Barcelona is Spain’s second city and capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia. It is the easiest major Spanish city to reach by train from London (or, indeed, from Paris and many other cities in western Europe). A high-speed line launched in 2013 dives under the Pyrenees, linking the Roussillon region of France with Catalonia. So Barcelona now has direct fast trains from more than a dozen cities across France.
You can speed from Paris to Barcelona in just 6 hrs 30 mins and the journey from London to Barcelona is easily managed in a day. The best option is to take a morning Eurostar to Paris, connecting in the French capital with a high-speed TGV direct to Barcelona. On those days when the direct London to Lyon Eurostar runs there is also a useful alternative route from London to Barcelona, changing just once at Lyon Part Dieu.
Onward connections from Barcelona to the rest of Spain are excellent. The fastest high-speed trains dash to Madrid in just 2 hrs 30 mins. There are direct services to Málaga, Seville and Córdoba with the fastest trains taking between five and six hours to reach these cities in Andalucía. But don’t leave Barcelona too quickly. This vibrant city is full of culture, arts, architecture and sport. It is a perfect choice for a weekend break or longer stay.
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Image credits: Sagrada Familia by Andrew E. Larsen