Getting from Madrid to Toledo by bus

When you live anywhere for a long time, mundane events like route and terminal changes are inconsequential to your life, simply because we have our set patterns and routines. We have our timings down to the minute and we rely on those constants to maintain order in our lives. Traveling to a completely new place upsets that order and brings to light the importance of regular updates in documentation. On my way to Toledo, I had a vision and expectation of how the trip would go.

  • Take the Metro on the blue line from Bilbao to Pacifico
  • Change Metros at Pacifico from the blue line to the grey Circle line and get off at Mendez Alvaro.
  • Walk upstairs to the bus terminal, get my ticket and head on my way to Toledo at noon.
  • Estimated time according to blogs and a guidebook – 25 mins

However the trip this morning didn’t go to plan as the new procedure is actually the following

  • Take the Metro on the blue line from Bilbao to Pacifico
  • Change Metros at Pacifico from the blue line to the grey Circle line and get off at Plaza Eliptica.
  • Walk upstairs one flight and buy your ticket at Continental, however the most cost effective way to make the trip to Toledo is to buy a 1 day Zone T tourist pass from any Metro station. This entitles you to unlimited use of all forms of public transportation in Madrid (which includes Toledo). The Zone T pass costs €10 compared to the €8,65 (return), if one buys the bus ticket to Toledo. This quickly makes sense as you also need to factor in the cost of getting to the bus stop from wherever you are. 
  • All direct buses to Toledo leave from Gate 7 (Directo), the buses leave every 30 mins from 6.30am – Noon. From noon till 6pm, the buses leave every hour and the back to every 30 mins till 11pm. I got to Plaza Eliptica after my diversion at 12.04pm, obviously I had to wait till 1pm for the next bus, which was a little annoying, but thankfully bringing my laptop was a good idea.

As soon as the bus pulled into the terminal, four things come to mind …

  • I’m fat (This truth only hits me when I have to walk… otherwise I am blissfully ignorant of this fact)
  • Toledo is situated high up on a hill
  • The bus terminal is at the bottom of the hill. 
  • I have to walk up the steep hill and there weren’t any signs indicating anything else.

What you should do:
The bus costs €.95 and don’t even think about actually trying to walk from the station to the top to save the money, it simply is not worth it – there is too much walking to be done in Toledo, save your energy for sightseeing.

  • Pick up the (Autobus Urbano) Number 5 bus to Plaza Zocodover in the station to save the walk up that hill.
  • The bus journey is a short little ride of about 5 minutes, as it makes it way up the hill.
  • Plaza Zocodover is the main square of Toledo and you’ll notice this as it is generally quite packed with tourists and there’s a large McDonald’s situated there.
  • There will be signs to a small tourist information centre just off the square – go grab a FREE map and start climbing!

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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