Estación de Atocha - Madrid Atocha Train Station

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3 Plaza Emperador Carlos V, Madrid, Spain

Estación de Atocha - Madrid Atocha Train Station Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
621 reviews
Gateway to the South and East Sep 28, 2013
Estación de Madrid Atocha or Madrid Puerta de Atocha is the railway station for trains to the south and east of Spain, including the AVE high-speed service to Barcelona. A railway terminal has been in operation on the site since 1851 when Madrid, Zaragoza & Alicante Railway opened Estación de Mediodía. The enlarged Atocha Station was built in 1892. The elegant iron, glass, and brick structure was designed by Alberto de Palacio with a classic iron trainshed. I think it is very striking an it has been nicely preserved and renovated.

In 1992, the large iron trainshed was reimagined as a tropical botanical garden and shopping and dining complex. New two-level platforms and a contemporary station, Puerta de Atocha, were built behind the the old station. The 1892 trainshed continues to house ticket offices and a waiting area as well as shops and a variety of restaurants. The Jardín Tropical is a pleasant indoor park and conservatory. Restaurant options range from Burger King to sit down restaurants and a wine bar. (See my review of Passion Food located in the station.)

Train passengers must go though a security clearance before boarding, something i had not seen before in a railway station. Atocha is a very busy station, with local, regional and AVE trains constantly arriving and departing.

Atocha was the site of the 2004 Madrid train bombings. A memorial to the 11-M victims is at the station.
Estación de Madrid Atocha (1892)
Estación de Madrid Atocha (1892)
Indoor Jardín Tropical in the for…
Indoor Jardín Tropical in the for…
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
spocklogic says:
It's the place where my brother has his TravBuddy profile photo (
Posted on: Dec 03, 2013
cicie says:
Congrats on your featured review, Andy
Posted on: Nov 27, 2013
vances says:
Guess it isn't surprising they have screening after the bombing. A buddy of mine got ripped off at this station years ago - one dude squirted sun tan lotion on his legs and when he put his day pack down to wipe it off a second dude swiped it...

Posted on: Nov 27, 2013
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Chokk Chokk
1733 reviews
Huge and effective Oct 22, 2013
I am not a train person but I had to take the train back and forth from Madrid and Zaragoza. The train left from the Estación de Atocha - Madrid Atocha Train Station. I had never been there before but I was amazed with what I found. Atocha is the focal point for intercity trains from all over Spain, as well as the country's main station for the high-speed AVE trains. The AVE trains connect different regions, such as Catalonia and Andalusia. Eventually they hope to connect every region of Spain.

The Madrid Atocha Train Station is Madrid's largest and first train station, and it was inaugurated in 1851. At that time it was named Estación de Mediodía, which is now an area within the district of Arganzuela, just south of Parque del Retiro. Today the railway station is simply called, Estación de Atocha.

The original Atocha train station building was mostly destroyed by fire in the early 1890s. Alberto de Palacio Elissagne was the architect responsible for the old building's new design, which incorporated a style that was predominantly of wrought iron and Gustave Eiffel actually collaborated on the project. The station is exceptional with its steel and glass construction, not to mention the vivid tropical gardens that line its concourse. In addition, travelers can enjoy viewing the permanent display of sculptures found within the station.

The renewed old building was re-opened for service in 1892. It was in constant use for exactly 100 years when in 1992 it effectively became a shopping mall with the addition of a nightclub and various cafés. Some 4,000 square meters of the center of the old building also houses a beautiful tropical garden. Rafael Moneo was responsible for the design of the new Atocha train station terminal building. The design was largely centered round the new high-speed AVE trains that travel to places like Seville and Barcelona. Madrid Atocha is spacious with a light, airy feel, the information counters have English-speaking attendants, and most of the signs are in dual languages, Spanish and English.

Today Madrid's Atocha train station is more reminiscent of a modern airport than of the traditional idea of a railway station. The airport analogy carries over with signed references of "Train Departures" and "Boarding Lounges." You even have your bags scanned before you enter the departure area. Currently around 16 million passengers per year pass through here. The current extension work will separate the station into two terminals for Arrivals and Departures, like an airport, and in fact when inaugurating the first phase of this work, the Minister for Public Works, José Blanco, called it the "nuevo Barajas", Barajas being Madrid's airport.
Estación de Atocha - Madrid Atoch…
Estación de Atocha - Madrid Atoch…
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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