Trip from Strasbourg to Barcelona next December

  • 12 October 2023
  • 11 replies

I’m planning a trip to Strasbourg from Barcelona next December and I can see timetable options for the way there but none for the way back on Sunday December 10th. Does it mean that all the tickets for card-holders are sold-out?

I’ll appreciate feedback as I’m new at this. Thanks!


Best answer by thibcabe 12 October 2023, 16:27

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11 replies

Userlevel 7
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There's a big European timetable change on 10th December. Times should appear very soon on

Btw if you'd like to save money on the expensive cross-border high-speed train take the daily AVE to Lyon : 10€ seat reservation, only available at RENFE ticket counters for now.

Thank you very much for your fast reply @thibcabe ! Do you mean that I’d be better off without the Interail pass and go for the regular ticket on that option that you mention?

Userlevel 7
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This is the seat reservation price on top of the Interrail pass. The cross-border TGV costs 25€ (35€ to Paris) while the AVE 10€.

However if Barcelona - Strasbourg return are your only journeys I'm quite sure that regular tickets would be cheaper (especially sonce you need to add reservation fees in France and Spain on top of the pass). What are your travrl dates so I can have a look ?

Thank you very much again for your help!

My trip is Barcelona-Strasbourg on December 6 and Strasbourg-Barcelona on December 10. Either way is fine with me with a preference for the shorter and with less transfers. 

I appreciate your help as I see many different options and it’s not clear to me what’s best.

Userlevel 7
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So I’ve had a look and it’s not really straightforward nor cheap…

  • expensive AVE tickets on 6th December (Spanish holiday), I guess you can’t leave a day earlier...
  • RENFE hasn’t opened bookings yet on the cross-border AVE on 10th December
  • very expensive tickets on cross-border TGVs as always…

Your options would be :

Option 1 :

  • Interrail Global Pass 4 days 258€ 2nd/328€ 1st*
  • seat reservations : 2 x 10€ AVE + 2 x 10€ TGV

Option 2 :

  • AVE Barcelona-Sants - Lyon Part-Dieu 08:22 - 13:20 115€
  • TGV Lyon Part-Dieu - Strasbourg 16:04 - 20:13 49€ 2nd/60€ 1st

Return :

  • TGV Strasbourg - Lyon Part-Dieu 09:04 - 12:56 67€ 2nd/71€ 1st
  • AVE Lyon Part-Dieu - Barcelona-Sants 14:30 - 19:32 price unknown

Option 3 :

  • Carte Avantage (discount card) 49€
  • TGV Barcelona-Sants - Montpellier St-Roch - Strasbourg 10:33 - 20:13 133€ 2nd/165€ 1st
  • TGV Strasbourg - Montpellier St-Roch - Barcelona-Sants 06:47 - 16:31 138€ 2nd/156€ 1st

Would you have the use of the 2 extra Interrail pass days ? Then the pass would be good value in my opinion.

*20% discount on Black Friday likely (you can always wait to buy the pass)

Userlevel 7
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Option 4 :

  • AVE Barcelona-Sants - Nîmes 08:22 - 11:56 73€ Básico/84€ Elige
  • TGV Nîmes - Strasbourg 14:27 - 20:13 75€ 2nd/86€ 1st

Return via Lyon (TGV + AVE)

I guess I’d wait for the AVE tickets to be released and then make a choice. You can also mix and match… and then if you have another trip planned to France within a year the Carte Avantage is definitely good value.

All in all difficult to get anything under 300€ round-trip. It shouldn’t be that expensive, especially 2 months in advance !

Thank you very much for the extended information! I have so much work to do to find out what’s the best option but I’m very grateful for your help!

I have finally decided to go for the Interrai pass but when I try to book my seats I get a message that tells me 

Not available from

This seat reservation can’t be booked on our website. Check 'More information' for other ways to book.

Is that the normal procedure?

I thought I would be able to reserve the seats online :(



Userlevel 7
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Yes as I said in an above post the AVE to Lyon cannot be booked online.

This is due to a RENFE decision. Until recently no Spanish trains were available online and right now only domestic AVEs are. Spain is basically the worst country for Interrail due to RENFE :(

You have to go to a RENFE ticket counter and queue there... Go there when the 10th December is on sale imho. Feedback appreciated.


I got that! Thanks! But I don’t see how to get the rest of the tickets either. In fact the bit from Lyon to Stransbourg seems not available at the Eurail web page as well. Or I’m looking at the wrong place… Sorry, too complicated for me :(

Userlevel 7
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Check here for your seat reservations for domestic journeys in France: