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Last updated : Nov 2009
Spain Getting There - International Travel
Spain International Travel -

Spain’s national airline is IBERIA (IB). Many airlines operate to Spain, including an increasing number of low-cost airlines from the UK.

Spain boasts over 30 international airports. Information on the major airports follows, information on any of the others can be obtained from AENA (Aeropuertos Espanoles y Navegación Aérea) Calle Arturo Soria 109, Madrid 28043 (telephone number: (90) 240 4704 (customer service line), which is the organisation responsible for running all of the Spanish airports.

Spain’s principal international airports are detailed below:

Madrid (MAD) (Barajas)

Madrid (MAD) (Barajas) is 15km (9 miles) northeast of the city. A bus service departs to the city around every 10 to 30 minutes (0700 hrs-2400 hrs) and underground services run every 4 to 7 minutes (0600 hrs-0130 hrs).

Taxi service is available at the airport.

Airport facilities include restaurants and bars, bank, several car hire offices, hotel reservation and tourist information desks, and outgoing duty-free shop.

Barcelona (BCN) (del Prat)

Barcelona (BCN) (del Prat) is 12km (7 miles) southwest of the city.

Bus service to the city departs Monday-Friday every 15 minutes, Saturday every 30 mins and Sunday every 20 minutes (0600 hrs-2400 hrs).

Rail service is every 30 minutes (0645 hrs-2340 hrs).

Taxi service to the city is available, costing about €18 and travel time is approx 30 minutes.

Airport facilities include a bank, restaurant, bar, several car hire companies, hotel reservation and tourist information desks and duty-free shops.

Alicante (ALC) (Altet)

Alicante (ALC) (Altet) is 12km (7 miles) southwest of the city.

Bus service runs to the city (0655 hrs-2310 hrs) every 10 to 40 minutes, costing €1.

A taxi service is available to the city, costing about €12. There is also a taxi connection between Alicante and Valencia Airport.

Airport facilities include a duty-free shop, bank, bureau de change, car hire, tourist information and restaurant

Bilbao (BIO) (Sondika)

Bilbao (BIO) (Sondika) is 10km (6 miles) north of the city.

Bus and taxi services to the city are available, travel time is approx 30 minutes, and cost about €1.

Airport facilities include a restaurant, duty-free shop, tourist information desk and car hire.

Málaga (AGP)

Málaga (AGP) is 10km (6 miles) southwest of the city.

Buses run every 10 to 30 minutes with a travel time of approx 20 minutes.

Train service runs every 30 minutes and cost about €1.

Taxi service to the city is available, costing €12.

Airport facilities include duty-free shop, bank/bureau de change, restaurant and car hire.

Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)

Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) is 10km (6 miles) northeast of the city.

Buses and taxis are available to the city centre approx travel time 10 to 15 minutes.

Airport facilities include bar, banks, car hire and shops

Seville (SVQ)

Seville (SVQ) is 8km (5 miles) from the city.

Taxis and buses are available to the city centre, approx travel time 20 to 30 minutes.

Valencia (VLC) (Manises)

Valencia (VLC) (Manises) is 8km (5 miles) west of the city.

Taxis and buses (0600 hrs-2300 hrs, every 15 minutes) are available to the city centre with approx travel time of 60 minutes by bus, 30 minutes by taxi.

Airport facilities include several car hire firms, bank/bureau de change, restaurant, bar and duty-free shop.


Brittany Ferries (telephone number: (08703) 665 333) operates a service to Santander (on the north coast) from Plymouth (travel time – 18 hours), twice-weekly. P&O European Ferries (telephone number: (08705) 202020; ) operates a twice-weekly service from Portsmouth to Bilbao (travel time – 35 hours).


There are direct trains between Madrid – Paris and Madrid – Lisbon, as well as Barcelona – Paris,Barcelona – Zürich or Milan and Barcelona – Geneva. These services are called Estrella, Talgo or Train - Hotel.

On other international train services to and from Spain, a change of train is necessary. However, work on the AVE (high-velocity train) route between Madrid and Barcelona is expected to be completed in 2006, after which the French border connection is expected to be fully operational in 2010 and it will be possible to connect with the French TGV (high-velocity route) and the rest of the high-velocity routes in Europe.

Motorail services run between Paris and Madrid. For more information, contact the Spanish Rail service (telephone number: (020) 7224 0345; e-mail:

Travelling from the UK, the quickest way is to travel by the Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel to Paris, journey time is three hours, with a connection to Spain. For further information and reservations contact Eurostar (telephone number: (0870) 600 0792 (travel agents) or (08705) 186 186 (public within the UK) or (+44 1233) 617 575 (public outside the UK only), or Rail Europe (telephone number: (08705) 848 848). Travel agents can obtain refunds for unused tickets from Eurostar For Agents, 2nd Floor, Kent House, 81 Station Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PD, UK. Complaints and comments may be sent to Eurostar Customer Relations, Eurostar House, Waterloo Station, London SE1 8SE, UK (telephone number: (020) 7928 5163; e-mail:


The main route from the UK is via France. The main motorways to Spain from France are via Bordeaux or Toulouse to Bilbao (in northern Spain) and via Marseille or Toulouse to Barcelona (eastern Spain).

A number of coach operators offer services to Spain. In the UK, Eurolines, departing from Victoria Coach Station in London, serves more than 20 destinations in Spain. For further information, contact Eurolines, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1, UK (telephone number: (08705) 143 219) or National Express.


Traffic drives on the right. Side lights must be used at night in built-up areas. Spare bulbs and red hazard triangles must be kept in all vehicles.

Traffic lights with two red lights mean ‘No Entry’. Parking laws are rigorously enforced.

The speed limit for motorways is 120kph (80mph) in general, but for buses and lorries the limit is 100kph (60mph); in built-up areas the limit is 50kph (30mph); for other roads it is 90kph (56mph).


Most foreign licences including Canadian, EU and US are accepted. Third Party insurance is compulsory, plus maybe a Green Card if bringing your own car (available from insurance company).
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Spain.