Spain and France are particularly well-connected by road, plane, but also by train. In fact, when you look for Spain train tickets, you can now see many connections with cities in France. This is because both countries have joined forces to leverage their know-how in terms of high speed trains by establishing a partnership called Elipsos Internacional, a subsidiary of Renfe and SNCF (train operators in Spain and France respectively) where each of them holds a 50 % share of capital. Therefore, Spain and France feel closer since 2013 thanks to their high-speed railways as you can now book tickets on the Spanish operator website directly to cities in France, as you can also buy Spain train tickets from French cities directly onto Spain.
One of the most popular routes that has resulted from this great partnership is the service between the cities of Barcelona and Paris. With an approximate journey time of 6 hours and 45 minutes, you could have breakfast in front of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and then have lunch around the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This is known as “Renfe-SCNF in Cooperation” and allows for these two countries to feel closer together.
Thanks to the excellent and extensive network of high-speed trains currently available in Spain, you could even depart from a city down south, such as Seville or Malaga, get to Barcelona around 5 or 6 hours later and then head off to Paris straight away, all in one single day. Obviously flying would be quicker, however there is some sort of charm in taking trains in the old continent, plus you avoid the extra security queues at the airports, and you get to enjoy the varied landscapes of Spain and France.
Trains departing from Barcelona or Paris several times a day between both cities, usually one in the early morning, one at around lunchtime and one in the early evening. They usually stop at Valence, Nimes, Montpellier, Narbonne, Figueres and Girona. Prices start from 140 euros one way, although there might be certain offers at certain times, which are great news as trains get more accessible for everybody.
This is a great option for someone visiting Europe and wanting to explore as many countries as possible in an easy way, making the act of travelling part of the experience, as you can see different regions, different landscapes, beautiful quaint villages and stunning cities along the way, from the comfort of your seat. High-speed trains have helped connect cities in times never seen before for a train, they have changed the way we travel forever, so it is great news that both national operators in Spain and France have joined forces to offer a seamless experience when booking train tickets to cities in both countries, adapting their infrastructure so that trains can simply continue their journey and making these trips bookable on both of their websites, achieving a more unite Europe, leading the way to other countries to do the same in the future with their neighbors.