Fastest journey6hr 19m
Travel by day from Paris to Barcelona on a direct TGV high-speed train. Or, if you prefer, there's a comfortable overnight option: you take a night train from Paris to either Toulouse or Perpignan, and continue next morning across the border to Barcelona.
It is an easy overnight journey by train from Paris to Barcelona. The direct Elipsos overnight service between the two cities no longer runs, but there are still convenient overnight trains from Paris to Toulouse and Perpignan in south-west France. You’ll have time for breakfast in one of those cities before the onward journey to Barcelona which you’ll reach late morning. The fare is usually much the same via either route.
Many passengers use the Toulouse night train for the overnight journey south from Paris and that’s the route we feature here. The night train normally leaves Paris just before 11 in the evening.
Bookings for through journeys to Barcelona using the night train south from Paris normally open about four months prior to travel.
Paris to Toulouse (night train)
The night train to Toulouse leaves from Paris Austerlitz station. Like all domestic overnight services within France, this train does not have sleeping cars. But it does offer a choice of reclining seats, six-berth couchettes and four-berth couchettes. For a reasonable night’s sleep we strongly recommend opting for couchette accommodation.
The night train makes a brief stop at Les-Aubrais-Orléans to pick up passengers bound for south-west France. It then travels for some hours before making a couple of stops to set down passengers prior to arriving in Matabiau station in Toulouse in the morning. From Toulouse Matabiau there are excellent onward connections to destinations across south-west France. The Paris to Toulouse night train carries through carriages (both couchettes and reclining seats) to a number of communities in the Pyrenees. These include Foix, Ax-les-Thermes, L'Hospitalet (for Andorra) and Latour de Carol (for onward connections to Spain or with the diminutive Petit Train Jaune along the mountainous Ligne de Cerdagne).
Toulouse to Barcelona
The once-daily direct AVE train from Toulouse to Barcelona dashes south in little over three hours with just four intermediate stops along the way. Alternative connections require you to change trains at Narbonne. All trains depart from Toulouse Matabiau station and arrive at Barcelona Sants, a short distance west of the centre of town. Sit on the right side of the train for the best views of the Pyrenees.
The journey by train from Paris to Barcelona is a tribute to high-speed rail. This route was launched in late 2013 and has transformed travel between the two cities. Comfortable TGV trains speed from Paris to Barcelona in just 6 hrs 19 mins. Train frequency varies by season – peak summer frequencies are the highest with four trains per day. At those times of the year when there are just two direct trains per day, additional connections from Paris to Barcelona are available with just one change of train at Lyon, Montpellier or Perpignan.
Booking opens around four months in advance, and that's when you'll find the cheapest tickets. The lowest fares sell out quickly on this key cross-border route, so book early for the best deals. If you’re having trouble finding tickets, contact us and we’ll email you as soon as booking opens.
Paris to Barcelona
Direct TGV trains to Barcelona leave Paris two to four times per day. The frequency is higher in summer than winter. The TGVs to Barcelona leave from the Gare de Lyon in Paris. In Barcelona they terminate at Sants station. This journey is focused on speed, so there are not a lot of stops along the way - from six to ten depending on which train you take. All trains stop at the historic cities of Montpellier, Perpignan and Girona. The part of the journey south from Perpignan has good views of the Pyrenees.