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Cities connected to the high-speed train

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Travelling by train is another attraction. The mythical steam trains making their way through the mountains, crossing bridges over rivers, all form part of popular imagination. The Catalan high-speed trains have recovered this romantic essence and have modernised it. How? There is no steam, but the same travelling is done and times are considerably shorter. Discover Catalonia by train.

Catalan AVE cities
To get a high-speed train, you just have to go to one of Catalonia's AVE cities on the Spanish high-speed railway network. There are five of them: Barcelona, Lleida, Tarragona-Reus, Girona and Figueres-Vilafant. They are connected to the main Spanish capitals and are your fastest entry to Europe.

Speed and accessibility between the AVE Cities
The high-speed train connects the main European capitals in record time. For instance Barcelona and Girona are under 40 minutes away from each other; you take an hour to get from Barcelona to Lleida, and Paris is just over 6 hours away from the Catalan capital. These are just some signs of the interconnections provided by the AVE Cities.

The days get longer when you travel by high-speed train
To all of these advantages, you have to add the frequency of the high-speed trains. You can get up at 9 in Tarragona, peacefully discover the Roman remains, have a good rice dish by the beach, get high-speed train at 4 in the afternoon and be in Barcelona in under 40 minutes. You still have all of the afternoon to visit the Sagrada Familia or do a little shopping, you decide.

When you visit Catalonia by train, you will see that the distances become shorter.
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The high-speed train connects AVE Cities to the main European capitals in record time.

High-speed train cities
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Catalonia has five cities on the European high-speed railway network. These are:
Trampolining in the Picornell pools with the city in the background. (© Lluís Carro)
Barcelona
With its Catalan Art Nouveau heritage, crowned by works of Antoni Gaudí (including the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and La Pedrera) that are today points of world reference, and the spectacular seafront that opens the city to the Mediterranean, a benchmark for leisure and fine cuisine, Catalonia's capital enchants all those who visit its squares and streets, who stroll and stare along the Ramblas and Passeig de Gràcia or who climb Montjuïc to gain a bird's-eye view of a city that lives by day and remains awake by night.
Tower of the Dalí Theatre-Museum. (© Lluís Carro)
Figueres
Figueres is located in the centre of Alt Empordà, on the plains, and it is the cultural and tourist capital, with important offerings such as the Museu-Teatre Gala Salvador Dalí and the Museu del Joguet.

It also has the singularity of presiding over a region that has two nature parks (those of Aiguamolls de l'Empordà and Cap de Creus) and a natural landscape of interest (L'Albera), which also makes it attractive for both nature enthusiasts and those who enjoy nature-related sports on land (hiking, mountain biking), in the sea (scuba diving, kayaking, etc.) and in the air (hot air balloons, paragliding, parachuting, etc.).

Figueres has several buildings of interest, such as the church of Sant Pere, the Casino or the Galatea tower of the Dalí Museum. In addition to the Surrealist painter, the city has seen the birth of many personalities, such as the engineer Narcís Monturiol, the maker of the first submarine (the Ictíneo, 1909).

The sardana, a popular Catalan dance, was also created in Figueres.

Houses next to the Onyar river  (© Servicios Editoriales Georama)
Girona
Girona has the charm and magic of a large city, but also the friendly atmosphere of a small town. It has a wide range of tourist, cultural and historic attractions, and a rich social life, with events and popular festivals of great interest.

The city still preserves an old Medieval district that extends up to the impressive cathedral, through the dark, narrow streets of the Old quarter, while more modern and organised part is at the other side of the river. Above the bank of the river Onyar is Girona's most famous image, formed by the pleasant colourful houses.

The Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria (11th-13th centuries) is Girona's most relevant architectural feature, though it is by no means the only one. There are many other examples of religious architecture, such as the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants (13th century), the convents of Sant Domènec (13th century) and Sant Josep (16th-17th centuries) or the churches of Sant Feliu (12th-16th centuries), Sant Nicolau (12th century) or Sant Daniel (11th century), among other buildings.

There are also examples of civilian architecture from other periods, such as the Turkish baths (12th-13th centuries), the Agullana house (14th-17th centuries), the old palace of Caramany (16th-18th centuries) or the Modernista Teixidor house (1918).

But Girona's attractiveness is not only limited to history or architecture. The Devesa Park is one of the most pleasant green urban spaces in Catalonia. The city's many museums complete a very comprehensive cultural offering.

Night-time view of the walls and bell tower of La Seu Vella  (© Miguel Raurich)
Lleida
Lleida has seen significant development in recent years. It is a modern and lively city in terms of business, culture and heritage. In addition, it is well communicated and located in a singular setting, surrounded by large extensions of fruit trees and with the river Segre running through it.

As corresponds to a city with deep historic roots, Lleida has many interesting buildings. The Hill of la Seu Vella (13th century) or the remains of the old Muslim Suda, offer the best views of the city.

In the old quarter do not miss the palace of la Paería, the Seu Nova or the old hospital of Santa María, in addition to the extensive variety of museums, starting with the Diocesan and Regional Lleida Museum, the Jaume Morera Art Museum, the Water Museum and the La Panera Art Centre.

Roman aqueduct of Les Ferreres or Pont del Diable (Devil's Bridge). (© Lluís Carro)
Tarragona
Strolling through the most Roman of all Catalan cities, visitors might feel nostalgic for times when Tarraco was capital and home to half Hispania. But this sensation does not last long when you discover the rich medieval and modern heritage, the magnificent beaches and the wide range of recreational, cultural, festive and gastro activities in Tarragona city.

The main architectural attractions in the World Heritage Site city are Roman: the walls, the amphitheatre, the theatre, the hippodrome, the Pretorio tower, the pre-Christian necropolis and local and provincial forums, all in the historic town centre. What's more, on the outskirts, it is possible to see the Mèdol quarry, the aqueduct on the Devil's bridge and the Escipiones mausoleum.

