by Victor Sesma
Victor Sesma is an Alicantinian living in London. He is a Software Engineer who likes writing about the city he was born.
Your Guide to Alicante [By an Alicantinian]
Alicante TRAM is a rail service that connects Alicante city centre with San Juan beach and neighbouring towns such as El Campello, Benidorm and Denia.
The TRAM service operates in underground tunnels in Alicante city centre and overground in the rest of the line. There are 6 TRAM lines split into 3 zones. Prices vary from 1.45€ single ticket for one zone to 3,90€ for single tickets for the 3 zones and the equivalent of 0,76€ to 1.90€ when using the most affordable travel cards. Night services are available on summer weekends at the same price. Frequencies vary per line.
Alicante’s TRAM service is reliable but can be slower than the car on some routes. The service inherits the old “Trenet” rails tracks and the updates from the old network focused on electrification and safety but not speed. Let’s see all you need to use this service, including pricing, routes and schedules.
Alicante’s TRAM has a mixture of fenced underground and unfenced overground stations.
At the underground stations, the tickets must be paid in advance on the machines around the stations and validated at the fence. A travel card is also valid.
At overground stations, the payment must be done inside the TRAM train. This is a bit counterintuitive, as the stations don’t have any payment machines available. The payment is done inside the train. The travel cards are also validated on the train.
All payment machines allow for: card payment, cash payment, and travel card recharge.
The TRAM train in Alicante has 6 lines:
|TRAM Line||Origin||Destination||Max Single Ticket Fare|
|L1||Alicante Center Luceros||Benidorm Intermodal||2,80€ (2 zones)|
|L2||Alicante Center Luceros||San Vicente Del Raspeig||1,45€ (1 zone)|
|L3||Alicante Center Luceros||El Campello||1,45€ (1 zone)|
|L4||Alicante Center Luceros||Plaza La Coruña (San Juan)||1,45€ (1 zone)|
|L5||Alicante Center Postiguet|
/Puerta del Mar
|Plaza La Coruña (San Juan)||1,45€ (1 zone)|
|L9||Benidorm||Denia||2,80€ (2 zones)|
In many of that stations, you can transfer from one line to the other if needed. All trains (except for line L5) stop at Luceros, Mercado and MARQ-Castillo.
There are 3 TRAM zones: A, B and C. And 2 special subzones: T1 and T2, serve as small zones in nearby stops located between the main zones. One zone fare is 1.45€, moving between two zones is 2,80€ and moving 3 zones is 3,90€. More details on prices and fares are down in this article, including return tickets and travel cards.
Here is a list of the main routes and the time it takes to complete the trip:
|Route||Line(s)||Zones||Fare||Time to Complete|
|Alicante – Benidorm||1||A to B||2,80€||~72 min|
|Alicante – San Juan Beach||1, 4 or 5||A||1.75€||~18 min|
|Alicante – Calpe||1 and 9||A to C||3,90€||~123 min|
|Alicante – Altea||1 and 9||A to C||3,90€||~101 min|
|Alicante- Campello||1 or 3||A||1.75€||~26 min|
|Alicante – San Vicente||2||A||1.75€||~28 min|
The single ticket price for one zone, such as Alicante-San Juan or Campello, is 1.45€ and the return ticket costs 2,50€.
If you move between 2 zones the price is 2,80€ and 4,80€ for the return ticket.
Moving the 3 zones cost 3,90€ and the fare for the return ticket is 6,65€.
If you are going to use the tram often might be worth getting a travel pass; which is a rechargeable travel card that cost 2€.
The fares go down by more than 45% by paying with a travel card bonus. The same travel card pass can be used by more than one person on the same trip.
From the 1st of February to the 31 of July 2023 there is a 50% discount on some of the travel cards.
This is due to a money injection in public transport the central government is undertaking through autonomics and local governments in order to keep the inflation rate lower.
The discounts are for the TRAM trains and TAM buses.
Note that the single trip fare remains at 1.45€.
In this press note from the autonomic government, there is more information on the topic.
The prices and fares for the travel card pass vary on the number of bought trips:
10 trips cost 4€ (normal price 8.00€) in between the same zone (0.40€ per trip, normal price 0.80€ per trip), 6€ (normal price 12,00€) in moving 2 zones (0.60€ per trip, normal price 1.20€ per trip) and 10€ per trip (normal price 20,00€) when moving 3 zones (1€ per trip, normal price 2€ per trip).
30 trips cost 11.40€ (normal price 22.80€) (0.38€, normal price 0,76€ per trip), 17.10€ (normal price 34,20€) when moving 2 zones (0.57€, normal price 1,14€ per trip) and 3 zones commuting is 28.50€ (normal price 57,00€) (0.95€ per trip, normal price 1.90€ per trip).
Remember: The same bonus ticket can be used by several people on the same trip.
