Toulouse to Barcelona

Jun 9th, 2015, 09:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Toulouse to Barcelona

Looking for some input - we are staying in Castelnaudary and planning an overnight trip to Barcelona midweek. The Michelin Guide lists some of the roads (A61 and E80) as "dangerous" - we could just as easily take the train. If anyone has made this drive or taken the train - I'd love to hear about your experiences. Also, top 3 things to do in 36 hours in Barcelona?
Thanks for your reponses.
marybee7 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 02:22 AM
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Motorway drive from Toulouse to Barcelona isn't particularly dangerous, unless you are a speed merchant or aggressive driver. Tolls can mount up, and it's rather a long drive of almost 400 km (250 miles), taking about 4 hours in good traffic. I haven't done that particular journey but drove from Toulouse to the Pyrenees last year and from Spanish border to Barcelona. You don't really want to drive into Barcelona, as traffic is heavy and parking scarce and expensive. By train, there is once daily direct train in about 3 hours. Others require a change because of different rail gauge between the two countries. Or fly. Vueling and Iberia do that in under an hour from around 70 euro one-way.
Alec is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 02:24 AM
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Only three? Barcelona has many more than 3 to see, but here goes in no particular order, but maybe the main ones:

Sagrada Familia
La Pedrera
Palau of Catalonian Music
Parc Guell
Magic Fountains in Placa Espana

The road trip will take about three and a half to four hours, the train about three and a half. I'd certainly go by train as you won't want a car while you're in Barcelona, but will have to pay to have it parked and your hire company might charge for taking a French car into Spain.
Rubicund is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 05:43 AM
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I think Rubicund is right, taking a train seems like a much better option,, especially since you won't have to deal with the traffic and won't be tired after driving for 4 hours. You can also rent a bike in the city if you don't want to walk around too much.

As for the main attractions, it depends on what you're into... La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell and the famous streets in Ciutat Vella are the usual top three.

You can find more info on what to see and what to do by searching Fodor's archives too
Unboundly is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 08:01 AM
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Yup cars are useless in large Spanish cities for reasons rubicund outlines.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 10:28 AM
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I would never consider Parc Guell one of the top 3 attractions in Barcelona, but I haven't seen surveys, so don't know if that's true. It's out of the way so takes quite a while to get to/from, for one thing. I never went there until I'd been to Barcelona a couple times. I would think the top sites are the Ramblas, cathedral, Sagrada Familia, the "block of discord" area on passeig de Gracia around where there are several modernist buildings including the Pedrera and Casa Batlo by Gaudi, and the Gotic quarter and Palau de la Musica Catalana. Next would be some museums (PIcasso, Miro, Catalonian Art definitely). Depends on your personal interests (art or architecture or what), I'd definitely say Sagrada Familia for sure.

If one can just as easily take the train, why wouldn't you? It will be a lot easier, what are you going to do with your car, not to mention the time navigating central Barcelona in a car.
Christina is offline  
Jun 11th, 2015, 12:33 AM
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We took the train from Toulouse to Barcelona last year - as stated above, make sure you take one that doesn't require a change en route. It's a much more relaxing way to travel, and you both get to enjoy the scenery.

My top 3 for Barcelona:

Palau de la Musica - take the guided tour for excellent close-up views and stories of the history and decorations (an evening concert would top this off beautifully)

Parc Guell - we took an inexpensive taxi from the city, then worked our way back via the outside of Sagrada Familia (no tour of inside unfortunately)

Wandering around the Gothic area. Click on my screen name for details of our visit, Di
di2315 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2015, 02:13 AM
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Top three:

Lunch in traditional La Perla:

A concert/performance in the Theater village close by:

Late night dinner in fabulous Xemei, also close by:
kimhe is offline  
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