I'm travelling from Barcelona to Madrid with the express train AVE. As I'll be carrying a suitcase I'm trying to find out what restrictions apply. So far I've only found info about size and weight on the official site but nothing about liquids, metallic or sharp objects, etc, such as when you travel by plane.

Does anyone know if any of the plane restrictions apply to trains too? I've been told there's a security control prior to boarding.

  • I have not traveled by train in Spain, but I have been checked in Paris just before boarding the train to Amsterdam, last Saturday. (So just before the Brussels bombings.) All luggage was scanned and all people had to walk though detector gates but no restrictions on liquids, sharps, or metals and while phones had to be out of pockets at passing through the scanner, no phone nor computer was checked close up.
    – Willeke
    Mar 22, 2016 at 20:22
  • IIRC the rules are quite similar to those on Eurostar services, so liquids are fine but big knives / scissors aren't allowed
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 22, 2016 at 21:32
  • @Gagravarr where do you see scissors. Although I guess if you mean "big knives" and "big scissors" then that sorta follows from "big knives" not allowed since you could separate any scissors into two knives. However, if you read that as "big knives" and "scissors" then that is confusing because I think normal sized scissors are allowed -- 75mm blade , it looks like.
    – user4188
    Mar 22, 2016 at 21:57
  • @chx I did mean big knives or big scissors or other big blades
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 22, 2016 at 22:00
  • I have traveled from Barcelona to Madrid just few weeks ago, and it's as @gerrit described. Nothing special nor restricted like on airplanes. All the luggages pass though a scan, so unless you carry some sort of weapon or anything really weird, you will be fine. Mar 23, 2016 at 21:07

3 Answers 3


Normally, all luggage on AVE trains (and many other Spanish trains) is scanned. This is nothing new and is not related to recent terrorist incidents in France or Belgium.

When I travelled, I was not aware ofany specific restrictions to carrying liquids or metallic and sharp objects (except for weapons). I've travelled by AVE several times in Spain, and I always have my water bottle/bottles. Last time we also brought some kitchen knives in our suitcase. We encountered no problems, but I don't know if that is due to the rules or due to enforcement.

  • please see my answer below, as the answer from the official operator clearly states "no sharp objects", so I would be careful about knives
    – ithil
    Oct 9, 2017 at 15:27
  • @ithil I see. I have rephrased to make my answer less definite.
    – gerrit
    Oct 9, 2017 at 15:39

I sent an email to the train operator (Adif) asking about baggage restrictions in the AVE and their answer was:

Desde la Dirección de Seguridad, le informamos que no se puede transportar en Alta Velocidad objetos punzantes, cortantes y/o contundentes. Las tijeras es un material considerado prohibido. No esta permitido esprays. En cuanto a liquidos no esta estblecida ninguna norma.

Translation to English (corrections welcome):

"From the Security Directorate we inform you that you can not carry pointed, sharp and/or blunt objects on High Speed [trains]. Scissors are considered prohibited. Sprays aren't allowed either. As for liquids, no restrictions apply."

So that was the official answer which doesn't mention anything on @PeterTaylor answer and it also contradicts @gerrit about knives being allowed.

So my final thoughts are that the General Conditions of Travel always apply (no weapons unless you have explicit permission, no explosive or inflammable materials, no baggage which might injure, disturb, or stain other travellers or railway property) and to them you have to add "no sprays, no pointed, sharp and/or blunt objects". As for liquids, as long as they don't enter in conflict with the previous rules, no restrictions seem to apply.

Hope it helps.


Before boarding an AVE train you have to pass your luggage through an X-ray scanner, so you should leave enough time for this. But RENFE hasn't bought into the security theatre of liquid bans etc. There are some restrictions which you didn't find in the "General Conditions of Travel":

  1. Prohibiciones

Los viajeros no podrán:
D/ Llevar consigo materias susceptibles de explosión o inflamación y bultos que por su tamano, volumen, contenido u olor puedan danar, molestar o manchar a los demás viajeros o al material ferroviario.


  1. Viaje con Armas

12.1. Se admitirán viajeros que porten armas en los trenes, únicamente cuando cumplan los siguientes requisitos:

A/ Que se trate en todo caso de armas reglamentadas, según su definición legal.
B/ Que vayan desmontadas o dentro de sus cajas o fundas.
C/ Que vayan acompanadas de las correspondientes guías, licencias y demás documentación exigida legalmente.

12.2. Cuando se trate de personal de las Fuerzas Armadas, Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad, del Servicio de Vigilancia Aduanera o de trabajadores de empresas de seguridad que realicen funciones de custodia o vigilancia, bastará la exhibición de su guía de pertenencia y su Tarjeta de Identidad Militar o, en su caso, carné profesional.

12.3. Los viajeros portadores de armas deberán en todo momento actuar con la diligencia y precaución necesarias y comportarse de forma que no puedan causar peligro, alarma, danos o molestias a los demás viajeros o sus bienes.

On the assumption that very few readers of this answer will be both legally able to carry arms on a Spanish train and incapable of translating that themselves, I'll limit my translation to the excerpt from section 8:

  1. Prohibitions

Travellers may not:
D/ Carry with them explosive or inflammable materials or baggage which, by reason of its size, volume, content, or smell, might injure, disturb, or stain other travellers or railway property.

Personally speaking, I carried a 750ml water bottle and a razor through the AVE X-ray checks just last week without any problem.

  • 1
    Please provide a short translation for ALL Spanish text. It is very hard to guess whether you need to know something if you can not read it.
    – Willeke
    Mar 23, 2016 at 21:03
  • @willeke basically it reads: you can carry arms if 1) you're properly licensed, you carry them dismounted or in its boxes and you carry all required documents, or 2) you're a spanish policeman or military personnel and you carry documents proving your condition. You are required in such cases to act in such a manner that you do not cause danger, alarm, damage or annoyances to fellow passengers and their belongings.
    – orique
    Mar 31, 2016 at 17:21

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