Paris to Madrid by Rail

8 Days | Discover France and Spain on a public transport-only adventure

5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews submitted.
USD $2,597
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Explore some of Europe’s highlights in Spain and France, without the hassle of airport queues or long driving days, with this rail-only eight-day trip from Paris to Madrid. Only using public transport, you’ll get a unique insight into Paris, Nimes, Barcelona and Madrid, with a local leader who knows all the best hidden spots. You’ll taste croissants, tapas and churros, wander through hidden walkways for excellent panoramic views only locals get to see and witness the interesting past of human creative genius with stops at popular landmarks like Sagrada Familia, and Puerta del Sol. Choose to extend your journey and start in the UK, with the optional Eurostar transfer from London to Paris (it only takes 2.5 hours!).

Trip overview

Map of Paris To Madrid By Rail including France and Spain
Paris, France
Madrid, Spain
Explorer, Rail
Spain, France
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Skip the airport queues on this railway journey through France and Spain, discovering iconic sites and local secrets via trains and public transport.
  • Explore Paris' Montmartre area – a favourite for artists for generations. See where Van Gogh and Picasso used to live and take hidden walkways to secret viewpoints that only locals know.
  • Indulge in buttery croissants in Paris, taste Spain’s favourite dessert (churros) in Madrid and enjoy a tapas dinner in Barcelona where you can rub shoulders with the locals and toast to a sense of community.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Casa Caridad. Donations help them provide basic needs such as food and shelter for people in need in Valencia. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Is this trip right for you?
  • If you love avoiding airport queues this is the trip for you however as public transport is the predominant form of transport on this trip we highly recommend packing as lightly as possible as you will be expected to carry your own bags of buses, trains, etc. as well as to and from your accommodation.
  • If travelling to Paris from London we highly recommend using the fast Eurostar train from London's St Pancras station. At under 2.5 hours travel time and with no airport queues, this is by far the most convenient travel option.


Map of Paris To Madrid By Rail including France and Spain



6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner


Train, Public bus, Metro, Taxi


Hotel (7 nights)

  • Paris - Hidden Montmartre Urban Adventure
  • Visit Pont du Gard (Museum, Bridge and Swimming Time and Free Time for Lunch)
  • Sagrada Familia Admission
  • Churros Stop
Add on activities
  • Paris - Palace of Versailles - EUR20
  • Paris - Louvre Museum (must be prebooked in advance) - EUR17
  • Paris - Arc de Triomphe - EUR13
  • Paris - Musee d'Orsay - EUR16
  • Paris - Rodin Museum - EUR13
  • Paris - Napoleon's Tomb & Les Invalides Army Museum - EUR15
  • Paris - Eiffel Tower (from - must be prebooked in advance) - EUR19
  • Paris - Da Vinci Code Walking Tour - EUR25
  • La Maison Carrée (Roman Temple) - EUR6
  • Roman Amphitheatre of Nîmes - EUR10
  • Pont du Gard Kayaking - EUR13
  • Barcelona - National Art Museum of Catalonia - EUR12
  • Barcelona - Museum of Gaudi - EUR6
  • Barcelona - Museum of City History - EUR7
  • Barcelona - Picasso Museum - EUR14
  • Barcelona - Barcelona Cathedral - EUR11
  • Barcelona - Ethnological and World Cultures - EUR5
  • Barcelona - Contemporary Art Museum - EUR12
  • Barcelona - Casa Batllo (advance booking required) - EUR29
  • Barcelona - Guell Palace - EUR12
  • Madrid - Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - EUR13
  • Madrid - Museo del Prado - EUR15
  • Madrid - Museo Reina Sofia - EUR10
  • Madrid - Museo Taurino - EUR15
  • Madrid - Real Jardín Botánico - EUR6
  • Madrid - Tapas Urban Adventure - EUR99
  • Madrid - Royal Palace - EUR14

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. On this trip we aim to use 'fast' and direct trains as much as possible (e.g. TGV) but there may be times when these services are unavailable, leading to the use of a slower alternative train/s.
2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information


5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Qinghong · Traveled April 2024
As my 1st ever trip to Europe as a solo traveler, choosing Intrepid is the best decision I made! The experience was amazing beyond my imagination. Thanks to Intrepid, I’m now excited to explore the world with great anticipation and little fear.
Review submitted 20 Apr 2024

David · Traveled April 2024
An awesome rail trip visiting two of the grand capitals of Europe.
Review submitted 20 Apr 2024
Paris to Madrid by Rail
USD $2,597