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 - the apes mugged him for it 5 minutes after we bought it.

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 will tell you the train times, fares and how to buy tickets.

Train times, fares, tickets & information...

  London to Gibraltar by train

  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

  Video guide: Gibraltar to Madrid by train

  Hotels in Gibraltar

  Starting from other UK towns & cities

  General information on train travel in Europe

  Luggage   Taking your bike   Taking your dog

  Train travel within Spain

Useful 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:  To check for problems affecting trains through France (in French) see


Time zone:


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

Dialling code:





£1 =  £1

Tourist information:



Find a hotel in Gibraltar, Algeciras or Madrid

Page last updated:


17 October 2020. Train times valid 15 Dec 2019 to 12 Dec 2020.

London to Gibraltar

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, 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 video guide

These are impressive 186mph TGV Duplex double-decker high-speed trains.  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 & luggage racks both upstairs & downstairs.  If you have problems with stairs or very heavy luggage, the lower deck might be best.  But for the best views (over the top of the occasional sound barrier along the high speed lines!), definitely choose an upper deck seat.  For couples in first class, an upper deck 'club duo' face to face table for two is easily the best option.  More pictures & an account of what to see on the Paris to Barcelona journey.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 200 mph double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.


2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

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, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.

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

1st class on upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.


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

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see

3. Barcelona to Antequera by AVE, regional train to Algeciras...

These superb-quality AVE high speed trains are amongst the classiest trains in Europe. They have 3 classes, Preferente (premium 1st class), Turista Plus (1st class seating but without any food) & Turista (2nd class). AVE trains run at up to 186 mph over the Spanish high-speed lines. Most trains between Barcelona and Andalucía are the S102 type shown below, little articulated single-axle Talgo carriages sandwiched between strange-looking duck-billed power cars, hence the nickname 'pato', Spanish for duck. The final destination of the Barcelona-Antequera train will be shown on the departure boards as Malaga.  The train runs to the outskirts of Madrid on the high-speed line, by-passes the city and joins the Madrid-Malaga high-speed line for the journey south...

Complimentary at-seat meal in Club class & Preferente Class   AVE Club class on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga

AVE S102.  Known to staff as pato (duck).  No prizes for guessing why...


AVE Preferente class...  Leather reclining seats, all with power sockets...

AVE Tourist class seats on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga   AVE Preferente seating on an S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga

AVE Turista class...  Comfortable seats, 2 abreast each side of the aisle, mainly unidirectional but tables for 4 like this...


AVE Turista Plus...  Reclining seats, power sockets for laptops & mobiles, mainly unidirectional but some tables for 2 and tables for 4...

The Sala Club (1st class lounge) at Barcelona Sants station.   An S102 AVE train from Madrid to Malaga at Madrid Atocha

1st class lounge:  Club & Preferente ticket holders (including Promo+ tickets, but not Promo) may use the Sala Club 1st class lounge at Barcelona Sants, with coffee, juice & beer.


All aboard the train to Andalusia!  All AVE trains have a cafe-bar serving drinks and snacks, or feel free to bring your own food, wine or beer on board. 

Scenery seen from the train to Gibraltar

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

4. 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  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, or 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 -

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European 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 with worldwide shipping at either or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from

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Find hotels in Gibraltar...

My favourite hotel search site: 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: is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on,, 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

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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Travel insurance & VPN...


Columbus direct travel insurance


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.

In the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

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

You can use to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

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

  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. Use code MAN61 to get £5 cashback after signing up and using your Curve card the first time.


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 them myself.


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