New TGV service to Barcelona

February 19th, 2014 by Kate Griffin Leave a reply »

It’s long been possible to get from London to Barcelona by train. We’ve already written about the well-established option of getting a Eurostar to Paris, then a sleeper train from Paris to Barcelona.

But now there’s a second, quicker option for that London-Barcelona journey: a high-speed daytime service. As rail blogger The Man in Seat 61 explains, there is now a train service going from Paris Gare de Lyon to Barcelona at speeds of up to 199mph. This means you can do the Paris-Barcelona leg of your journey in about 6 hours 25 minutes. That’s faster than the sleeper, which takes nearly 12 hours, and it will probably be cheaper too. (Sleeper prices tend to reflect the fact that you’re getting a bed for the night as part of the deal.)

Booking London-Barcelona

The actual train options for the London-Barcelona journey are pretty limited: a Eurostar to Paris, then from Paris to Barcelona it’s either the overnight sleeper or the daytime TGV. But there is a fairly confusing set of options when it comes to deciding which company to use for your booking.

A year ago I wrote a blog post describing all the options for booking your London-Barcelona trains. I said that Loco2 was my favourite option – and it still is. Loco2 allows you to book a journey starting with the UK station of your choice. My partner has just booked an Oxford-Barcelona journey, and we could just as easily have booked Cardiff-Dublin or Birmingham-Brussels. The journey will obviously still be in several stages (London-Paris, then Paris-Barcelona, plus your initial journey to London) but you can book it as a whole rather than using two or three separate websites.

I wrote last year that anxious travellers might prefer to book their journey stages separately in order to allow lots of time for changes, but this is no longer necessary – Loco2 allows you to specify the changeover time required. (Click on the button that says “Add via/stopover”.) loco2 screenshot

Prices for the Paris-Barcelona TGV start at €59 one way, but as ever the cheaper tickets sell out quickly and of course you have to add the cost of the Eurostar on to that. Realistically you can expect to spend around £200 per person for a London-Barcelona return.

This service only started running in December 2013, so it’s early days. But I’m looking forward to trying this new option for reaching Spain by train and I’ll report back after my first journey.

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