Bicycles on trains from Amsterdam to Barcelona?

My brother and I are flying to Amsterdam with our bicycles and we need to get down to Barcelona from there. Would we be allowed to take these on the train in place of other baggage? All we have besides the bikes are one small backpack each.
Thank you,
Sophia
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 08, 2014 15:56
    Hi Sophia,

    Travel between Amsterdam and Barcelona with a bicycles is made difficult by the fact that fully assembled bicycles are not allowed on board the high-speed Thalys trains (which connect the Netherlands and Belgium with Paris) and nearly all TGV trains (the high-speed trains in France), and it might be best to call us at 1-800-622-8600 for assistance with this.

    A connection comprised of trains that would allow passengers to take fully assembled bicycles on board from Amsterdam to Barcelona would take a considerable amount of time and involves at least 8 train changes along the way.

    Just to get from Amsterdam to Paris alone would involve taking a Regional-Express (RE) train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam (1 to 1.5 hours in duration), an InterCity (IC) train from Rotterdam to Antwerp (1 to 1.5 hours in duration), an InterCity (IC) train from Antwerp to Lille (2 hours in duration). a regional 'TER' train from either Lille to Amiens or Lille to St. Quentin (1 to 1.5 hours in duration), and a regional 'TER' or 'Intercités' train from Amiens to the Paris Nord station or St. Quentin to the Paris Nord station (1 to 1.5 hours in duration). On 'Intercités' trains, you would have to purchase a special bicycle ticket for your bike to take it on board.

    Then you would have to get from Paris to Port Bou (at the border of France and Spain) by a collection of connecting regional 'TER' trains. This would take at least 18 hours in duration and would involve changing trains in the likes of

    You could look for regional 'TER' trains from the Paris Bercy station to Laroche, Dijon or Lyon, connecting to regional 'TER' trains to Avignon or Arles, connecting to regional 'TER' trains to Perpignan, and finally connecting to regional 'TER' trains to Port Bou.

    From Port Bou, you can then take a direct regional train down to Barcelona (2 to 2.5 hours in duration).

    If you were to purchase tickets for such a connection on our site, you would have to break up your search in the cities I mentioned where you'd be changing trains.

    You would also have to ensure that you're looking for the specific train types that allow fully assembled bicycles on board. You can distinguish these trains by how they are labeled on our site or their train number when you pull up the results of a schedule search on our site.

    From Amsterdam to Rotterdam, the Regional-Express (RE) trains will have a 4 digit train number that begins with a '4'.

    From Rotterdam to Antwerp, the InterCity (IC) trains will have a 4 digit train number that begins with either a '1' or a '2'.

    From Antwerp to Lille, the InterCity (IC) trains will have a 3 digit train number that begins with a '7'. However, it might not be possible to purchase tickets for trains from Antwerp to Lille from anywhere outside of Europe. If no 3 digit InterCity trains display when do a search for this segment on our website, then you would have to purchase these particular tickets locally upon arrival.

    From Lille to Amiens or St. Quentin, the regional TER trains will be labeled accordingly as 'TER' trains followed by a 5 digit train number.

    From Amiens to Paris or St. Quentin to Paris, the TER and Intercités will be labeled as such.

    The regional 'TER' trains comprising of a connection from Paris down to Port Bou (involving changing trains in some combination of the following cities: Laroche, Dijon, Lyon, Avignon, Arles, and Perpignan) will all be labeled accordingly as 'TER' trains.

    Tickets for a regional train from Port Bou to Barcelona are actually on able to be purchased locally in Europe.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 08, 2014 16:00
    If you have a special bicycle bag or you plan on purchasing one before your trip, then you can take your bicycle on board any train as luggage. A bicycle can fit in such a bag with the wheels and pedals detached, and the handlebars parallel to the frame.

    With such a case, you'd be able to take your bike on board a high-speed Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris (about 3.5 hours in duration) and then a France-Spain High Speed train from Paris down to Barcelona (about 6.5 to 7 hours in duration).
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