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This page explains how to travel by train from Barcelona to other cities all over Europe, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Information current for 2024.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer the usual questions including "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and the old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Barcelona to other Spanish cities
Barcelona to Madrid by AVE, Ouigo, Avlo or Iryo
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

Standard (2nd class) on an AVE S103.

 

Comfort (1st class)  seating.

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

Comfort 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.

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

High-speed AVE trains link Barcelona with Seville, Cordoba & Malaga with no need to fly.  These excellent AVE-S112 high-speed trains are used on this route.  Known as a Pato (duck).  No prizes for guessing why.

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 Standard class.  Comfortable seats, 2 abreast each side of the aisle, mainly unidirectional but some bays of 4 around a table like this...

 

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

Barcelona to Granada by AVE
Barcelona to Valencia & Alicante
Barcelona to San Sebastian & Bilbao
San Sebastian to Barcelona train about to leave   Comfort (1st) class seats

The Alvia to Barcelona at San Sebastian.

 

Comfort class (1st class).

Standard (2nd) class seats   The cafe bar

Standard class (2nd class).

 

The cafe-bar does an excellent cafe con leche.

Scenery between San Sebastian & Barcelona

The train descends from the foothills of the Pyrenees onto the plain below.

Barcelona to Santiago de Compostela, A Coruna & Vigo

Barcelona to Ibiza by ferry

Barcelona to Mallorca by ferry

Barcelona terminals for ferries to Mallorca and Ibiza   Balearia ferry terminal, Barcelona

Blue arrow = Balearia ferry terminal, white arrow = Trasmed terminal.  Above right, the Balearia terminal.  See map of Barcelona showing ferry terminals

Fast ferry from Barcelona to Mallorca

Balearia's fast ferry from Barcelona to Alcudia.  That's the Columbus Monument at the foot of La Rambla in the background, the terminal is that central!

Balearia ferry from Barcelona to Mallorca

Balearia ferry.  Photo courtesy of Luke Sibieta.

Trasmed ferry from Barcelona to Mallorca

Grimaldi Trasmed's Ciudad de Barcelona, at Barcelona port.  Photo courtesy of Luke Sibieta.

Barcelona to Tenerife, Gran Canaria & the Canary islands

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Barcelona to Gibraltar
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.

 

Comfort class seats.

Turista seats on Madrid-Algeciras train   Algeciras station

Standard class seats.

 

Algeciras station, across the road from the bus station.

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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Barcelona to London from €96

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Barcelona to Dublin & Ireland

Option 1, Barcelona to Dublin using a direct ferry from Spain to Ireland

2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam   1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys

Barcelona to Bilbao by train. Courtesy of Pádraic Fogarty

 

Bilbao to Rosslare by ferry.  Courtesy of Pádraic Fogarty

Option 2, Barcelona to Dublin via Paris and ferry from Cherbourg to Dublin

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats

Sail from Cherbourg to Dublin aboard Irish Ferries' WB YeatsWB Yeats photos courtesy of Irish Ferries.

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats club cabin   Irish Ferries' WB Yeats deluxe cabin

Club cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet.

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Barcelona to Paris from €39

Option 1, Barcelona to Paris by high-speed train in 6h30 from €39

TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants

The morning TGV to Paris, boarding at Barcelona Sants. Courtesy of Brian's Coffee Spot Watch TGV Duplex video.

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

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4 (or 14), serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style 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 Barcelona Sants

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

 

TGV Duplex boarding at Barcelona Sants. The '1' indicates 1st class. Courtesy of Brian's Coffee Spot.

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar.

 

View from the train, passing Béziers.

Option 2, Barcelona to Paris by sleeper train via Latour de Carol

Option 3, Barcelona to Paris by sleeper train via Cerbère/Perpignan

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

An Intercité de nuit sleeper train at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

2nd class 6-berth couchettes.

 

A cosy 2nd class couchette.

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

1st class 4-berth couchettes.

Barcelona to Perpignan, Narbonne, Montpellier, Nîmes

Option 1, Barcelona to southern France by high-speed train - the fastest option

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 2, Barcelona to southern France by classic train - slower, but cheaper, scenic and with a much wider range of departures!

