Paris to Barcelona itinerary

Apr 22nd, 2012, 06:27 PM
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Paris to Barcelona itinerary

My husband, two daughters, ages 11 and 13, and I are planning a dream trip to Europe this summer. We know we will start with four days in Paris and end with 3 days in Barcelona. We'd love to get insights of where to go for 3 days in between. We're thinking about training to the south of France and driving to Barcelona. Our passion is finding charming little towns and blending in with the natives Any insights from worldly travelers?
Kim_Lande is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2012, 11:30 PM
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Honestly if you only have 10 days and want to visit Paris and Barcelona and just enough for these 2 cities and perhaps a daytrip or two - especially with a family of four. I'd daytrip to the smaller cities but just have 2 base cities
CathyM is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:35 AM
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I agree with CathyM. We were in Barcelona for 5 days and didn't see everything. You could take the train from Barcelona to Girona for a daytrip. It's a one hour ride, & Girona is a wonderful & interesting old city with a cathedral, old quarter, art museum & old city wall that you can walk on. Montserrat is another day trip from Barcelona.

From Paris, you could take a day trip to Versailles or Giverney. But if you split up the trip with 5 days Paris & 5 days Barcelona, you may not want to leave Paris for a daytrip because there is so much to do right in Paris. You also need to factor in the day you travel from Paris to Barcelona.
Kwoo is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:06 AM
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If it were my trip I would probably split it up like the other posters said - 5 days each because there is plenty to do in both places. But if you want to add another stop, what about Arles - a smaller city, in between the two major ones. One thing to know, it is expensive to rent a car in one country and drop it in another so if you want to drive around then probably rent in Paris and drop in Arles.

There is a night train that goes from Paris to Barcelona - you could get a family compartment for the 4 of you (I think). That might be a neat experience for daughters.
suec1 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:57 AM
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Thank you all so much for your replies. We were thinking that adding a stop or two in Southern France would break up the 8 hour train ride to Barcelona from Paris by taking an overnight stop in between -- perhaps someplace in between. Arles could be a good option. We do really love to be in the countryside, away from the city as well, so we were looking to find a happy medium between city and country. The day trips you suggested are perfect options. We can train to Arles? The overnight train option is also very intriguing.
Kim_Lande is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:59 AM
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I wouldn't add a third destination for that short a trip. And picking up a car in France and dropping it in Spain will cost you big time. If you must add another destination, Toulouse makes more sense than Arles, which really isn't "in between" Paris and Barcelona (and no direct trains from Paris), though it's a nice enough city.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Have you made your airline reservations yet? if not, another suggestion would be to stay in one country only & visit a big city (Paris or Barcelona) & then rent a car & spend 3-5 days driving around & exploring "charming little towns". I also don't think there is anything wrong with visiting the 2 big cities, but you mention that you like discovering smaller towns/cities.

I haven't been to France yet, but I am in the midst of planning our trip to France for this summer. One suggestion would be to visit Paris, then take a train to the Loire Valley, rent a car there, & spend the rest of your trip driving around the Loire valley, visiting chateaus & exploring small towns. Or perhaps visit Normandy and Brittany. I understand from my research & talking to people that Provence is beautiful, so you could do that instead of the Loire or Normandy/Brittany, but it's a longer drive to get there.

Another idea would be to visit Barcelona, then rent a car & drive north along the Costa Brava, see Girona, Cadaques, and/or go into the Pyrenees. We did just that in October 2010. You can click on my name to read my trip report.
Kwoo is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2012, 09:22 AM
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Yes, and not worth doing, since you can get there cheaply in just under 3 hours on the TGV.
StCirq is offline  
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