How to get from Madrid to Coimbra


Coimbra

Are you wondering how can you get from Madrid to Coimbra?

Then you are in the right place!

Here you will find out 10 ways to travel from Madrid, the Spanish capital, to Coimbra, the fourth largest city in Portugal.

Whether you are looking for the cheapest, the fastest or the greenest option, here it is!

from 20€
8h
cheapest greenest
Bus
from 30€
9h 30m
from 30€
5h 30m
from 64€
5h 30m
from 360€
5h 30m
from 28€
5h-6h
fastest
from 33
6h-7h
from 48€
6h 40m
from 34€
9h 30m
Continue reading for a detailed explanation of each way or perform a search for a specific date to see exact times and prices.

How can I get from Madrid to Coimbra by train?

price
from 20€
duration
8h 2m
clean
6.4kg CO2

There is only one direct train between Madrid and Coimbra. It is a night train that departs from Madrid Chamartín at 21:43 and arrives at Coimbra-B at 04:45.

This sleeper train is called Trenhotel Lusitania and is operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company.

RENFE 334 y 252 en Madrid Chamartín

Prices are not fixed and start from 20€ one-way, but once the "Promo" fares are sold out, they can increase up to 50€ or more. The later you book, the more expensive it can get.

Tickets are usually available about two months before departure.

The Trenhotel Lusitania starts in Madrid, then runs through Ávila, Salamanca, Coimbra and finishes at Lisbon.

Madrid Chamartín
21:43
Ávila
23:11
Medina del Campo
00:11
Salamanca
01:00
Ciudad Rodrigo
02:07
Fuentes de Oroño
02:30
Crossing border from Spain to Portugal. Time-zone change: -1h
Vilar Formoso
01:50
Guarda
02:23
Mangualde
03:25
Coimbra-B
04:45
Pombal
05:22
Entroncamento
06:05
Lisbon Oriente
07:20
Lisbon Santa Apolonia
07:30

* Times are subject to change.

For more details about this train, including pictures from the inside, check out The Man in Seat 61.

How can I get from Madrid to Coimbra by bus?

price
from 30€
duration
9h 30m
clean
31kg CO2

There are no direct buses between Madrid and Coimbra. ALSA offers a possibility every day of the week except Sundays, with prices starting from 30€ one-way.

The departure is at 09:45 from Madrid Estación del Sur and the arrival to Coimbra-B is at 18:15, with a change at 17:00 in Albergaria.

Madrid Avenida America
09:15
Madrid Estación del Sur
09:45
Ávila
11:15
Salamanca
12:45
Ciudad Rodrigo
13:45
Crossing border from Spain to Portugal. Time-zone change: -1h
Vilar Formoso
14:00
Guarda
14:45
Celorico da Beira
15:15
Mangualde
15:30
Mangualde
15:45
⇄ Conex Albergaira
17:00
Aveiro
17:30
Coimbra
18:15

* Times are subject to change.

If you don't mind booking tickets separately, there are other possibilties visiting Salamanca or visiting Ávila. They are also thoroughly explained later on in this article.

How can I get from Madrid to Coimbra by car?

A distance of 507 km separates Madrid from Coimbra. This can be covered by car in 5h 30m with normal traffic conditions.
Map of the road route from Madrid to Coimbra

Car-pooling

price
from 30€
duration
5h 30m
Drivers with their own car that are planning to drive this route can offer the free seats they have to other people, in order to share costs. This is known as car-pooling or car-sharing and in certain countries like Spain it is very popular. Not only it is a cheap way to travel, but also you get to know plenty of new and interesting people! Drives are usually offered short before departure.
Unfortunately there are usually not many drives offered between Madrid and Coimbra, but it is worth checking anyway, just in case. The platform with the widest range of offers is BlaBlaCar.

+

  • It can be very cheap.
  • It is much faster than taking a train or a bus.
  • It is fun and interesting meeting new people while travelling

-

  • Few rides offered for this route.
  • Rides offered only short time before departure.
  • The driver can cancel at the last minute. Make sure to have a plan B.

