Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya and second largest city in Spain. It is a principal business and tourist hub in the Mediterranean and is located some 1,250km south-west of Amsterdam.
Let's look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and Barcelona by air, train and bus...
1. Flights Amsterdam-Barcelona
Amsterdam-Barcelona is a well served air route with flights between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Barcelona El Prat (BCN) taking around 2 hours 15 minutes. Flying is by far the quickest and easiest way to travel between the two cities. As Spain and Netherlands are members of the Schengen Zone agreement you do not need to go through a passport control check when travelling between Amsterdam and Barcelona.
It is possible to reach the city centre by rail from both Amsterdam and Barcelona airports.
Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam alliance) has up to 7x daily non-stop flights from Amsterdam to Barcelona using Boeing 737 aircraft. Base fares start from €110 return though note that KLM has charges for checked luggage.
Transavia (a KLM no-frills subsidiary) flies up to 3x daily from Amsterdam to Barcelona with Boeing 737s - prices start from €100 return with checked luggage. Transavia also flies to Barcelona from Eindhoven (EIN) and Rotterdam-The Hague (RTM) airports.
Other airlines that serve Amsterdam and Barcelona indirectly are Air France (via Paris), British Airways (via London), Swiss (via Zurich), Lufthansa (via Munich) and Alitalia (via Milan).
Barcelona is a very popular holiday destination for Dutch people, especially in the summer months - so if you plan to travel in July or August book your flights well in advance.
2. Amsterdam-Barcelona by Train
Whilst there is no direct rail service between Amsterdam and Barcelona, it is possible to travel by train from Amsterdam to Barcelona with a connection in Paris, France. The journey can be completed during the daytime and will take about 12 hours in total.
Amsterdam-Barcelona rail journey by day: Take either the 0817 or 0917 Thalys train departing Amsterdam which arrives at Paris Nord at 1144 or 1244, respectively and then transfer over to Gare de Lyon station. The earlier train will give you some extra time in Paris to have a break for lunch. To find the TGV platforms follow the signs to "Accès aux trains Grandes Lignes".
Take the 1407 TGV departure from Paris Lyon to Barcelona. The train makes stops at Valence, Nîmes, Montpellier, Narbonne, Perpignan, Figueres and Girona - before arriving in Barcelona Sants at 2034.
Some people may prefer to overnight in Paris rather than making the whole trip in a single day. There is a morning TGV departure from Paris at 1007, arriving in Barcelona at 1634. In July/August there is also a 0715 TGV departure which gets in to Barcelona at 1334.
Barcelona-Amsterdam rail journey by day: Starting from Barcelona, you would take the 0925 Paris-bound TGV train which gets you into Gare de Lyon at 1553. Cross over to Paris Nord for the 1725 Thalys to Amsterdam with arrival time 2042 - just under 11 1/2 hours in total.
Fares for the trip are made up of each component (Thalys + TGV). Thalys single fares between Amsterdam and Paris start at €35 (2nd class) or €79 (1st class) for the cheapest "No-Flex" tariff. Thalys tickets can be booked at Belgian Rail's international site B-Europe
TGV one-way fares for Paris-Barcelona are priced from €59 (2nd class) or €79 (1st class). To secure the lowest fares it is essential to book well in advance.
Note, the introduction of direct Paris-Barcelona TGV services has meant the permanent cancellation of the Elipsos sleeper night train.
3. Amsterdam-Barcelona by Coach
Eurolines runs a 4-7x weekly overnight coach service from its Amsterdam Duivendrecht terminal to De Sants bus station in Barcelona. The bus leaves Amsterdam at 0900 and arrives at 1015 in Barcelona the following day. Departing from Barcelona, the coach leaves at 1700 and arrives in Amsterdam at 1900 the next day. Total journey time either way is around 26 hours! Singles are priced from €38 if you book well in advance.
Also see : Amsterdam to Madrid travel options.
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