Renfe luggage requirements are ample and rarely enforced. You and each person traveling with you are allowed to bring on three bags, with a total weight of 25 kg (55 lbs) and a total size of 290 cm (114 inches).
However, I have taken countless train trips and have never seen anyone actually enforce this rule. In fact, I have never actually noticed a scale at any point in the process in any of the train stations I have been to (e.g., Madrid, Barcelona, Córdoba, Seville, Málaga, Zaragoza, Alicante).
There is obviously no limit on liquids and your luggage stays with you in the train car within your sight. So don’t risk losing you bags or getting robbed.
As a rule of thumb, try to travel light. Renfe’s requirements and restrictions are very clear:
Renfe does not offer the possibility to buy extra baggage allowance.
After many years train traveling around Spain, I’ve never seen a member of Renfe’s staff verifying the size or weight of any piece of luggage, no matter how heavy or bulky this looked. However, there is no baggage check-in option, so when a train is fully loaded with passengers, luggage storage space can become scarce.
Moreover, boarding a long distance train at any train station is a lot like going through security at an airport. Luggage will be x-rayed so you are expected to load it on the conveyer belt.
It has occurred to me seeing passengers coming straight from the airport with huge suitcases not having room inside the train to store them. Although I’ve never seeing it myself, the conductor could force you to leave the train for security reasons.
You know what they say: “prevention is better than cure”.
Renfe, in collaboration with Correos – the Spanish postal service, offers a door-to-door (puerta a puerta) luggage service to AVE and Larga Distancia (Long Distance) customers. You can book the service only through Renfe’s website and select the pick up and delivery addresses.
Here is some practical information that you should know about this service:
You can only book this service online, through Renfe’s website. So it’s not possible to book it at the train station.
If you want to book it, you can do at the end of your ticket purchase. You will need to provide a pick-up address and a luggage delivery address, such as your hotel’s.
What is the advantage of this service? First, you skip Renfe luggage requirements all together since it allows to carry up to three pieces of luggage weighing 25 kg (55 lbs) each. Without hiring the service, you can carry three pieces of luggage with a maximum total weight of 25 kg (55 lbs).
Then, you don’t have to carry all this heavy luggage!
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