Intercite de nuit couchette

Sleep in a comfortable couchette from Paris to the Spanish border, with pillow, sleeping bag, bottled water & amenities kit...

Paris to Barcelona by sleeper...

The direct trainhotel from Paris to Barcelona was sadly withdrawn in 2013.  But you can still travel between Paris & Barcelona overnight, using a French overnight train from Paris to either Latour de Carol for a local train through the scenic Pyrenees to Barcelona, or to Portbou on the Spanish border for a local train to Barcelona.  This page tells you how, in either direction...

Option 1, Paris-Barcelona by sleeper via Latour de Carol

small bullet point  Train times, Paris to Barcelona

small bullet point  Train times, Barcelona to Paris

small bullet point  How much does it cost?

small bullet point  How to buy tickets

small bullet point  What's the journey like?

small bullet point  Travel tips

small bullet point  Route map

Option 2, Paris-Barcelona by sleeper via Portbou

small bullet point  Train times, Paris to Barcelona

small bullet point  Train times, Barcelona to Paris

small bullet point  How much does it cost?

small bullet point  How to buy tickets

small bullet point  What's the journey like?

small bullet point  Travel tips

small bullet point  Route map

Option 3, Paris-Barcelona by daytime train

small bullet point  See the Paris-Barcelona by TGV page

Option 1, via Latour de Carol...

This is a relaxed & scenic but time-effective option, straight through the Pyrenees via the remote and lonely yet imposing international station at Latour de Carol.  Although seeing only a trickle of passengers, Latour de Carol's grand station is almost unique in being served by trains of three different track gauges:  Spanish broad gauge from Barcelona, French standard gauge to Toulouse & Paris, and French narrow gauge as it's the terminus for the celebrated Petit Train Jaune.

Paris ► Barcelona

Barcelona ► Paris

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

What's the journey like?

Intercite de nuit overnight train in Paris

The intercité de nuit sleeper train boarding at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz.  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

InterCite de Nuit 1st class couchette, 4-berth   InterCite de Nuit 2nd class couchette, 6-berth   French couchette car corridor

1st class 4-berth couchettes, refurbished.  Courtesy of @Bristol_Phil.  2nd class photos courtesy Dan Chester.

 

2nd class 6-berth couchettes

 

Chilling in the corridor.  Courtesy Dan Chester.

InterCite de Nuit 2nd class upper berth couchettes   InterCite de Nuit couchette

Upper berths, showing compartment lighting & temperature controls.  You can see the normal lock & security deadlock on the door.  Photos courtesy of Dan Chester.

 

Each couchette comes with a pillow, lightweight sleeping bag, bottled water, amenity kit with ear plugs & eye mask, reading light & power outlet.

The castle at Foix

Foix, the castle is on the right just south of the station.

Mountains in the Pyrenees

Into the Pyrenees...  The sleeper train heads into the mountains beyond Foix.

 

More mountain scenery in the Pyrenees...

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.

Sleeper train from Paris & local train to Barcelona, at Latour de Carol

At Latour de Carol, the French standard-gauge overnight couchette train has arrived from Paris on the right.  On the left, the Spanish broad-gauge local train is about to leave for Barcelona.  The third gauge at Latour is the narrow-gauge Petit Train Jaune to Perpignan, its platform is behind the couchette cars shown here.

 

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

The snow gives way to autumnal browns & golds as the train to Barcelona wends its way south...

Travel tips...

Route map...

Paris to Barcelona sleeper train route map

 

Click for larger map

Highlighted = Paris-Barcelona via Latour de Carol or Portbou.

Green = scenic sections of line

European Rail Timetable and mapThe map shows both the Latour de Carol route and the coastal route via Portbou.

Reproduced from the excellent European Rail Map with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people.

I recommend buying a copy of the European Rail Map for your travels, www.europeanrailtimetable.eu with shipping worldwide.

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Option 2, via Portbou...

This is similar to option 1, but uses the Paris-Perpignan-Portbou Intercité de Nuit rather than the Paris-Latour one.  It runs daily in summer, but usually only Fridays & Sundays in winter, leaving Paris coupled to the train to Latour de Carol.  You've a choice of connection, either a high-speed train on the modern line from Perpignan to Barcelona, or a local train along the coast on the classic line from Portbou (just over the border in Spain) to Barcelona, both of these connections will also get you to Figueres (for the wonderful Salvador Dali museum) & Girona.  It's a lovely scenic run along the coast between Perpignan & Cerebère/Portbou, through Port Vendres & Collioure.

Paris ► Barcelona

Barcelona ► Paris

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Travel tips...

Route map...

Paris to Barcelona sleeper train route map

 

Click for larger map

Highlighted = Paris-Barcelona via Latour de Carol or Portbou.

Green = scenic sections of line.

European Rail Timetable and mapThe map shows both the Latour de Carol route and the coastal route via Portbou.

Reproduced from the excellent European Rail Map with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people.

I recommend buying a copy of the European Rail Map for your travels, www.europeanrailtimetable.eu with shipping worldwide.

What's the journey like?

Intercite de nuit overnight train in Paris

The intercité de nuit sleeper train boarding at Paris Gare d'Austerlitz.  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

InterCite de Nuit 1st class couchette, 4-berth   InterCite de Nuit 2nd class couchette, 6-berth   French couchette car corridor

1st class 4-berth couchettes, as recently refurbished.  Courtesy of @Bristol_Phil.  Photo in 2nd class courtesy Dan Chester.

 

2nd class 6-berth couchettes

 

Couchette car corridor.  Courtesy Dan Chester.

InterCite de Nuit 2nd class upper berth couchettes   InterCite de Nuit couchette

Upper berths, 2nd class, showing compartment lighting & temperature controls above door.  Courtesy of Dan Chester.

 

Each couchette is provided with pillow, lightweight sleeping bag, bottled water & kit with ear plugs and eye mask.

View from the sleeper train along the coast

Wake up to coastal views like this...  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

The sleeper train from Paris at Portbou

The night train from Paris, arrived at Portbou.  You've reached Spain!  Courtesy of @AscotPhill

Seafront at Portbou

Breakfast on the Med?  In Portbou it's a 400m 5-minute walk to a seafront cafe.  Courtesy of @AscotPhill

Local train from Portbou to Barcelona

Portbou station, showing the air-conditioned local train to Barcelona.  Northbound, the change from local train to sleeper train happens on the French side of the border, at Cerebère.  Courtesy of @AscotPhill

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

The local train from Portbou to Barcelona.  Courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.


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