During your stay in Spain, you will most likely use public transport to get from one place to another, whether to go to work or to visit the country during your leisure time. Spain has different modes of transport: plane, train, subway, bus, etc., which you can choose from according to your needs. You can also travel by taxi, or rent a car or scooter if you have a valid driver's license. Tourist transport is available in major cities, such as tourist trains and coaches.
Spain has many airline companies as well as regional and international airports. Almost all major Spanish cities have their own airport. Hence, airline companies also offer domestic and regional flights in addition to international flights. Travelling from one city to another by plane will definitely be less time-consuming if you are on a business trip in the country or if you want to discover more of the country.
You may be eligible to promotional rates during some seasons. Certain airlines also offer cheaper flights, such as Vueling or Ryanair.
The train remains one of the most convenient and quickest ways to travel throughout Spain. You can enjoy clean and comfortable trains anywhere in the country. In major Spanish cities, you will also find commuter trains. But you can also find classic regional trains, as well as tourist trains, which allow you to explore the country's wonderful landscapes during long trips. The AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) is Spain’s high speed train connecting major cities such as Madrid-Barcelona.
Travel rates are quite affordable on short distances, but on long distances they tend to be much more expensive than buses. Tickets can be purchased online or at RENFE (Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles) train stations at the "atención al cliente" offices. You may also use the InterRail Pass. However, advance booking is recommended.
Metros in Spanish cities
Major Spanish cities have a developed and reliable underground network and most are secure and comfortable. These mainly link the different cities and neighbourhoods within cities and are the quickest means of transport. Madrid alone has 13 metro lines, while Barcelona has 11 lines and Malaga has three. Other lines exist in other Spanish cities. Bilbao has two subway lines, while Sevilla has a single line and Valencia has six.
Some cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and Alicante also host tram networks. Tram networks were dismantled in the 1960s and 1970s but have been gradually reintroduced – with Valencia being the first Spanish city to do so in 1994. More tram networks are planned to be added in various cities.
The bus is undoubtedly one of the most practical means of transport in Spain, like in most European countries. In fact, the Spanish simply love to travel by bus thanks to its affordable rates. The country has a very good bus network which can take you anywhere you want, including via expressways. Most bus companies connect the different towns and villages to the Spanish capital city, Madrid. You can also find tourist or coach buses if you wish to travel through the countryside.
Rates are very affordable, though they will vary according to your route. In general, urban bus tickets can be purchased at the bus station. For long distance and tourist buses, advance booking is advised; you can find tickets for a 100 kilometre trip for five to eight euros this way. You will find all related information on the Movelia website.
If you would like to travel more comfortably, you can hire a taxi. These can be found anywhere in Spain and you can just wave at them to stop on the street. Taxis are usually of a distinct colour, depending on which city you are in - in Barcelona the taxi's are black and yellow in Barcelona. A green display on the roof indicates availability. Moreover, you can now use several phone applications to book a taxi in Spain. Make sure to indicate your area so as to receive the most appropriate suggestions.
Spanish taxis are generally equipped with a meter. You will thus pay the indicated fare at the end of the trip. Fares also have to be indicated on a sticker at the rear. You can also request for a receipt.
Good to know:
Spain has been very restrictive to services like Uber, which is still banned in Barcelona in 2017.
Renting a car in Spain
You can rent a car or a scooter, if you have a valid driver's license, but you must be more than 20 years old to be allowed to rent a car in Spain. Documents to be produced are your passport or identity card, your driver's licence and credit card.
Good to know:
The speed limit is fixed at 120 km/h on motorways and at 100 km/h on four lane roads. Furthermore, the use of mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited (including hands-free kits).