The fast EuroMed service links Barcelona and Alicante, and stops at Valencia en route. In total, the journey takes around 4hrs 40mins, with prices ranging from €50 - €80.
Barcelona is Spain's second largest city, and one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. La Rambla is a fantastic pedestrian district, full of street performers, restaurants and bars. Barcelona is so popular as it has something for everyone; culture, beaches, nightlife etc.
The best time to visit the city is in August, as most of the Spanish population are on holiday, making the city much quieter than normal. From a weather point of view, aim to visit between April and June or September and November, as the temperature is much more reasonable (not too hot or too cold!).
There are a variety of events and festivals that take place throughout the year. Buy a good guide book for the best things to see and do once you are there!
High-speed train travel between Barcelona and Madrid has recently been made possible through the construction of a new line. The journey now takes between two and half and three and half hours (depending on number of intermediary stops). A great overnight train service operates between Paris and Barcelona; Paris - Barcelona (trainhotel).
Barcelona is one of Europe's busiest ports, and is one of the principle destinations for many cruise ships. The ferry between Rome and Barcelona tends to be cheaper than the bus, and is very handy for getting straight to the heart of the action, as it arrives near to La Rambla district.
Travelling by train between London and Barcelona is a great way to see both France and Spain, and is far more relaxing than the equivalent plane journey! Of course, it takes longer than a flight, and with the number of low-cost carriers flying between the two cities, it is unlikely to be cheaper. Nevertheless, the enjoyment of the journey has to be worth something, as does waking up feeling refreshed once your reach Barcelona.
The journey starts off in London as you board the Eurostar at St Pancras. You travel across the English Channel in style, reaching Paris in the early evening. You can choose to travel earlier if you want time to explore Paris during the day. Once in Paris, you make your way over to Gare d'Austerlitz on the Paris Metro. From there, you board the trainhotel (trenhotel) to Barcelona.
If you are trying to make the journey as quick as possible, aim for these specific services. If you would like to spend longer in Paris, feel free to catch an earlier Eurostar service. There is only one sleeper train to Barcelona a day though, so try not to miss it!
London to Barcelona by Train:
Depart London St Pancras (Eurostar): 15.01 (15.31 Sat)
Arrive Paris Gare du Nord: 18.17 (18.47 Sat)
Transfer between Paris Gare du Nord and Gare d'Austerlitz: allow one hour
Depart Paris Gare d'Austerlitz (TrenHotel): 20.23
Arrive Barcelona Franca: 08.05
Barcelona to London by Train:
Depart Barcelona Franca (TrenHotel): 20.43
Arrive Paris Gare d'Austerlitz: 08.37
Transfer between Gare d'Austerlitz and Paris Gare du Nord: allow one hour
Depart Paris Gare du Nord (Eurostar): 10.13
Arrive London St Pancras: 11.39
The overnight trainhotel (trenhotel) between Paris and Barcelona is the easiest way to travel between the two cities by train. The journey is made on board a rolling hotel, the Joan Miro run by Elipsos.
There are four principal seating options, with the most uncomfortable (for an overnight journey) being a standard reclining seat. Often the cheapest option is to travel in Tourist Class, which is a four-berth cabin with washbasin. Preferente cabins have one or two berths, with a washbasin and breakfast included. The most luxurious class is the Gran Clase, which has one or two berths, a private shower, toilet, and includes breakfast and dinner in the price.
Fare discounts are available if you are travelling as a pair or as a family. See the fare table below, or follow the booking links for further information.
This journey, between Madrid and Barcelona is made on-board high-speed Alta Velocidad Espanola trains. There are services roughly every half an hour, making this journey very convenient. The AVE service is very punctual, with the operator RENFE offering a refund if your train arrives over fifteen minutes late. This journey is one of the fastest long-distance trains in operation, as you can take a non-stop service between the two cities, which takes only 2hrs and 40minutes.