Travelling with FlixBus: Get comfortably from Madrid to Lisbon
It’s mid-afternoon as the bright green FlixBus rolls out of the busy bus-hub of Méndez Álvaro in Madrid. The bus navigates the downtown traffic and soon makes its way to the more open road, leaving the Spanish capital in its rear mirror.
I’m buckled up for an eight and a half hour journey to Lisbon in Portugal, and I’m loaded with a few snacks and drinks, a book and my inflatable neck pillow. I’m prepared for a long journey, but I’m surprised about the comfort in this modern bus with good leg room, comfy seats, individual air condition units, good space on the shelf above and an electric plug to keep my phone running all the way. Even the wifi works really well – unlike many other long-distance buses I’ve tried in the past.
I lean back and let the world of Instagram and Facebook distract me for a while until I notice the more open landscapes have replaced the cityscape behind the big windows. The scenery keeps changing from far-stretching views to smaller towns and about one hour after our departure from Madrid, we pass close by the medieval castle ‘Castillo de la Vela’ in the town of Maqueda. Just a little treat “served” at my seat. I sit and take it all in, and later when we cross the invisible border between the regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura, I see the natural surroundings getting more rugged.
Extremadura makes up a big part of this journey. It’s a stunning region and it serves as the perfect live “music video” for my favourite travel tunes. Meanwhile, the journey seems smooth and the traffic is flowing well.
Around 6.10 pm we roll into the city of Cáceres, which is the capital of the province of the same name. I can’t see much of the city, but I make a note of taking a trip here in the future. The bus has made its way into the city for a 30-minute break, so all we passengers can stretch our legs, grab a quick bite in the cafeteria or just a cup of coffee. I opt for the latte(r) and get a nice caffeine boost for just €1,50.
It’s about 8 pm when we reach the riverside city of Badajoz, right on the border to Portugal. And soon, I get my first views of southern Portugal, as the sun gets lower on the horizon. I have previously visited Porto in the north of the country and The Azores far out in Atlantic, but this is my first trip to the Portuguese capital, and I’m pleased to be arriving by bus to get a better feel of the surroundings.
Many of the passengers are sleeping by now and I’ve taken a few naps along the way too. But although it’s dark, as we reach the huge Vasco da Gama Bridge, I’m happy to be awake when we cross the longest bridge in Europe! And in the distance, the twinkling lights of Lisbon are welcoming me on the opposite shore of the Targus river.
It’s been a long but comfortable and scenic journey through southwestern Spain and southern Portugal. We reach the impressive station Estação do Oriente northeast of Lisbon’s before the scheduled time, and from here it’s easy to catch the metro and head to the heart of the capital.
After this experience, I will definitely recommend travelling with FlixBus on this route. Environmentally it’s one of the best ways to travel when talking about public transport, and you can find some very budget-friendly tickets at www.flixbus.com
I was invited by FlixBus to take on this journey, but the idea for this article and the opinions are completely my own.
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