The Renfe Spain Pass is an e-pass that lets you travel on the national rail network of Spain.
Depending on the number of days you plan to be in Spain, your itinerary and where you plan to travel within the country, this pass can be a very good chance to save money.
What does Renfe Spain Pass offer?
The Renfe Spain Pass is an electronic pass that entitles you to travel on Spanish trains, for a specific number of days.
This particular pass is only valid for non-residents in Spain. In addition to this, it’s strictly personal, non-transferable.
Therefore, you need to carry your passport with you any time you want to use it. Please note that a driver’s license is not a valid travel document.
You may be fined if you don’t show the proper documents (your passport, your Renfe Spain Pass and your ticket) when required.
So what does Renfe Spain Pass offer?
- Your Renfe Spain Pass allows 4, 6, 8 or 10 one-way journeys on either Standard (economy) or Comfort (business) class of any length in a one-month period.
- One journey equals 1 train ride, so if you change trains, that’s 2 journeys.
- You can use your Renfe Spain Pass on all the long distance (Larga Distancia) trains (including AVE and Alvia high-speed trains) and regional trains (Media Distancia) and Avant (mid-distance high-speed) with seat reservation.
- You can also use the Combinado Cercanías up to 3 hours before and after your trip. So you don’t need to purchase an extra Cercanías train ticket!
- The Renfe Spain Pass is active for 6 months as from the date of issue, and is valid for one month after your first trip.
How does the Renfe Spain Pass work?
To be able to travel, you must previously validate your trip. That is, purchase the ticket for the corresponding route. This purchase is free of charges.
You can do so online either on Renfe’s website or with the Renfe app, by accessing your personal area in “My passes” and indicating the date and train on which you wish to travel.
You can also purchase a ticket at the ticket offices, travel agencies or by phone, providing your Renfe Spain Pass number.
If you board a train without a previously issued validated trip, you are considered to be traveling without a train ticket and will be charged the established ticket price.
Can you cancel your Renfe Spain Pass?
Here’s some additional information about the Renfe Spain Pass cancellation:
- The pass can be cancelled within 24 hours of purchase with no additional charge. You are entitled to a full refund.
- After 24 hours, and prior to using it for the first time, a 15% cancellation charge applies.
- After your first trip with the pass, you won’t get any refund whatsoever.
- If you have a Comfort class pass and you travel on Stardard class by mistake, you won’t receive any compensation. Pay attention when your book your seat!
Can you cancel your train tickets?
Here are all the details regarding ticket cancellations:
- Train journey tickets can be cancelled free of charge upon request at Renfe’s website, using the Renfe app, at train stations and at authorized travel agencies.
- A ticket can be cancelled up to 2 minutes before the train departs from the origin station.
- Once a ticket is cancelled, the number of remaining journeys will be updated, restoring the non-used trip on the pass.
Renfe Spain Pass vs Eurail Pass or Interrail Pass?
- A Eurail Pass can only be used by non-European citizens or non-European residents.
- You can hop on and off most trains as you please with your Eurail Pass, but most high-speed and night trains ask you to buy an additional seat reservation before you can jump aboard.
- 1st class Passes are valid in both 1st and 2nd class coaches. 2nd class Passes are only valid in 2nd class coaches.
- You need to activate your Eurail Pass within 11 months of the issue date. You can do this online using our free activation service at checkout, or once you’ve received your Pass at a European train station.
- All standard Eurail Passes are refundable or exchangeable if they are returned unused.
- European citizens can use an Interrail Pass instead. If you are not a European citizen, but you are an official resident of Europe, you can also choose to use an Interrail Pass.
- You cannot order a Interrail Pass for the country where you live.
- You cannot use the Interrail Pass to travel to or from the country your Pass is valid in. The Interrail Pass is only valid for travel with participating train, ferry and public transport companies in the country covered by your Pass.
- You can hop on and off most trains as you please with your Interrail Pass, but most high-speed and night trains ask you to buy an additional seat reservation before you can jump aboard.
- 1st class Passes are valid in both 1st and 2nd class carriages. 2nd class Passes are only valid in 2nd class carriages.
- All standard Interrail Passes are refundable or exchangeable if they are returned unused.
Renfe Spain Pass vs Eurail Pass or Interrail Pass
- The Renfe Spain Pass includes all reservations, there are no hidden fees, and no quotas. So if there are empty seats on the train, you’re entitled to get one with your pass.
- With Renfe’s Spain Pass it’s all included, reservations are free.
- With either a Interrail or a Eurail pass every Spanish long-distance train requires a reservation and payment of a passholder fee, around 10€ for AVEs and other front-rank trains or 7€ for lesser trains which you should take into account.
So both Interrail & Eurail passes have lost their convenience factor in Spain.
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. Spain trains: everything you need to know
2. How to purchase Renfe train tickets online
3. 7 tricks to get cheap train tickets in Spain
4. Renfe: Spain’s state-owned railway company
5. AVE trains: Renfe high-speed trains in Spain
6. The Combinado Cercanías ticket
7. The Renfe Spain Pass
8. Avlo: Renfe’s high speed low cost trains
9. OUIGO trains: SNCF’s high speed low cost company
10. iryo: Spain’s low cost high-speed rail operator
11. 7 packing tips to comply with your train baggage allowance