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 train, air and bus.
1. 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. Expect the day journey to take about 11-12 hours with prices from €129. Book at the NS International site
The Amsterdam-Barcelona rail journey comprises of 3 parts:
(1) A Eurostar (formerly Thalys) high speed train between Amsterdam Central and Paris Gare du Nord which takes around 3 hours 20 minutes. Eurostar normally runs up to 11x daily and stops at Schiphol, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels.
For example, take the 0911 Eurostar from Amsterdam Central which arrives at Paris Gare du Nord at 1242.
Eurostar single fares between Amsterdam and Paris start at €35 (Standard), from €75 (Comfort, 1st class seat-only) and from €150 (Premium, full 1st class service). Eurostar tickets can be easily booked at the NS International site.
(2) Transfer across Paris. The transfer across Paris between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon is achieved in about 30 minutes using the RER D line – it is just 2 stops, though you need to buy a separate ticket. Alternatively you can take a taxi.
(3) A direct TGV duplex train between Paris Gare de Lyon and Barcelona Sants which takes about 6 hours 45 minutes. The afternoon service departs Paris at 1441 and arrives in Barcelona at 2127. The train makes stops at Valence, Nîmes, Montpellier, Narbonne, Perpignan, Figueres and Girona.
TGV one-way fares for Paris-Barcelona are priced from €39 (2nd class) or €59 (1st class) although finding the lowest fares can be a challenge, especially in the spring/summer season. Booking is open 4 months in advance.
You can also decide to overnight in Paris and take the morning TGV service which departs Paris Lyon at 0941 and arrives in Barcelona at 1631.
You can book Amsterdam-Barcelona through fares or the separate Amsterdam-Paris (Eurostar) and Paris-Barcelona (TGV) components at the NS International site.
It is also possible to book tickets at TheTrainline site – but note Trainline sometimes mixes in coach fares so make sure you choose only train options.
Barcelona-Amsterdam rail journey by day: To travel Barcelona-Amsterdam during the day, take the 0928 Paris-bound TGV train from Barcelona which gets you into Gare de Lyon at 1612. Cross over to Paris Nord via RER or taxi for the 1725 Eurostar to Amsterdam with arrival time 2044 – just over 11 hours in total.
2. 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 way to travel between the two cities.
As Spain and the 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 5x daily non-stop flights from Amsterdam to Barcelona using Boeing 737 aircraft. Base fares start from €140 return not including checked luggage.
No frills airline Vueling (an Iberia partner owned by parent IAG) flies between Amsterdam and Barcelona up to 6x daily using Airbus A320s. Return fares start from around €100 excluding luggage fee.
Transavia (a KLM no-frills subsidiary) flies up to 2x daily from Amsterdam to Barcelona with Boeing 737s – prices start from €120 return with checked luggage.
Barcelona is a very popular destination for Dutch people, especially during the spring holidays and the summer months – so if you plan to travel at peak times book your flights well in advance.
3. Amsterdam-Barcelona by Coach
Flixbus offers an Amsterdam-Barcelona coach service with a change in Paris with one-way fares from around €49. Journey times are 23-27 hours and the Flixbus stop is at Amsterdam Sloterdijk. In Barcelona it serves the main bus & coach station (Carrer d’Alí Bei) and Barcelona Sants (Carrer de Viriato).
BlaBlaCar Bus operates multiple Amsterdam-Barcelona coach services with a change at Paris Bercy. Tickets start at €54 and the journey time is 23-26 hours. It uses the same stops as Flixbus – Amsterdam Sloterdijk and Barcelona bus station at Carrer d’Alí Bei.
Also see: Amsterdam to Madrid travel options
Looking for a convenient hotel near Amsterdam Central station? Check out the stylish Kimpton-De Witt which is a short walk from the station. For those on a budget the Ibis Amsterdam Centre is literally on top of the western edge of the station platforms.
The Iamsterdam City Card (1-5 days) offers free entry and discounts to numerous Amsterdam museums and attractions. It also includes a free public transport pass, a canal cruise and bike rental as well. You can order your Iamsterdam City Card online here
The Go City: Paris All Inclusive Pass is a 2, 3, 4 or 6 day pass which offers free entry to up to 80 attractions/tours in and around Paris. The 4 and 6 day passes offer the most comprehensive selection of attractions.
In Barcelona you can book your hotel with Booking.com here.
The Barcelona Pass gives free access to Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and the choice of either 72h (3 days) Hola Barcelona: Public Transport Card or admission to Casa Batlló or Casa Milà.
This article was originally published in 2011 and has continuously been updated. Last update 13 February 2024.
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