Does anyone know the best rail system to take from Perpignan France into Barcelona? I cannot find a direct Train out of France. If this is not possible maybe another way to travel into Barcelona.
When are you looking? If it's after December 11, in theory the schedules were loaded today but in practice, the Spanish tend to be late with this.
This route is headed for some level of limbo in December. Cross-border services have been operated by a RENFE/SNCF partnership that is dissolving, reportedly because of protectionism on the French side.
I don't understand this train problem when according to Salvador Dali the Perpignan station is the center of the world and the cosmic center of the universe.
We are planning to travel October 30th from Perpignan to Barcelona. I would love to know which train company goes between the two countries. I did find a train, but there are multiple train transfers on the route. I would like to find a more direct route. Are the buses reliable and a good option?
Something appears to be going on with the highspeed tracks the 30th and 31st or all the trains are completely sold out, or.... I checked all along the route, from Paris to Barcelona, Montpellier to Barcelona, nada.
I looked on SNCF Connect, Renfe, and Trainline. Trainline will sell you a ticket on a local train. I've taken it before, a commuter train. It will be crowded and no reserved seats, but you'll get there. Everyone will be taking the local trains those two days.
Yes, there's a bus. Trainline will sell you a ticket. Also, check rome2rio.com https://www.rome2rio.com for companies.
Can you go on Saturday night instead if you can get a hotel reservation? Barcelona hotels can fill on Saturdays.
The agreement between SNCF and Renfe to manage the train lines between France and Spain will end in December 2022.
According to the press there are many disagreements between SNCF on the French side and Renfe on the Spanish side.
Some say that the Elipsos company, which was created to manage these France-Spain lines, prevented booking portions of the route that were too short even if there are free seats, in order to favor long journeys like a Paris Barcelona. The reason would be that Elipsos wants to compete with the airlines.
There are also problems on the TER line (which goes to Cerbère on the French side) some trains that could continue to Spain now stop at the border because Spain requires French drivers to speak Spanish to travel the 1/2 miles that takes travelers to the first Spanish station.
Plan B could be the bus. See with Flixbus
The Perpignan-Barcelona journey takes 2h30 and costs around 25€
Each company will run its own trains and Trenitalia will begin that route, too. But that's not the problem for October 30th. Perhaps there's an announced labor dispute, but even then trains aren't cancelled until the day before.
I checked all the way from Paris to Barcelona to see if that route was running at all. It's not bookable on any website on any part of the route but only the 30th and 31st.
We have always had to change trains at Port Bou due to track differences. Is this language issue in addition?
And wouldn't most everyone speak Catalan anyway?
It would seem (at least that's what I read) that some trains now stop at Cerbère, forcing travelers who are on their own to walk to Port Bou to catch a Spanish train.
Among the 13,500 SNCF train drivers, there must be a maximum of 3% who speak Spanish and 3 or 4 drivers who speak Catalan! :))
(a completely personal estimate that only engages me)
My wife and I are booked on the 11:12 am departure from Perpignon to Barcelona Sants (arriving 12:34pm) on Nov 4. We booked on the SNCF website through the app ... no problem, the tickets are on our phones.
We've always had to change trains on foot at Port Bou, but I haven't taken the local in 20 years.
There may be a few more Catalan speakers than you realize. ;-). As you know, it is Catalonia on both sides of the border.
There may be a few more Catalan speakers than you realize. ;-). As you
know, it is Catalonia on both sides of the border.
Yes I know, I'm not very far from the border where we also speak Occitan.
And as I unfortunately have no train driver among my friends, my estimate was, as I said, completely personal :))
LOL. So what do you think is going on with that train on the 30th and 31st, JoLui? I have to go to the station for something else tomorrow, so I'll ask.
Yes, OP the bus is your best bet, if still available, or go on the 29th.
Going to the SNCF Connect website there are no direct trains, and all other indirect trains (not bookable) take 4 hours to make the journey.
In addition there is this message:
Due to work at a level crossing, the TGV INOUI to/from Perpignan will exceptionally depart from or arrive in Montpellier from Saturday 29 October at 11.40 p.m. to Monday 31 October at 11.40 p.m.
The bus makes the same trip in 2h25 and there are 9 a day...
The bus seems like a good plan B to me that could easily become a pretty good plan A
Personally when I go to Barcelona it's by car, but sorry for the OP, the 30th and 31st I'm not free, I'll be in Brittany eating crêpes and seafood......
Bets & JoLui,
THANK YOU!! I knew there had to be something going on with the train system when I couldn't find a train. We are flexible with this part of our trip. I will see what trains are available for Oct. 29th and if I can get another night at our hotel in Barcelona. Worse case we take the BUS into Barcelona Thank you both for clearing things up.
Bets and JoLui, can either of you recommend a drive service to take us from Perpignan to Barcelona? I have checked out Mydaytrip.com and GetTransfer.com companies. Do you have any suggestions for a good and safe company to use. We like the option of stopping and sight seeing along the way. Again thank you for the candid advice.
No, I can't. Sorry. I always take the train.
Perpignan is a stop on the TGV. In June of 2011 I took the TGV from Paris to Perpignan. That took 5 hours. About a week later it was the return trip on the TGV to Paris, another 5 hours, this time sitting in 1st class.