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skiiergirl

Train to Barcelona ?

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Who has flown in to another airport and then take a train or car service to Barcelona? How did you like it? What was the cost? Are there porters available at the train stations? Taxis waiting when you arrive? Pros /cons based on your experience.  
all info greatly appreciated! 

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I have never actually taken the train to Barcelona, but I have taken the train from Barcelona twice - once to Paris and once to Madrid. Some random thoughts:

 

-I'm a huge fan of train travel in Europe, but the number 1 rule is that you need to be self-sufficient: no checked bags, and I have rarely seen a porter (you will see the occasional luggage cart - can't remember if Barcelona Sants has any). As long as you can handle your luggage yourself, it's quite easy...

 

-Both trips were quite reasonably priced; I even remember we went 1st class to Paris as the price difference was quite minimal (10 or 20 euros IIRC). Check the Renfe website for inter-Spain travel, or OUI.sncf for the TGV to France

 

-I have yet to see a major train station in Europe that does not have a large number of taxis waiting

 

-For info on train travel, look at seat61.com

 

From where are you looking to travel?

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12 hours ago, Twickenham said:

I have never actually taken the train to Barcelona, but I have taken the train from Barcelona twice - once to Paris and once to Madrid. Some random thoughts:

 

-I'm a huge fan of train travel in Europe, but the number 1 rule is that you need to be self-sufficient: no checked bags, and I have rarely seen a porter (you will see the occasional luggage cart - can't remember if Barcelona Sants has any). As long as you can handle your luggage yourself, it's quite easy...

 

-Both trips were quite reasonably priced; I even remember we went 1st class to Paris as the price difference was quite minimal (10 or 20 euros IIRC). Check the Renfe website for inter-Spain travel, or OUI.sncf for the TGV to France

 

-I have yet to see a major train station in Europe that does not have a large number of taxis waiting

 

-For info on train travel, look at seat61.com

 

From where are you looking to travel?

Thanks for the great info!  I am thinking that while we would love the train, it won’t work. We will definitely have too much luggage to handle ourselves. We would need to “check” luggage and need porter! Thanks again! 

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A basic rule for European trains (including Spain) is that you will need to handle all of your own luggage while also maintaining good security over your belongings.  Porters are almost non existent and it can even be difficult finding any luggage carts at many train stations.   Another issue is the cost of European trains which has really increased in the past few years.  In fact, it is now often much less expensive to fly then use trains.  We recently faced just such a situation when trying to plan a land trip after we finish a cruise in Southampton.  My original idea was to use some decent trains (including the Eurostar), but as we looked at the cost of our possible itineraries we quickly realized that flying made a lot more sense and was far less expensive.  And handling luggage at airports is actually a lot easier then many train stations.    While we still like trains for shorter distances they are sometimes lousy options for longer runs.

 

And there is another possibility.  Those who have followed my posts here on CC know that we are big fans of having rental cars in Europe.  Besides giving us the most flexibility to go wherever we please, when we please, a car really makes it easier to deal with luggage (although one needs to be cautious about leaving unattended valuables in a car).

 

Hank

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We have taken a number of cruises from Barcelona.  We have the option of flying or a 6 hour train. 

 

The fast inter-city trains from Barcelona are really well organised and efficient, however it is more expensive than a flight if you book ahead.  We usually opt for it because delays are not likely, we don’t have to worry about the weight of our luggage (but in our early 60s we can manage our own luggage), and we do not have to check in 2 hours early.  

 

I think if you are travelling you should really think about making sure that you can handle your luggage even if that means finding a laundry half way through your journey.  

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18 hours ago, Hlitner said:

A basic rule for European trains (including Spain) is that you will need to handle all of your own luggage while also maintaining good security over your belongings.  Porters are almost non existent and it can even be difficult finding any luggage carts at many train stations.   Another issue is the cost of European trains which has really increased in the past few years.  In fact, it is now often much less expensive to fly then use trains.  We recently faced just such a situation when trying to plan a land trip after we finish a cruise in Southampton.  My original idea was to use some decent trains (including the Eurostar), but as we looked at the cost of our possible itineraries we quickly realized that flying made a lot more sense and was far less expensive.  And handling luggage at airports is actually a lot easier then many train stations.    While we still like trains for shorter distances they are sometimes lousy options for longer runs.

 

And there is another possibility.  Those who have followed my posts here on CC know that we are big fans of having rental cars in Europe.  Besides giving us the most flexibility to go wherever we please, when we please, a car really makes it easier to deal with luggage (although one needs to be cautious about leaving unattended valuables in a car).

 

Hank

Thanks but we are not comfortable driving outside the US. 

17 hours ago, ollienbertsmum said:

We have taken a number of cruises from Barcelona.  We have the option of flying or a 6 hour train. 

 

The fast inter-city trains from Barcelona are really well organised and efficient, however it is more expensive than a flight if you book ahead.  We usually opt for it because delays are not likely, we don’t have to worry about the weight of our luggage (but in our early 60s we can manage our own luggage), and we do not have to check in 2 hours early.  

 

I think if you are travelling you should really think about making sure that you can handle your luggage even if that means finding a laundry half way through your journey.  

Thanks. No way can we handle our own luggage. It is not possible for us to travel with limited luggage. 
 

I appreciate everyone’s info.  It has told me what I needed to know. 
No way can we do the train. 

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3 hours ago, skiiergirl said:

I appreciate everyone’s info.  It has told me what I needed to know. 
No way can we do the train. 

 

What is great about CC is that you can listen to other folk’s opinions and decide.  You have decided that you cannot take trains.  So you don’t end up having an awful trip struggling on a train.  

 

If you go to Switzerland or Japan, I beg you to rethink though.  

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I perfectly understand where the OP is coming from. We also travel with a lot of luggage, (some say too much), but, we use everything we bring.  We refuse to be under-dressed for activities /events.  So, we don't travel on trains or buses or.....  

Isn't it great that we have the freedom to choose.  Such first-world problems, right!

Happy cruising. 

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You don't say which airport you are flying into. If you fly to Madrid and take a connecting flight to Barcelona, make sure you allow extra time between flights. The international terminal is an insane distance away from the domestic terminals involving lots of walking and a shuttle train.

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On 12/22/2019 at 6:15 AM, skiiergirl said:

Thanks but we are not comfortable driving outside the US. 

Thanks. No way can we handle our own luggage. It is not possible for us to travel with limited luggage. 
 

I appreciate everyone’s info.  It has told me what I needed to know. 
No way can we do the train. 

Would it be possible for you to travel with only half the luggage to your destination, while shipping your other luggage ahead to your destination.

Shipping is expensive, but sometimes the "experience" justifies the end costs.

We're going 3 weeks pre-cruise, then jumping on a ship for 2 weeks. I'm shipping a couple of bags to the hotel we're staying at before we jump on the cruise.

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10 hours ago, klfrodo said:

Would it be possible for you to travel with only half the luggage to your destination, while shipping your other luggage ahead to your destination.

Shipping is expensive, but sometimes the "experience" justifies the end costs.

We're going 3 weeks pre-cruise, then jumping on a ship for 2 weeks. I'm shipping a couple of bags to the hotel we're staying at before we jump on the cruise.

Thanks for the idea but I checked. To ship the bags would be about $700.  That would defeat the purpose of going in to a different airport (to save on cost / air miles). 
 

Thanks to all for the comments, thoughts, and sharing of experience! 

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