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Travelling by train from Barcelona to Bilbao

Exchange the artistic capital of Catalonia for the cultural hub of Bilbao in Basque Country on board Renfe's Alvia trains from Barcelona to Bilbao. Choose from various comfort classes and enjoy plenty of on-board luxuries as you enjoy the scenic views on this six-hour journey.

While Barcelona embodies the spirit of Catalonia, Bilbao is a distinctly Basque city, offering up some of Spain's best food and playing home to some lovely architecture and amazing landmarks too, like the Guggenheim Museum. Read on for more details about this train journey, including train timetables and FAQs.

Barcelona to Bilbao by train

It takes an average of 7h 48m to travel from Barcelona to Bilbao by train, over a distance of around 292 miles (469 km). There are normally 4 trains per day travelling from Barcelona to Bilbao and tickets for this journey start from $26.91 when you book in advance.
Journey timeFrom 6h 32m
PriceFrom $26.91
Distance292 miles (469 km)
Frequency4 trains per day
Departure stationBarcelona
Arrival stationBilbao
ChangesDirect trains available
Train and bus operatorsRenfe, ALSA

Barcelona to Bilbao train times

Check out the next trains departing from Barcelona to Bilbao for Tuesday May 25th 2021. For the full train timetable/schedule, or to search for a later time or date, click here.
07:50 14:32 6h 42m, direct
08:00 14:32 6h 32m, 1 change
08:30 17:12 8h 42m, 1 change
11:00 20:16 9h 16m, 1 change

Renfe and Alvia trains from Barcelona to Bilbao

You can travel from Barcelona to Bilbao on Renfe and Alvia trains. When you search for times and tickets, we might also show you some other options with multiple connections or operators if they’re available.

Renfe is the national train operator in Spain. It has the widest network of high-speed trains in Europe, linking major cities with AVE, AV-City, Avant, Alvia, and Euromed trains. Long-distance routes are served by Altaria and Talgo trains, while regional routes are operated by Media Distancia, Regional and Express Regional trains. Renfe also operates on international routes to France and Portugal. Renfe trains offer four different travel classes, depending on the train you’re travelling on – Turista (Standard), Turista Plus (Premium Economy), Preferente (Business Class) and Club (First Class).

Renfe's Alvia services combine high-speed tracks with lower speed sections, reaching speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h) on international lines and 125 mph (200 km/h) on conventional lines. These trains connect the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante with the other main Spanish cities. Alvia offers two types of classes – Turista (Second Class) and Preferente (First Class). The latter has wider seats, carriages with fewer seats, offers complimentary food and drinks, free newspapers, and access to parking and Club meeting rooms.

Cheap train tickets from Barcelona to Bilbao

The price of train tickets from Barcelona to Bilbao starts at $26.91 one-way for a Standard Class ticket if you book in advance. Booking on the day is usually more expensive and costs can vary depending on the time of day, route or class.

Book in advance

Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Barcelona to Bilbao by booking early.§

Be flexible with your travel times

Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.

Choose a slower or connecting train

On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!

Look out for special deals

Take a look at our handy guides to find out when train operators release their special deals and offers to see if you can find cheap European train tickets for your journey.

For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.

§Some train companies may not offer any Advance ticket types or cheaper deals for early bookings. On rare occasions, train companies may choose to release special offers closer to the date on last-minute or late-release tickets. This is dependent on the individual train operating company you travel with.

FAQs for Barcelona to Bilbao

Want to know more about your journey from Barcelona to Bilbao? We've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions by our customers to help you plan your journey.

How long does the train from Barcelona to Bilbao take?

The average journey time by train between Barcelona and Bilbao is 7 hours and 48 minutes, with around 4 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.

What's the fastest journey time between Barcelona and Bilbao by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Barcelona to Bilbao is 6 hours and 32 minutes.

How much does the train from Barcelona to Bilbao cost?

Train tickets from Barcelona to Bilbao can start from as little as $26.91 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.

Is there a direct train from Barcelona to Bilbao?

Yes, it is possible to travel from Barcelona to Bilbao without having to change trains. There is 1 direct train from Barcelona to Bilbao each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.

What time does the first train from Barcelona to Bilbao leave?

The first train from Barcelona to Bilbao leaves at 07:50. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

What time does the last train from Barcelona to Bilbao leave?

The last train from Barcelona to Bilbao leaves at 11:00. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.

What's the distance between Barcelona and Bilbao by train?

Trains travelling from Barcelona to Bilbao cover a distance of around 292 miles (469 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from Bilbao to Barcelona.
The information provided is calculated based on scheduled train services for Barcelona to Bilbao for a typical week day using timetable data for 05/25/2021. On weekends, holidays or other exceptional times, fewer services may be available. The fare range provided has been found by our customers on Trainline on 06/05/2021 for travel on 06/05/2021 and for adult tickets in economy, discount cards and coach journeys excluded.

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