Atocha Train Station (Estacion de Atocha) opened as Madrid’s first rail station in early 1851. The steel and glass structure was designed by Alberto Palacio Elissague, the architect most famous for working on the Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal).
Atocha continues to serve as Madrid’s main train station, but it now occupies a new building. Largely destroyed by fire, the original station was renovated and reopened in 1892, operated for 100 years, was decommissioned in 1992 and reopened as a shopping and entertainment complex soon after. A new modern terminal, designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, was built on adjacent land and now serves as Madrid’s primary station, servicing AVE and local commuter trains.
Much of the signage within the station is in English as well as Spanish, and it’s usually possible to find an English-speaking attendant if you need assistance purchasing tickets.