How to get from Malaga to Madrid, Spain

Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

Getting from Malaga to Madrid Travel Guide

I have to admit, I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Madrid from the very first visit and today it has to be one of my absolute favourite Spanish cities.

Perhaps it was the opulence of the Royal Palace, the lights and vibrant energy of Gran Via, the tapas bars & restaurants in Rios Rosas where we stayed, or the beautiful lush and green El Retiro park, but this city has a truly unique charm and allure.

Are you planning a visit to Malaga and surrounds on the Costa Del Sol and thinking of combining and adding on a trip to Madrid? 

Wondering how to travel from Malaga to Madrid?

In this guide I will detail exactly how you can do this, whether by air travel, train, bus or car.

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Journey Duration: Between 1 hour 25 minutes

When considering travel between these two cities, you may first and foremost consider doing so by flying from Malaga to Madrid. The average flight duration is around 1 hour 25 minutes and there are regular daily flights connecting the two cities.

Currently both Iberia Express and Air Europa (operated by Swift Air) offer direct Malaga to Madrid flights (and return).

On average, and when booking in advance you could get access to some great fares on both airlines, ranging anywhere from €50 upward.

Important: When booking your Malaga to Madrid flight, make sure that the fare you have booked does include checked luggage, if you require it. Many European airlines sell heavily discounted tickets that exclude any checked luggage. So, read the terms & fare rules carefully.

Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport:

The Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport is conveniently located only a short 20-minute drive from Malaga centre or a 13 minutes train ride on the C1 train connecting to the city centre. For more info, visit the airport site here – Malaga Airport.

Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport:

On the other hand, Madrid’s main international airport is located a bit further outside the city centre but is connected to Madrid’s metro system. It should take around 40 minutes to get from the airport to the centre using the underground trains.

Visit Madrid’s airport website here for more information – Madrid Airport.

Malaga to Madrid Train

How to get from Malaga to Madrid
Plaza Mayor Madrid

Journey Duration: Between 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours

Whilst many travellers may consider air travel to be the best and fastest route to get from Malaga to Madrid, taking into consideration the journey time to and from the airport, checking-in, passing through security etc., it may in actual fact not be.

All things considered, making use of the Malaga to Madrid train service would probably end up a much quicker route, connecting these two destinations.

The Spanish national rail operator, Renfe, run between 10 to 13 departures daily, starting from as early as 06:20 am with the last train leaving Malaga at 20:15 pm.

Upon the return, the Madrid to Malaga train service also operates more or less the same amount of departures from as early as 07:20 am, with the last train departing around 20:35 pm.

Do note that weekend schedules may vary, so be sure to consult the Renfe site to view availability and to book online.

Malaga to Madrid High-speed train:

Travel from Malaga to Madrid by train is on the AVE high-speed rail service and takes anywhere between 2 hours 30 minutes to just under 3 hours, depending on which train you have booked (journey times are indicated online on the Renfe site too).

Prices also vary according to availability, train and journey time and may be anywhere between €24.10 to €80.30 for a one-way tourist class ticket.

It is best to try and book in advance in order to secure the cheaper fares, so be sure to book as soon you as have your travel plans firmed up. Having said this, you can usually only book around 3 months in advance.

Malaga Train Station:

All departures from Malaga leave from Malaga’s main train station, the Maria Zambrano station, located only about 2 kilometres from Malaga’s city centre.

Madrid Train Station:

Arriving into and departing from Madrid, you would make use of the Madrid-Puerta de Atocha train station. 

Located only about 2 kilometres out of the main city centre and also really close by to the well-known El Retiro park in Madrid. The train station is also connected to the metro system, so getting around Madrid will be fairly easy from here.

Given that both train stations are conveniently located close by to the city centre and depending on exactly where in each city you will be located, the train from Malaga to Madrid may in the end work out to be the quickest and most convenient route when considering your overall journey & travel time.

