One of the most visited cities in Europe, Barcelona is a majestic metropolis that benefits from a magnificent Mediterranean climate and gorgeous natural surroundings. In addition to some of the most inspiring architecture on the continent, and plenty of cultural attractions, there's a thriving social scene that ensures visitors will never be short of something to do during a visit in Barcelona. The main railway station is Barcelona Sants, and it is operated by Adif. The station is an important public transport hub in the Catalan region, and it connects the city to other major settlements across Spain and beyond. The train to Barcelona from Madrid is an incredibly convenient service, with direct routes taking as little as 2h30mins.
Thanks to the wide rail network operated by Renfe, Barcelona is well-connected to the main cities in Spain. Keep reading for more information about the most popular national and international routes to Barcelona and the train types serving them.
There are two high-speed trains connecting Spain's major cities to Barcelona:
From 23rd June 2021, the low-cost Avlo will join Renfe's high-speed fleet, connecting Madrid, Barcelona and Figueres. Check out our Avlo page for more information.
There's only one high-speed train connecting other European cities to Madrid, Renfe-SNCF. The most popular routes covered by Renfe-SNCF are Marseille to Barcelona, Paris to Barcelona and Lyon to Barcelona.
There are two types of regional trains connecting the other Spanish cities to Barcelona:
Barcelona is synonymous with Catalan culture, and it is an ideal destination for those looking to sample first-rate cuisine, eclectic artistic attractions, and a diverse social scene too. Each of its different neighbourhoods has its own personality, with the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) standing as a particular highpoint. Separated by a 10-minute walk, Las Ramblas is the next neighbourhood to head to, especially for shopping as it’s known for its market, La Boqueria. There's a host of iconic cuisine options to savour here, including Escalivada (a delicious dish of grilled vegetables served with fresh olive oil), and Canelons (a Catalan take on the Italian favourite). Another key feature in Barcelona is its architecture. The Sagrada Familia, a 40-minute walk from the market through this splendid city, is a celebration of Modernist style, while the sculpted columns of Parc Güell represent another local icon. The Pedralbes monastery is an example of Gothic architecture in Catalonia, and today it houses religious artefacts and artworks from across the centuries in its exhibitions.
However, these attractions are spread around Barcelona and better accessed via public transport or on different days. For those travelling with the family and in need of a day-long excursion, how about the Tibidabo? This amusement park is set on one of the highest points in the city, with gorgeous views overlooking Barcelona itself. It’s the perfect final call on any tour of this majestic city, and it’s a great way to burn off any excess energy too! So, why not catch the train to Barcelona this summer?