While I was somewhat disappointed with the Madrid hop-on hop-off bus tour, we still decided to give Valencia Bus Turistic a chance. Assuming we could pay with a credit card on the bus, we waited at the stop Centro Comercial Aqua and were very surprised when the driver explained that he couldn’t take credit cards and that there was no one else on the bus to do so. He was, however, very friendly and helpful and allowed us both to board without a ticket – telling us to simply buy one at the main stop Plaza de la Reina in the heart of town. He even provided us with the free cheap plastic earbuds all travelers get with their tickets. We thus had the chance to hear the rest of the maritime tour on our way to town.
The audio information wasn’t very entertaining – too many names and dates – and not always coordinated with the actual sights – neither in Spanish, English, nor in German. Using my high quality Bose headphones I was able to hear some traces of background music that sounded like the Concierto de Aranquez – fitting for Spain and Valencia as I discovered later since the composer Joaquín Rodrigo was born in the province of Valencia. But there was no music audible on the earbuds and there was no information about the music at all in the commentary.
In spite of the technical difficulties and despite the lack of quality of the commentary, we were still willing to buy a two-day ticket upon our arrival at the Plaza de la Reina. But the central office in a small kiosk was already closed for the day. We were luckier a day later and managed to buy a two-day ticket, which we then used extensively, taking both the Valencia Historica Route A and the Valencia Maritima Route B.
The quality of a companion DVD available for purchase by credit card from the kiosk (if you can corner someone to actually sell it to you, which we did but only upon my Spanish husband’s insistence) is better than the audio commentary with a neat kaleidoscopic motif throughout and visits inside many of the buildings the bus just passed by. The video clips on the Valencia Bus Turistic’s own YouTube channel filmed from the top of the buses are also worth viewing (unfortunately based on the number of viewers not many people know that) – although I really didn’t understand the background music, a jazzed up version of “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” from the musical Guys and Dolls. While I really like the song, I don’t see any real connection to Valencia – although yes, it is an easy city to fall in love with.
And more of a disappointment – the YouTube clips didn’t include any information about the various sights shown from the bus. You can hear some details in Spanish only on a longer video walking tour of some of the sights – but the sound of the traffic almost drowns out the explanations of the guide. You can also see a couple of videos of the third Bus Turistic route to the national park Albufera, which we missed.
I’m a little bit surprised by some of the reviews here on TripAdvisor, but most of the praise seems to be more directed towards the beauties of Valencia and the view you get from the top of the bus, and both Valencia and the view do indeed deserve five stars. Maybe Valencia Bus Turistic will improve their tour in future to do this incredibly beautiful city more justice.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.