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Spain’s New High-speed Train

AllClear Team
Last updated 21 March 2021

New Train Will Get You from Madrid to Barcelona and Back in Just Hours

A new cheap, high-speed train service called ‘AVLO’ will link Barcelona and Madrid from April 2020. Meaning, you could take in two of Europe’s top cities in one holiday, without breaking the bank. 

AVLO: Low-cost, High-speed Travel for Everyone

The new service will be operated by Spain’s state-owned rail company. Renfe. The company is planning to sell tickets for as little as €10 per trip. When available, you will be able to buy tickets online, with a mobile app, as well as over the phone or at the stations.

AVLO trains will only have economy class seats with luggage restrictions. There won’t be a cafeteria or food service on board to make sure there’s more from for passengers.

Trains will begin running twice a day between Sants station in Barcelona and Atocha station in Madrid. However, the plan is to increase this to 5 services each way by the end of 2020.  

See More of Spain

Taking an AVLO train will be significantly cheaper and take roughly the same amount of time as flying between the cities. The new high-will allow you to travel quickly across the country and see more of Spain than the Costas.

And there are plenty of good reasons to do it! Barcelona and Madrid will host some top events in 2020, and there is world-class sightseeing on offer. 

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3 Reasons to Visit Barcelona in 2020

The Festivals

There are some great festivals in Barcelona. However, La Mercè, named after the city’s patron saint Our Lady of Mercy, is the biggest and offers the best Catalan-style entertainment. The main celebration usually takes place on September 24. But there’s loads going on in the days before with around 600 events taking place across the city. You can watch amazing Castellers (human towers), Correfocs or fire-runs for children and adults, the parade of giants, air shows and firework displays.

Gaudí’s Masterpieces

Two of Antoni Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, the Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila which form part of the ‘Works of Antoni Gaudí’ UNESCO World Heritage Site, should be top of your itinerary if you plan on sightseeing.  

The Sagrada Familia dominates Barcelona’s landscape and combines the features of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. Construction started in 1882 and continues today – 120 years past the planned finish date. The Basilica is the most popular tourist attraction in Spain and receives over 4 million visitors a year.

Casa Mila is one of the city’s most visited museums. It features the Gaudí Exhibition art exhibition which is found in the Whale Attic (so named because it gives the impression that you are inside a whale) and a time-travelling residential floor that shows you what life was like in Barcelona in the early 1900s. But it’s the building itself you’ll want to explore. Decorated with whimsical balconies, spectacular stairwells, surreal chimneys and beautiful courtyards – it is unarguably stunning. 

Underrated Beaches

Few people talk about Barcelona’s beaches, but if you want to spend a day by the sea, then they won’t disappoint.

They’re all easy to get to from the city centre by metro or taxi. The most popular ones are Barceloneta Beach and Nova Icaria Beach, both of which are bustling and full of entertainment. At the same time, Ocata Beach, with its flat sandy landscape, has fewer people and a more relaxing feel. 

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3 Reasons to visit Madrid in 2020

August is THE party-month

In 2020, 3 street-festivals are being held back-to-back in neighbouring districts. For 2 weeks in August, Madrid’s oldest streets will be filled with food and music. At night, when the air is cooler,  people emerge to have a cold drink and a tapa while enjoying the ‘verbenas’ or outdoor festivities.

The party gets underway with the San Cayetano festival in the Rastro/Embajadores area, followed by San Lorenzo in Lavapiés. It ends with the biggest and most important of all, La Paloma in La Latina.

Shop with Vogue

Vogue Fashion’s Night Out is a must for fashion lovers. In September 2020, it celebrates its 12th anniversary with an event that will feature leading labels, fashion shows and plenty of VIPs.

The focal point of the event is on Ortega y Gasset Street. This is where Vogue will have its headquarters and host visitors at the best party in town. If you plan on shopping, you’ll want to head to the shops in the neighbourhoods of Salamanca and Fuencarral for discounts, live music, shopping, catwalks, photo sessions, raffles, cocktails and more.

Experience Egypt

Taking place in the Feria de Madrid, the Tutankhamun: His Tomb and His Treasure exhibition. The exhibition reconstructs the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and the treasures found there. Running until 19 April, the exhibition is a unique opportunity for archaeology, and Ancient Egypt enthusiasts to experience the story of Tutankhamun. As well as the excavation work in the Valley of the Kings, carried out by the famous English archaeologist Howard Carter.

The showpiece at the event is the reconstruction of 3 burial chambers, allowing you to see them as they were found alongside replicas of the burial treasures, including the Golden Mask, one of the most fascinating and stunning discoveries ever made. 

 

If you have a top travel tip for Barcelona or Madrid, share it with your fellow travellers in the comments below!


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