Own car

price
from 64€
duration
5h 30m
Driving your own car, according to Via Michelin, will cost 64€, from which 45€ are for fuel consumption and 19€ for tolls.
If you don't own a car and you need to rent one, you will have to add also that cost. Make sure to check with the rental company if you can cross the border to Portugal.
Alternatively, you can also rent a car from a private owner who is not planning to use it. The platform Amovens makes these sort of exchanges possible.

What can I visit on my way from Madrid to Coimbra?

If you want to plan the journey with any stop along the way, there are a couple of cities definitely worth visiting.
Avila
Also called "Town of Stones and Saints", its old town, the medieval town walls surrounding it and its multiple churches are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salamanca
It has the oldest and one of the most important universities in Spain. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don't miss the cathedral and the main square (Plaza Mayor).

Private car transfer from Madrid to Coimbra

price
from 360€
duration
5h 30m
If money is not an issue, there is also the possibility to book a private car transfer. This option is very flexible regarding times and as hassle-free as you can get. If you are travelling in a group of 4 people it can even compete with the other possibilities from a financial point of view. The company daytrip seems to have a high quality service according to reviews on Tripadvisor (we have not tried them ourselves). They also offer the possibility to visit different sights along the way.

Madrid to Coimbra flying via Porto

price
from 28€
duration
5h-6h
clean
106kg CO2

The fastest way to get from Madrid to Coimbra is flying to Porto and taking a train or a bus from there.

However, it is worth considering making a longer stopover and take the chance to visit this charming city.

View of Porto

Madrid - Porto

Flights

Ryainar and Iberia offer several daily flights between Madrid and Porto, which can be very cheap if you book well in advance.
Once you land at Porto, you will need to transfer to the city center for the last segment of your journey until Coimbra.

Porto - Coimbra

Train

If you are taking the train, you will need to go from the airport to the station of Porto-Campanhã. The subway connects both places in around 30 minutes.

The Portuguese Railway Company "Comboios de Portugal" operates the trains from Porto to Coimbra. Trains run almost every hour and the fastest trains get you to Coimbra in 1h 4m.

Standard fares start from 14€, but you can get Promo Tickets if you book in advance, sometimes saving more than 50% of the price.

If you eventually reach the train station before planned, you can try changing your ticket and take a train departing earlier. Check the Terms and Conditions of your ticket for more information.

Bus

If you are taking the bus from Porto to Coimbra, you will need to get to the bus station of Sao Bento.

Similarly to Porto-Campanhã, the best way is taking the subway until the city center. The metro station of Bolhão is very close to Sao Bento.

Rede expressos operates the buses that run between Porto and Coimbra. The fastest buses take 1h 25m to cover the route, the slower ones take 2h 30m. The price is typically 12€.

Madrid to Coimbra flying via Lisbon

price
from 33€
duration
6h-7h
clean
128kg CO2

Another interesting combination is flying to Lisbon and taking a train or a bus from there. Depending on the prices of the flights, it might be one of the best options in terms of price and duration.

If you were not planning to visit Lisbon after Coimbra, consider using the chance to make a longer stopover and spend some hours sightseeing, you won't regret it!

Tram in Lisbon

Madrid - Lisbon

Flights

At the time of writing, easyJet, TAP Portugal, Air Europa and Iberia offer several daily flights between Madrid and Lisbon, which can be as cheap as 17€ if you book well in advance.

The duration is typically 1h 15m, but remember that there is a time-zone change.

Once you land at Lisbon, you will need to transfer to the city center for the last segment of your journey until Coimbra.

Lisbon - Coimbra

Train

If you are taking the train, you will need to go from the airport to the station of Oriente. The subway will get you there in just 6 minutes.

Trains from Lisbon to Coimbra are operated by Comboios de Portugal and run almost every hour. The fastest trains get you to Coimbra in 1h 34m.