Inside the local train between Portbou & Barcelona   Inside the local train between Portbou & Barcelona

A local train from Barcelona to Portbou, seen at Portbou.  Yes, these local trains do exist, and are very useful!  But you can only find timetables at rodalies.gencat.cat, not on the main booking sites.  You buy a ticket on the day at the station.  Courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Barcelona to Lyon

Option 1, Barcelona to Lyon by direct AVE train - recommended

Option 2, Barcelona to Lyon with a change of train

Barcelona to Bordeaux

Option 1, Barcelona to Bordeaux via Narbonne - this is fastest & easiest

Option 2, Barcelona to Bordeaux via San Sebastian - how about lunch in San Sebastian?

Option 3, Barcelona to Bordeaux via Latour de Carol

Barcelona to Toulouse & Carcassone

Option 1, Barcelona to Toulouse via Narbonne - the high-speed option, reservation required, dynamic pricing so book ahead.

Option 2, Barcelona to Toulouse via Latour de Carol - through the Pyrenees, slower, cheaper, always €12 + €28.10 any day, any date.

 

Step 1, take the air-conditioned R3 local train from Barcelona to Latour de Carol.  2nd class only.  Bring your own food & drink.  The 'R' stands for Rodalies, Catalan for suburban network.

Autumnal browns & golds will give way to snow as the train winds its way north.

The huge international station at Latour de Carol

Latour de Carol, where two nations, two trains and three track gauges meet.  This is the huge international station building.  The station bistro is on the forecourt, just out of shot to the left.

Bistro at Latour de Carol   Bistro at Latour de Carol

The inexpensive Bistro de la Gare (above right) on the forecourt at Latour de Carol is ideal for breakfast or a coffee between trains, check opening hours at www.facebook.com/bistrotdutrainjauneCourtesy of Adrian Fuentes.

 

Step 2, Latour de Carol to Toulouse by modern air-conditioned Train Exprès Regional (TER).

 

The smart interior of the regional train from Latour to Toulouse.

 

Mountain scenery in the Pyrenees.

Mountains in the Pyrenees

The train starts to descend from the Pyrenees onto the plain towards Toulouse.

Barcelona to Avignon, Marseille, Cannes & Nice

Option 1, Barcelona to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence & Marseille by direct AVE train - the easiest option for these 3 cities, recommended

AVE from Barcelona to Lyon   2nd class seats on an AVE S100

Barcelona to Avignon & Marseille by AVE train, seen here at  Barcelona Sants.

 

2nd class seats, all with power sockets & free WiFi. Panorama photo of 2nd class.

1st class seats on the Barcelona to Lyon AVE train   The cafe-bar on an S100 AVE

1st class seats on an S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Panorama photo of 1st class.

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 2, morning departure, Barcelona to Nice in a day

Option 3, afternoon departure, Barcelona to Nice in a day

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Barcelona to Brussels & Bruges from €68

Option 1, Barcelona to Brussels in a single day, via Lyon - breakfast in Barcelona, dinner in Brussels, avoids crossing Paris

AVE from Barcelona to Lyon   2nd class seats on an AVE S100

Step 1, Barcelona to Lyon by AVE, seen here at  Barcelona Sants.

 

2nd class seats, all with power sockets & free WiFi. Panorama photo of 2nd class.

1st class seats on the Barcelona to Lyon AVE train   The cafe-bar on an S100 AVE

1st class seats on an S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Panorama photo of 1st class.

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

2nd class on a Paris-Milan TGV   TGV from Paris arrived at Luxembourg

Step 2, Lyon to Brussels by TGV.  Above left, 2nd class seats with a mix of unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats 2+2 across car width. Larger photo.

Cafe-bar on the Paris-Milan TGV   1st class on the Paris-Milan TGV

Cafe-bar selling tea, coffee, beer, wine, cold snacks & microwaved dishes.  Larger photo.

