From Spain to Monaco

Staff member: Shariah // Trip date: Nov 2017

After spending a few days in the lively city of Barcelona, it was time to move on to my next destination, Monaco. I arrived at Barcelona Sants station an hour prior to my TGV train departure to Valence, which gave me enough time to enjoy my last meal in Barcelona at one of the cafes within the station. This also gave me enough time to find my bearings.

 

I found Barcelona Sants very easy to navigate and once through security, I took a seat in the waiting area where I had access to limited wifi and waited for boarding.

 

When it came time for boarding, one of the boarding agents asked us to line up so they could check our tickets. I found it super fast to bypass the big line as I had a Eurail pass. There was a specific line for Eurail and Interrail pass holders and only 3 people were in the line (including myself!), meanwhile, ticket holders had a line of about 25-40 people.

 

When I boarded my TGV service, I found my first class seat to be in the upper duplex level where I was in a Club Duo arrangement - this is where two seats face each other and there is a table in between.

 

I will be honest with you, as I had quite a lot of luggage I found it a bit challenging to get up the stairs with all my bags - so if you have restricted mobility, it may pay to sit in the lower level.

 

Once up the stairs, I found there was a toilet to my left and doors to access my coach - which opened when pressing the green button. Once through the doors, I found luggage storage to my right and my seats weren't far from my luggage either so I had less to worry about if something were to happen to my bags (I was seated in Coach 12, seat 71).

 

I found my seat to be very comfortable, spacious and it could recline further than your standard airline seat. There was also café car on board where you could purchase food, which I found in coach 14.

 

The journey I took went through a few places like Girona, Figueres and Perpignan. Don't be afraid if you see a few armed police when passing through some stations, they are there for your protection and I found them to be very friendly - they always waved back to me and smiled.

 

The journey time was roughly 4 hours and was an amazing way to see and experience the beautiful scenery of Spain and France. I arrived into Valence at 13:38 and had about an hour and a half until my next train to Nice Ville - this gave me some time to freshen up and eat some snacks as I waited.

 

Valence TGV station is really easy to navigate and I managed to pass my time by playing the Piano they provided within the station. The one thing that shocked me though, was that you have to pay 0.70 euros each time you use the bathroom.

 

I'm not kidding! There is no way around the people who collect this money as they have a desk at the entrance.

 

When preparing to board my next train to Nice, I found the platform information board - which was really a TV and proceeded to my platform. I found that the platform I was on had these electronic boards with the words "Composition des trains" written on them - which basically told you what part of the platform your coach will pull up on.

 

This made it so much easier to board and helps prepare you for boarding.

 

The train service to Nice Ville was a TGV Lyria, which was also just as spacious as my first train journey. I found that the luggage storage was between each coach and not within the coach itself like my previous TGV journey.

 

Although the luggage area was not within direct sight, there was a lot more room to store your bags and the overhead bag storage within the coach had more room than the TGV. There was also a buffet car on board where you could purchase meals - but as I had already eaten, I didn't look through the menu.

 

Again, the journey time was about 4 hours, so I arrived into Nice Ville at 07:00 in the evening.
Once in Nice Ville, I had 19 minutes until my next train departed for Monaco. I had more than enough time to make the transfer and actually found myself twiddling my thumbs.

 

Nice Ville has roughly 7 platforms and they're all on the same level. All you have to do to change platforms is take an escalator up to the bridge, walk along that bridge and take an escalator down to your platform.

 

My next train was a regional service which had two levels, there were stairs to either go up or down. I decided to sit in the lower level to make it easier to disembark. The journey time was about 20 minutes and exiting Monaco/Monte Carlo station was really easy as they have signage written in English below the French description.

 

PRO TIP: If you don't have wifi or data like I did, book your taxi in advance when you arrive into Monaco!!! I had to do a 20-minute walk from Monaco station to my Hotel (with all my bags) as there were no Taxis in the Taxi bay waiting area.

 

The Taxi phone outside the station did not work either and all the taxis that passed by were either already on their way to pick someone up or had passengers within the car. Also, I found that Monaco does not have Uber - So definitely book your taxi in advance!

 

Safe and happy travels to all those who choose TGV and TGV Lyria services.

 

Jusqu'à la prochaine fois!

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