Help needed Barcelona - Freiburg by train

  • Keeps calm and carries on
  • 11 replies

Hi everyone, I want to reserve seats for Barcelona - Freiburg for the 12, 13 or 14 of August.

I am new to Interrail. In the past I’ve done the route Barcelona - Freiburg, but SCNF keeps making things complicated.

I used to do Barcelona - Paris and then Paris - Freiburg but, the TGV Paris - Freiburg doesn’t show up anymore.

Also, I don’t understand how should I reserve a seat with SCNF? I have bought the Interrail Global pass. I read on this forum I have to call them? Is there an online way to book this?

The Interrail website gives me reservation prices but when I click on each option the price disappears and there’s no booking option. Also the price is quite high, like 48€. Is that usual?

Also RENFE says they will have AVEs Barcelona - Lyon before summer, but they are still not rolling.


Any help on how to do Barcelona - Freiburg by train and on how to get SNCF seat reservations will be welcomed😊


Best answer by thibcabe 8 March 2023, 19:34

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15 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Right now the easiest (but not cheapest) option would be :

- TGV Barcelona Sants 10:33 - Montpellier St-Roch 13:43 (expensive seat reservation, more than 30€ -> bookable on or by contacting SNCF by phone)

- TGV Montpellier St-Roch 13:55 - Mulhouse 19:09 (10€ on, link can be found on the forum)

- TER Mulhouse 19:19 - Basel SBB 19:51

- ICE Basel SBB 20:13 - Freiburg 20:53 (no reservation needed)

Seat reservations for August should've just been made available today.

Of course you could travel by Paris but you need to change stations there… and it's not quicker at all

The direct TGV to Freiburg leaves at 17:25 so there's no time to make the transfer between Gare de Lyon and Gare de l'Est, even with the first TGV of the day.


I hope the AVE will run this summer too... such a shame that there are only 2 TGVs from Barcelona per day (or 3 in summer)…

Maybe wait a bit until there is some news for that train ? It'd be convenient I agree

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

The only way to book Barcelona-Paris (€35) and Paris-Freiburg (€10 or €20) online is currently via the Interrail website. This adds a booking fee of €2 per person and train.

However, the TGV Barcelona-Paris now arrives in Paris after the direct TGV to Freiburg leaves. There's no information yet about when RENFE will start running their AVEs from Barcelona to France.

Thank you. I expected to have booking fees of around 10€, as that’s what Interrail website announces for trains which need reservation. I see the reality is quite different… so I guess Interrail doesn’t work better than any train operators which usually are a mess haha.

It’s a pity because we have the infrastructure, the AVE connexion that goes from France to Spain through Figueres was super expensive to build and the frequency of trains is always been low, and they keep lowering it… there used to be a direct Barcelona - Toulouse, Barcelona - Lyon, and there’s always been not so many Barcelona - Paris. It’s also a problem that you kind of need to go through Paris most times…

Okay sorry for the rant haha - just needed to do it once. Thanks for your answers @rvdborgt and @thibcabe

So there is no way to get a Barcelona - Paris under 35€? If I call SNCF they will charge me 35€, is that right?

Same goes for Montpellier I guess. There used to be a direct Mulhouse - Freiburg, which is also gone.

By the way changing stations in Paris is no problem at all, that’s I already did in the past, but even this option I can’t find.

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Barcelona-Montpellier on the TGV should be €25 (+€2 fee of Interrail). Using Rodalies to Portbou and a TER from there to Montpellier you could save those costs, but you'll have to leave pretty early.

Yes I wanted to use Rodalies, I love the RG1 :D I’ve been checking that but seems a bit complex to get much further than Montpellier or Marseille in the same day. Probably will do a stop at some place. Thanks for the suggestion @Schelte !

What about if I go to La Tour de Carol first (first stop in French Pyrenees)? Not sure what my options are from there. I saw I can go to Toulouse or to Paris but I am not really sure which connections are available currently or what other options I have to try to get to Germany. My final stop is actually Hamburg but I thought I’d stop in Freiburg… quite tricky! As always helps for your help everyone, what a nice community everyone is helpful.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

I'd say play around with the Deutsche Bahn planner and keep in mind that RENFE don't share their Rodalies/Cercanías timetables with the rest of the world.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

There is a night train direct to Paris from La Tour de Carol ! The reservation can be bought on the Interrail website for 23,60€ (couchette). It’s a great route too.

Then the next day the cheapest route would be : Paris - Strasbourg (10€), Strasbourg - Offenburg - Hamburg Hbf (optional reservation)

But it’s not the cheapest route, it would be :

  • Rodalies Barcelona - Portbou 07:16 - 09:59
  • TER Portbou - Perpignan 10:05 - 11:03
  • TER Perpignan 11:10 - Montpellier St-Roch 13:09
  • TGV Montpellier St-Roch 13:57 - Strasbourg 20:18 (10€)

Strasbourg is nice and easier to overnight but Freiburg is also an option as shown before.

This route is for a weekday, it doesn’t really work on weekends but there are other options, like TGV between Montpellier and Lyon and then night in Dijon for example.

Deutsche Bahn planner? Never heard of that, will give it a look!

You can find Rodalies de Catalunya timetables here:

There’s a search box as well as a PDF for each one of the lines with timetables.

Sad they’re not integrated into Interrail…

Hi @thibcabe that’s very helpful thanks! Didn’t think of Strasbourg but it’s actually quite a good idea.

Also love the night train! Specially starting in the Pyrenees. However I don’t seem to be able to book through Interrail website. I tried on two different browsers to be sure browser it’s not the problem. Here’s what I see:

Firstly I search the night train and I find it. It shows a price of From 11€.
Then I click in the option of the night train. The 11€ price is gone and there is no booking button


So it seems there’s no way to book anything with SNCF through Interrail website. Is anyone able to get the “Book” button?

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

I'm only able to book until 6th June so about 90 days in advance, although SNCF opened booking for summer today. Don't think there's another alternative than waiting unless you call SNCF where it may or may not work

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

They've just opened sales for regular tickets in August today through their own channels, there might be some delay before they get available through Interrail

Okay thanks for the information! 😊

I’ll keep on checking and see.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Just so that you get advice for the correct trains. Are you going to Freiburg in Switzerland or Freiburg in Germany? 

Freiburg in Germany :)