Paris to Barcelona by train

How to travel from Paris to Barcelona by train

The era of high speed rail travel has transformed taking the train from Paris to Barcelona, so despite the distance, this is a very straightforward journey.



From Paris Gare de Lyon/Paris Lyon to Barcelona Sants

Travel Information

Final Destination: Barcelone (Barcelona)

All trains also call at: Figueres-Vilifant and Girona

Until July 7th
2 x trains per day

July 8th - Sept 3rd
The additional train will depart Paris at 06:56

From Sept 4th - Dec 11th
2 x trains 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.

If you will be travelling with an InterRail or Eurail pass, there is no viable alternative to taking these trains, if you want to travel from Paris to Barcelona in a single day.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trainline from €39

Trainline Guide

SNCF Connect from €39

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

Happy rail from €39

Happy rail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

On this journey

Journey Features

High Speed (partial journey)Coastal views

Good to Know

On departure the train heading to Barcelona will usually be attached in front of another train which will be terminating in Montpellier.
Therefore the coaches heading to Barcelona will usually be found towards the far end of the voie (platform/track) at the Gare De Lyon
So don't cut it too fine when boarding these trains, if you don't want to hurry, be at the Gare De Lyon at least 5 minutes before the train will be leaving.

On to Madrid

The easiest, but usually more expensive, option for a train [journey from Paris to Madrid]/travel-info-and-tips/international-trains-from-france/) involves making these connections:

(1) Taking the daily train to Barcelona, which typically departs from the Gare De Lyon at 10:14 and usually arrives in Barcelona Sants station at 16:54.

(2) There will then be a choice of connections on from Barcelona to Madrid:

  • At 17:25 an Avlo train will depart, and it is typically scheduled to arrive in Madrid at 19:55, so offers the possibility of the fastest end-to-end journey, but the Avlo train is a more-basic alternative to the AVE trains and it only conveys standard class accommodation; and also has a more stringent luggage allowance per passenger than the AVE trains.
  • At 19:00 a regular AVE train will depart and it will be typically scheduled to arrive in Madrid at 22:07; the later departure also allows for more contingency in the event of a delayed arrival of the train from Paris.

Journey Description

This is a journey of three distinct parts.

1: Between the outskirts of Paris and Nimes the trains travel on the high speed line.

  1. From Nimes to Perpignan the trains follow the coast, but don't expect incredible seascapes, the sea is often just out of sight on the right, but you're more likely to see it from the upper deck

Though what makes the part of the journey between Sete and Perpignan unusual is that between these two towns there are often sea lagoons which can be seen from the left-hand side of the train, particularly south of Narbonne when the railway seems to skim across the surface of the water

As can be seen in the video above, what's unusual and rather fabulous about this part of the journey, as the train leaves Narbonne behind, 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 left of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan From the left of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan
From the left of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan From the left of the train between Narbonne and Perpignan
From the left of the train between Perpignan and Figueres From the left of the train between Perpignan and Figueres
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