In the past month and a half, I have been blown away by the efficiency of the public transportation systems in Spain. For day to day life in Granada, I am fortunate enough to only have to use my two feet. For weekend travels though, my favorite way to get to another city is taking public transportation. Not to mention, public transportation is 100% cheaper than taking a flight. Here are the three ways that I have been getting around Spain:
While Granada is small enough to walk around on foot, having the option to take the bus to the outskirts of the city is a plus. One time, my friend and I wanted to go hiking in the Sierra Nevada. All we had to do was take a public bus to Motril (a pueblo on the outskirts of Granada) and find the trail head. We only had to pay €1.20. Like most public bus systems, the buses run on 10-15 minute intervals and are extremely easy to navigate. While I have not used the public bus system anywhere else, I can imagine that all of them would be just as easy to navigate.
I never thought I would say this, but charter buses are probably my favorite way to get around Spain. For whatever reason, the time always feels shorter than what they say. For example, this past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Madrid. The bus ride was 5 hours, but it honestly felt no longer than 2 hours. The buses are comfortable and usually make one stop depending on the duration of your journey. Traffic jams are almost nonexistent, so the only reason you would not get there on time is if the bus driver decided to drive slow. Not only this, but it is so incredibly cheap to travel by bus. For a round trip ticket I only paid €35, which comes out to about $39. If you are ever in Spain, this is the way to travel.
This section honestly depends on the size of the city. The first time I experienced a Spanish underground system was when I went to Madrid. (Granada is too small of a city for one to exist and thrive). I have not been on a lot of subways in my life, but I would have to say that the Madrid metro system is one of the most efficient and easiest system to follow. Luckily for me, I had a friend studying abroad there who could show me the ropes. Basically, all you need to do is know your desired location and the nearest metro stop in relation to that location. It can get a little tricky if you have to change lines, but the signs at the stop will guide you in the right direction. For 10 trips, I payed about €12 which is a lot cheaper than paying for each trip. If you are a student living in Madrid there are reasonably priced monthly passes you can purchase. I highly recommend this for anyone who will study abroad in a bigger city.
The past couple weekends have been filled with beauty, nature, and a whole lot of walking.
This was an absolutely magnificent hike through the Sierra Nevada. I had this hike on my summer bucket list and I was not disappointed. Absolutely magnificent.
In Madrid, my friend and I walked a total of 13.1 miles in one day. Yep, that is a half marathon. We saw almost everything that Madrid had to offer.
Madrid City Hall
Parque de Retiro
The Royal Palace