There are 6 ways to get from Madrid to Santander by plane, bus, train, rideshare or car

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

Fly, bus  •  4 h 36 min

  1. Fly from Madrid (MAD) to Bilbao (BIO) MAD - BIO
  2. Take the bus from Bilbao to Santander

$47 - $223

Cheapest option

Rideshare  •  5 h 21 min

  1. Take the rideshare from Madrid to Santander 284.3 miles

$24

4 alternative options

Train  •  5 h 15 min

  1. Take the train from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha to Santander A

$50 - $70

Train via Madrid-Chamartin  •  5 h 21 min

  1. Take the train from Madrid-Chamartin to Santander A

$51 - $67

Bus  •  5 h 45 min

  1. Take the bus from Madrid to Santander

$30 - $55

Drive  •  4 h 25 min

  1. Drive from Madrid to Santander 284.7 miles

$50 - $80

Questions & Answers

Yes, there is a direct bus departing from Madrid and arriving at Santander. Services depart every four hours. The journey takes approximately 5 h 45 min.

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Yes, there is a direct train departing from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha and arriving at Santander. Services depart once daily, and operate Monday to Saturday. The journey takes approximately 5 h 15 min.

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The distance between Madrid and Santander is 339 km. The road distance is 455.5 km.

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The best way to get from Madrid to Santander without a car is to train which takes 5 h 15 min and costs .

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It takes approximately 4 h 36 min to get from Madrid to Santander, including transfers.

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

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Madrid to Santander train services, operated by Spanish Railways (RENFE), depart from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha station.

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The best way to get from Madrid to Santander is to train which takes 5 h 15 min and costs . Alternatively, you can bus, which costs and takes 5 h 45 min.

Mode details

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

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

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Map of how to get from Madrid to Santander.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 211.9 miles
  • Duration: 4 h 36 min

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

Spanish Railways (RENFE) operates a train from Madrid to Santander once daily. Tickets cost $50 - $70 and the journey takes 5 h 15 min. Alternatively, ALSA operates a bus from Madrid to Santander every 4 hours. Tickets cost $30 - $55 and the journey takes 5 h 45 min.

Airlines
Iberia
Website
iberia.com
Flights from Madrid to Bilbao
Ave. Duration
1 h
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-Puerta de Atocha to Santander
Ave. Duration
5 h 15 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$50 - $70
Website
renfe.com
Train from Madrid-Chamartin to Santander
Ave. Duration
4 h 11 min
Frequency
4 times a day
Estimated price
$50 - $65
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 Bilbao to Santander
Ave. Duration
1 h 20 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$18 - $28
Website
alsa.com
Bus from Madrid to Santander
Ave. Duration
5 h 45 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Estimated price
$30 - $55
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 Bilbao to Santander
Ave. Duration
1 h 10 min
Frequency
3 times a week
Estimated price
$4 - $6
Website
Ouibus
Other operators
BlaBlaCar.es
Rome2rio's guide to BlaBlaCar.es
Contact Details
Website
blablacar.com
Rideshare from Madrid to Santander
Ave. Duration
5 h 21 min
Frequency
Every 2 hours
Estimated price
$24
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

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

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Yes, the driving distance between Madrid to Santander is 456 km. It takes approximately 4 h 25 min to drive from Madrid to Santander.

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

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Book your Madrid to Santander train tickets online with Rome2rio.

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Book your Madrid to Santander bus tickets online with Busbud.

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There are 552+ hotels available in Santander. Prices start at $53 USD per night.

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Check out Blablacar's carpooling service for rideshare options between Madrid and Santander. 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 .

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