Barcelona Rail Service
The Barcelona rail service is a very cost effective way to travel to the city from other areas of Spain, as well as from the UK.
Many people assume that to get to Barcelona, you must fly. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. A very cost effective way to travel from the UK and Europe to Spain is by train. Depending on where your journey begins, it will take you about 11-14 hours from South Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Booking a couchette in a night train is always a favourable option.
The Cercanias are trains which are connecting the surrounding suburbs with the city centre of Barcelona. They leave every 20 minutes from the station Sants to the airport El Prat and are ideal for day trips in the surroundings of Barcelona. The Regionales connect different provinces and regions of Spain. In Catalonia, the rail connection itself is very well developed and prices are not too expensive.
Grandes Lineas combine the largest and most important cities in Spain. These trains are slightly more expensive than the Regionales, but are a lot faster as they don’t stop often.
London to Barcelona
Travelling by train from London to Barcelona became much easier once they launched a high-speed rail service from Paris to Barcelona. At present the Barcelona rail service really only offers one viable connection each day on this route, leaving London just after 9 o’clock in the morning and reaching Barcelona in the evening. The complete journey takes around 10 hours 25 minutes, without delays. This is a super idea for backpackers and also for people travelling to the city for business as it gives you time to either take a break and sleep or get on with some work.
The journey is stress free, comfortable and gives you time to relax. You can put your feet up and either get lost watching the beautiful French villages of the Rhone Valley pass by, catch up on your reading, organise your emails or even watch a movie on your I-pad. The train is a great option also for those traveling with kids or with a lot of luggage without the stress of luggage check-ins and airport queues.
The Eurostar and TGV from London to Spain via Paris is the fastest and most frequent option. There are now two Paris-Barcelona TGV trains every day in each direction, with a third train from March to June and a fourth in July and August.
The Duplex trains taking you into the city of Barcelona in as little as 6 ½ hours The journey begins by taking a Eurostar from London to Paris, where you’ll need to change stations from the Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon. At Gare de Lyon Station, you then board the TGV for Barcelona. It’s a wonderful ride that swiftly routes through the south through France, sweeps the Mediterranean coast and then dives under the Pyrenees to reach Catalonia.