Madrid to Barcelona to south of France

How do you travel from madrid to Barcelona? Is flying better or train? Once in Barcelona I plan to go to south of France. How do I get there?

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6890 posts

I'm not sure about the Madrid to Barcelona part but we have traveled to Provence from Barcelona. Very easy from the Barcelona Sants train station. One train change at Figueres-Villifant to a French train and possibly another depending on where you want to go. It would help if you identified where you want to go and the date you wish to travel.

Posted by Lo
1682 posts

See another related question near yours. IMHO, the AVE 3-hour train from Madrid to Barcelona is the way to go. It runs almost hourly. Here's a little info on it from the Renfe website in English. The easiest way to search for times and routes, for both of your trips, is to use the DB Bahn website. Then you will have to use the Spanish or French train websites to actually buy the tickets. I already provided a way into Renfe. Here's the one for SCNF. When you search on SCNF (and probably Renfe, too) be sure to put Great Britain or almost any other country besides the US as the place for your "Ticket collection country." Why? If you put the US you will be bumped into RailEurope which does not show as many options and lists higher fares.

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
325 posts

For sure use the train. Easy three hours from Madrid to Barcelona and a easy train ride into France.

Posted by H J
LaGrange, Ga, USA
1172 posts

It will be the Atocha Train Station in can purchase tickets on line for a substantial savings. They are printed at your computer and will have the car number and seat on them. Check out this trip advisor web site for assistance Madrid Traveler Article: Madrid: Buying Renfe Tickets Online Be sure to "register" at the beginning of the renfe site to make it easier.

Posted by Nicole
78 posts

I just took the AVE from Barcelona to Madrid a few weeks ago. Quick and painless.

Posted by Betty
Folsom, Ca
10 posts

Thanks all! Where is the AVE train station? When i am in Renfe what station do i use? I put in Madrid () and Barcelona (). Is this the right staions? For south of france I am thinking of going to Nice. So, how do i get there? Thanks,

Posted by Lo
1682 posts

Did you use the DB Bahn site? It will show you the stopping points along the way. Going from Barcelona Sants to Nice Ville looks like a lovely trip, with lots of great scenery. The shortest train route (8.5 hours) leaves at 09:05 and has 3 changes. There seems to be plenty of transfer time between the trains. When you do your searching, be sure to click on the arrow, then on Show Intermediate Stops, then on Show Map to get a full picture of the trip. You can also click on Starting Station and Destination Station to the left of the map to show exactly where they are. If you have time, you might decide you want to stop somewhere along the way. When you decide when and what route to take, follow the guidance already given for getting your tickets. I have gone on that exact same route the other direction with a stop in Carcassonne for a couple of nights. If you don't want to take that much time, you can always fly from Barcelona to Nice, but that's a whole other option. One more thing, Spanish train security is similar to that for airlines. Expect for it to take some time.