 

1st class with mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Barcelona to Brussels in a single day, via Paris - slightly faster, but involves crossing Paris

TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants

Step 1, Barcelona to Paris by TGV Duplex, seen here at Barcelona Sants. Courtesy of Brian's Coffee Spot Watch TGV video.

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

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

 

2nd class seats on upper deck with a mix of tables for 4 & unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants

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

 

TGV Duplex, boarding at Barcelona Sants.  The '1' indicates 1st class. Courtesy of Brian's Coffee Spot.

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar.

 

View from the train, passing Béziers.

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

Step 2, Paris to Brussels by Eurostar, seen here at Paris Nord.  See 360º photos inside the trainMore about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Option 3, Barcelona to Brussels with overnight stop in Paris - as option 2, but with an overnight stop

Option 4, Barcelona-Paris using a French overnight train, then high-speed train to Brussels

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Barcelona to Amsterdam from €74

Option 1, Barcelona to Amsterdam in a single day

TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants

Step 1, Barcelona to Paris by TGV Duplex, seen here at Barcelona Sants. Courtesy of Brian's Coffee Spot Watch TGV video.

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

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

 

2nd class seats on upper deck with a mix of tables for 4 & unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants

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

 

TGV Duplex, boarding at Barcelona Sants.  The '1' indicates 1st class.  Courtesy of Brian's Coffee Spot.

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar.

 

View from the train, passing Béziers.

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

Step 2, Paris to Amsterdam by Eurostar, seen here at Paris Nord.  See 360º photos inside the trainMore about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Crossing the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep

The train sweeps across the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep one lazy evening, between Rotterdam & Antwerp.

Option 2, Barcelona to Amsterdam with overnight stop in Paris - as option 1, but with an overnight stop

Option 3, Barcelona-Paris using a French overnight train, then high-speed train onwards to Amsterdam

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Barcelona to Luxembourg

Option 1, Barcelona to Luxembourg in a single day

Option 2, Barcelona to Luxembourg with overnight stop in Paris

Option 3, Barcelona-Paris using a French overnight train, then high-speed TGV onwards to Luxembourg

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Barcelona to Geneva, Zurich & Switzerland

Option 1, Barcelona to Switzerland in a day, morning departure - recommended option, using the direct AVE to Lyon

AVE from Barcelona to Lyon   2nd class seats on an AVE S100

Step 1, Barcelona to Lyon by AVE, seen here at  Barcelona Sants.

 

2nd class seats, all with power sockets & free WiFi. Panorama photo of 2nd class.

1st class seats on the Barcelona to Lyon AVE train   The cafe-bar on an S100 AVE

1st class seats on an S100 AVE, all with power sockets.  Panorama photo of 1st class.

 

Cafe-bar on an S100 AVE serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks & hot dishes.

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

2nd class seats on Geneva-Lyon TER train   Geneva-Lyon TER train at Geneva

Step 2, Lyon to Geneva by TER: This is a TER from Lyon at Geneva.

Option 2, Barcelona to Switzerland in a day, late morning departure

Option 3, Barcelona to Switzerland in a day, afternoon departure

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Barcelona to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy

So many people want to travel this route, and many of them mistakenly think you have to fly.  You don't.  You can travel cheaply and time-effectively by comfortable and civilised train with lots to see on the way, from the Pyrenees to the Alps.

Option 1, Barcelona to Turin or Milan in a single day - from the Pyrenees to the Alps in a day

Option 2, Barcelona to Italy with an overnight stop in Lyon

Option 3, Barcelona to Italy with an overnight stop in Marseille

Option 4, Barcelona to Italy with an overnight stop in Nice

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 Girona to Perpignan, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 5, Barcelona to Rome by cruise ferry

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Barcelona to Lisbon from €78

Option 1, Barcelona to Lisbon with overnight stop in Madrid

Option 2, Barcelona to Lisbon via Vigo & Porto - longer, but great quality trains & allows stopover in Porto.

Option 3, Barcelona to Lisbon via Seville & Faro

The Madrid-Lisbon sleeper train was suspended due to Covid-19 in March 2020, then permanently discontinued.

