Marseille to Madrid by train

How to take the fabulous rail journey from Marseille to Madrid

The only direct train service from France to the Spanish capital to has now resumed following a two year suspension.



From Marseille-Saint-Charles to Madrid Atocha/Puerta De Atocha

Travel Information

Final Destination: Madrid-Atocha

The train also calls at: Avignon TGV, Figueres-Vilifant, Girona, Barcelone, Camp De Tarragona and Zaragoza-Delicias.

The train is usually scheduled to depart from Marseille at 08:02 and it is the only direct train between France and Madrid.

1 x train per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

The train is usually scheduled to depart from Marseille daily at 08:02.

Though it can be worth comparing the prices between booking agents for this journey.

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for this journey, but rail pass users will need to be pay a reservation fee prior to boarding, but these rail pass reservations cannot be booked on the train ticketing websites, as explained on this guide.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trainline *

Trainline Guide

SNCF Connect *

SNCF Connect Guide

SNCF is the national rail operator in France and not so long ago it recently simplified both the range of tickets and the term and conditions of using them.
Therefore the cheapest tickets also become more flexible too.

Other improvements included a simple integration of travelling with bicycles and rail pass users being able to book reservations for national journeys, without paying booking fees.

And it also recently launched SNCF Connect as replacement for its Oui.SNCF booking service.
You can set up a low price alert to let you know when the cheapest price is available for a future journey.

Something else to look out for is that simplest way of travelling with tickets is to use the SNCF Connect App, as booked tickets can therefore be stored on your mobile device, which can then be shown to the train conductors as proof of purchase.

SNCF Connect on Google Play

SNCF Connect in the App (Apple) store

SNCF also operates RailEurope, which is in effect a dedicated online booking service for making bookings from outside of Europe.
If you reside outside of Europe you may discover that SNCF Connect rejects phone numbers or card numbers, but RailEurope won't do so.
Though RailEurope will add booking fees when making a purchase

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed (partial)Coastal views

Journey description:

This fabulous train journey showcases European train travel at its best, with its fantastic contrasts between the coastal views in France and the sweeping vistas across the Spanish plains.

It is also a journey with three distinct phases:

1: Between Marseille and Nimes the train travels through Provence on the high speed line.

2. From Montpellier to Perpignan the trains follow the coast.

Don't expect incredible seascapes, but there are some nice views as the train threads through the lagoons, particularly south of Narbonne.

As can be seen in the above video, what's unusual and rather fabulous about this part of the journey, is that the 'sea' can be seen from both sides of the train.

Though those two video were captured when travelling on a TGV train and not the AVE train that is used for this journey.

3. Then after Perpignan, the train reverts back to using high speed lines for the remainder of the journey on to Madrid.

Initially the train will travel on a high speed line to Barcelona, but the most thrilling section of this journey comes after the train has departed from there.

Between Barcelona and Madrid the train will spend most of the journey travelling at more than 290 km/h

The video clips showcase what gives this journey its wow factor, but they were filmed travelling in the opposite direction, from Madrid to Barcelona.

From the left of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan From the left of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan
From the left of the train between Perpignan and Figueres From the left of the train between Perpignan and Figueres
Between Barcelona and Madrid#1 Between Barcelona and Madrid#1
Between Barcelona and Madrid #2 Between Barcelona and Madrid #2
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This is one of more than 1000 journey guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.