Standard fares start from 19.50€, but you can get Promo Tickets if you book in advance, sometimes saving more than 50% of the price.

If you eventually reach the train station before planned, you can try to change your ticket and take a train departing earlier. Check the Terms and Conditions of your ticket for more information.

Bus

If you prefer taking the bus from Lisbon to Coimbra, there are different companies operating the route, including Rede expressos and citi express. Departures are either from the station of Oriente or from the station of Sete Rios.

There are many frequencies, all at a fixed price of 14€. The fastest buses cover the route in 2h 10m.

Madrid to Coimbra via Salamanca

price
from 48€
duration
6h 40m
Plaza Mayor Salamanca

As explained previously, Salamanca is a beautiful city well worth a visit and lies along the way between Madrid and Coimbra.

Why not making two separate bookings (Madrid-Salamanca and Salamanca-Coimbra) and taking the chance to visit it?

Bus
Train
Madrid
07:25
08:55
Salamanca
09:45
10:31
Salamanca sightseeing
Salamanca
12:45
01:00 (+1)
Coimbra
18:15
04:45 (+1)

Madrid - Salamanca

Bus

There are buses runing from Madrid to Salamanca about every 30 minutes. The company operating this route is Avanza.

The fastest buses take almost 2h 30m to cover the 216km and the first bus arrives to Salamanca at 09:45.

Prices are typically in a range between 18-25€.

Train

Direct trains run every 1-2 hours. The fastest trains take slightly more than 1h 30m, so you save almost one hour compared to a bus. The first train arrives to Salamanca at 10:31.

Prices start from 16€.

Salamanca - Coimbra

This segment is very limited in offers, since there are only a few options to get from Salamanca to Coimbra.

Bus

On Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays the last bus is a direct one and departs from Salamanca as soon as 13:45, leaving only a couple of hours to visit the city. This bus takes 5h 10m and typically costs 35€.

For the rest of the days, the last bus departs even earlier, at 12:45. This is the same bus you would use to get from Madrid to Coimbra, meaning you will have to change at Albergaira and being in total a 6h 30m ride.

Train

If you want to spend more time in Salamanca, you can take the Trenhotel Lusitania that will depart from Salamanca 01:00 past midnight and will arrive at Coimbra at 04:45.

Considering how late Spaniards have dinner (around 22:00) it should not be difficult staying awake until 01:00.

However, this option would mean sleeping only a few hours and arriving at your destination extremely early in the morning.

Note: do not forget to check car-pooling, especially for the last segment, as you could find more convinient times.

Madrid to Coimbra via Ávila

price
from 34€
duration
9h 30m
Avila
You can also take the chance to visit Ávila along the way to Coimbra.
Bus
Train
Madrid
06:45
06:33
Ávila
08:00
08:07
Ávila sightseeing
Ávila
11:15
23:11
Coimbra
18:15
04:45 (+1)

Madrid - Ávila

Both buses and trains take a very similar time to get you from Madrid to Ávila (1h 30m) and they have similar prices.

Bus

There are buses running from Madrid to Ávila aproximately every two hours. The company operating this route is Jimenez Dorado Autocares.

The fastest buses take almost 1h 15m to cover the distance and costs 15€.

The first bus departs from Madrid at 06:45 and arrives to Ávila at 08:00. The second one departs at 08:30 and arrives at 09:50.

Train

Direct trains run every 1-2 hours. The fastest trains take about 1h 30m and cost 13€.

The first train departs from Madrid at 06:33 and arrives to Ávila at 08:07.

Ávila - Coimbra

Bus

The last bus departs at 11:15. This is the same bus you would use to get from Madrid to Coimbra, meaning you will have to change at Albergaira and will take in total 8h. Prices start from 25€.

Train

Alternatively, you can take the Trenhotel Lusitania that will depart from Ávila 23:11 and will arrive at Coimbra at 04:45.
Note: do not forget to check car-pooling, especially for the last segment, as you could find more convinient times.

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