How to Travel From Barcelona to Paris by Train, Bus, Plane, and Car

An illustrated map showing the different ways and travel times to get between Paris and Barcelona

 TripSavvy / Tim Liedtke 

From one of Europe's most beloved cities to another, the route from Barcelona to Paris is well-traveled. With Barcelona situated in the northeast corner of Spain, and Paris situated in the north of France, there is still a large distance of 644 miles (1,036 kilometers) between these two major metropolises. It's easy to fly on one of the many airlines that service this route, but it's also possible to take a train or bus. If you fancy using this opportunity to see more of northern Spain and the French countryside, you could also rent a car and make an exciting road trip out of your journey.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 6 hours, 40 minutes from $90 Comfort and convenience
Bus 14 hours from $30 Budget travel
Flight 2 hours from $51 Quickest route
Car 11 hours 644 miles (1,036 kilometers) A road trip through France

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Barcelona to Paris?

Via bus lines like FlixBus and BlaBlaBus, you can find bus tickets for as little as $30 that will take you all the way to Paris from Barcelona in about 14 hours. Buses leave throughout the day, but you'll find the most affordable fares on night bus tickets. These overnight buses typically leave from Barcelona Nord Station (near the Arc de Triomf) at around midnight and arrive in Paris Bercy Seine Station the next day in the afternoon. Although it's a long trip, the buses are comfortable and are usually equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi and an onboard restroom.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Barcelona to Paris?

Direct flights only take about two hours, so flying is the fastest way to travel between Barcelona and Paris. And because both of these cities happen to be major business hubs and extremely popular with travelers in Europe, you'll have your pick of the time slots and should have no problem finding a flight time that works best for your schedule. In terms of price, one-way fares can occasionally be found for as low as $51 if you book in advance. However, it's more common to find tickets in the range of $70 to $130.

When booking, pay attention to which airport you'll arrive in. Paris has more than one airport with Paris-Charles de Gaulle(CDG) and Orly Airport (ORY) being the closest to the city. Although technically the Paris Beauvais Airport (BVA) and Paris-Vatry Airport (XCR) are associated with the city, they are over 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

It takes at least 11 hours to drive from Barcelona to Paris, so while it's not impossible to make the trip in a single day, it's probably for the best if you stop for a few scenic stops along the way. The route from Barcelona to the French border is straightforward: travel north along the E-15 which will turn into the A9 after you cross into France. However, as you approach the city of Béziers, you can choose between three different routes to get to Paris:

  • Continuing east along the A9 will take you past the historic city of Montpellier and you can spend the night in Lyon before continuing north on the A6 towards Paris.
  • Traveling west along the A61, and eventually connecting to the A71 via the A20 to arrive in Paris, will allow you to stop and visit the fortified city of Carcassonne and maybe spend a night in Toulouse.
  • If your main concern is getting there as quickly as possible, you can follow the A75 to the A71 which will bring you all the way into the city. However, there are fewer touristic sights along this route.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

On the Renfe-SNCF high-speed train, it will take about six hours and 40 minutes to travel from Barcelona to Paris. Trains leave from Barcelona Sants Station and arrive at the Gare de Lyon in Paris. Reservations are mandatory, so you will need to book your tickets in advance either online or at the train station. On weekdays there are typically two departures per day: once in the morning and once in the afternoon. However, while Fridays only have one departure in the afternoon, there are multiple departures on Saturdays that leave Barcelona between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. However, these trains may not be direct and could take up to eight hours.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Paris?

The best time of year to visit Paris is either in the spring or fall, as the summer tends to be extremely crowded. Additionally, you're more likely to hit traffic in August than any other month, since that's when the French are most likely to make use of their vacation days and travel throughout the country. If you choose to travel by train, you're better off making the journey sometime between Monday and Thursday when you'll have the option of choosing between two time slots for the nonstop high-speed train.

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Paris?

Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and citizens of some Asian, Central American, and South American countries do not need a visa to enter Europe and travel across borders of countries within the Schengen Zone. This includes France and Spain. When crossing the border either by train, car, or flight, you won't be subject to immigration or customs checks and will be allowed to travel back forth freely with your passport.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

A commuter train (RER) connects both Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports to the center of Paris. Depending on how far you need to travel, the ride could take anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes and it costs about $12. Although you might think it would be cheaper to take the Roissy bus directly to the Eiffel Tower, one-way bus tickets cost $15.

What Is There to Do in Paris?

Even if you've been to Paris a thousand times, you can never run out of things to do. With an endless flow of new attractions to see, restaurants to try, and boutiques to shop, there's always a good reason to go to Paris. You can scope out some of the best views of the city from the top of the Montparnasse skyscraper or catch a show at the Paris Philharmonic. Of course, you haven't really visited Paris until you've paid your respects to the Mona Lisa at the Louvre or waited on the steps of Trocadero for the Eiffel Tower's nightly light show. If you need a break from the city, take a day trip to Versailles or Disneyland Paris, which are both well-connected by train routes and easy to reach from Paris.

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