Lyon - Barcelona 22 September 2023

  • 7 August 2023
  • 37 replies

Hi 😀

I have interrail global pass, and want to like to do a reservation for AVI 9742 from LYON PART DIEU (2:30pm) - Barcelona Sants (7:32pm). I get over the interrail seat reservation this error message: “It seems no price offer is available right now. It is possible that all pass holder seats are sold out. Please check 'More information' and try other ways to book this seat reservation, or buy a separate full fare ticket to board. You need to buy a seat reservation to board.”

So i called SNCF and they said to me, this train doesn’t exist, so it’s an failure from interrail website. 

Could somebody confirm that to me? That i would look after a different connection.  
More background information why this train: So I will start the trip in Munich, and want to be before 9pm in Barcelona. so I found the connection (5am start in munich - 7:32pm arrival in barcelona) 

Thanks for you help! 



Best answer by thibcabe 8 August 2023, 16:55

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Userlevel 7
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The train does exist, SNCF do not wish to acknowledge this as they are not friends with RENFE who run it.

It is not possible to book this online, the only confirmed way is in person from a Spanish station.

You could try in person from a German station, they can book most Spanish trains.

Userlevel 7
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DB can sell domestic Spanish reservations but not those international AVE trains. The issue really lies on RENFE side, any news on that @Mukhammad @Camilo. ?

It would be incredibly helpful for this summer.

Now it seems that tickets aren't yet on sale for 19th May due to works around Nîmes and Montpellier. Looking at other planners the train seems to be diverted via Nîmes Pont du Gard and Montpellier Sud de France (LGV bypass) with the same arrival/departure times.

However at the same time RENFE website is having issues right now (more broken than usual!) so I can't say for sure.

Check back soon I guess. Good luck!

I'd say that Sunday is the least busy day of the holiday weekend so you have good odds to book a seat on the spot.

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If you know someone in Spain, they can (if you provide them with a screenshot/photo of your pass and ID card) book or collect these reservations for you at Renfe ticket offices. Once the actual reservation is emitted from a ticket office, you can import it onto the Renfe app. Absurdly that's as far as I know the only way to get a reservation for this train. 

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That's too bad then…

Hopefully it works with the TGV then. Your best option to book is to call SNCF :

You can decide where you'd like to board ofc. Going all the way to Paris is probably the easiest…

For the return leg I would make the reservation for the AVI as soon as you arrive in Spain. It's for October so unlikely that the train is sold out 15 days in advance.

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Some advice : the 9 min connection is way too tight, especially when you’ve got an even tighter connection + the last train of the day afterwards. 50 min is stressful when you need to switch stations in Paris, take 2 subways, etc. No margin for any delay whatsoever.

Buy reservations within Germany on (3€ per train) or (4.90€ per journey). Interrail is just too expensive.

I’d suggest this better connection :

  • TGV München Hbf - Paris-Est 06:51 - 12:32 17€ (+2€ booking fee)
  • lunch in Paris
  • TGV Paris Gare de Lyon - Barcelona Sants 14:56 - 21:25 35€ (+2€ booking fee)


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Sorry if I wasn't clear but reservations on DB only work in Germany and ÖBB in multiple countries but not France and Spain.

For Munich - Paris - Barcelona either you call SNCF (no fee) or buy on Interrail with fees.

In total you'd save 8€ (4 x 2€) booking fee.

Thanks for the quick reaction thibcabe!

My travel date is may 19, which is pentecost and i know that’s quite qidely celebrated in France so i’m afraid the tickets will sell out. But we’ll see! So far haven’t given up on teying to make a reservation ahead of time. 

Surprisingly NS (dutch railways) international ticket office in Amsterdam wasnt able to make reservations. They recommended DB, as “the db has acces to different reservation systems”. 

it all reminds me of Terry Gilliams movie “Brazil” a kafkaesque dystopian movie 😅 Kafka would have loved modern rail travel! 

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Yeah there currently is a bug on the website... the correct price is shown during checkout : 35€ + 2€ booking fee.

Great that you could call SNCF ! :)

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You can always try on the platform but your chances are slim. I was on the train last year and they made someone pay 75€ because he didn't have a reservation. 

DB (or SBB) cannot offer this train. It hasn't changed unfortunately.

A ticket from Lyon costs 55€ (59€ in 1st class) or 31€ from Perpignan. When you have in mind that the TGV reservation costs 35€ it is worth the investment (but I agree that it is a shame)…

What is your full journey that day ?

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Okay I understand, I was only trying to show other alternatives to your route...

Yes the B-Europe page I linked can only book domestic TGVs. Reservations for the AVE International are impossible to get apart from RENFE ticket counters.

The situation will hopefully change at some point (since they mention they acknowledge Interrail/Eurail passes) but I'm not even sure. Until a few months ago it was impossible to book Spanish trains on because of RENFE alone, now a few trains are available but a lot are missing.

Complaints have been made but the company doesn't want/need to do anything as most of their trains leave full anyway !

Enjoy your trip and good luck.

If you know someone in Spain, they can (if you provide them with a screenshot/photo of your pass or ID card) book these reservations for you at Renfe ticket offices. Once the actual reservation is emitted from a ticket office, you can import it onto the Renfe app. Absurdly that's as far as I know the only way to get a reservation for this train. 



If only…...

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Impossible at French ticket counters. SNCF and RENFE aren't cooperating anymore at all (they're "at war" even).

Other AVE trains are available on so this issue lies entirely with RENFE. :(

Maybe it could work with your friend but staff will likely want to see the pass and ID.

Buying the reservation on the platform has been done many times by multiple users so that works. However on busy dates the train could be sold out so some risk remains.

