Valencia to Madrid – Busabout Hop-On Hop-Off Flexitrip

Busabout Hop On Hop Off / Spain

This morning the journey on the Busabout Hop-On Hop-Off network continues after the craziness that was the La Tomatina Festival. Today we leave the Mediterranean coast and the city of Valencia and make our way to the Spanish capital of Madrid.


On this leg of the Busabout network we depart Valencia from outside the Purple Nest Hostel at 1:00pm, the late departure time is due to Valencia being an optional stop along the way and the coach has come from Barcelona in the morning. On arrival in Madrid we are dropped off outside the U Hostel at around 7:00pm and given it doesn’t get dark until late there is plenty of time to explore the immediate area.

Valencia to Madrid – 27 August, 2015

With the later departure this morning we had the luxury of sleeping in and taking our time. Naturally we had to eventually check out of the Hotel Casual Valencia and still had some time, so we left our bags at the hostel and went out for some lunch before making our way to the drop off/pick up point.

Arriving in Madrid in the early evening we arrived at the U Hostel and then made our way around the corner for the short walk to our accommodation for the next two nights at Exe Central Madrid.

After checking into the hotel we went for a walk to try and find somewhere for dinner, we came across a restaurant called Gastro Bar that had a good deal going so we decided to give it a shot. Although we were really hoping that the food doesn’t live up to the name. To be honest we found the name funny and how ironic would it be if that did happen? This is probably closer to the real reason of why we ate here!

Madrid, Spain

Once we had finished dinner we wondered the streets close by for a little bit before having an early night and to plan what we would go see and do tomorrow. Our hotel was located near what seemed to be a popular night spot so we heard a bit of commotion out on the streets during the night and until the early hours of the morning, but it wasn’t too bad.

Madrid – 28 August, 2015

Today was time for us to explore the Spanish capital of Madrid and we had plenty to see ahead of us but our first challenge was to find everything. I didn’t do much research about Madrid before coming here for the first time. Mostly what I had heard and read was very mixed with most opinions leaning towards Madrid not having much to see or do but I couldn’t disagree with this more.

We decided to walk everywhere despite Madrid having a very capable metro system. You get a better feeling of what a city is like if you are walking the streets rather than being underground in tunnels getting from point A to B. I loved looking at the old buildings and was mesmerised at an old Cinema building in Plaza del Callao along with the other buildings constructed in the 1920s. One of our first stops for the morning was the Royal Palace of Madrid, the official residence of the Spanish monarchy in Madrid and is open for tourist to go inside and visit. We were trying to decide if we would go inside or not and finally decided that we would. We lasted in line for about 2 minutes as the heat was unbearable on the hot concrete and so we decided to give it a miss and move on.

Another loverly part of Madrid is in the main square of Puerta del Sol which is the main square in Madrid and is always a hive of activity. It is best known as being the symbolic central point for all of Spain with all Spanish road measurements starting at this point. There is even a plaque is here on the ground signifying that this is where 0 kilometre starts. One of things I loved about this square was seeing one of the big neon signs on top of a building advertising Tio Pepe. The bottle symbol can be seen all over Spain along the major roads as a large black silhouette advertising the product without even mentioning the name to get around alcohol advertising laws.

We kept walking and accidentally came across Plaza Mayor which is simply translated to Main Square. The square was undergoing restoration work at the time and scaffolding was blocking half of the building that surrounded the square. It was quite amusing because the scaffolding was covered in an image of the building it looks like and it was depicted as a bright red. This is what we saw through a narrow lane way that attracted us to go and have a look in that direction and I’m glad we did as it is a beautiful square that has hosted events from markets, bull fighting and other significant events for Madrid.

One of Madrid’s premier attractions is Buen Retiro Park a massive 350 acre park that used to be private land of the Spanish monarchy until it was opened up for public use in the late 19th century. The park has many attractions within itself, the main one being the pond where tourist and locals alike can hire a small boat, take in the sun and left time fly by. Next to the pond is the striking Monument to Alfonso XII who was the King of Spain from 1874 when the Spanish monarchy was restored.

The monument is quite large and is interesting to get up close to and walk on as you get a great view of the video park and pond. The park also contains a number of other buildings, The Crystal Palace is a large building made out of glass which would get quite hot being in the direct sunlight. Another building just beyond this contained an exhibition of modern art work which I didn’t quite get as ‘art’. Think of a few planks of wood on the floor and that being called art, not something I understand.

The park is also full of many statues and sculptures, the most famous being Fountain of the Fallen Angel which can be found in the centre of a round about. We were trying to find the statue which is located near the corder of the pond in the centre of a roundabout, despite using google maps to try and located we were unsuccessful.

One of the surprising things to do in Madrid and it might sound like a lame thing to do, is to go and check out the main railway station called Atocha Station. This was the site of the 2004 bombings that killed 191 people and the station houses a museum dedicated to the people who were lost that day. This is why we decided to come down here to have a look at this museum which was on recommendation from our Busabout guide, however we couldn’t find it and missed out seeing it. But not all was lost as the station has something pretty unique and impressive, it has a tropical garden built inside the main buildings. Not only that, it also has a large pond which is full with 100s of turtles that attract many visitors.

Today was a pretty exhausting day as we walked all over Madrid, I managed to clock up just over 26,000 steps on my Fitbit which wasn’t a bad effort. Exhausted, we headed back to the hotel for some rest before heading out for some dinner and stopping by a bar just outside our hotel that was serving really cheap drinks. Tomorrow we are off on our next adventure with Busabout as we start of seven day Iberian Adventure tour, taking in the sites for Seville, Lagos, Tangier in Morocco, Granada before landing back in Madrid where it all starts bright and early tomorrow.

Busabout Coach


U Hostel
Calle de Sagest 22, 28004 Madrid, Spain
+34 914 450 300

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Just your average guy doing his 9 - 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer...

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