Tourist Information Guide

How To Use RENFE Train Tickets Purchased Online?

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Q: I have ordered 2 tickets for the high speed train from Barcelona to Madrid from the RENFE trains website, and have printed them out on ordinary printer paper. I started at the basic RENFE web site selecting English as the language [using the 'seleccione su idioma' drop-down box at the bottom left of the screen]. I entered the date of travel (14 May) and clicked on SEARCH, to bring up the trains for the journey. Having selected the train and the tickets, I followed the links to print out the tickets. I have the reference numbers of the tickets plus the online purchase number, but no information on what the tickets allow us to do. I cannot see why the paper tickets stating the seat numbers and train details would not be acceptable, but not having travelled in Spain before I really don't know. Do I have to swap these at Barcelona Sants Rail station for the actual tickets to be used for the journey? If so, where do I pick up the train tickets - is there a special ticket office for this at Sants? I can find no information anywhere on the RENFE website that states that the home-printed tickets can be used on the train.

Barcelona City Pass

A: I called RENFE online tickets information line to confirm how to use the online tickets printed from your own printer and they informed me that you could walk directly on the train with these tickets you do not have to pick up any other tickets from the station.

Ticket machines at Barcelona Sants station
Ticket machines at Barcelona Sants station

If you did not have a printer at home then RENFE have Automatic Check-In Booths at Barcelona Sants where you can swipe your credit card through the machines (the same card that you used to pay for the tickets online) and the Automatic Check-In Booth would print out the tickets for you. Since you have a printer at home you can use your printed tickets just like normal tickets.

If you have any queries with regards to buying tickets you can call the RENFE customer service line:

Tel: +34 91 232 0320 (Reservations)
Tel: +34 91 919 0504 (International)

Our Insider Tip

The RENFE information line usually answer the phone in Spanish, however if you ask to speak to someone in English they will speak English or put you through to someone that can.

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