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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  •  4h 15m

  1. Take the bus from Madrid to Bilbao

€30 - €45

Cheapest option

Rideshare  •  4h 47m

  1. Take the rideshare from Madrid to Bilbao 395.5 km

€22

4 alternative options

Train  •  6h 14m

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

€35 - €47

Bus via Vitoria-Gasteiz  •  7h 31m

  1. Take the bus from Madrid to Vitoria-Gasteiz N1158 / ...
  2. Take the bus from Vitoria/Gasteiz-Estacion/Geltoki to Bilbao/Bilbo-Termibus/Geltoki L7 / ...

€24 - €34

Drive  •  3h 52m

  1. Drive from Madrid to Bilbao 395.7 km

€35 - €60

Fly  •  3h 13m

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

€37 - €141

Madrid to Bilbao by train

The train journey time between Madrid and Bilbao is around 5h 27m and covers a distance of around 497 km. The fastest train normally takes 5h 18m. Operated by Renfe Cercanias and Renfe Viajeros, the Madrid to Bilbao train service departs from Sol and arrives in Bilbao-Abando. Typically 12 trains run weekly, although weekend and holiday schedules can vary so check in advance.

Train route overview

Average train time:
5h 27m
Fastest train time:
5h 18m
Train distance:
497 km
Trains per week:
12
Cheapest price:
-
Carbon emissions:
26 kg CO2

First and last trains

First train departs at:
07:42
Last train departs at:
15:39

The schedules shown below are for the next available departures.

Madrid to Bilbao train schedules

Madrid → Bilbao
Partially open

Travel safe during COVID-19

Rules to follow in Spain

1.5m

Mandatory

Mandatory

Travel within Spain

Nationwide control measures in place
Observe COVID-19 safety rules

COVID-19 help in Spain

If you need help, visit the national COVID-19 website or call the COVID-19 Helpline 112

Frequently Asked Questions


There are currently travel restrictions within Spain.

Explore options for future travel

Domestic travel is not restricted, but some conditions may apply

  • Face masks are mandatory
  • There is a social distancing requirement of 1.5 metres
  • Nationwide control measures in place
  • Observe COVID-19 safety rules

Explore travel options

The national COVID-19 helpline number in Bilbao is 112.

Wearing a face mask on public transport in Bilbao is mandatory.

The social distance requirement in Bilbao is 1.5 metres.

Make yourself known to an official member of staff and/or call the national coronavirus helpline number on 112.

Last updated: 20 Jul 2021
Exceptions may apply, for full details: European Union.

We're working around the clock to bring you the latest COVID-19 travel updates.
This information is compiled from official sources. To the best of our knowledge, it is correct as of the last update.
Visit Rome2rio travel advice for general help.

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Madrid to Bilbao is to rideshare which costs €22 and takes 4h 47m.

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The quickest way to get from Madrid to Bilbao is to fly which costs €35 - €150 and takes 3h 13m.

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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 4h 15m.

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

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The distance between Madrid and Bilbao is 323 km. The road distance is 395.7 km.

Get driving directions

The best way to get from Madrid to Bilbao without a car is to bus which takes 4h 15m and costs €30 - €45.

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The bus from Madrid to Bilbao takes 4h 15m 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 Renfe Viajeros, depart from Madrid-Chamartin station.

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The best way to get from Madrid to Bilbao is to bus which takes 4h 15m and costs €30 - €45. Alternatively, you can train, which costs €35 - €50 and takes 6h 14m, you could also fly, which costs €35 - €150 and takes 3h 13m.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Madrid to Bilbao.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 323 km
  • Duration: 4h 15m

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

ALSA operates a bus from Madrid to Bilbao twice daily. Tickets cost €30 - €45 and the journey takes 4h 15m. Alternatively, Renfe Viajeros operates a train from Madrid-Chamartin to Bilbao-Abando twice daily. Tickets cost €30 - €40 and the journey takes 5h 4m.

Airlines
Iberia
Website
iberia.com
Flights from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
1h 5m
When
Every day
Estimated price
€40 - €160
Air Europa
Website
aireuropa.com
Flights from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
1h
When
Every day
Estimated price
€30 - €130
Train operators
Renfe Viajeros

Spain's excellent and extensive rail system connects cities across Spain and into neighbouring countries. Renfe's high-speed AVE trains can reach speeds of up to 350km/h, making travel between major cities very efficient. All medium- and long-distance trains require a seat reservation; ticket sales for these trains usually open 30-60 days before travel. Most Renfe trains have two classes: Turista (2nd class) and Preferente (1st class), although some AVE trains offer Turista Plus. There is free WiFi for Preferente passengers and for those with a +Renfe loyalty card.

Rome2rio's guide to Renfe Viajeros
Contact Details
Phone
902 320 320
Website
renfe.com
Train from Madrid-Chamartin to Bilbao-Abando
Ave. Duration
5h 4m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
€30 - €40
Website
Renfe Viajeros
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. ALSA services are accessible to people with disabilities, and guide dogs are welcome on all journeys. There are 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
4h 15m
Frequency
Twice daily
Estimated price
€30 - €45
Website
alsa.com
Bus from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
1h
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
€6 - €10
Website
alsa.com
FlixBus

One of Europe’s leading bus companies, Flixbus serves 2000+ destinations in 29 countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Croatia and into Scandinavia and eastern Europe, as well as some US cities. Coaches have toilets, free WiFi and power outlets, plus snacks and drinks for purchase on board. Flixbus is a good choice for the budget-conscious traveller; purchase tickets in advance for the cheapest fares (note: there is no option to reserve a seat in advance).

Rome2rio's guide to FlixBus
Contact Details
Phone
+49 1807 123 99 123
Email
info@flixbus.de
Website
flixbus.de
Bus from Madrid to Vitoria-Gasteiz
Ave. Duration
6h 20m
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
€19 - €24
Website
flixbus.co.uk
Bus from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
50 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
€6 - €8
Website
flixbus.co.uk
Autobuses La Union
Phone
94 476. 50. 07
Website
autobuseslaunion.com
Bus from Vitoria/Gasteiz-Estacion/Geltoki to Bilbao/Bilbo-Termibus/Geltoki
Ave. Duration
55 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
€5 - €7
Website
Autobuses La Union
Other operators
BlaBlaCar.es
Rome2rio's guide to BlaBlaCar.es
Contact Details
Website
blablacar.com
Rideshare from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
4h 47m
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
€22
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 1h.

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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 Renfe Viajeros, arrive at Bilbao-Abando station.

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Yes, the driving distance between Madrid to Bilbao is 396 km. It takes approximately 3h 52m to drive from Madrid to Bilbao.

Get driving directions

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 Omio and Busbud.

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There are 156+ hotels available in Bilbao. Prices start at €75 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