For many years the "Lusitania" night train was the only train connection from Lisbon to Madrid. From August 29, 2017 the reintroduction of a regional train across the Elvas - Badajoz border crossing allows you to travel between the Portuguese and Spanish capitals once again during the day. Find out all the details below.
Lisbon to Madrid via Elvas and Badajoz
From August 29, 2017, Portuguese Railways CP operate a daily regional train from Entroncamento (on the Lisbon - Porto main line) via Abrantes and the Linha do Leste to Elvas and across the Spanish border to Badajoz. From here you can continue with "Media Distancia" (fast regional trains) to Madrid. It also makes visits of cities such as Caceres or Merida much easier when coming from Portugal.
The timings of the trains are as follows:
|IC 511||R 5501||RE 18777||MD 17907||MD 17902||RE 18770||R 5500||IC 524|
|Lisboa Santa Apolonia||08:30||Madrid Atocha Cercanias||10:18|
|Madrid Atocha Cercanias||20:09||Lisboa Santa Apolonia||20:00|
There is not much time between connecting trains in Badajoz and Merida. If you want, you can travel to Madrid with a later direct train from Badajoz. This train leaves Badajoz at 17:05 and arrives in Madrid at 22:58. Similarly you have an alternative connection in the opposite direction too. It leaves Madrid at 08:07, arriving in Badajoz at 14:05 already. Both trains would leave you with enough time to quickly walk to the historic city centre of Badajoz.
You can't buy one single ticket for this route online. Tickets from Lisbon to Elvas (the Portuguese border town) are available at CP, however it is not possible to buy a ticket to Badajoz. Best thing to do is to buy the ticket locally at a station. A single ticket costs 19,25€ in 2nd class. It would be a little bit cheaper if you would travel from Lisbon to Entroncamento by regional train (15,60€) however you would already have to leave at 07:45. 1st class is available only on the IC train from Lisbon to Entroncamento. Entroncamento to Badajoz is 2nd class only.
From Badajoz you can buy single tickets to Madrid online at Trainline or Renfe. There are no advance fares available so you could also buy the ticket locally at the station. However, seat reservation is compulsory so on busy days (weekends) it might make sense to buy the ticket in advance. Single ticket Badajoz - Madrid via Caceres is 38,70€ in 2nd class. There is no 1st class available.
If you are travelling with Interrail or Eurail you need a seat reservation for the IC from Lisbon to Entroncamento. The reservation costs 5€ and is only available at a station in Portugal. If you want to save money, take the earlier regional train (departure in Lisbon at 07:45). You also need a reservation for the MD train from Merida to Madrid. You can buy it locally at a station for 4€.
If you have more questions about your journey from Lisbon to Madrid just ask us. You can contact us here or on the railcc forum.
Update: September 2017