Madrid is a large metropolitan city. Fortunately, the main attractions are "close at hand". Despite its size, in fact, gathers in its lively urban center monuments, clubs, sites of cultural and recreational interest and this allows you to visit the charming Spanish capital comfortably on foot. However Madrid is one of the most avant-garde cities in Europe and offers an extremely branched and efficient public transport network.
So here are some tips in the guide on how to get around Madrid: info, costs and useful tips to not miss any attractions!
- Useful Tips
- How to get from the airport to the center of Madrid
- How to get around on foot
- How to get around by bicycle
- Con i mezzi pubblici
- By car
- User questions and comments
Madrid it lends itself perfectly to being explored on foot. However, it is a large metropolis, and its size can initially be confusing. For this, we recommend that you first take a walking tour with a local guide, for a first approach and to locate the landmarks.
If you like cycling, Madrid is perfect! The bike is one of the most used means by tourists and locals. Also in this case, it is better to opt for a guided bike tour first, to familiarize yourself with the cycle paths and roads of Madrid together with an expert guide.
Alternatively, there's the evergreen hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus!
Regarding public transport, the Iberian capital is equipped with efficient and widespread trams, trains, buses and metro systems. It is recommended theTourist Transport Pass: just buy the Tarjeta Multi card which allows the use of all public transport in the Community of Madrid without limitations, with durations ranging from 1 to 7 days and for two zones (A and T).
The vehicle not recommended is the car, both own and for hire, especially due to the traffic jams that grip the city.
- Recommended solutions and means: bike, metro, tram, on foot
- Solutions and means not recommended: cars, taxis, scooters
- City cards and season tickets recommended: Tourist Transport Pass (from € 8,40 -), booklet of 10 tickets (from € 12,20)
How to get from the airport to the center of Madrid
Madrid's reference airport is theAdolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, is relatively little from the center of Madrid, about 18 km, and can be reached by public transport or by taxi or private transfer to be booked online before departure
Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport
- Distance from the center: 18 km / travel time: 30 min;
- By train: direct line C1 / ticket cost: from € 2,60
- By taxi: average cost € 30,00 / travel time: 30 min
- By metro: average cost € 4,50 / line 8
- By bus: average cost € 5,00 / Bus Express lines (yellow color)
- Private transfer: transfer from the airport to the center and vice versa
How to get around on foot
Getting around on foot in Madrid is comfortable and pleasant, especially for lovers of long walks. However, the city is very large, so the use of transport may also be necessary.
Furthermore, its size can initially be confusing. For this, we recommend that you first take a walking tour with a local guide, for a first approach and to locate the main landmarks and attractions.
In this regard, the Royal Palace, the Paseo del Prado museums and the Parque del Retiro are not to be missed. But to give an example, the Parque del Retiro is almost 5 km from the Cathedral de l'Almudena and the Royal Palace! In these cases, it is better to opt for a bicycle or public transport.
For others itineraries on foot and by public transport, download our Smart Guide for visiting Madrid for free.
How to get around by bicycle
In the last few years Madrid is becoming more and more a bike-friendly metropolis, equipping itself with numerous cycle paths that cross the city center and allowing tourists and locals to travel in a way that is not only fun and innovative, but also ecological. There is also a public rental system, the BiciMAD, with numerous stations scattered throughout the city. Temporary rental costs start from € 2,00 / h. For more information visit the official website.
The bike is one of the most used means by tourists and locals. Also in this case, it is better to opt for a guided bike tour first, to familiarize yourself with the cycle paths and roads of Madrid together with an expert guide. For an even more fun and unusual experience, you can try the Segway tour in the historic center!
Con i mezzi pubblici
Madrid is excellently served by a efficient public transport system, always operational and well organized !. Therefore, abandon the idea of renting a car: better enjoy the city by bus, metro or thanks to the help of trains, all means that allow you to connect the various Madrid districts in a very short time and at very affordable prices.
Madrid metro and buses share the same fare system, based on the division of the city into various areas (Zone A is considered the most central). The metro network of the Spanish city is among the largest and most complete of the entire Old Continent and covers practically every area of solar Madrid, thanks to its 12 metro lines (from 1 to 12), the 3 light metro lines and the branch connecting the Ópera and Príncipe Pío stations.
- Downloadable map: metro-madrid
- 6:00AM - 1:30PM
- Ticket / single ride cost: from € 1,50
- Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: booklet of 10 tickets € 12,20
Buses are available during the day or at night, even on weekends guarantee an impeccable and continuous service connecting the different areas of the city. The vehicles, sometimes slowed down by the excessive road traffic in Madrid, are able to reach even those areas of the city not served by the metro. The night buses (called by the locals búhos, owls) they move less frequently than during the day, but they guarantee movement even at night.
- Interactive map: bus-madrid
- generally 6: 00-23: 30, each line may have slightly different times
- Ticket / single ride cost: € 1,50
- Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: booklet of 10 tickets € 12,20
The journeys by train around the city of Madrid are i more popular thanks to the speed and vastness of areas reached with the 9 urban lines that cover the area of the Spanish capital, marked by the letter C. The train is also a very comfortable means of urban transport and, not negligible detail, really cheap.
- Downloadable map: transport-madrid
- 5:00AM - 24:00PM
- Ticket / single ride cost: from € 1,70
- Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: bonotren for 10 trips from € 10,00
Traveling by car in Madrid is not recommended, mainly due to parking problems and the traffic factor. Use it only for excursions in the surrounding area, so if you plan to visit Toledo, Segovia and other cities.
Within Madrid there is a limited traffic area called Madrid Central, which runs from the Royal Palace to the Prado Museum, and its epicenter is in Puerta del Sol, which cannot be accessed except in certain cases. Moreover, finding parking in Madrid can be exhausting mission especially because the city is so busy and full of cars, it will be difficult to find a place even in the peripheral areas.
The ZTL in Madrid corresponds to the Madrid center and was established with the aim of reducing polluting emissions from vehicles. The center is in Puerta del Sol and the area extends from the Royal Palace to the Prado Museum. IS' an area where only electric and hybrid vehicles can access, with some exceptions for public transport and cars for residents and the disabled. The area is always accessible by public transport (metro, buses and trains), taxis, bicycles, and even short-term rental vehicles. If you need to enter with your own car, make sure you: have either a petrol car compliant with the EURO 3 standard, or a diesel car compliant with the EURO 4 or 5 standard. More info on the official website of the city of Madrid.
Stops and parking
In Madrid it is not allowed to park in spaces delimited by yellow stripes or in areas with signs bearing the words "Prohibido Estacionar". Instead it is possible to stop at parking areas marked with blue stripes, tickets can be bought at the parking meter itself (the expected rate is € 0,25 / 20 min, € 0,40 / 30 minutes). There are also private car parks located near the Metro and Renfe Commuter Train stations.
In the Madrid city they are widespread the aparcamientos disuasorios ("dissuasive" car parks), there are as many as 25 of this type open to the public (some of which are also free), and whose purpose is to promote the use of public transport, thus avoiding endless lines and finally helping to improve air quality, avoiding excessive use of the car.