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  • Deutsche Bahn
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There are 6 ways to get from Madrid to Bilbao by bus, train, rideshare, car or plane

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Bus ALSA  •  4 h 15 min

  1. Take the bus from Madrid to Bilbao

$30 - $50

Cheapest option

Bus Ouibus  •  7 h 20 min

  1. Take the bus from Madrid - South Station to Bilbao Ouibus

$18 - $26

4 alternative options

Train  •  6 h 14 min

  1. Take the train from Madrid-Chamartin to Bilbao-Abando A

$56 - $77

Rideshare  •  4 h 47 min

  1. Take the rideshare from Madrid to Bilbao 248.2 miles

$26

Drive  •  4 h

  1. Drive from Madrid to Bilbao 248.3 miles

$45 - $70

Fly  •  2 h 45 min

  1. Fly from Madrid (MAD) to Bilbao (BIO) MAD - BIO

$43 - $195

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Madrid to Bilbao is to bus which costs 15€ - 23€ and takes 7 h 20 min.

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The quickest way to get from Madrid to Bilbao is to fly which costs 35€ - 170€ and takes 2 h 45 min.

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Yes, there is a direct bus departing from Madrid and arriving at Bilbao. Services depart twice daily, and operate Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The journey takes approximately 4 h 15 min.

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No, there is no direct train from Madrid to Bilbao. However, there are services departing from Madrid Sol and arriving at Bilbao-Abando via Madrid-Chamartin. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 6 h 14 min.

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The distance between Madrid and Bilbao is 323 km. The road distance is 397.3 km.

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The best way to get from Madrid to Bilbao without a car is to bus which takes 4 h 15 min and costs 26€ - 45€.

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The bus from Madrid to Bilbao takes 4 h 15 min including transfers and departs twice daily.

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Madrid to Bilbao bus services, operated by ALSA, depart from Madrid station.

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Madrid to Bilbao train services, operated by Spanish Railways (RENFE), depart from Madrid-Chamartin station.

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The best way to get from Madrid to Bilbao is to bus which takes 4 h 15 min and costs 26€ - 45€. Alternatively, you can train, which costs 45€ - 70€ and takes 6 h 14 min, you could also fly, which costs 35€ - 170€ and takes 2 h 45 min.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Madrid to Bilbao.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 201.9 miles
  • Duration: 4 h 15 min

What companies run services between Madrid, Spain and Bilbao, Spain?

ALSA operates a bus from Madrid to Bilbao twice daily. Tickets cost $30 - $50 and the journey takes 4 h 15 min. Alternatively, Spanish Railways (RENFE) operates a train from Madrid to Bilbao 3 times a day. Tickets cost $55 - $75 and the journey takes 5 h 4 min.

Airlines
Iberia
Website
iberia.com
Flights from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
1 h 2 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$100 - $390
Air Europa
Website
aireuropa.com
Flights from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
1 h
When
Every day
Estimated price
$85 - $290
Train operators
Spanish Railways (RENFE)

Based in Madrid, Renfe is a state-owned train operator, that connects cities across Spain and neighbouring countries including Portugal, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Renfe’s extensive network means most destinations offer multiple trains a day, with the most popular routes normally offering a train each hour. Locally known as AVE, the high-speed trains can reach speeds of up to 350km/h, making travel between major cities very efficient. Comfort is key in a Renfe train, with seats with footrests in all three classes of travel: Standard, Club and First. Each seat has an individual light, a pull-down table and an electrical outlet for in Club and First classes. There is free WiFi for first class passengers and for those with a + Renfe card.

Rome2rio's guide to Spanish Railways (RENFE)
Contact Details
Phone
902 320 320
Website
renfe.com
Train from Madrid-Chamartin to Bilbao-Abando
Ave. Duration
5 h 4 min
Frequency
3 times a day
Estimated price
$55 - $75
Website
renfe.com
Bus operators
ALSA

A Spanish subsidiary of National Express, ALSA provides bus and coach services across Spain and neighbouring countries including Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Malta. Founded in 1923, ALSA values service and the customer experience. Buses are equipped with communal TV screens showing movies, individual behind-seat screens, ALSA radio, app for books and music, and free WiFi so you’re never bored on your journey. ALSA services are accessible to people with disabilities, and guide dogs are welcome on all journeys. Flexibility is another highlight of an ALSA journey, with three types of tickets on offer - Frequent Traveller Pass, Share Pass and ALSA Pass, along with discounts for senior citizens, students and children.

Contact Details
Phone
+34 902 42 22 42
Website
alsa.es
Bus from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
4 h 15 min
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$30 - $50
Website
alsa.com
Ouibus

As the bus subsidiary of French railway SNCF, Ouibus offers comfortable, eco-friendly coaches serving 35 French cities and 11 European cities at affordable fares. Ouibus journeys are safe and comfortable, with the four-star coaches offering power outlets, restrooms and WiFi. All Ouibus stations are located close to town centres for easy access to public transport. Getting on one of the 130 daily journeys is easy - electronic travel documents include your ticket and a personalised mini-guide with handy information.

Contact Details
Phone
0890715298
Website
ouibus.com
Bus from Madrid - South Station to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
5 h 40 min
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
$14 - $20
Website
Ouibus
Other operators
BlaBlaCar.es
Rome2rio's guide to BlaBlaCar.es
Contact Details
Website
blablacar.com
Rideshare from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
4 h 47 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$26
Book at
blablacar.es

Want to know more about travelling around Spain

Rome2rio's Travel Guide series provide vital information for the global traveller. Filled with useful and timely travel information, the guides answer all the hard questions - such as 'How do I buy a ticket?', 'Should I book online before I travel? ', 'How much should I expect to pay?', 'Do the trains and buses have Wifi?' - to help you get the most out of your next trip.

More Questions & Answers

The quickest flight from Madrid Airport to Bilbao Airport is the direct flight which takes 1 h.

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Madrid to Bilbao bus services, operated by ALSA, arrive at Bilbao station.

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Madrid to Bilbao train services, operated by Spanish Railways (RENFE), arrive at Bilbao-Abando station.

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Yes, the driving distance between Madrid to Bilbao is 397 km. It takes approximately 4 h to drive from Madrid to Bilbao.

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Air Europa and Iberia offer flights from Madrid Airport to Bilbao Airport.

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Book your Madrid to Bilbao bus tickets online with ALSA.

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There are 452+ hotels available in Bilbao. Prices start at $58 USD per night.

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Check out Blablacar's carpooling service for rideshare options between Madrid and Bilbao. A great option if you don't have a driver's licence or want to avoid public transport.

Read Rome2rio's guide to Blablacar

The best way to get from Madrid to Madrid Airport is to train which takes 22 min and costs 1€ - 3€.

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