Bus, Malaga - Madrid

Madrid Royal Palace
Madrid Royal Palace
Madrid Architecture
Gorgeous Madrid Architecture

Journey Duration: Between 6 hours to 7 hours 10 minutes

As a last resort, when making use of public transport, you may opt to take the Malaga to Madrid Bus, although in my opinion, considering the journey time I much rather prefer travel by train or air.

The Coach company, Interbus, operate the Malaga to Madrid bus service with around 7 departures daily (and one additional one on Sunday nights).

The earliest departure from Malaga is around 07:35 am and the last at about 23:15 pm at night.

On the return the Madrid to Malaga bus service start departing Madrid at 07:00 am in the morning with the last one at 23:59 pm at night.

Most of these bus journeys are around 6 hours total, although there are one or two that take around 7 hours 10 minutes. This is clearly indicated on the website when you complete a search for this routing.

The long journey time aside, the one added advantage of travelling from Malaga to Madrid by bus is that the ticket prices are far cheaper. 

A one-way ticket usually ranges between €14.95 to €16.85 (plus add on an additional €2.60 booking fee). Making this form of transport the cheapest way to get between Madrid and Malaga.

Malaga Bus Station departing out of Malaga, this bus service departs from the bus terminal in Paseo de los Tilos (Estación de Autobuses) which is about 1.5 kilometres from the city centre and only about 5 minutes’ walk from the Maria Zambrano train station.

Madrid Bus Station – the bus terminal in Madrid is the Madrid (Estación Sur) in Calle Mendez Alvaro. The station is also connected to the Méndez Álvaro Estación Sur metro line with good and easy connections in the city centre using the underground.

Driving from Malaga to Madrid by Car

Malaga to Madrid by car
Journey Duration: More or less 2 hours 30 minutes Lastly, you may prefer to travel by car from Malaga to Madrid or even consider a road trip to cover his route, stopping at other destinations along the way. If you are traveling direct, then the journey should take around 5 hours, with the distance from Malaga to Madrid being approximately 531 kilometres in total. The most direct route would be via the A4 highway. Spanish Motorways In Spain you will find both tolled and free highways. Usually the free highways are indicated with the letter A and a number. Example being the A4 connecting Madrid to Malaga. Then you also get tolled roads, starting with AP and a number, example the AP3. For most part, your journey from Malaga to Madrid by car will be on the free A4 high-way. But in certain parts you may well cross onto the tolled roads. Thankfully, I found this very useful Spanish road map online. I love how it very clearly indicates the Spanish highway route network and also gives a good indication of which of these are free and which are tolled. Renting a car Are you wanting to still rent a car for the duration of your trip? Have a look at for rates & availability. We’ve used them before to hire cars and found the site to be both user friendly and convenient. Based on your search criteria, they will compare and show a range of different rental agencies and rates. Meaning you really only have to visit one site to compare rates and book!

Where to stay & What to do in Madrid

Madrid to Malaga, Spain
Yet to book accommodation? Or looking to add on additional tours, activities or experiences to round out your trip to Spain? Have a look at hotel rates & availability on for accommodation in Madrid. Or check here for Malaga accommodation if you are yet to book. For tours & activities, check availability and rates here – Madrid tours & activities.


Have you visited Spain already? Or more specifically, have you done this exact journey between Malaga and Madrid?

I’d love to hear your input, tips & suggestions and what you thought the best route was for you, and why.

Feel free to comment further down below in the comment section.

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How to get from Malaga to Madrid, Spain travel guide. Spain Travels | Malaga | Madrid | Spain Itinerary | Travel to Spain | Madrid Spain | Spain Bucketlist #spaintravels #spain #madrid #malaga
How to get from Malaga to Madrid, Spain travel guide. Spain Travels | Malaga | Madrid | Spain Itinerary | Travel to Spain | Madrid Spain | Spain Bucketlist #spaintravels #spain #madrid #malaga

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