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Old 02-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
abayaflowers
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Has anyone traveled via Train from UK to Barcelona?

I am from California and was wondering if it is easy to take the train from the UK to Barcelona prior to our cruise?

Would it cut down the cost?
Will I get lost in Paris to transfer to the Trainhotel/Elipsos?
Is it safe on the overnight train?
Is it true that the conductor takes the passports as to not interrupt sleep?

I know that it seems fairly simple, but wanted the opinion of experienced travelers.

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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We did that train from Paris to Barcelona... Because we flew into Paris early to spend a few days there. Getting to and navigating the train was easy! My only complaint was it was in the summer and the overnight train got hot in our sleeper cabin and it was hard to sleep. But it was fun to do for sure! I felt safe,
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
Disney mam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abayaflowers View Post
I am from California and was wondering if it is easy to take the train from the UK to Barcelona prior to our cruise?

Would it cut down the cost?
Will I get lost in Paris to transfer to the Trainhotel/Elipsos?
Is it safe on the overnight train?
Is it true that the conductor takes the passports as to not interrupt sleep?

I know that it seems fairly simple, but wanted the opinion of experienced travelers.

Thanks!
Hi, I haven't travelled to Barcelona by train but did look into as my duh doesn't"t like flying. It isn't cheaper by train (not for 2adults and 2children). Eurostar for us is about £240 plus the sleeper train should be around £600. There are cheaper flights and even ba is coming up at £560 from Heathrow for a family of 4. Hth
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:53 AM   #4
abayaflowers
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Originally Posted by chrisrunty View Post
We did that train from Paris to Barcelona... Because we flew into Paris early to spend a few days there. Getting to and navigating the train was easy! My only complaint was it was in the summer and the overnight train got hot in our sleeper cabin and it was hard to sleep. But it was fun to do for sure! I felt safe,
Sounds like a great idea! Did you happen to travel in June?

Did they take your passports for the overnight train?

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
abayaflowers
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Hi, I haven't travelled to Barcelona by train but did look into as my duh doesn't"t like flying. It isn't cheaper by train (not for 2adults and 2children). Eurostar for us is about £240 plus the sleeper train should be around £600. There are cheaper flights and even ba is coming up at £560 from Heathrow for a family of 4. Hth
I will look into this as well.

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:06 PM   #6
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Yes we traveled in June. :-) It's been awhile so I don't remember about the passports I'll ask DH. But I think they did? What a great trip though! Paris, Barcelona (we went a day early to see the city) and the Disney cruise.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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why not take Easyjet from London to BCN. I would not want to take a train that long.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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Unless you're doing it for the experience, I second the Easyjet suggestion. We bought our LGW - BCN tix for $100/pp with tax & luggage. The flight is only 2.5 hours or so.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Unless you're doing it for the experience, I second the Easyjet suggestion. We bought our LGW - BCN tix for $100/pp with tax & luggage. The flight is only 2.5 hours or so.
Sounds great! I wanted to break up the flight from California (US) to BCN with 2 DDs. It will be a challenge, because when we traveled last to Europe, they slept for only 1 hour.

With that said, I was absolutely exhausted and jet-lagged by the time we were in Barcelona.

Also, I wanted the DDs to see Europe a little.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by abayaflowers View Post
Sounds great! I wanted to break up the flight from California (US) to BCN with 2 DDs. It will be a challenge, because when we traveled last to Europe, they slept for only 1 hour.

With that said, I was absolutely exhausted and jet-lagged by the time we were in Barcelona.

Also, I wanted the DDs to see Europe a little.
Yea, I'm really concerned about my DDs jet lag. Dunno really what to do about that.

I guess I'm not a big train person. Last time I took the Eurostar I wasn't that impressed...it went really slowly and there wasn't much scenery.

I'm sure the London - Barca route will be better. I have no patience and would wanna get there really fast
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:17 PM   #11
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This would be a real grind with luggage. The transfer from Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz will be a cab ride, but you'll need to drag your luggage. Nord is actually a bit seedy, although not unsafe. Just mind your valuables. You'd want to take a taxi and leave plenty of time. If you're travelling light, you could do the metro.

You won't see much on the trenhotel, since it's during the night. I think the cabins on the trenhotel are designed for 4, so if you're fewer or more than that, you'll have to pay a supplement to avoid having a stranger in your cabin. (With kids, I think they won't put you with a stranger and just charge you the fee manditorily.)

The trains are safe at night. It is not uncommon to give your passports up during international train travel, although since this is between two Schengen countries, it might not be required. Even if required, it's not a big deal.

The Joan Miro trenhotel leaves pretty late at night, which can be a challenge with jet lag if the kids are asleep. Note that the trenhotel is not the only train from Paris to Barcelona. You can take the high speed train too if it is better times. You will likely change near or at the border, but it's pretty easy -- like changing in the portbou or something -- especially if it's a day time journey. It's actually fastest to change in Figueras; quick change and a bit under 7 hours total. You don't need a sleeper that way and can actually see some of the country side.

