Fastest journey3hr 15m
The once-daily AVE train from Toulouse to Barcelona (which does not run-year-round) is one of a number of new high-speed services crossing from France into Spain and takes just over 3 hrs. There are additional connections between the two cities with just one easy change of train along the way, usually at Narbonne. The direct service runs daily for most of the year; it takes a short seasonal break from early or mid January until around Easter. During that period, travellers from Toulouse to Barcelona need to make a change of train along the way.
The train journey from Toulouse to Barcelona tracks east past Carcassonne, with views of the town's dramatic fortress. At Narbonne, the train turns south, heading more decisively towards Spain and with fine views of the distant Pyrenees. Emerging from the new Perthus Tunnel that is the gateway to Spain, the route cuts through rural Catalonia.
Tickets go on sale about 90 days in advance of travel and the cheapest tickets are available then. Note that the Spanish rail operator often releases tickets in batches, sometimes as early as 120 days in advance. If you're having trouble finding trains, contact us and we'll send you an email when booking opens.
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.
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Image credits: Sagrada Familia by Andrew E. Larsen