Taking the train in a single day from the Spanish to French capitals has been compromised by the reduction in the number of trains available between Barcelona and Paris that has been provoked by the pandemic.
The optimum journey from Madrid requires a late morning or early afternoon connection in Barcelona, but it's these trains on from Barcelona that are currently unavailable.
There are no direct day or night trains between Madrid and Paris,
Until July 1st
An avlo service, which departs Madrid at 06:20, allows just 20min to make the connection into the 09:10 train on to Paris in Barcelona; and this combination of trains is available as an end-to-end journey on one booking.
Though with a boarding procedure for the Paris train, which will typically take 15-20 minutes, there will not be much contingency time for making the connection, but the train will rarely arrive late into Barcelona.
The core differences between avlo and AVE services, aside from avlo NOT conveying 1st/Preferente/Comfort class are:
From July 2nd
1: Daily, take that avlo service from Madrid and you'll 70 mins to make the connection in Barcelona as the train on to Paris will be departing at 10:00.
2. Mon-Thurs only. Take the 07:00 AVE train from Madrid and then on arrival in Barcelona Sants station you'll have 30 mins to make the connection into the 10:00 train on to Paris.
Changing trains in: Barcelona
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date
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The train will be non-stop from Madrid to Barcelona.
This journey showcases the best of high speed train travel, we nearly placed it in the scenic journeys category.
You won't see typical stunning views of mountains and coasts, but the combination of incredible speed and sweeping distant views over central Spain can be exhilarating.
Final Destination: Paris Gare de Lyon
Scheduled arrival time will be 16:50
Between early June and early July there are there are 3 x trains per day.
Between early July and late August there are 4 x trains per day.
Final Destination: Paris
All trains also call at: Girona, Figueres-Vilifant,
This is a journey of three distinct parts.
1: Between Barcelona and Perpignan, the train reverts back to using a high speed line
2. From Perpignan to Nimes the trains follow the coast, don't expect incredible seascapes, but there are some nice views as the train threads through the marshes - particularly south of Narbonne.
These views make it worthwhile to select the upper deck when booking tickets.
3. Between Nimes and Paris the trains travel on the high speed line.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.