Gibraltar's apes

Gibraltar's famous apes, although strictly-speaking they are tailless monkeys.  The stuffed black ape was my 6 year old son's new toy - a young ape mugged him for it 5 minutes after we bought it.  Here, that young ape looks after the stuffed toy while his mother looks after his younger sibling.

London this morning, Gibraltar tomorrow night, by train!

Gibraltar, named after the Arabic name for the Rock, Jebel Tarik, is just across the bay from the Spanish port of Algeciras, the railhead for anyone travelling to Gibraltar.  It's easy to reach Gibraltar by train from London or Paris or Madrid, leaving any morning and arriving next day in the evening.  It's a scenic ride too, especially in Andalucía, see the video.  This page explains train times, fares & how to buy tickets.

COVID-19 update See important COVID-19 travel information.  Trains are running between London & Spain.  However, Eurostar is running a much reduced service, so check times online.  One daily TGV is running between Paris & Barcelona, the 10:14 Paris-Barcelona & 10:05 Barcelona-Paris (so southbound an overnight stop is needed in Paris at the moment).  The other Paris-Barcelona trains will be reinstated as demand returns, check online.

Train times, fares, tickets & information...

small bullet point  London to Gibraltar by train

small bullet point  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

small bullet point  Video guide: Gibraltar to Madrid by train

small bullet point  Hotels in Gibraltar

small bullet point  Starting from other UK towns & cities

small bullet point  General information on train travel in Europe

small bullet point  Luggage   Taking your bike   Taking your dog

small bullet point  Train travel within Spain


large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator in Gibraltar:

There are no trains in Gibraltar, but buses link La Linea (at Gibraltar's frontier with Spain) with Algeciras every 30-45 minutes, taking 45 minutes. 

For train times & fares in Spain, see www.renfe.comEurostar times & fares    

To check any European train times: http://bahn.hafas.de.  To check for problems affecting trains through France (in French) see www.sncf.com/fr/horaires-info-trafic.

   

Time zone:

 

GMT+1 (GMT+2 last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

 

+350

Currency:

 

£1 =  £1

Tourist information:

 

www.gibraltar.gi/tourism

Hotels:

 

Find a hotel in Gibraltar, Algeciras or Madrid

Page last updated:

 

15 February 2021.


large bullet pointLondon to Gibraltar

Gibraltar is just across the bay from the Spanish port of Algeciras, which is the railhead for anyone travelling to Gibraltar.  It's easy to reach Gibraltar by train from London or Paris, this page will tell you train times, fares and how to buy tickets:

London ► Gibraltar

Gibraltar ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

How to buy tickets by phone...

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar...

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in (10-minutes for business premier) as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More information about Eurostar including check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to change trains & stations in Paris by metro or taxi.

Eurostar e320   Eurostar e320 first class seats

A Eurostar e320 about to leave London St Pancras...

 

Standard Premier/Business Premier. Larger photo.

Eurostar e320 2nd class   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class seats.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, in cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Barcelona by TGV Duplex See TGV Duplex video guide

The train from Paris to Barcelona is an impressive 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck high-speed train.  You board the train through a wide sliding external door into a small hall at one end of the lower deck, where an internal door opens into a lower deck seating area.  A wide, short & easy flight of stairs leads from the entrance door to a landing at one end of the upper deck.  You walk along the train from car to car at the upper level, and the café-bar is also at the upper level.  There are toilets both upstairs & downstairs.  If you have problems with stairs or very heavy luggage, the lower deck might be best.  But for the best views, definitely choose an upper deck seat.  For couples in 1st class, an upper deck club duo table-for-two is the nicest option.  More pictures & an account of what to see on the Paris to Barcelona journey.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 320 km/h double-deck trains link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes....

 

2nd class seats on upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on upper deck, a club duo on the left, club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Crossing the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right of the train all the way from Perpignan to Girona.  More pictures & an account of what to see on the Paris to Barcelona journey.

3. Barcelona to Madrid by AVE...

These superb-quality AVE high speed trains are amongst the classiest trains in Europe.  They have three classes, Preferente (premium 1st class seating), Turista Plus (1st class seating but without any food) and Turista (2nd class).  AVE trains run at up to 300 km/h (186 mph) over the Spanish high-speed lines.

An AVE-S103 high-speed train at Madrid Atocha

An S103 AVE train as used between Barcelona & Madrid Atocha, seen at Madrid Atocha station..  Taking as little as 2h30, it's faster than flying.  See virtual tour

Turista class on a Spanish S103 AVE train   Preferente class on a Spanish S103 AVE train

Turista (2nd class) on an AVE S103.

 

Turista Plus (premium 2nd class)  seating.

Club class on a Spanish S103 AVE train   Madrid Atocha station - the tropical garden in the old trainshed

Preferente class (1st class) seating (formerly Club) on the AVE train.  A meal with wine is included on Mondays-Fridays.

