Madrid

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The Spanish capital, situated in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, is an elegant city of broad avenues, magestic buildings and manicured parks.

Although this is a stark contrast to Barcelona or the historic cities of Andalucìa, Madrid has plenty to offer the traveller. This city of over three million is home to the renowned Museo del Prado which is ranked as one of Europe’s top art museums featuring the works of many of Spain’s and Europe’s top Rennaissance artists.

Other attractions include the impressive Parque del Retiro and the huge El Rastro flea market.

Madrid is not a city which grabs you straight away but one which you grow to love over time. Spend a couple of days here and you’ll discover that Madrid is a vibrant city with a atmosphere that draws you closer to the heart of Spain.

Local transport

Madrid has a comprehensive public transport system comprising buses, suburban trains, a metro and light metro (trams).

Bus

EMT operate Madrid’s bus network, which consists of over 150 bus lines. However the metro and suburban train network is so comprehensive that few travellers ever need to travel by bus except at night after the metro has stopped running.

A single fare is €1.50 and the Metrebús ten-ride ticket (€12.20) can also be used on Madrid’s bus network.

The night buses, known as búhos, depart from Plaza de la Cibeles between midnight and 6am. Búhos bus routes leave Plaza de la Cibeles every 35 minutes between 11.45pm and 4am with more frequent departures on Friday and Saturday nights. Búhometros are nightbuses that mirror 11 Madrid metro lines. These night buses run around once every 20 minutes after the metro has stopped running for the night. Night buses cost the same as regular buses.

Metro

The excellent Madrid Metro consists of 301 stations. It is one of the world’s fastest growing metro systems with a tight integration between the metro and Cercanías suburban train network (22 stations allow you to transfer to the Cercanías network).

The system within Madrid’s city limits is fare zone A (also is known as MetroMadrid), while lines designated as MetroSur, MetroEste, MetroNorte, MetrOeste and TFM serve suburban areas outside Madrid’s city limits.

A single journey of up to five stations on MetroMadrid services (within zone A) costs €1.50 while a ride on the entire system costs €2. Travel to stations at Madrid’s airports costs an additional €3.

A ten ride Metrebús ticket costs €12.20, which is good for trips on MetroMadrid services within zone A. A ten ride ticket for the entire system costs €18.30.

Monthly travel cards are also valid on the metro, these cost €54.60 for zone A.

Madrid Metro. Image: Javitomad/Wikipedia

Metro ligero (tram)

Light metro (metro ligero) ML1, ML2 and ML3 lines supplement the metro in suburban areas. These are basically tram lines that are integrated into the metro system.

Cercanías suburban trains

The metro is supplemented by the extensive Cercanías suburban train network operated by Renfe. The Cercanías trains go as far as El Escorial, Segovia and Toledo making them handy for day trips to nearby cities.

The Cercanías trains are also a good way to get around the city and serve as an extension to the metro network. Probably the most useful route is the route connecting Atocha and Chamartín train stations.

Príncipe Pío, Atocha and Chamartín stations serve as the main hubs for the Cercanías network.

Metro tickets are not valid on Cercanías trains. A single trip within zones 1 and 2 costs €1.70. Monthly travel cards are also valid on Cercanías trains.

Cercanías Madrid. Image: Assdl/Wikipedia

Fares

One-way tickets for buses and the metro cost €1 for travel in zone A and €2 for travel on the entire system. Ten-trip tickets are €9 in zone A and €14.50 for the entire system.

Tourist Travel Pass (Abono Turístico)

The Tourist Travel Pass (Abono Turístico) is good for one to seven days unlimited travel on buses, trams, Cercanías suburban trains and the metro. These passes are available for Zone A (MetroMadrid metro services, light metro line 1 and buses and Cercanías suburban trains within Madrid) and Zone T (the entire metro network, all light metro lines and all Cercanías suburban trains including trains to Guadalajara and Toledo).

  1 day 2 days 3 days 5 days 7 days
Zone A (Madrid) €8.40 €14.20 €18.40 €26.80 €35.40
Zone T (Entire network) €17 €26.40 €35.40 €50.80 €70.80

Monthly pass

Monthly passes are also available, which are good for unlimited travel for one calendar month. A monthly travel pass within zone A costs €54.60.


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