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Barcelona to Porto

Barcelona to Vigo, overnight stop, then regional train to Porto.

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Barcelona to Faro & the Algarve

Option 1, Barcelona to Seville by high-speed train, Seville to Faro by bus

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Barcelona to Andorra

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Barcelona to Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin & Germany from €75

Option 1, Barcelona to Frankfurt or Cologne in a single day

Option 2, Barcelona to Berlin using the Paris-Berlin sleeper - 3 times a week, starts 10 December 2023

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Zurich

A Nightjet sleeper train at Berlin HbfMore about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Nightjet couchette car.

Option 3, Barcelona to Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin & Germany with overnight stop in Paris

Option 3, Barcelona to Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin & Germany, with overnight stop in Marseille

Option 4, Barcelona-Paris using a French overnight train, then high-speed train onwards to Germany.

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Barcelona to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €89

Option 1, Barcelona to Austria using the Paris-Vienna sleeper - the most comfortable & time-effective option, 3 times per week

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Paris to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper trainMore about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 2, Barcelona to Geneva by TGV, overnight stop in Geneva, onwards to Austria next day by railjet - the scenic option

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

A railjet to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna about to leave Zurich HB.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats.

 

Business class.

 

Restaurant.

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

Railjet is Austrian Railways premier train.  More about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Brooding skies over the Arlberg pass.  The pass itself is long, narrow and curvaceous with the train snaking along the valley sides, often high above the valley floor.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Running alongside the river Inn in the Tirol, somewhere between Landeck & Ötzal.  More photos & information about this route.

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Barcelona to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo & Scandinavia

Option 1, with overnight stop in Frankfurt

Option 2, with overnight stops in Marseille & Hamburg - two overnight stops, but might suit you better

  • Day 3, travel from Hamburg to Copenhagen by EuroCity train leaving Hamburg Hbf at 08:50 and arriving Copenhagen 13:34.

    Fares start at €27.90 in 2nd class or €59.90 in 1st class.

    If you're only going as far as Copenhagen, book from Hamburg to Copenhagen at the German Railways website int.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or phone.

  • For Stockholm, take an X2000 train from Copenhagen Stockholm, leaving Copenhagen at 14:19 and arriving Stockholm Central at 19:37.

    Book from Hamburg to Stockholm as one transaction from €56.90 in 2nd class or €75.90 in 1st class at int.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.

  • For Malmö or Gothenburg, Öresund trains run hourly from Copenhagen to Gothenburg in 3h53 and every half hour or better from Copenhagen to Malmö in 39 minutes.

    Book from Hamburg to Malmö or Gothenburg (= Göteborg Central) as one transaction from €56.90 in 2nd class or €75.90 in 1st class at int.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your phone.

An X2000 train at Stockholm Central

Copenhagen to Stockholm by tilting 200km/h X2000, seen at Stockholm CentralMore about X2000 trains.

1st class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train 2nd class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

1st class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

 

2nd class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train   Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

Bistro seating on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

 

Bistro on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

On the Oresund link!

Crossing the impressive Öresund bridge from Denmark to Sweden.

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Barcelona to Helsinki & Finland

Option 1, using a Finnlines ferry from Germany to Helsinki - the easiest option

Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki

Finnlines operate the Finnstar, Finnmaid & Finnlady on the Travemünde-Helsinki route.  Photo courtesy of Hubert Bartkowiak.  Photos below courtesy of Chris Russell.

Cabin on Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki   Gym on Finnlines ferry   Sauna on Finnlines ferry

Standard cabin.  Larger photo.

 

Gym with a view.

 

Sauna.

Option 2, by train to Stockholm, then ferry to Helsinki

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Barcelona to Prague & the Czech Republic

Option 1, Barcelona to Prague with overnight stop in Paris

Option 2, Barcelona to Prague using the Paris-Linz sleeper - the most comfortable & time-effective option, 3 times per week

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Barcelona to Bratislava & Slovakia

Option 1, Barcelona to Bratislava using the Paris-Vienna sleeper - the most comfortable & time-effective option, 3 times per week

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Paris to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper trainMore about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 2, Barcelona to Bratislava with overnight stop in Geneva - the most scenic option

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Barcelona to Budapest & Hungary

Option 1, Barcelona to Budapest using the Paris-Vienna sleeper - the most comfortable & time-effective option, 3 times per week

  • Step 3, travel from Vienna to Budapest by railjet train, leaving Vienna Hbf at 11:40 & arriving Budapest Keleti at 14:19.

