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Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

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Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

Hello tripadvisor forum members!

I am planning a trip to Barcelona for the first week of September. My boyfriend and I would like to take a day trip to Girona. My question is, should we buy the Renfe train tickets in advance? Or would we be okay with just buying tickets on the day of? And is there a huge price discrepancy between the two options?

Thank you in advance for your advice. :)

Clinton, Oklahoma
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1. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

There is a discount but I would wait because there really is no accounting for delays. We waited and had no problems -except for I didn't know to read the difference between regional and media distance trains. MD is a little more expensive but has fewer stops and is faster.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

Trains www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/index.html

www.girona-tourist-guide.com

Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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3. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

Wws:

I always buy Renfe tickets in advance. I do not like to find unpleasant surprises when I travel, such as finding that a train I want is full. Read Buying Renfe Tickets Online.

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4. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

Thanks for all the helpful advice! I will check out the webpages suggested above :)

Girona, Spain
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5. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

It is all a bit more complicated since the high speed train service was introduced but once you understand it the service us much improved.

The high speed route us run by AVE and Avant. The train goes from Barcelona Sants direct to Girona in just 38 mins. You can buy at the station and, unless going at commuter times which are more expensive anyway, can buy at the station. The costs vary but usually around 15 euros each way but can check beforehand online.

Once you get your ticket there is a new platform underground which is clearly signed. They also do airport style bag checks but without the liquid rules etc.

The old service not on the high speed lines has 2 routes, MD (Media Distancia), and Regional. The MD train is clean and spacious but takes 1 hour 15 mins with stops on the way. Usual cost is around 10 euros. I would avoid the regional, pretty basic train and loads of stops, takes a further 15 mins longer, albeit cheaper at around 6 euros.

Most people going direct from Barcelona to Girona now choose the high speed option. The main drawback being the slightly higher price and also can only pick up at Sants. If, say, Passeig De Gracia, is more convenient for you then you can only catch the MD and Regional from there.

Barcelona, Spain
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6. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

I disagree about "most" people going from Barcelona to Girona now choosing the high speed option. At least no one I know use these, but none of my friends happen to live near Sants.

For instance, in my case: I live 10 minutes (walking) to Clot station but I have to leave home at least 40 minutes before if I want to take a train at Sants. So, any time savings on a high-speed train will be lost for me, plus it will be more expensive and with more hassle (change of trains versus direct). The only advantage would be a more comfortable train, but the MDs are not bad.

As well, we never book in advance. Our trips to Girona are decided on the spot, the day before or even the same day. We go to the station and buy a return ticket, taking the next train departing (and same when we get tired and decide to return home). We just check the MDs schedule in advance, to avoid waiting times at the stations. Or, if their schedule fits our better, we take a Regional, it is not the end of the world ;-)

Anyway, to make it short, my point: which kind of train is better depends on where your starting point in Barcelona is and how flexible your plans are.

Edited: 30 July 2013, 11:46
Girona, Spain
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7. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

Maybe I should have been a bit clearer most tourists, who tend to stay very centrally, take the high speed option.

If you are only doing a day trip to Girona you will lose over an hour of your day in travelling if you choose the MD over the high speed option.

Given there is so much to see in Girona, I would pay the extra 10 euros return.

As I say though if Passeig De Gracia is your preferred station then time can be lost in trekking over to Sants, it is just over 5 mins by train away.

Unlike the UK there doesn't seem to be a discount for booking a return ticket. Very odd, I am sure they will change that at some point.

As pointed out in the previous reply for locals the decision can be very different which is better for tourists as it keeps the high speed option available without pre booking other than at the busiest commuter times.

Barcelona, Spain
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8. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

Hi Darren, there are many hotels in the area where I do live, I was not just speaking about locals.

Re. Passeig de Gràcia, yes it is less than 5 min away from Sants IN the rodalies train (as it is less than 10 min from Clot). But, you have to add waiting and connection times and being in advance enough for navigating Sants and passing through the security controls (yes, these are fast, but you need to account these too). All these easily add more than 30 minutes total (at "local who knows well Sants" speed)

In any case, there are different options for different needs and this is good :)

Girona, Spain
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9. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

...and all options definitely better, cheaper, speedier and standard of train than you get back in the UK!

Stockholm, Sweden
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10. Re: Day trip to Girona: should I buy train tickets in advance?

I've travelled extensively with train from Barcelona. In general there's no need to buy in advance. Especially not if going to Girona which is quite close, I do recommend the high speed option though :)