 

Madrid Atocha station.  One of my favourite stations, the old trainshed has been preserved and turned into a tropical garden.  AVE trains arrive in the adjacent modern extension.  See the Madrid Atocha station guide.

4. Madrid to Algeciras by Intercity train...

Madrid-Algeciras train at Madrid Atocha

An Intercity train (formerly branded Altaria), about to leave Madrid Atocha for Algeciras.

Cafe-bar on Madrid-Algeciras train   Turista Plus seats on Madrid-Algeciras train

Cafe-bar, with bar stools...

 

Turista Plus seats...

Turista seats on Madrid-Algeciras train   Algeciras station

Turista seats...

 

Algeciras station, across the road from the bus station.

Scenery seen from the train to Gibraltar

Andalusian scenery seen from the train to Algeciras.  The rail line to Algeciras is one of my favourite routes, especially the last part from Antequera southwards, a scenic treat.  Watch the video...

5. Algeciras to La Linea by bus or taxi, gateway to Gibraltar...

In Algeciras, the bus station is just across the road (well, around the roundabout) from the railway station.  This is an M-120 bus for La Linea boarding at the bus station.  The bus links Algeciras with La Linea, 250m from the Gibraltar frontier, every 30 minutes on weekdays at xx.00 & xx.30 past each hour, every 45 minutes at weekends, fare €2.45, journey time 45 minutes.  The bus station is directly across the road (well, around the roundabout) from Algeciras railway station, behind the Octavio Hotel.

Alternatively, a taxi from Algeciras station to Gibraltar town charges a fixed price (non-meter) of €24.75.  There are normally plenty of taxis available when the train from Madrid arrives.

Bus M-120 for La Linea (Gibraltar's frontier) boarding at Algeciras bus station.   The Rock of Gribraltar, viewed from a taxi approaching La Linea

Bus M-120 boarding at Algeciras bus station

 

Rock of Gibraltar, seen from a taxi near La Linea.

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Gibraltar - Tangier ferries...

A fast ferry occasionally operates from Gibraltar to Tangier, run by www.frs.es.  There were Friday & Sunday evening crossings a few years ago, there may be none now.  At other times, simply take the bus from La Linea (Gibraltar's frontier with Spain) round the bay to Algeciras (every 30 minutes, journey time 30 minutes) for the ferry from there to Tangier.  See www.trasmediterranea.es, www.comarit.com or www.balearia.com to check sailing times & fares.

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See the video:  Gibraltar to Madrid by train...

This video shows the fabulous scenery between Gibraltar and Madrid.  Although the video shows an Altaria train from Algeciras to Madrid, the trains from Algeciras to Barcelona take exactly the same route as far as the outskirts of Madrid.

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In Gibraltar...

Gibraltar Governor's residence   Phone kiosk

The Governor's residence...

 

Typically British telephone kiosk....

Gibraltar cable car   Rock of Gibraltar on a cloudy day

The cable car up to the top of the Rock...

 

The Rock of Gibraltar viewed from the top cable car station.  It's a cloudy day, and we're above the clouds...

Gibraltar's apes   Rock of Gibraltar from the sea

The famous apes.  There's a fine for feeding them, but watch it, they'll pinch your own food right out of your hand!

 

The Rock of Gibraltar, seen from one of the regular Dolphin safaris leaving from Marina Bay - www.dolphinsafari.gi

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large bullet pointEuropean Rail Timetable & map

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses) or www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide) or for £9.67 at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses).

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large bullet pointFind hotels in Gibraltar...

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Rock Hotel, Gibraltar...

Opened in 1932, Gibraltar's Rock Hotel nestles under the Rock at the far end of town, with a relaxing pool area across the road, complete with poolside bar.  Many famous people have stayed here, from Winston Churchill to Sean Connery to Errol Flynn.  Don't expect cutting edge design - if anything the rooms are a little tired and in need of refurbishment - but it's one of the classic hotels in Gib, a stone's throw from the lower cable car station and a 10 minute walk from the heart of Main Street.  In the summer, dinner is served al fresco by the pool.  The breakfast buffet is good, but ask for fried egg rather than taste their powdered scrambled egg!

The Rock Hotel, Gibraltar   Rock Hotel's swimming pool and poolside bar

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large bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN...

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

 

Confused.com logo

Always take out travel insurance...

Never travel without travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should also cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback is always welcome.

UK flagIn the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

UK flag

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

UK flagYou can use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

UK flag

 Australian flag New Zealand flag  Irish flag    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

 US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Curve card

Get a Curve card to save on foreign transaction fees...

Banks often give a poor exchange rate, then charge a currency conversion fee as well.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I use a Curve Blue card myself - I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 


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