The travel cards are different depending on if it allows for 1 zone, 2 or 3 zones. As an example, if you have a 1 zone travel card but want to go from Alicante to Benidorm, you will need to buy a ticket at the start of your journey in Alicante.
Travel cards from the bus can be used in TRAM zone 1.
Here are a fares summary table:
|Ticket Type||Moving Between 1 Zone||Moving Between 2 Zones||Moving Between 3 Zone|
|10 trips travel card||4€ (0.40€ per trip), normal price 8,00€ (0.8€ per trip)||6€ (0.6€ per trip), normal price 12,00€ (1.2€ per trip)||10€ (1.00€ per trip), normal price 20,00€ (2€ per trip)|
|30 trips travel card||11.40€ (0.38€ per trip), normal price 22,80€ (0.76€ per trip)||17.10€ (0.57€ per trip), normal price 34,20€ (1.14€ per trip)||28.50€ (0.95€ per trip) normal price, 57,00€ (1.90€ per trip)|
Another discount the government has kicked off is for those under 30 not to pay at all for the TRAM service in Alicante. The 100% discount is active from the 9th of October until the 31 of July 2023.
To qualify you just need to be under 30 years old and get a temporary carton travel card that will be attached to your Spanish ID card (DNI), your resident ID card (NIE) or your passport. To apply:
NOTE: If you don’t have a Spanish DNI or NIE follow the instructions in this link. Essentially, you need help from someone with a DNI or NIE to book the appointment for you. Then, at the time you have the appointment, borrow her/his ID card. Showing your friends’ ID and your passport you will be able to pick up your free travel card.
Even though the process to get the free travel card is done using the TRAM website and offices in the stations the discount is valid for the bus services too.
Also, remind you that, to qualify, you don’t need to be a resident, be empadronado or live in Alicante. Just be 30 or less and have a valid ID card/passport.
There are a couple of special zones called T1 and T2 that are situated where the TRAM zones switch. So T1 is in between Zone A and Zone B. T2 is between zone B and zone C. When travelling inside the special zones the tram ticket to pay is just for 1 zone.
As an example, a traveller from Calpe to Altea would typically have to pay for a two-zone ticket (C to A). But both TRAM stops are inside the special zone T2. That means travellers from Calpe to Altea would need to pay a ticket fare equivalent to just one TRAM zone.
To buy a Travel Card you need to go to Luceros Station. There is a counter with TRAM’s staff that will facilitate you with the proper travel card for your typical journeys and the first travel pass with 10 or 30 trips.
Once you have a travel card, it can be recharged on the machines at Luceros and Mercado or inside the TRAM trains. The card can be also used on the bus network at the same price.
There are also travel cards for young and senior people. Talk to the staff at Luceros station about how to get it and to know if you qualify.
Alicante TRAM travel cards for Zone A are valid for the bus service in Alicante. So, the travel cards bought in a kiosk or the TAM office can be used in the TRAM trains and vice-versa. The price per single trip and the travel card fees remain the same in both TRAMs and buses.
The official name for the TRAM trains is TRAM d’Alacant or TRAM de Alicante. Likewise, the name for the bus service is TAM meaning Transporte Metropolitano de Alicante or Alicante’s Metropolitan Transport.
Transfer between buses is free if done within 60 minis from the first touch with the travel card. Sadly, transfers do not apply to TRAM services and changing from a TRAM train to a bus will just void another trip in your travel card.
Note that transfers with a single trip ticket are not available either in TRAMs or bus services.
Most of the TRAM line is electric. The trains are modern and quiet. All trains have cooling A/C on in summer and heating in winter.
There are no toilets on the trains or stations, so have this in mind when planning a long trip.
Note the TRAM has buttons inside the trains to ask the driver to stop at the next TRAM stop. This is especially important at slack times as any passenger might have pressed the stop button for the TRAM stop you would like to get off. It behaves in a similar way to a bus would do.
It is permitted to travel with bicycles and scooters on the TRAM trains, even if your bicycle is not a folding bicycle.
If your bicycle is not folding you must stay standing while holding it.
If your bicycle or scooter is folding you must keep it folded and under your seat.
The TRAM services remind customers not to cause any damage to other passengers or the stations and trains with the vehicles.
Sadly, it is not permitted to travel with big pets such as dogs.
The exceptions are small pets in cages, recognised guide dogs and police dogs which are permitted.
The TRAM in Alicante follows a schedule or timetable.
Lines 1 and 3 share some of the same stops until Campello so the schedule is offered together.
Every year the TRAM has night service at weekends. The service is called “TRAMnochador”, joining the Spanish words noche or night and TRAM.
In 2022, the Tramnochador operated from the 1st of July to the 27th of August on Fridays and Saturday nights + bank holidays eves. The operating lines are L1, L2, L3 and L4. Here is the official announcement in Spanish.
Note that there is not currently any night TRAM service.