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Public transport

You can choose among subway (metro), busses and trains to move around in Madrid.

Subway (Metro)
The subway of Madrid is the fastest means of transport in the city and also one of the best in the world with 13 lines. The 226.7 km long route system runs within the city and also connects various suburbs with the city, which makes it the third longest subway in Europe. Line 12 – also called MetroSur (south metro) – runs completely outside of the urban area and is the main connection route between the suburbs of Alcorcón, Fuenlabrada, Getafe, Leganés and Móstoles. The subway is also a convenient way to travel to or from the airport. You have the possibility to hand in your luggage already at the station of Nuevos Ministerios.
The metro of Madrid runs daily between 06:00 and 02:00 o’ clock. The time between trains varies from line to line. It is usually 2 to 4 mins during peak hours, 4 to 7.5 mins during the day and 15 mins after midnight.
A single ticket (billete sencillo) costs 1 €; however, if you use the metro regularly, it is better to buy a ticket Metrobus 10 viajes (10 trips). It costs 6.15 € and you can also use it for the busses in the city. In case you are using the metro almost every day and plan to stay for a longer period in Madrid, we would recommend to buy the Abono mensual de transporte, which you can get at any estanco (tobacco shop). Don’t forget to bring your ID and a photo. The monthly ticket is valid for subway, bus and train in the city, and the prices vary depending on the number of zones you choose and your age. The normal Abono for the city zone costs 39 €.

You can find more information concerning schedules, ticket prices as well as a metro plan at: http://www.metromadrid.es/ (Spanish) and http://www.softdoc.es/madrid_guide/transport/metro.htm (English).

Busses run until approx. 22:30 and start again around 6:00 o’ clock in the morning. A network plan can be found at the back side of every bus stop and the prices are the same as for the subway.

At night you can use night busses, which are called nocturnos in Spanish. They have different lines than the day busses, but you can look up the schedule at the respective bus stop. Every night bus has N in front of the number. The lines run star-shaped and start at Plaza de Cibeles (to the west of Puerta del Sol). In the weekend they run almost every 10-15 mins, during the week every 30-45 mins. They run the whole night and do not cost more than normal busses or the metro. In spring 2006 “BuhoMetro” busses started to run during the weekends every 15 to 20 mins in additon to the normal night busses, and their lines are similar to the normal metro routes.
More information regarding bus lines in and around Madrid at: http://www.softdoc.es/madrid_guide/transport/buses.html (English)

Train (Cercanías Renfe)
Cercanías Madrid is the suburb railway network of Madrid and the surrounding cities of the autonomous community of Madrid. The Cercanías systems are operated by the Spanish railway company Renfe and comply with any rapid-transit railway. The trains run from approx. 4:00 o’ clock until midnight. There are rarely Cercanía train stops within Madrid (Atocha, Recoletos, Chamartín…soon also Sol) but to some extend they are the only possibility to commute between suburbs and the citiy centre.
More information at: http://www.renfe.es/cercanias/index.html (Spanish) and http://www.softdoc.es/madrid_guide/transport/cercanias.html (English)

Sometimes the easiest way is to take a taxi. The official taxis in Madrid are white with a red stripe and the emblem of the city on the side of the car. Prices are quite reasonable compared to other large European cities, you pay e.g. 2/3 more for taxis in Germany. Every taxi has a label on the passenger side, stating “ocupado” (occupied) in red or “libre” (available) in green. You can also recognise an available taxi by its light on top. There are many taxis in Madrid and it is often the best and quickest way of transport, especially if you are a group of people, who can split the price.

Madrid Visión – double-decker bus for tourists
If you have the time for a sightseeing tour or when you have visitors from home, we recommend Madrid Visión, a tourist double-decker bus, for a round trip. You have the opportunity to discover the modern, the ancient and the monumental Madrid on 3 different routes and you can hop on and off whenever you feel like it. A ticket for tourists between 16 and 65 years costs 14.65 € for one day.
More information at: http://www.madridvision.es/en/index.php (English)