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Train from London to Barcelona

Photo © Anouk van den Einjnde


Route: London St Pancras International to Barcelona França via Paris
Journey time: About 17 hours
Journey highlights:

Don't miss the restaurant carriage - it is a veritable fiesta, with Spanish diners seemingly eating and drinking their way from north to south, toasting the Spanish border with national wines. Worth booking a luxury couchette (for two) with hot shower to clear the post-party head in the morning.

Barcelona, the proud Mediterranean metropolis, is a city of many faces: from the gracious avenues of Gracia with their chic boutiques, to the atmospheric, winding lanes of the Barri Gotic, the city’s patchwork of neighbourhoods entices visitors with their distinct characters. Its cultural offer includes the Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, as well as Miró and Picasso museums, these are complimented by any number of hole-in-the-wall bars to enjoy tapas and drinks with the locals. Part beach resort and party town, part art collection, sprinkled liberally with the modernista masterpieces of Gaudi and other architects, Barcelona is a city to see, eat, drink, explore, and enjoy.


Detailed itinerary

Option 1: via Paris (sleeper)

Sample itinerary: Leave London St Pancras on the 1502 and arrive at Paris Gare de Nord at 1817. Catch the 2034 from Paris Austerlitz and arrive at Barcelona França at 0824 the next day.
Price: From £202 return
Leg 1:

London St Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord in the heart of Paris. Don't forget check-in time for Eurostar is at least 30 mins before departure.

First train departs 0540 (Mon-Fri), 0618 (Sat), 0819 (Sun).

Last train departs 2001 (Mon-Sat), 2031 (Sun).

Frequency of service: 18 trains Mon-Thur, 20 trains Friday, 22 on Saturday, 17 on Sunday.


Journey time: From 2 hrs 16 mins

Cross the centre of Paris by metro from Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austeritz. From the Eurostar platform, turn left, walk down the stairs and follow the signs for Metro line M5 to Gare d'Austerlitz (which is signposted 'direction Place d'Italie'). It's 9 stops from Gare de Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz and takes 20-30 minutes, but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer.

Long hop

Transfer time: Allow 50 mins.
Book a hotel near Gare du Nord
Book a hotel near Gare d'Austerlitz
Leg 2:

Paris Austerlitz to Barcelona França (sleeper)

Train leaves at 2034, arrives 0909 next day.

Frequency of service: Daily


Journey time: 12 hrs 35 mins

Benvingut a Barcelona
Bienvenido a Barcelona

There are three main railway stations served by international and intercity trains:
Barcelona-Sants, to the south-west of the centre, which is on lines three and five of the metro, as well as suburban train routes.
Barcelona- Estació de França, on the edge of the old town, to the east of the centre, which is a short walk from Barceloneta station on line four of the metro, and is a terminus for some suburban train lines.
Barcelona-Passeig de Gràcia, just north of the centre, on the main Passeig de Gràcia boulevard, which is on lines two, three, and four of the metro, plus suburban rail lines.
Bus services are available from all three train termini.

The easiest mode of transport for visitors in Barcelona is the metro, which consists of eight colour coded lines – take a look at the metro network map. The metro is supplemented by three suburban rail lines, part of the wider Catalan rail network (FGC), they are of limited use to visitors unless you are making trips outside of the city; the city also boasts two modern tram lines. In addition, there is of course a network of buses covering both the city and metropolitan area of Barcelona – like the metro, they are run by TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona), you can access a map and bus route timetables on the TMB website (information in English).

A range of different fares and passes for the public transport network is available; the TMB information offers full Barcelona transport ticket and fare information. Additionally, Hola BCN travel cards give unlimited travel for periods of between one and five days across Barcelona; and the Barcelona card offers unlimited travel plus free entry and discounts at many major attractions in the city.

If you prefer to stay out in the open air, you could travel around Barcelona by bike – the city has a network of segregated cycle lanes, and the official tourism website recommends bike rental providers. As with many major European cities, Barcelona also now offers a bike sharing scheme, where you can pick up a bike at a docking station near the start of your journey and return it to another station at your destination. Known as Bicing, the website is only available in Catalan and Spanish.

Book a hotel near Estación de Francia (Barcelona França)

Your route to Barcelona

The lines on the map are for illustrative purposes only - they don't show the exact route taken by the train.


Through-fare tickets

>> You can now buy a 'through-fare' ticket from over 300 UK rail stations to London that connect with Eurostar departures to Europe. These tickets cut the cost of the journey from your local station to London when used in conjunction with a Eurostar ticket. See: Through-fare tickets connecting with Eurostar

Changing Stations

The key to travelling by train to Europe is to plan the most convenient connections. Here's our guide to how to change stations within the key hub cities of Paris, Brussels and Lille for onward connections to the rest of Europe.

>> How to Change Train Stations in Paris, Brussels and Lille

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