    The swish modern railjet has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  An earlier connection is possible, but I'd allow at least an hour between trains when connecting with a sleeper train just in case of delay.

    Fares start at €19.90 in 2nd class or €29.90 in 1st class.  Fares vary like air fares, so book ahead.

    Book this train at www.thetrainline.com (easiest to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (same prices, in €).  Booking opens up to 6 months ahead.  You print your own ticket.

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

Paris to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper trainMore about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car.

Option 2, Barcelona to Budapest with an overnight stop in Geneva - the most scenic option

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

Zurich to Budapest by railjet.  A railjet about to leave Zurich HB More about railjets.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy class.

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Brooding skies over the Arlberg pass.  The pass itself is long, narrow and curvaceous with the train snaking along the valley sides, often high above the valley floor.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Running alongside the river Inn in the Tirol, somewhere between Landeck & Ötzal.  More photos & information about this route.

A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

The railjet has landed!  Arrived on platform 9 at Budapest Keleti station.

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Barcelona to Bucharest & Romania

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Barcelona to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade & Sofia

Option 1, Barcelona to Ljubljana & Zagreb using the Paris-Salzburg sleeper - the most comfortable & time-effective option, 3 times per week

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb along the river Sava.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Option 2, via Marseille & Venice

2nd class seats on the train from Venice to Ljubljana   The train from Trieste to Ljubljana

Inside the ETR563.  Larger photo.

 

The train to Ljubljana about to leave Trieste.  Courtesy of Marc Williams.

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Barcelona to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland

Option 1, Barcelona to Poland using the Paris-Berlin sleeper - 3 times a week, starts 10 December 2023

The Nightjet sleeper from Berlin to Zurich

A Nightjet sleeper train at Berlin HbfMore about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Nightjet couchette car.

Option 2, Barcelona to Warsaw with overnight stop in Paris - runs Sunday to Thursday only

Option 2, Barcelona to Warsaw & Krakow with overnight stops in Paris & Berlin - runs daily

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Barcelona to Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Barcelona to Kyiv, Lviv & Ukraine

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeping-car at Kyiv Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf. Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

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Barcelona to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia

There is currently no service to Russia from anywhere.

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Barcelona to Athens & Greece
Superfast ferry from Bari to Patras in Greece

The ferry Superfast II from Bari to Patras, boarding at Bari.  Photos courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Boarding the ferry from Italy to Greece   Lounge and reception desk on the ferry to Greece

The passenger gangway, onto the ferry.

 

Reception desk & lounge on the ferry.

Lounge & bar on the ferry from Italy to Greece   Self-service restaurant on the ferry from Italy to Greece

Lounge and bar on the Superfast II.

 

Self-service restaurant.

En suite toilet & shower on ferry to Greece   Cabin on ferry from Italy to Greece

Private cabin with en suite toilet & shower.

Scenic views from the ferry from Italy to Greece

The ferry passes Cephalonia & Ithaca then approaches mainland Greece.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

The ferry from Bari arrives at Patras

The ferry approaches the new port of Patras.

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Barcelona to Istanbul & Turkey

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Railbookers custom-made tours

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can custom-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

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Hotels in Barcelona

Suggested hotels near Barcelona Sants station

Suggested Barcelona hotels near the old quarter

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

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com 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!

Backpacker hostels

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

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

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a mobile data package for the country you're visiting and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM card so you don't need to buy a physical SIM, including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility listMaya.net 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 at time of writing.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

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 digging 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 you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  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 expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I get a small commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes are often held digitally on your mobile phone, so it's vital to keep it charged.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over if I can't get to a power outlet.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or from Buy from Amazon.com.

 


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