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Train from London to Barcelona

Photo © Anouk van den Einjnde


Route: London St Pancras International to Barcelona Sants via Paris
Journey time: About 10 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. 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

Sample itinerary: Leave London St Pancras on the 09.24 Eurostar and arrive at Paris Gare de Nord at 12.47. Catch the 14.07 from Paris Gare de Lyon and arrive at Barcelona Sants at 20.34.
Price: London to Paris by Eurostar from £44 one way or £58 return in 2nd class. Paris to Barcelona by TGV Duplex from €59 one way or €116 return in second class.
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

Take RER-D two stops to Gare de Lyon. It's just 2 stops from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon and takes a little over 10 minutes (plus there's a short 5 minute walk to the connecting TGV departure platforms), but we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer.

Long hop

Transfer time: We recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer.
Book a hotel near Gare du Nord
Book a hotel near Gare de Lyon
Leg 2:

Paris Gare de Lyon to Barcelona Sants

Departs from Gare de Lyon at 0715, 1007 and 1407 (direct journey to Barcelona Sants)

Frequency of service: 3 trains par day/ Daily

TGV Duplex

Journey time: 6 hrs 27 min

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.

quote marks

The Catalans are a proud people. Proud of their language, history, cuisine, wine, their natural and cultural heritage. It’s no surprise: there’s so much to be proud of in this extraordinarily diverse land. That love of the region translates not just into a warm welcome for visitors, encouraged to explore the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of the cities, mountains and coasts. It’s also reflected in a respect for the environment: Catalonia has been designated the first whole-region Unesco Biosphere Destination, reflecting its dedication to sustainable tourism, along with sites including Barcelona, Sitges and the Terres de l’Ebre. From the Pyrenees in the north to bird-bustling wetlands in the south, dramatic gorges and vine-striped highlands and sandy shores, the range of activities, culture and cuisine is astonishing.quote marks

See Greentraveller's Guide to Catalonia:

Book a hotel near Barcelona Sants station

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