It’s quite easy to get around in Madrid. The public transport options are many, and they cover all the most important areas of the capital. If you are preparing a trip, it’s a good idea to be a bit familiar with this topic – because it makes it much easier to plan what you want to see and when you are going to see it. Here is a quick guide to public transport in Madrid.
The metro of Madrid
The metro is the most obvious way to get around in Madrid. With 12 different lines, the metro is huge, and six of these lines pass through the deep centre of the city.
Aside from the normal metro lines, there are four additional light rail lines. Three of these are in the western part of the city.
So you can basically get to any point of Madrid by taking the metro. You can get your metro card as soon as you arrive in the airport. The card is 3 euros, and from there, each ticket varies between 1,20 and 2 euros. If you are going to stay in Madrid for longer than just a week or two, you can have a long-term card made. For example, there is a youth card that can be bought by anyone under 25. It costs 4 euros to get the card, and 20 euros to fill it up each month – but it gives you unlimited access to all metro lines and central trains and buses. You can have this card made in major stations such as Atocha Renfe or Sol.
The most busy lines are typically line 1, 3, 5 and 10. Basically the ones that passes through many central locations. The rest of the lines are not that bad, although depending on the time. You will notice that some of the metro trains are very old (line 1 for example), while others are new and modern (line 10).
You can travel with the metro every day between 6 in the morning and 1.30 in the night.
Somewhat like the metro, but with trains that are often driving over ground. They cover longer distances, but also have longer distances between the stops. Perfect if you are traveling farther than what the metro arrives and still want to get there fast and easy.
The price of taking the Renfe Cercanías is similar to the metro, but can sometimes be a slight bit more.
There are 9 different lines and more than 90 different stations. The most important one is Atocha, where all the cercanía trains pass through. Nuevos Ministerios and Chamartín are other major stations.
Line 1 starts in the airport and goes to Príncipe Pío.
Some of the lines go as far as Alcorcón, Fuenlabrada and Guadalajara. And that is quite far.
There are a ton of buses in central Madrid. They are a bit slower than the metro and the cercanías, mostly due to the traffic level, but they are cheap and they cover areas that are not covered by the train. That makes it a good idea to take them from time to time.
If you want to take buses around the city, we recommend you to fill up your metro card in advance and use this in the buses.
Buses can sometimes be crowded, depending on the line. It’s more easy to get an impression of the availability because you can very clearly see how crowded it is when you get in.
It’s easy to walk around the central of Madrid. Therefore, you don’t always need public transport. Many of the central attractions are so close to each other that it is perfectly fine to walk.
You can also rent bicycles, scooters and cars if you like. Often for a low price.
This was a brief guide to public transport in and around Madrid. If you have any comments or questions, let us know below. Thanks for reading!