Does it feel like the time to leave the big city? If so, taking the train from Barcelona to Gerona is a great way to explore one of Catalonia's most beautiful destinations. Gerona is only 160 miles away from the Catalan capital, and Renfe's express trains cover the distance in 38 minutes. This means that Gerona is well within reach, whether you wake up and fancy a change, or want to plan a weekend getaway.
The Barcelona to Gerona route is covered by Renfe Avant services, which deal with medium-length journeys and offer rapid connections all day long. On board, travellers can relax, get some work done, or just watch the countryside fly by, and be in the centre of Gerona in no time. It's easily the best way to travel, and much quicker than bus journeys.
From the 11th century cathedral and the Arabic baths to the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants and the Sant Domènec Convent, Gerona offers a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and modern delights, often just minutes away from the station. Follow the walls, join guided tours, and tuck into deep-fried xuixo pastries. If we've got your tastebuds tickled, read on for tickets, departures and FAQs for your trip from Barcelona to Gerona.
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).
AVE is Renfe's flagship high-speed service, with trains capable of reaching up to 193 mph (310 km/h). It’s one of the fastest trains in Europe and connects the main cities of Spain. Most AVE trains offer four comfort classes – Turista (standard class), Turista Plus (wider, more comfortable seats), Preferente (lounge access, wide leather seats, food and drink service) and Club (First Class equivalent, with 1-1 configuration, ultra-wide seats, gourmet food and drink and lounge access). All AVE trains have air conditioning, power sockets, free WiFi and a buffet carriage serving a selection of food and drinks.
Able to reach speeds of at 155 mph (250 km/h), Avant trains operate short and medium distance high-speed services. These trains are intended to cover journeys within the same autonomous community or in two neighbouring communities. For this reason, trains generally don’t offer catering services and travel less than 125 miles (200 km). They have two types of comfort classes – Turista (Second Class) and Preferente (First Class).
Renfe's Media Distancia are regional trains operated by CAF locomotives that run on medium-distance routes not covered by Avant high-speed trains. Most Media Distancia trains have one class. However, there are some that will have Turista (Second Class) and Preferente (First Class). These trains also have spaces for bicycles, and all seats are equipped with power sockets and reading lights.
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 Gerona by booking early.§
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.
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!
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Barcelona and Gerona is 59 minutes, with around 27 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.
The fastest journey time by train from Barcelona to Gerona is 38 minutes.
Train tickets from Barcelona to Gerona can start from as little as €9.40 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.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Barcelona to Gerona without having to change trains. There are 27 direct trains from Barcelona to Gerona. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Barcelona to Gerona leaves at 06:05. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Barcelona to Gerona leaves at 21:55. 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.
Trains travelling from Barcelona to Gerona cover a distance of around 53 miles (85 km) during the journey.
Separated by approximately 100 kilometres, the cities of Barcelona and Girona are surely the most beautiful and vibrant in Catalonia.
Thanks to the train, the trip from Barcelona to Girona lasts only 38 minutes. And, if you take any of the 25 daily AVE, Avant or Media Distancia services from Renfe, you will leave Barcelona Sants station and, before you know it, arrive in the centre of Girona.
Barcelona Sants station
Full of information posters written in 3 languages - Spanish, Catalan and English - Sants station is easy and intuitive to navigate for national and international travellers arriving in Barcelona by train.
It has 14 platforms: 6 for high-speed trains and 8 for conventional trains and the Rodalíes-Renfe regional service.
After passing a simple security check, I waited on the high-speed platform for my train.
I travelled in mid-July and the heat was suffocating in Barcelona. I was surprised that Barcelona Sants station was so hot; I expected air conditioning. Luckily there are numerous bars and cafes in the station where you can grab a cold drink before boarding the train.
The Avant service
I hopped on the train and looked for my seat, located in carriage 7. As always, I chose a seat next to the window and in the direction of travel. The carriages are modern and different from those I've seen so far in Spain. The seats, thinner than those of other Avant trains, offer plenty of legroom and have armrests and footrests, a folding table, plugs for charging electronic devices and window blinds. In addition, they have a small hanger next to the window to hang jackets and luggage storage on the top where you can leave hand luggage.
If you’re travelling with a large suitcase, you can leave them in the spaces reserved for big luggage at the end of the carriage, by the toilets.
The trip was very short and pleasant and although it was late, the car was practically full. We were sitting between two silent cars, where making excessive amounts of noise and making calls is prohibited.
After a short ride on the train, I bought a bottle of water from the cafeteria carriage to combat the Barcelona heat. Over the public address system, they announced the imminent arrival at the Girona station. I quickly returned to my seat and got off the train.
If you need more information about what to visit and do in Girona, head to our Trains to Girona page.
Origin: Barcelona Sants
Departure time: 9:40 p.m.
Arrival time: 10.40 p.m.
Service: Renfe Avant
Train: Avant 31191
Maximum speed: 300 km / h
About Jaime Campoamor
Jaime Campoamor is one of our trusted writers. The information for this review was obtained first hand and is based on his own travel experience.