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Train to France from Barcelona

Just wondering if anyone has experience in taking a train from Barcelona to France for the day? I am JUST beginning my research for a potential 2021 trip. A coworker said that Barcelona is his favorite city in the world and recommended taking a day to travel to France. This idea intrigued me! I wanted to ask the experts on here if they recommend this day-trip, and if so, what cities/trains?

Thank you in advance!
Leah

Posted by
605 posts

I took a train from Barcelona to Perpignan one day. From there you can rent a car and go north to Carcassonne or south to Collioure on the Mediterranean, both very nice places, depending on what you like (medieval city vs. seaside village). Its very easy to get a train from Barcelona Sants. Most trains stop at Girona which is worth a stop in itself too.

Posted by
360 posts

We did it the opposite way -- we were coming from a stay in Provence, dropped our rental in Perpignan -- and then caught the train down into Barcelona. While the train trip isn't too long, I don't think you'd see too much that's worth the day trip without a car and that would be a fairly long day.

Posted by
6821 posts

I don't understand why the idea intrigues you if your co-worker did not say specifically where you should go on daytrip.. We have taken that route before in both directions most recently 3 weeks ago but not as a daytrip. You should research the regions of Occitanie or Catalonia, France the areas immediately across the border on that train route to see where you are interested in going.
Then based on where you tell us that you want to go on a day trip we can tell you if it is ideal or too far on the train for a daytrip from Barcelona

Posted by
2565 posts

... doable, but it's a heck of a trip for a day escapade. On the one hand, a fast train to Perpignan -which is the first stop in France for the bullet train- is 90' but there are only four trains per day, on the other the cost, it'll be near 100€ for a return trip.

... questionable too. Perpignan is indeed a nice city, despite now being "in France" that region is located in former historical area of "Northern Catalonia" -google for it!- hence sharing lots of traditions and other stuff -for example, flag and local language: Catalan!- with the current nation of Catalonia, where Barcelona is the capital city. Still, I would question whether it's worth to spend a precious day out of your probably already short vacation to go there when you have sooooo many other stuff to see and do much closer to Barcelona, in Catalonia, and also "in" Barcelona itself. Also, if you're interested in traditions (festivals, etc), as said, both areas shared a common culture for centuries thus these are pretty similar in many ways. Just sayin'

Posted by
511 posts

"A coworker said that Barcelona is his favorite city in the world and recommended taking a day to travel to France."

There is so much to see and do in Barcelona I'm not sure I'd schedule a lengthy and exhausting day trip to France. If you can add another week to the trip and fly home from Marseilles or Lyon or Paris, that might give you more than a taste of France.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks everyone. I think I will just skip a trip to France. To clarify, I had originally tossed the idea off my coworker of splitting 7 full days between Barcelona and Madrid. he recommended skipping Madrid, staying in Barcelona the whole week, and doing a couple day trips (e.g., France).

Posted by
18700 posts

I'd use a day to go to Girona; it's worth at least a full day. If you are interested in the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres, I'd recommend spending a couple of nights in Girona, because it's a convenient base for the trip to Figueres.