Trains, Trams and Railways in Barcelona, Spain

Many first time visitors with extended stays planned in Barcelona wonder if it is necessary to rent a car when visiting the city, they often ask, “I’m going to be staying in one of many hotels or apartments in Barcelona, what are the options for getting around”.

The city of Barcelona is the second largest in all of Spain, and has an enviable infrastructure that includes trains, trams and railways. The public transportation system is simple and inexpensive to use, and frequented by locals and visitors alike. The busiest and largest train station within the city is the Barcelona Sants railway station, known in the city as the Sants Estació. It is easily the most important transport center not only in the city of Barcelona, but in the entire Catalonia region. The following guide offers a history of the station, routes and amenities for travelers.

 Estacio Sants, Barcelona SpainUnlike some of the older train stations found throughout Europe, the Sants Estació is actually rather new. It was built in the 1970s as a way to serve the east-west regional line in the area of Barcelona. It often is compared to an airport design thanks to its very modern design, and it houses most of the train’s platforms underneath the ground. As might be expected with a rapidly growing transport hub, changes and renovations are frequently being made, with plans to undergo some serious renovation and rebuilding in the coming years.

Spanish High Speed AVE train, Barcelona, Spain The primary uses for the Sants Estació is the high speed and long distance trains that arrive and depart in the area frequently. Five major lines head through the railway station heading to various destinations around Spain, as well as nearby European countries like France. The most popular destination for long distance travel is the 2 and a half hour journey to Madrid on the AVE Madrid-Barcelona High-Speed Rail Line. The TGV rail line also operates for those journeys leading into France.

For internal travel around the city, the Barcelona Sants Railway Station also plays a role. It is home to two metro stations, operating on the local line 3 and 5. Metro line 3 brings travelers from the Sants Estació to the Zona Universitària, and the metro line 5 heads in the direction of Collblanc and Diagonal.

Trains in Estacio de Francia, Barcelona SpainFacilities at the Barcelona Sants Railway Station are plentiful and high quality. The entire facility is equipped to deal with handicapped access for travelers. You’ll find all the standard amenities for travelers, including ATMs, a tourism office, a pharmacy, telephone, luggage storage and a police station. There is a local cafe, a traditional restaurant and an international fast food restaurant for hungry passengers. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays there is even a traditional art fair held in the station as a fun way to pass time or pick up some traditional souvenirs.

Travelers to and from the city will find easy access to the many hotel and Barcelona apartments via the station and connecting metro lines. Passengers arriving late at night or with early morning departures can appreciate the Hotel Sants offering affordable rooms right in the train station.


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