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The Combinado Cercanías is a free transfer on suburban trains and trams that Renfe, the Spanish rail operator, offers. You get yours when purchasing of domestic AVE or Long Distance tickets (any fare, route or class). It’s not available for Media Distancia or night trains.
In other words when you purchase an AVE train ticket you are entitled to 2 free tickets (the equivalent of a return ticket) on the local commuter train network. You can use them to get to the station which the AVE departs from and from the station which the AVE arrives at to your final destination.
Renfe’s commuter rail service trains are called Cercanías.
The Combinado Cercanías is a combined ticket offered by Renfe to every AVE or Long Distance passenger enabling you to get one Cercanías ticket FREE at either the origin or destination stations.
It doesn’t matter whether your final destination is within the city that the AVE arrives at or is another town on the city’s commuter network.
Read the following examples if you still don’t get the pros.
Example #1: You land at Madrid airport and you have an AVE train ticket to travel from Madrid to Barcelona on that same day. With the Combinado Cercanías you can get a free commuter train ticket to catch a train that will take you from Madrid airport to Atocha train station, where you will catch your high-speed train to Barcelona.
Example #2: You are traveling on an AVE from Madrid to Barcelona. With the Combinado Cercanías you can get a free commuter train ticket to catch a train that will take you from Barcelona train station to the airport.
When you receive (or print out) your AVE train ticket look for the words “Combinado Cercanías” followed by a sequence of numbers and letters. This 5 digit sequence of numbers and letters is the code that you use to claim your free commuter train ticket.
Imagine that the code on your AVE train ticket is A4EXP.
As soon as you get to the station where you will be catching your Cercanías train, follow these instructions to get your free ticket.
Step #1: Go to a Renfe Cercanías vending machine.
Step #2: Select your preferred language. Then, in the first screen select “Combinado Cercanías” at the top-left corner.
Step #3: Scan your ticket’s QR code through the machine’s scanner as indicated in the screen.
Step #4: In case the scanner does not work, you can always type the special code of your train ticket.
Once you are done, the machine will print your ticket. Remember that you need one ticket per passenger and that you must keep the Cercanías ticket until the end of your trip. You will need it to exit the destination train station.
If you still have problems to retrieve your Cercanías ticket, you can always go to a Cercanías ticket window.
Please, bear in mind the following restrictions.
This article is part of a complete tutorial about train travel in Spain where you can read all the information you need to organize your train journeys around the country.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. Renfe and the different types of trains
2. The main routes covered by Renfe trains
3. The different types of train seat classes
4. Renfe train tickets: price structure
5. How to purchase Renfe train tickets online
6. Renfe train tickets availability. When is it best to get yours?
7. 10 Tricks for cheap train travel in Spain
8. Renfe luggage requirements and restrictions
9. The “Combinado Cercanías”
10. Renfe’s punctuality commitment
11. Experience an AVE train trip before setting foot on the train!
12. The Renfe Spain Pass
13. Traveling with children or a disability