The bus is easily the best way to travel between Madrid and Guadalajara. Travelling by train is also an option, but there’s a huge difference in price. Travelling on the bus will only cost you €3.34 each way and you can buy a return ticket for €6.35. If you decide to travel between Madrid and Guadalajara by train, a one-way ticket will cost you around €16-€17.50. However, it occasionally comes down to €6.30 on the rare occasions you can get a slower train. The normal trains do the journey in 23-26 minutes. The slower ones take around 40 minutes.
The bus takes 40 minutes to an hour. The difference in time is due to the fact certain buses take slightly different routes. When I went from Madrid to Guadalajara at 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon, the journey took an hour. When I took the bus back to Madrid at 5 pm on the same day, the journey only took 40-45 minutes.
The other big difference between the train and the bus is you will probably have to buy a ticket in advance. Either at the station, online, or via the Renfe app. The bus company (Alsa) also has an app. Buying tickets online is possible too, but it’s much easier to just pay in cash when you get on the bus.
Where to Go and Get the Bus
If you are travelling from Guadalajara to Madrid, it’s easy. Just go to the main bus station in Guadalajara [MAP]. When you are going from Madrid to Guadalajara you need to go to the main bus station at Avenida de America [MAP]. Depending on where you are in the city, you may have quite a long walk. However, the Madrid Metro stops directly underneath the bus station. So you can get there easily by metro. Then it’s just a case of taking the escalator up a few floors and going for your bus. It’s a big station but, on the day that I travelled from Madrid to Guadalajara, the bus stopped at terminal no. 1.
If you want up to date bus information and prices, go to this page: https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/home
For up-to-date train prices go here: http://www.renfe.com
If you want the apps just search the apple of Google Play stores for Renfe (trains) or Alsa (Bus).
However, unless you have a fondness of spending unnecessary money, the bus is always going to be the best way to travel from Madrid to Guadalajara and back again.
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