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High-speed train travel in Spain

January 17, 2010

Spain by train

TELEPHONES

To call these numbers from the U.S., dial 011 (international dialing code), 34 (Spain's country code) and the nine-digit number.

IF YOU GO

Fare for the Renfe high-speed AVE train from Barcelona to Madrid, and vice versa, is about $156, if purchased the day of travel. Tickets also can be found online for as little as $75. The Renfe website, www.renfe.es/horarios/english

/index.html, can be maddening, and you must use Internet Explorer and Windows for best results. A tutorial for navigating Renfe can be found at www.tripadvisor.com (enter "Renfe" in the search field). Renfe can also be reached by phone at 902-240-202 or 902-320-320. Ticket information and booking are also available at www.rail

europe.com/train-faq/european

-trains/renfe/how-to-book.html.

WHERE TO STAY

In Madrid, the HUSA Paseo del Arte, 123 Calle de Atocha, is friendly, mid-sized and convenient to the AVE train; www.hotelhusapaseodel art.com. Double rooms from about $150.

In Barcelona, the Barceló Raval, at 17-21 Rambla del Raval, is a four-star hotel two blocks off La Rambla; 933-201-490, www.barceloraval.com. Doubles from about $143.

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