Travelling on a France-Spain High Speed train

At a glance

  • High speed train


© Gatsi

France-Spain high speed trains provide fast and comfortable rail links between major cities in France and Spain, as part of a joint venture between the French national rail company SNCF and Spain’s national rail operator Renfe.

France-Spain high speed trains are sleek, modern and comfortable. They run on popular routes between the two neighbouring countries, offering speedy rail connections between French cities including Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier and Toulouse and Spanish sweet spots like Madrid, Barcelona, Girona and Figueres. Individual travellers and groups all benefit from these speedy services that call at 21 different stations in France and Spain.

Fast, double-decker TGV Europlex trains are used when travelling between Paris or Toulouse and Barcelona, while AVE S-100 trains run on the routes from Lyon and Marseille to Barcelona.

Travellers can speed directly from Paris to Barcelona in just 6 hrs 29 mins, Lyon to Barcelona in 5 hrs, Marseille to Barcelona in 4 hrs 32 mins, Toulouse to Barcelona in 3 hrs 12 mins, Montpellier to Barcelona in 2 hrs 52 mins, Nîmes to Girona in 2 hrs 44 mins and Aix-en-Provence to Figueres in 3 hrs 18 mins.

Practical information

©Renfe-SNCF en cooperation

Before you board

Print-at-home and mobile tickets don’t need to be validated. You can board the train up to 2 mins before departure. The train's departure platform is announced 20 mins before departure.

At Paris Gare de Lyon, Marseille Saint-Charles, Valence TGV, Aix-en-Provence TGV and Avignon TGV train stations, ticket control will occur through boarding gates. You need to scan your ticket by holding it in front of a scanner provided which triggers the gates to open. At all other French train stations, ticket control will take place once onboard. You must always ensure that you have the correct ticket that corresponds to your journey along with any other documents that prove any price reductions if you have purchased a special fare ticket.

If you start your journey in Spain, ticket control takes place before boarding. Express check-in takes around 10 mins. Before boarding any train at a Spanish mainline station, travellers are required to put their luggage through an X-ray security check.


Air conditioning comes as standard on France-Spain high speed trains. There is good luggage space onboard with up to three pieces of luggage allowed onboard per person. Each piece of luggage should not exceed 85cm x 55cm x 35cm. The total weight of all three pieces must not exceed 25kg.

All France-Spain high speed trains offer wifi in both Standard Class and First Class and as well as power sockets in both classes of service.

Bicycles are allowed onboard, free of charge. Just make sure to fold it or disassemble it and put it in a case no bigger than 120cm x 90cm. Read more about taking your bikes on trains in our Help article.

Pets under 10 kg can be taken onboard, although they must travel in a carrier that does not exceed 60cm x 35cm x 35cm.

Travellers benefit from a bilingual France-Spain High Speed train team who speak Spanish and French. Audio and onscreen messages are delivered in French, Spanish and English.

Assistance and seat reservations are available for passengers with reduced mobility, free of charge.

A bar-bistro carriage is available on France-Spain high speed trains (coach 14 in Euroduplex and coach 4 in AVE S100), as well as a mobile bar cart. The bar-bistro carriage offers hot and cold snacks, sandwiches, breakfast, salads, cakes, hot and cold drinks, beer and wine.

Booking and printing options

France-Spain high speed tickets are open for bookings 120 days in advance. Summer tickets are released at the end of February.

A reservation is needed to travel onboard all France-Spain high speed trains.

Get the lowest prices on France-Spain high speed trains by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.

Opt for off-peak France-Spain high speed trains when you have to travel at short notice.

Off-peak France-Spain high speed trains are more affordable than ones running mornings and evenings along with those running around the holidays, Fridays and Sunday afternoons.

Classes of service

France-Spain high speed trains offer seated accommodation in two classes: Standard Class and First Class

France-Spain high speed First Class (Preferente)

Seating in France-Spain high speed First Class (Preferente) is more spacious than in Standard Class. All First Class seats recline and come with head and footrests, power sockets, reading lights and a table. First Class ticket-holders also gain access to exclusive Renfe VIP lounges in Spanish train stations (except Figueres), offering complimentary drinks, internet access and international newspapers.

France-Spain high speed Standard Class (Turista)

Seating in TGV Standard Class is comfortable, with reclining seats. There are some groups of four seats around a table, while others are arranged in pairs. Power sockets are also available at most seats.

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.