This would be way too much of a grind for me, unless you are just into trains as an experience. If you are planning to spend time in London, by far the easiest way to BCN is the nonstop on British Airways from London City Airport. If you book in advance, it's really not that much more expensive than the discount airlines, and you get a baggage allowance. City is so much more convenient if you're staying downtown than Gatwick, Luton or Southend (which are the easyjet cities, I think).
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:21 PM   #12
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Yea, I'm really concerned about my DDs jet lag. Dunno really what to do about that.

I guess I'm not a big train person. Last time I took the Eurostar I wasn't that impressed...it went really slowly and there wasn't much scenery.

I'm sure the London - Barca route will be better. I have no patience and would wanna get there really fast
You thought the trip went slowly or the train? It does hit about 150 mph. The trip from London to Barcelona is nice on a train, although it does get a bit boring. Most of the trains are during the night, though, so not much to see. (FYI, "Barca" is the football club, not really an abbreviation for the city.)
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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This would be a real grind with luggage. The transfer from Gare du Nord to Gare d'Austerlitz will be a cab ride, but you'll need to drag your luggage. Nord is actually a bit seedy, although not unsafe. Just mind your valuables. You'd want to take a taxi and leave plenty of time. If you're travelling light, you could do the metro.

You won't see much on the trenhotel, since it's during the night. I think the cabins on the trenhotel are designed for 4, so if you're fewer or more than that, you'll have to pay a supplement to avoid having a stranger in your cabin. (With kids, I think they won't put you with a stranger and just charge you the fee manditorily.)

The trains are safe at night. It is not uncommon to give your passports up during international train travel, although since this is between two Schengen countries, it might not be required. Even if required, it's not a big deal.

The Joan Miro trenhotel leaves pretty late at night, which can be a challenge with jet lag if the kids are asleep. Note that the trenhotel is not the only train from Paris to Barcelona. You can take the high speed train too if it is better times. You will likely change near or at the border, but it's pretty easy -- like changing in the portbou or something -- especially if it's a day time journey. It's actually fastest to change in Figueras; quick change and a bit under 7 hours total. You don't need a sleeper that way and can actually see some of the country side.

This would be way too much of a grind for me, unless you are just into trains as an experience. If you are planning to spend time in London, by far the easiest way to BCN is the nonstop on British Airways from London City Airport. If you book in advance, it's really not that much more expensive than the discount airlines, and you get a baggage allowance. City is so much more convenient if you're staying downtown than Gatwick, Luton or Southend (which are the easyjet cities, I think).
This is great to know. I was wondering about this last night when I did some research on the trains. I found out that I could not book any of the Paris trains until 90 days before June 13th.

So, I will look into British Airways and see if we can do something about breaking it up and finding a solution for jetlag.

Thanks to everyone!!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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I have not taken the train from London to Barcelona, but have taken trains in Europe. My favorite cite for planning is www.bahn.de

Checking on London to Barcelona, I found several routes. the ones during the day have several changes. this one, which leaves London in the evening has only one change - you would need to taxi across Paris. I would not suggest taking luggage on the metro.


London St. Pancras dep18:01 EST 9046 EUROSTAR
Paris Nord Eurostar arr21:17
transfer 55 min.

Paris Austerlitz dep 22:16 EN 477 EuroNight Sleeper train,
Barcelona Franca arr 09:43
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:12 AM   #15
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I have not taken the train from London to Barcelona, but have taken trains in Europe. My favorite cite for planning is www.bahn.de

Checking on London to Barcelona, I found several routes. the ones during the day have several changes. this one, which leaves London in the evening has only one change - you would need to taxi across Paris. I would not suggest taking luggage on the metro.


London St. Pancras dep18:01 EST 9046 EUROSTAR
Paris Nord Eurostar arr21:17
transfer 55 min.

Paris Austerlitz dep 22:16 EN 477 EuroNight Sleeper train,
Barcelona Franca arr 09:43
In my opinion, that's too short of a connection. I would take an earlier Eurostar. There are 14 a day, and then you don't have to worry about traffic when changing from Nord to Austerlitz.

But, again, if I were doing this journey, I wouldn't take the trenhotel. I would take the TGV high speed during the day and connect to the AVE high speed in Figueres. Something like:

Lon to Paris/Nord 9:30 to 12:47, Eurostar. (3h 14m).
Paris/Lyon to Figueres. 14:07 to 19:40 (5hr 33m).
Figueres to Barcelona/Sants. 19:55 to 20:48 (53m).

This gives you a nice day journey. You leave at a reasonable hour and arrive at a reasonable hour. You are high speed all the way, so the Paris to BCN segment is less than 7 hours, and the transfer in Figueres is simple and short. (And even if you miss it, there are many more trains to BCN.) And you give yourself a nice connection in Paris to get from Nord to Lyon in the middle of the day -- you can even have lunch at Lyon.

The trenhotel saves you the expense of a night in a hotel, but it's wouldn't be worth it to me to spend 12 hours on the train and have to start out late at night.
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