On the other hand, don't miss the chance to visit the cathedral of Santa María and the Canals and Castellarnau houses.

The municipality's nineteen kilometres of coastline boast fabulous beaches such as la Llarga, la Rabassada or la Fonda, as well as natural spaces such as the mouth of the Gaià and Tamarit-Punta de la Mora, location of Tamarit castle and the Mora tower.

Night view of the Gaudí Center  (© Miguel Raurich)
Reus
The capital of Baix Camp can be considered a true sanctuary of Modernista architecture, both thanks to its emblematic buildings and to the personal touch left by masters such as Gaudí and Domènech i Muntaner.

A city decidedly focused on culture, Reus is also the city of birth of personalities from the world of letters, such as the poet Gabriel Ferrater or the theatre director Lluís Pasqual.

Whoever visits it cannot miss some of the most outstanding intitutions, such as the Bartrina and Fortuny theatres, nor forget the smell of gunpowder caused by the "tronada", the main event of the patron saint celebrations, which takes place in the beautiful Mercadal square.

Where?Ex. Barcelona, Gelida
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GironaGirona
Girona
Girona /
   
Girona has the charm and magic of a large city, but also the friendly atmosphere of a small town. It has a wide range of tourist, cultural and historic attractions, and a rich social life, with events and popular festivals of great interest.

The city still preserves an old Medieval district that extends up to the impressive cathedral, through the dark, narrow streets of the Old quarter, while more modern and organised part is at the other side of the river. Above the bank of the river Onyar is Girona's most famous image, formed by the pleasant colourful houses.

The Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria (11th-13th centuries) is Girona's most relevant architectural feature, though it is by no means the only one. There are many other examples of religious architecture, such as the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants (13th century), the convents of Sant Domènec (13th century) and Sant Josep (16th-17th centuries) or the churches of Sant Feliu (12th-16th centuries), Sant Nicolau (12th century) or Sant Daniel (11th century), among other buildings.

There are also examples of civilian architecture from other periods, such as the Turkish baths (12th-13th centuries), the Agullana house (14th-17th centuries), the old palace of Caramany (16th-18th centuries) or the Modernista Teixidor house (1918).

But Girona's attractiveness is not only limited to history or architecture. The Devesa Park is one of the most pleasant green urban spaces in Catalonia. The city's many museums complete a very comprehensive cultural offering.

LleidaLleida
Lleida
Lleida / Terres de Lleida
   
Lleida has seen significant development in recent years. It is a modern and lively city in terms of business, culture and heritage. In addition, it is well communicated and located in a singular setting, surrounded by large extensions of fruit trees and with the river Segre running through it.

As corresponds to a city with deep historic roots, Lleida has many interesting buildings. The Hill of la Seu Vella (13th century) or the remains of the old Muslim Suda, offer the best views of the city.

In the old quarter do not miss the palace of la Paería, the Seu Nova or the old hospital of Santa María, in addition to the extensive variety of museums, starting with the Diocesan and Regional Lleida Museum, the Jaume Morera Art Museum, the Water Museum and the La Panera Art Centre.

TarragonaTarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona / Costa Daurada
   
Strolling through the most Roman of all Catalan cities, visitors might feel nostalgic for times when Tarraco was capital and home to half Hispania. But this sensation does not last long when you discover the rich medieval and modern heritage, the magnificent beaches and the wide range of recreational, cultural, festive and gastro activities in Tarragona city.

The main architectural attractions in the World Heritage Site city are Roman: the walls, the amphitheatre, the theatre, the hippodrome, the Pretorio tower, the pre-Christian necropolis and local and provincial forums, all in the historic town centre. What's more, on the outskirts, it is possible to see the Mèdol quarry, the aqueduct on the Devil's bridge and the Escipiones mausoleum.

On the other hand, don't miss the chance to visit the cathedral of Santa María and the Canals and Castellarnau houses.

The municipality's nineteen kilometres of coastline boast fabulous beaches such as la Llarga, la Rabassada or la Fonda, as well as natural spaces such as the mouth of the Gaià and Tamarit-Punta de la Mora, location of Tamarit castle and the Mora tower.

BarcelonaBarcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona / Barcelona
   
With its Catalan Art Nouveau heritage, crowned by works of Antoni Gaudí (including the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and La Pedrera) that are today points of world reference, and the spectacular seafront that opens the city to the Mediterranean, a benchmark for leisure and fine cuisine, Catalonia's capital enchants all those who visit its squares and streets, who stroll and stare along the Ramblas and Passeig de Gràcia or who climb Montjuïc to gain a bird's-eye view of a city that lives by day and remains awake by night.
FigueresFigueres
Figueres
Figueres /
   
Figueres is located in the centre of Alt Empordà, on the plains, and it is the cultural and tourist capital, with important offerings such as the Museu-Teatre Gala Salvador Dalí and the Museu del Joguet.

It also has the singularity of presiding over a region that has two nature parks (those of Aiguamolls de l'Empordà and Cap de Creus) and a natural landscape of interest (L'Albera), which also makes it attractive for both nature enthusiasts and those who enjoy nature-related sports on land (hiking, mountain biking), in the sea (scuba diving, kayaking, etc.) and in the air (hot air balloons, paragliding, parachuting, etc.).

Figueres has several buildings of interest, such as the church of Sant Pere, the Casino or the Galatea tower of the Dalí Museum. In addition to the Surrealist painter, the city has seen the birth of many personalities, such as the engineer Narcís Monturiol, the maker of the first submarine (the Ictíneo, 1909).

The sardana, a popular Catalan dance, was also created in Figueres.