Your options for transport from Barcelona to Paris improved since the launch of the high-speed AVE train. Check out your various options and find out which is the best.
Barcelona to Paris by Train or Plane?
When it comes to choosing between flying and taking the train, you have the raw facts of the actual time in the air or on the rails, and there's all the ancillary waiting around and transportation.
First, the raw facts:
Flight times from Barcelona to Paris are under one-and-a-quarter-hours. Prices are usually quite low if booked far enough in advance.
Be careful to only book flights to Paris Charles de Gaul or Paris Orly, which are both close to the city, rather than Paris Beauvais or Paris Vatry, which are much further away and require hours of transport by bus to get to the city center.
There is a high-speed non-stop train from Barcelona to Paris. The journey takes six hours and twenty minutes.
These trains depart from Barcelona Sants (the old routes used to leave from the other station, Franca) and arrive at Gare de Lyon in Paris.
Which is Quicker? Train or Plane?
Clearly, in pure travel time, the flight is quicker. But what about when it comes to transport to and from the airport or train station, as well as all that check in time?
Getting to and from Las Ramblas to the airport/train station takes around ten minutes by taxi to the train station, twenty minutes to the airport. In Paris you aren't going to want to take the taxi - it's far too expensive. By train, you'll need to add an hour.
Then you need to add all the hassle of the airport. You'll need to arrive an hour-and-a-half before your flight to check in and 45 minutes to pick up your bags and get out of the airport.
Because of all this, I would estimate you need to add extra three-and-a-half hours to your flight time to make travel times comparable.
This makes your flight travel time around five hours and the train six-and-a-half hours. So the train is a little slower, but a lot more convenient - once you're on the train, it's plain sailing (so to speak) all the way to Paris, your baggage with you at all times and no need to listen out for announcements and stand in countless security lines.
Visiting the Dali Museum on Your Way by Train
On the train, you also have the option of stopping at Figueres to visit the Salvador Dali Museum. Obviously, this isn't the most practical option if you have bags, but the museum does have a left luggage area, so you could leave your bags there while you explore one of Spain's best museums.
Barcelona to Paris by Bus
There is one bus a day from Barcelona to Paris. The journey takes 15 hours and costs about 75 euros. You would really need to be counting your pennies to take this option.
Buses from Barcelona to Paris depart from both Sants and Nord bus stations. Read more about Bus and Train Stations in Barcelona
You can book most bus tickets in Spain online for a small surcharge (two euros). Just pay with a credit card and print out the e-ticket - much easier than standing in line at the bus station.
Book Bus Tickets in Spain
The same ticket can be booked with Eurolines, but Movelia is easier to use.
Barcelona to Paris by Car
The 1,000km drive from Barcelona to Paris takes about 9h30m, traveling mainly on the AP-7, A9, A75, A71 and A10 roads. Note - AP roads are toll roads.