Trains are definitely economical and least stressful mode of travel in and out of Barcelona. It is also the transportation choice to and from the Barcelona International airport where the trains run in every 20-30 minutes. RENFE (Phone: +34 902 240 202), Spain’s main rail train system, connects the major cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Bilbao.
Train fares are reasonably priced and train trips are more than frequent. Another train system – the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) (Phone: +34 932 051 515) – takes care of a local train service operating mainly to the satellite towns of Barcelona including Sabadell and Terrassa. The two main train stations in Barcelona are Estacio Barcelona-Sants and Estacio FranCa, the former being the main terminal for domestic and international travel. Train schedules are posted at the Plaça de Catalunya and França stations.
For those coming from the UK, Rail Europe Travel Centre (Address: 1 Regent St, London SW1 / Phone: 0844 848 4064) will be a good service provider to take you to Barcelona. Visit their website or drop them a call for information on train schedule and other details.
France to Barcelona route
Barcelona-bound Parisians can take the Elipsos Trenhotel, a 12 hour overnight train run by RENFE and France’s SCNF.The train arrives at around 08:30 every morning at Barcelona-França station. There are also stops in Orleans, Limoge and Perpignan, in France and Figueres and Girona. Train tickets can be bought through Rail Europe or the RENFE website.
For people coming from the southern part of France, best option to take is the Talgo train that leaves Montpellier, Perpignan and Narbonne. The Talgo runs through Valencia, Alicante and Cartagena. Travel time to Barcelona is 3 hours from Perpignan, and 4 or 5 hours from Montpellier. Pets are allowed to be traveled as long as they are caged, weigh less than 6 kg and do not disturb other passengers.
Train service from Portugal, Italy or Switzerland to Barcelona
Elipsos also runs thrice a week from Milan to Barcelona on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through the Paris-Barcelona and the Zurich-Barcelona services. Portugal has a rail system called CP Passageiros that transports travelers to Barcelona coming from the neighboring Iberian country.
A faster way to travel to Barcelona
The Alta Velocidad Española (Spanish High Speed) or the AVE runs up to 185mph/300km/h on a dedicated standard gauge track. The train service connects Barcelona and Madrid through Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lleida and Tarragona.
Expected arrival is within 15 minutes, otherwise, passengers can demand for full refund if the train exceeds the scheduled time. The AVE makes traveling convenient by connecting city centers, disregarding the need to travel to and from an out of town airport, and arriving at a main station with easy metro connections.