When taking the train from Barcelona to Figueres there is a choice between:
Final Destination: Figueres or Paris or Lyon or Marseille or Toulouse
A variety of trains is used on this route - the trains heading to Paris will be TGV trains.
Aim to be at Barcelona Sants a minimum of 20 mins before departure, in order to allow time to pass through the security checks if you want to take these AVE trains.
(Factor that in when comparing the journey times with the alternative non high-speed trains).
Sunday - Friday = 12 - 13 x trains per day
Saturday = 9 - 10 x trains per day
Only these high speed trains can be booked online, so the slower regular trains aren't listed on the Trainline website
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings open: up to 6 months ahead of the travel date - depending on the time of year.
The online booking window can be shorter between late August and late October.
The ticketing is unconventional if you want to take these high speed trains from Barcelona to Figueres.
If you look up these journeys on Renfe, the cheapest option will be choosing the 'Avant' trains.
Either Avant trains are attached to the AVE trains on this route, OR as the 2nd/Turista class only Avant trains travel on the shorter high speed routes, Renfe is classifying this as an 'Avant' route, because there is little point in booking 1st/Preferente class tickets for such a short journey.
Despite this being a comparatively short journey, you're more likely to be able to buy the cheapest tickets if you target the less popular trains, rather than booking ahead.
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Note that these high speed trains from Barcelona to Figueres arrive at Figueres-Vilafant station, which is located on the edge of the city, 1.5km from the centre.
Buses link the station to the city and they are timed to give good connections with trains arriving from Barcelona.
The buses take around 15 mins to travel between the city centre and Figueres-Vilafant, so if you take these high speed trains, the total travel time from Barcelona Sants to Figueres city centre, will be around 1hr 20min.
Final Destination (MD trains): Port Bou
Final Destination (Regional Express trains): Cerbere
Note that a mix of MD and Regional Express train services are used on this non-high speed railway between Barcelona and Figueres - and unusually reservations aren't available on the MD trains on this particular route (so rail pass users can just hop on any train).
At Sants station these trains usually depart from vias (tracks/platforms) 13 and 14.
In Barcelona these trains also call at Passeig de Gracia station after they depart from Sants station.
Passeig de Gracia station is closer to the city centre than Sants station, but at busy times you can't guarantee finding a seat if you board there.
In Figueres these trains arrive at Figueres station, which a 10 min walk from the town centre.
However, in contrast, the alternative high speed trainsarrive at Figueres-Vilafant station, from where travellers need to take a bus or taxi to the town centre.
Mon-Thurs = 13 x trains per day
Friday = 14 x trains
Saturday = 8 x trains
Sunday = 9 x trains
Regional Express trains:
Mon-Fri = 7 x trains per day
Saturday = 6 x trains
Sunday = 5 x trains
Book early and save: No
In contrast to the high speed trains, tickets for these regular trains between Barcelona and Figueres cannot be booked online.
And if you will be booking tickets at the station these trains should be (much) cheaper than the alternative high speed trains.
Journeys by MD trains can usually be booked online, but on this route, the MD trains have untypical terms and conditions, including the fact that on this route the MD trains can't be reserved.
However, if you can book ahead, the cheapest high speed trains won't be much more expensive - and they're more than twice as fast.
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If you don't want to take a high speed train between Barcelona and Figueres, there's a choice between two other train services.
The MD trains are more frequent and faster because they make fewer station calls than the Regional Express trains.
However, rarely for a Spanish rail route, there is an either a MD train OR a slower Regional Express train departing in each hour.
So this is a journey when you can just turn up a station, buy a ticket and jump on the train.
If the next train to leave doesn't happen to be a MD train, it's not worth hanging back, you'll get to Figueres quicker if you take the next train regardless.
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