Madrid Chamartín is the second large railway station in Madrid. While Atocha handles most traffic going to the east and to the south, Chamartín is famous for its many connections with northwestern Spain. To give you a full overview, here is a guide to Madrid Chamartín.
The second largest train station in Madrid
With 21 tracks and a lot of different connections, Madrid Chamartín is the second largest train station in Madrid, only surpassed by Atocha. You will find several local departures in Chamartín, along with many daily long-distance routes.
The station was built between 1970 and 1975. In the 1980s, it became a major part of the Madrid traffic and was even more used than Atocha. However, a large rebuild of Atocha made Chamartín somewhat insignificant in the 1990s, but after building the high-speed lines around Spain known as AVE, it was decided that Chamartín should handle most routes to the northwest of Spain.
Chamartín is open between 4:30 and 0:30 on most days.
Finding the station
Madrid Chamartín is located in the northern part of the city. That’s also the reason why it is practical to have it take care of northern-bound trains.
If you’re staying in a more central part of Madrid, you most likely have to take a metro or a local train to reach the station, as it is too far to be considered walking distance from the main attractions of the city.
Hotel Chamartín is a decent place to stay, due to its proximity, if you have a departure from the station early in the day, or if you’re arriving late at night.
Where can you go from Madrid Chamartín?
There are several cities and towns that are connected to the Madrid Chamartín train station. Most of them are smaller ones inside the Madrid community, but there are also long distance routes to many cities in the northwest and to other parts of the country.
Short distance travel
Most of the Renfe Cercanías trains pass through Chamartín. Through this station, you can go to other parts of Madrid in the matter of minutes – for example, to Nuevos Ministerios, Sol, Atocha, Príncipe Pío and other stations.
You can also go to other towns within the Madrid area, such as Albobendas, Aranjuez, Cercedilla, El Escorial, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Villalba, and several others. Simply take the correct line of the Renfe Cercanías to go there.
Madrid Chamartín is also connected to metro lines 1 and 10. The metro area is located immediately below the rest of the station, so you can easily go up and switch trains upon arrival.
There are also other local trains that cover shorter distances.
Long distance travel
Aside from the shorter routes, there are also many long distance routes headed for the northwest of Spain.
AVE trains go from Chamartín to Segovia and León.
Alvia trains go from Chamartín to A Coruña, Ferrol, Bilbao, Gijón/Oviedo, Vigo/Pontevedra and Santander. You can also catch a train to Alicante or Murcia, but it has to go through Atocha first, as it is in the different direction. There’s also an international route to Lisbon, usually a night train, and it also passes through Ávila.
If you have booked a long distance trip in advance, you are entitled to a free ride with the Renfe Cercanías so you can get to Madrid Chamartín from another local stop in Madrid. You simply have to look on your ticket for a six-letter code, type it into one of the vending machines, and it will print out a ticket for you. So let’s say you’re staying/living near Sol, but you have to take a train to León departing from Chamartín. Then you get the ride between Sol and Chamartín for free, as a part of your long distance ticket.
The Madrid Chamartín train station can seem confusing at first, but after trying it a couple of times, it is easy to get an overview. We hope that this guide has been helpful and that you will have a great trip when starting a journey to or from Chamartín!