Fastest journey9hr 38m
Taking the train from Paris to Madrid is very simple, with a single change of trains in Barcelona. You’ll find at least two options each day for your journey from Paris to Madrid via Barcelona. During the summer season, when the Paris to Barcelona trains run more frequently, you’ll have even more choice. It’s a journey of almost 1800 km, but it can be done in 10 hrs.
Take a high-speed TGV Duplex train from Paris south to Barcelona. Book a seat on the left side of the upper deck of the train for the best views. In Barcelona you'll take an onward AVE train to Madrid.
Bookings for this itinerary from Paris to Madrid via Barcelona usually open 90 days prior to travel. The cheapest tickets are available when tickets first go on sale.
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. There is some very fine scenery along the way too. Early on in the journey, you sweep through Burgundy vineyards, and later on there are engaging views of the coastal landscapes of Languedoc. After the stop at Perpignan, the train speeds south towards the Pyrenees, before diving under the mountains in the Perthus Tunnel.
If you worry that six and half hours if a long time to spend on one train, fear not! This rates as one of favourite high-speed routes. You can relax and gaze out of the window and, from to time, wander along to the bistro for a coffee or a snack. The direct services from Paris to Barcelona are all operated by French TGV trains. But it's a joint venture with Spanish rail operator Renfe, so you find a dash of Spanish style combining with French flair on this international route.
Barcelona to Madrid
Take a high-speed AVE train directly from Barcelona Sants station to Madrid Atocha. At peak times Barcelona to Madrid trains depart every 30 minutes, with the fastest services taking just 2 hrs 30 mins to reach the Spanish capital. Trains that stop up to four times along the way may take 30 to 40 minutes longer. This journey along Spain's premier high-speed rail route reveals a variety of passing landscapes as you speed from Catalonia through Aragon to the Spanish heartland.
Other journeys to Madrid View all journeys to Madrid
- From Barcelona from £30.00
- From Lisbon from £22.50
- From London from £109.50
- From Bilbao from £14.00
- From Montpellier from £173.00
- From Perpignan from £70.50