How to Get from Barcelona to Alicante

Traveling Down Spain's East Coast by Train, Bus and Car

City of Alicante on the Costa Brava
••• City of Alicante on the Costa Brava. Steve Allen/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Enjoying a beach vacation on the Costa Blanca and wondering how to combine it with a visit to Barcelona? Though both cities are on the east coast of Spain, the journey is longer than you'd expect...

What's the Best Way to Get from Alicante to Barcelona?

Both the buses and the trains are surprisingly slow along this route. Flying would be quicker but when you add on check-in time and getting to and from the airport, you may find the difference is negligible, so let price be your deciding factor.

Alternatively, break up your journey with one of my suggested itineraries.

Alicante to Madrid or Barcelona?

If you're looking to go from Alicante to a bigger city and assumed Barcelona would be the closest, there is now a high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Alicante which will get you to the capital in half the time it would take to get to Barcelona.

Suggested Itineraries

With a minimum of five hours in transit, you might want to break up your journey a little. Here are two suggestions.

Along the coast The most obvious way to go, taking in Valencia, Spain's third biggest city, on the way, as well as the Roman ruins of Tarragona.

Via Madrid

In terms of travel time, it would take you the same amount of time to get to Madrid and then to Barcelona by high-speed then to go straight to Barcelona by slow train.

It would be quite a bit more expensive, though.

Barcelona to Alicante by Train and Bus

The train from Alicante to Barcelona takes about five hours and costs about 30 euros, departing from Barcelona Sants station. Departures are roughly every hour from 7 a.m. until around 6 p.m.   You can book train tickets in Spain with Rail Europe today.

The bus costs about 40 euros and takes about 7h30.

Barcelona to Alicante by Car

The 550km drive from Barcelona to Alicante takes about five hours, traveling mainly on the AP-7 road. Note - AP roads are toll roads which can push up the price considerably. Expect to pay around 30€ for this route in tolls. When you add on petrol and car hire, you might decide public transport will be more economical, unless you are traveling by a full car. Compare car rental rates in Spain.