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.

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

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:


22 May 2024.  Train times valid 10 December 2023 to 14 December 2024

London 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 as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guideHow to change trains & stations in Paris by metro or taxi.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.


1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.


One of two cafe-bars, 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   TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants

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


TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 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 AVE high speed trains are amongst the classiest in Europe, with Standard (2nd) class & Comfort (1st) class, cafe-bar serving beer, wine, tea, coffee, snacks and some hot dishes.  The train has power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  If you pay the Premium fare you get access to the Sala Club lounge in Barcelona, and a meal with wine served at your seat.  More about Renfe's fares & classes.

An S103 AVE at Madrid Atocha

A type S103 AVE at Madrid AtochaSee virtual tour

1st class on a Spanish S103 AVE train   Cafe-bar on a Spanish S103 AVE train

Comfort (1st) class seating on an AVE train.


Cafe-bar on an S103 AVE train. 

Breakfast on a Spanish S103 AVE train   2nd class on a Spanish S103 AVE train

A meal is included if you pay the Premium fare.


Standard (2nd class) seating on an AVE.

Scenery between Barcelona & Madrid

Scenery from the high-speed AVE between Barcelona & Madrid.  Courtesy of

Madrid Atocha station - the tropical garden in the old trainshed

Madrid Atocha station:  One of my favourite stations, the old trainshed has been preserved and turned into a tropical garden, see Madrid Atocha station guide.

4. Madrid to Algeciras by Intercity train

The Intercity train has standard & comfort class and a cafe-bar.  It travels over the standard-gauge high-speed line from Madrid to Antequera at up to 200 km/h (125 mph), then passes slowly through a gauge-changing shed which adjusts the wheels to Iberian broad gauge (5' 6").  The train continues on the classic line through great Andalusian scenery to Ronda and Algeciras.

Madrid-Algeciras train at Madrid Atocha

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

Standard class on an Intercity train   Comfort class on an Intercity train

Standard (2nd) class.


Comfort (1st) class.

Cafe-bar on an Intercity train   Algeciras station



Algeciras 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  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

This video shows the fabulous scenery between Gibraltar and Madrid.  Although the video shows a 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 at (UK addresses) or (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 (shipping worldwide) or at (UK addresses).

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Hotels in Gibraltar

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

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 & other tips


Staysure travel insurance


Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with myself.  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, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag is also a well-know brand.

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

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card! is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.


Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  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 money you spend on your Curve card 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 Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend 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.


Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.


Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from or Buy from

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!


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