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The AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) high speed train from Malaga to Madrid

If you are looking for fast economical way to get to Madrid from Malaga, or indeed to escape the Madrid city heat to explore Malaga and its beautiful coastline, then taking the AVE High Speed Train is definitely an option worth checking out.

With a journey time of just 2 hours 47 minutes and a cost of around 160 euros for a return trip, travelling by train definitely beats either driving or flying. Driving would take around 10 hours and cost you approximately 100 euros on fuel. Flying would involve lengthy airport security checks, getting from the airport to each city not to mention the hefty cost of around 200 euros for a return trip by air.

The AVE Madrid to Malaga train line was fully upgraded in 2008 with the train now operating with speeds of up to 300km (186 mph). The name “Alta Velocidad Espanola” literally means 'Spanish High Speed' and is also a play on the word 'Ave' which means 'bird'.

Renfe, the Spanish state railway company that operates all AVE trains guarantees a full refund for customers if the Malaga/Madrid connection is more than 5 minutes late.

How to book your AVE train ticket

To book your tickets, go to the www.renfe.es website and either book online or call their customer services number (ask to be put through to an English speaking operator).  You can pay by credit card and will be given a booking number. At the train terminal you simply enter your booking number into the automatic ticket machine and your tickets are printed for you. Don't be late – the gate closes 2 minutes prior to departure time!

Malaga Train Station

The AVE goes from is the Maria Zambrano station in the centre of Malaga. This is a new station that also includes a very modern and stylish shopping mall.

If you travel first class (preferente) you get 24 hours free parking each way in the train station underground car park – simply present your ticket at the underground car park ticket office on your return.

The train service

There are 2 types of ticket: First and Tourist.

The First Class Service costs around 114 euros each way (children age 4-11: 69 euros) and includes a meal, free drinks and comfortable wide seats.

With the Tourist Class, there is no food service but there is a well stocked bar coach which offers drinks, alcohol, snacks and sandwiches. The Tourist Class costs around 77 euros (children age 4-11: 47 euros) although watch out for special offers and discounts for early booking. 

So if you fancy a fun weekend seeing the sights in Madrid, or a sundrenched cultural or lazy beach weekend in Malaga, we fully recommend using the AVE High Speed Train Service.

For more information or to book visit www.renfe.es