The salidas/platforms at Barcelona Sants station

Marseille to Barcelona by train

How to take the rail journey from Marseille to Barcelona

The direct trains between Marseille and Barcelona have been removed from the new rail timetable which will be in place after December 11th and into 2023.



From Marseille to Barcelona

Travel Information

The French national rail company SNCF and the Spanish rail company Renfe have opted to terminate their partnership which jointly managed the service of high speed trains between France and Spain.
As a result the long-standing direct trains between Marseille and Barcelona have been withdrawn, without any adjustment to any other train times to provide an equivalent indirect journey on a similar schedule to what had been available.

It will still be possible to take a journey by train from Marseille to Barcelona, but when looking up this journey be very cautious about taking the combination of trains that typically involves departing from Marseille at around 11:24.
That's because this combination of trains which will typically be sold by the ticket agents, involves making an 11 min connection between trains at Nîmes Centre station.
It couldn't be simpler if the train from Marseille arrives on time, making the connection will simply involve waiting on the same platform for the train on to Barcelona to arrive.
However, making this transfer is very much not guaranteed, if the train from Marseille gets to Nîmes more than 11 mins late, you'll very likely miss the only train of the day from Nîmes Centre station to Barcelona.
It will still be possible to reach Barcelona by the end of the day, but it's a scenario very much best avoided!


1 x optimum connection per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: up to 6 months ahead of the travel date

On SNCF Connect enter 'Gare de Lyon (Paris)' in the from box, on Trainline select Paris-Gare-de-Lyon.

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for this journey, but rail pass users will need to be pay a rail pass reservation fee prior to boarding.

Using rail passes

The removal of the direct trains has expensive consequences of users of InterRail and Eurail passes, because separate rail pass reservation fees will be need to be paid on the Intercités train to Narbonne and the TGV train on to Barcelona.

A cheaper alternative, which is seemingly only available on Saturday/Sunday is to depart Marseille at around 07:22 on an Intercités train to Narbonne and then make connections between regional trains in Narbonne and Port Bou.
This will give an arrival time in Barcelona on around 15:40; which is 55min sooner than when setting off from Marseille just before 11:30 on the combination of Intercités and TGV trains.

The usual alternative, which avoids having to pay any reservation fees, is to take the TER trains to Avignon Centre station which typically depart Marseille at 09:08 on Monday to Friday and at 09:39 at weekends.
With connections in Avignon and at Port Bou station, the arrival into Barcelona should be around 18:40 on Monday to Friday and Sunday, or at around 19:10 on a Saturday.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trainline *

Trainline Guide

SNCF Connect *

SNCF Connect Guide

SNCF is the national rail operator in France and not so long ago it recently simplified both the range of tickets and the term and conditions of using them.
Therefore the cheapest tickets also become more flexible too.

Other improvements included a simple integration of travelling with bicycles and rail pass users being able to book reservations for national journeys, without paying booking fees.

And it also recently launched SNCF Connect as replacement for its Oui.SNCF booking service.
You can set up a low price alert to let you know when the cheapest price is available for a future journey.

Something else to look out for is that simplest way of travelling with tickets is to use the SNCF Connect App, as booked tickets can therefore be stored on your mobile device, which can then be shown to the train conductors as proof of purchase.

SNCF Connect on Google Play

SNCF Connect in the App (Apple) store

SNCF also operates RailEurope, which is in effect a dedicated online booking service for making bookings from outside of Europe.
If you reside outside of Europe you may discover that SNCF Connect rejects phone numbers or card numbers, but RailEurope won't do so.
Though RailEurope will add booking fees when making a purchase

Omio *

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Journey Features

Coastal views

Good to Know

Final Destination: Bordeaux or Toulouse

In good weather and IF the train has clean windows, it can be worth taking a seat on the left, when boarding these trains. there are some sporadic coastal views throughout the journey.

Journey Features

Coastal viewsHigh Speed (partial journey)

Good to Know

Final Destination: Barcelone (Barcelona)

The train on to Barcelona also calls at: Figueres-Vilifant and Girona

South of Narbonne the train threads through the lagoons,

As can be seen in the video above, which was taken on a TGV train, what's unusual and rather fabulous about this part of the journey, is that the 'sea' can be seen from both sides of the train.

Then between Perpignan and Barcelona, the train reverts back to using a high speed line.

Between the sea and the lagoons north of Perpignan Between the sea and the lagoons north of Perpignan
From the high speed line between Figueres and Perpignan From the high speed line between Figueres and Perpignan
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