The daily train to Madrid arrives in Avignon TGV

Marseille to Barcelona by train

How to take the rail journey from Marseille to Barcelona

The only direct train service from Marseille to Spain has resumed having been suspended for more than two years.

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Routes

From Marseille-Saint-Charles to Barcelona Sants

Travel Information

Final Destination: Madrid

The train also calls at: Avignon TGV, Figueres-Vilifant and Girona

The train is usually scheduled to depart daily from Marseille St Charles just after 08:00.

1 x train per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

It can be worth comparing the prices between booking agents for this journey.

Seat reservations:

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for this journey.

Rail pass users will need to be pay a reservation fee prior to boarding, but these reservations cannot be booked on the ticket agent's websites.

If you want the peace of mind of reserving before arriving at a French station, you will need to use the Eurail reservation service or the InterRail reservation service but you will be charged a €2 booking fee per reservation.
Though you can avoid a booking fee if you do reserve at a station in France

Though on Monday to Friday there is an option to avoid paying the rail pass reservation fee, by taking this alternative journey.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trainline from €37

Trainline Guide

SNCF Connect from €37

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

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed (partial)Coastal views

Good to Know

Barcelone is the French name for Barcelona -  it will be used on info screens at stations and on the train.

Journey description:

This is a journey of three distinct phases.

1: Between Marseille and Nimes the train travels on the high speed line.

2. From Montpellier to Perpignan 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.

As can be seen in the above video, that was filmed on a TGV, 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.

3. Between Perpignan and Barcelona, the train reverts back to using a high speed line.

From the right of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan From the right of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan
From the right of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan From the right of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan
From the right of the train between Perpignan and Figueres From the right of the train between Perpignan and Figueres
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