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HELP! NEED FAST ADVICE
Summer2012
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Change of plans. Buying tickets today and could use some advice.

We want to fly into either Barcelona or Madrid and take a train to Pamplona for the running of the bulls to start off our trip. I’m trying to figure out what the cheapest way would be.

What we found so far:

Flight to Madrid from the U.S. would be $100 cheaper than to Barcelona.

but.. train pass from Barcelona to Pamplona seems to be cheaper. We just don’t want to get caught up in Spain TOO long to delay the rest of our trip. Running of the Bulls is sufficient for me.

I’m just wondering if anyone has any info on the best way we should go about this, I did update this in our itinerary.

It would either be Barcelona—-> Pamplona——> Barcelona
or
Madrid—->Pamplona—->Barcelona

Also some advice getting somewhere to stay during the Olympic games in London July27-31

I am leaving from Portland, Oregon with $3000 for 28 days
Madrid, Pamplona, Barcelona, Ibiza, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
augustin25
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When you say train pass from Barcelona to Madrid are you talking about just buying a ticket for that one trip, or using a railpass that covers multiple countries? I’m not sure where you looked up prices, but the Spanish rail site shows point to point ticket prices being fairly similar (some of the specials will be like $15 cheaper from Madrid if you can book early enough to take advantage of them). I’d book whichever plane ticket is cheaper or works better in terms of logistics and then take care of the train tickets.

Summer2012
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Thank you.
We booked out flight to Madrid. Since our train pass will not include “Spain” we are just going to buy a Spanish rail ticket from Madrid to Pamplona, then from Pamplona to Barcelona. I guess this is the cheapest way to get to Pamplona and then continue on. I guess it would be good to check out another forum and see how others are getting to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. Thanks for your help. And if there is anything you would like to add that would be great too. We are also looking for a flight from Barcelona to Ibiza, then to Rome.. another thing to figure out. EasyJet seems to be the way to go.

I am leaving from Portland, Oregon with $3000 for 28 days
Madrid, Pamplona, Barcelona, Ibiza, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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I would buy your tickets to/from Pamplona NOW from renfe.com. The running of the bulls is an extremely popular event and trains sell out.

augustin25
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Definitely buy early as oldlady is suggesting, but tickets aren’t on sale for your dates yet. June 16th is the furthest out it will let you book right now, so it looks like Renfe will only sell 35 days in advance.

Summer2012
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Thank you. I will just have to check RENFE the first few days of June and buy as soon as tickets are available. Unless there is another train I should look into?

I am leaving from Portland, Oregon with $3000 for 28 days
Madrid, Pamplona, Barcelona, Ibiza, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
augustin25
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RENFE is the national rail site, so that’s where you’ll want to book. Are you heading to Pamplona the day you land in Madrid?

oldlady
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Another train? Are there any trains in Spain that aren’t operated by RENFE? It’s possible that RENFE does not show the schedules for all regional and local trains on-line or that you can’t buy tickets on-line for regional and local trains.

Summer2012
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Hey it’s me again! First, thank you for all your help so far. The trip is coming together, though tons of planning remains.

anything cheaper than the RENFE trains to get from Madrid to Pamplona? and then from Pamplona to barcelona?
Also the cheapest way to get to IBIZA from BARCELONA, and then IBIZA to ROME

I am leaving from Portland, Oregon with $3000 for 28 days
Madrid, Pamplona, Barcelona, Ibiza, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
oldlady
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Bus may be cheaper. Try www.eurolines.com for starters. Also, the slightly slower regional and local trains will be cheaper than the fancy, express “name” trains as those include a pricy reservation and sometimes a supplement, too. I’m not sure how you’d find pricing as the RENFE website may not show all of the them. You can find the schedule on bahn.de, the German rail company website. Use the “all without ICE” or “only local trains” options (not sure that’s the exact wording, but close) to see more trains if only the name trains show up in the schedule.

Flying to/from Ibiza will probably be cheapest. Use www.whichbudget.com to see which lowfare airlines fly which routes and check the “cheap flights” forum for more help. I think there’s a fast ferry from Barcelona to Ibiza and you can probably find dozens of agencies that sell tickets with a google of ferry +ibiza +barcelona. Train to Valencia plus ferry is another option, but will probably be fairly expensive.

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It looks like you can now book July trains on the RENFE site and there aren’t any specials showing for your date Madrid-Pamplona. The D-bahn schedule shows different times for some of the trains, so I’d go with the RENFE site for your info. The direct trains are all the same and cost the same, and the alternate routings requiring changes that show up on the D-bahn site would actually cost more because they put you on the high speed AVE. Bus will cost about half what train does, and there is a bus that leaves from Madrid Airport on the 5th, requiring a change in Soria. Check http://www.alsa.es for info. Bus companies tend to be regional in Spain, so for Pamplona-Barcelona the website is http://www.vibsa.es Unfortunately I can’t get it to let me book July seats yet.

I’ve switched away from Which Budget for flights. http://www.skyscanne… is simpler