What's your travel date ? Since you have a reservation afterwards I might suggest buying a regular ticket online so you don't get stranded in France (a shame it comes to this of course!). Maybe you could request a partial refund afterwards saying you had Interrail but couldn't book in advance (there's a tiny chance it could work...).

Thanks @Al_G for your fast answer, I will check that today at a German DB Station. keep you posted. 

So quick update. 
The German DB “Reisezentrum” couldn’t do a reservation for this train. So i called renfe to ask them, they said me it is only possible to make a seat reservation in a spanish station, not even in a station and lyon. And you have to do it in Person, so i can’t ask for example a friend who is living in Spain to buy a reservation for me. 

So its really disappointing, on the way back i have the same issue and the alternative route takes after midnight, so i have to use two travel days.. 😣

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Did you ask staff to search by train number (so 9742) ? It only works that way AFAIK.

But it still doesn't surprise me much that it doesn't work... RENFE is not pass friendly at all.

Worst case if you really need to arrive that day : buy a normal ticket for 89€ in 2nd class or 99€ in 1st.

Do you really need to arrive before 9pm ? The much easier option is to take the TGV from Valence TGV for 25€ (or maybe even from Paris, 35€) : arrival 21:25.


Yes i aked to search after train number, i was now even on central statin in munich, and called again international db service center, but they said all they can’t do it anymore. 

@thibcabe you mean the TGV 9715 or? Yes i have to check now if its ok to have this late arrival. But i think i will go with it. 
But on the way back so from Barcelona - Munich on the 7th of oktober, there is again the same issue, best connection is over lyon (so i have not to use 2 travel days) but can’t make an seat reservation 😣

Ah to make the Return leg reservation then in barcelona for the AVI is very good hint @thibcabe thanks!

And then for the way to barcelona I will go for this, there i can make all reservations over interrail website


Another good hint thanks @thibcabe , but (i think trains dont like me) over both pages i am not able to do seat reservation. 

This is on 

and this on obb 


so not able to buy here a seat. Does this work for you? 

Both options ultimately ensure that you have reserved seats for your journey, which can contribute to a smoother travel experience.


Oof! Thanks for the heads up, those bypasses would leave us stuck there. 🫣 Where did you find that info?

I tried the Münich haubtbahnhof international servicedesk, as I was  already there, and the clearly experienced clerk sighed what I already feared for; no way to make a seat reservation for that AVE train through DB in Germany. Gotta show up in time at the platform.

Today in the newspaper; The agressive low prices that the SNCF backed “Ouigo” train company maintains in Spain after the market was declared free, apparently lead to record losses for RENFE (-€109m euro in 2022). Seems like a plausible reason for the lack of communication between renfe and sncf. 🤔


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They (annoyingly) cannot sell the international AVE trains as I said, only domestic journeys.

Yes Ouigo is the main reason they stopped cooperating...

@thibcabe thank you again very much, was also better to call sncf for the Paris - Barcelona leg, to make the reservation here. It was just 35€ first class for one person, interrail planer showed me for Paris - Barcelona 72€ per person.  The reservation for the leg Munich - Paris i can do over interrail seat reservation, for 17€ each. 
So the way to barcelona is now reserved, and way back reservation i will do in person in barcelona for the AVI. 

I am stuck in my planning on my itinery from Lyon part Dieu to Barcelona Sants, the same problem as the previous Qs

AVI 9742

AVE International     04/12  14:30 Lyon to 1930 in BRC sants

Can I insist and get on the train but standing only or being charged in the train or merely taking an unreserved seat, what are options here?

I have a hotel reservation waiting for me that night in Brc, and I do not like to pay for an extra ticket when I have the Interrail Pass?

I have a deperture already made out Saturday Nov 4, all filled in, My station could make seat reservation all other stretches but this one….

I have a stopover on my way down to Spain in Hamburg btw 8 and 10 pm

Did any recently have any luck at the ticket office in Hamburg ???

I am starting in Dk Saturday 4/11


If this last train is full, I would have the option of buying a full ticket 115€ !! in order to absolutely sure.

But I have a paper pass already paid. I can wait for a 69€ ticket the next day, but I have a room waiting on Brc….

I have not been riding on Interrail since 1976 and I am now 69 and not liking the insecurity any bit!

This should have been arrangeable and not this mess….

I do not like to have to sneak into a situation and having to plead for mercy…..

I am advised to approach the train staff and explain my situation and hope they will let me on, at any given seat…...


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I understand that the situation is frustrating.

You could get a couchette on the Hamburg - Basel night train (44€). It will be a way better experience than a seat.

Have a margin in Basel for sure since night trains are often delayed.

I'm sorry I thought you were travelling on 4th December so I gave those prices. I'll write a good itinerary down below :

Saturday 4th December :

As planned by yourself + get a couchette if possible.

Sunday 5th November :

Option 1 (fastest but most expensive) :

- TER Basel SBB - Mulhouse 09:21 - 09:44

- TGV Mulhouse - Valence TGV 09:57 - 13:47 29€ 1st class incl. upgrade (2nd class is sold out, only a single 1st class seat left!)

- AVE Valence TGV - Barcelona-Sants 15:11 - 19:32 79€ ticket

Also possible to change in Lyon but as you found out it is more expensive. Book the first TGV ASAP if that is your choice. To buy the upgrade you need to use

Option 2 (cheaper but longer) :

- TGV Mulhouse - Dijon 09:57 - 11:11 10€

- break, lunch there

- TER Dijon - Lyon Part-Dieu 12:41 - 14:43

- TER Lyon Part-Dieu - Valence-Ville 15:20 - 16:31

- TER Valence-Ville - Valence TGV 16:45 - 16:52

- TGV Valence TGV - Barcelona-Sants 17:09 - 21:25 25€

Option 3 : you could even go via Paris for 20€ + 35€...