Do you want to learn how to get around the city when you study abroad in Alicante? Do you need to get to school somehow? Are you most likely to take an Uber in your hometown? Does public transportation scare you? Fear not; the TRAM system in Alicante is easy, affordable, and a relatively clean option for you. With so many stops and so many trains, you can utilize this system for short distances, or it can even to take you to other cities (including some favorites like Altea or Benidorm). Using this guide I have put together for you, I have faith that you will want to explore outside of walking distance and become comfortable using transportation in Alicante.
First of all, it is important that you get a tram card. This plastic “credit card” is rechargeable (Spaniards are very eco-friendly). You might notice that other people around you have a different colored card. This is because they are residents of Alicante, so do not get nervous if this is the case. If you’d like to add trips onto your card, you must use a machine found in the station of which you are leaving (in my case, Luceros was my homebase). Then, you must look for the large orange machines which have a touch screen on the front of them. Simply follow the instructions on the screen (choose English if you are more comfortable) and pay for more rides.
To enter the tram, you must swipe your card at the gate, and then scan the card inside the tram on your way back. Once you scan on the tram, the machine will tell you how many rides you have left. Once I got used to the system, I learned to love the tram. Every day, I boarded very early for an 8:00 a.m. class. Although some people are probably gasping with horror at that last sentence, it was actually my favorite part of the day. There were typically not that many people, mostly just students headed to university like me. I always chose the window seat, popped in headphones, and watched the sun rise over the ocean. It was a beautiful way to start my day and reflect on how grateful I am to be given an opportunity to live in Alicante (for a short time -- too short)!
Emily Ruby is a CEA Alumni Ambassador who studied abroad in Alicante, Spain, during the Fall 2019 semester. She is currently a student at Illinois State University.
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