in about 30 minutes using the RER D line – it is just 2 stops. Alternatively you can take a taxi.
(3) A direct TGV duplex train between Paris Gare de Lyon and Barcelona Sants which takes about 6 1/2 hours. This currently departs 1x daily from Paris at 1014 and arrives in Barcelona at 1653. The train makes stops at Valence, Nîmes, Montpellier, Narbonne, Perpignan, Figueres and Girona. See our Amsterdam-Barcelona travel page.
The Paris-Barcelona TGV previously ran 2-4x daily so if the afternoon service is restored it would be possible again to do Amsterdam-Paris-Barcelona-Madrid by train in a single day.
(4) A RENFE AVE high speed Spanish domestic train from Barcelona Sants to Madrid Atocha via Zaragoza. These run regularly through the day and the journey takes under 3 hours.
There is an alternative Amsterdam-Barcelona-Madrid route that is possible by day. Early in the morning you can travel to Brussels with the Intercity Brussels train. Then take a TGV train from Brussels to Lyon Part-Deux.
From Lyon there is a Barcelona-bound train jointly-operated by Spanish and French Railways. And then take the AVE train from Barcelona to Madrid.
Madrid-Amsterdam rail journey by day: It is still possible to do the Madrid-Amsterdam trip by day in just under 16 hours – although we would always recommend to stopover and break the journey.
Take an early morning AVE from Madrid Atocha which departs at 0700 and arrives at Barcelona Sants at 0930. Then hop on the TGV Duplex train leaving Barcelona at 1010 that arrives in Paris Lyon at 1646.
Cross over to Paris Nord to take the 1920 Thalys train which will get you into Amsterdam Central at 2244.
Fares for the trip are made up each component (Thalys + TGV + AVE). Thalys singles between Amsterdam and Paris start at €35 (2nd class) or €79 (1st class) for the cheapest “Standard Mini” tariff.
One-way fares for the Paris-Barcelona TGV train are priced from €59 (2nd class) or €79 (1st class).
The Barcelona-Madrid AVE train starts at €32 (2nd class) or €69 (1st class).
How to book online: Amsterdam-Paris Thalys tickets, Paris-Barcelona TGV tickets and Amsterdam-Barcelona through-tickets can often be booked at the NS International site. You can also book separate Amsterdam-Paris Thalys tickets at the Thalys site
Many ticket combinations (including Barcelona-Madrid) can be booked at the TheTrainline site
3. Amsterdam-Madrid by Coach
There are no Amsterdam-Madrid direct coach services at the moment.
Flixbus currently does operate an irregular Paris-Madrid coach service with one-way fares from €39. It also has a regular Amsterdam-Paris service.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 13 April 2021.