Getting in and around Madrid

One of my nostalgic cities, one that I lived for four years and need to visit very often, last october was there. One of the highlights of my time there and visits thereafter was to get around the city on the metro, plus walking. I cannot emphasize the idea of walking in Madrid , very compact sightseeing and beautiful avenues too. In order to help the traveler I will give some information on transportation in the city.

First, many speaks about the Visa require to visit from countries that needs one. I wont go into that as it is more for a government entity to answer ,each individual situation might be different. I would assume you can come to Madrid, and once there can use my information.

The arrival is normally done by Barajas Airport, needless to say ,this is not Madrid but a suburb towards the north. It is about 13 kms  northeast of city center. The airport is divided into two areas one is for Terminals 1,2,and 3 and then another area for Terminal 4 ,and 4S. T1,2,3 are in a row so one can reach them walking internally. Then to go to T4 you need to take a navette bus or metro for about 15 to 20 minutes. To go from T4 to T4S there is a subterranean minitrain and it takes again 15-20 minutes.  The arrivals are done on the ground floor (1 fl),and departures , check in, boarding on the first floor (2 fl). The general contact telephone number for the airport is +34 902 35 35 70.  The main airport site in Spain AENA for Barajas information in English here

There are tourist office in the airport at T1 and T4 open every day from 8h to 20h. The airport has consignment of luggage open 24/24h for less than 4€ per hour. They are between the passageways of terminals T2 and the metro entrance and on the arrivals level of T4.

How to get to city center from Barajas; by metro from Terminal 2 , direct to Madrid on line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios metro stop. Open from 6h to 01h30 (am). Takes about 20 minutes to Nuevos Ministerios and about 35-40 minutes to Puerta del Sol ,the center of Madrid. The cost is 2€. You can buy the metrobus ticket of 10 trips or the Abono Turistico or tourist ticket for about 11€ for 3 days on zone A city proper Madrid. The metro webpage in English is this one

There is the old way of coming in on buses 200 from the international arrivals every 10 minutes frequency from 5h35 to 23h30, the trips takes about 20 minutes on normal days. Cost is 1€.  This takes you to the intercambiador(Interchange correspondance station) Avenida de America . From here you connect on the metro/subway on lines 7,9,4, and circular line 6 to various points in the city. The same can be done on bus 204 from T4 at ground level to intercambiador Avenida de America. The taxi is another option figure on about 20-25€ to city center but could be a bit higher depending on the luggage and number of persons. Not more than 4 per car,and sometimes 3 if too much luggage.

For all buses, metro/subway/tube, in the city and suburbs, you can check in English the official transport site for the community(province or state of)  of Madrid at ,you also have a street map guide and disturbances or trouble lines information on the right column on the above site.

The new bus system taken from the old line 89 now call the Airport Express or Expres Aeropuerto under line 203. 2€ fares takes you from the airports to city center at various locations such as T4,T2,T1, O’Donnell (just behind parque Retiro connects with circular line metro 6), Cibeles fountain stop( connect with metro line 2), and Atocha train station (connect with metro line 1). The map and info is on city of Madrid bus transport site EMT here

There is a shuttle like service call Aerocity that can pickup and take you from airport to your hotel, train station,etc. They are 24h and guarantee to take you with a maximum of 3 stops along the way, the fare is from 23 € and depending on the number of passengers, nighttime is from 26€ per person. The site with all information in English is here

Then there is the train …The main stations are Atocha RENFE and Chamartin. The main train site in Spain is RENFE here is the site in English, however, sometimes if you try the spanish site you can find more information. Atocha is at Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V,and underground has connection to metro lines. Inside its nicely decorated with garden style plants looking like a forest. counters are open from Monday to Saturdays and from 8h to 20h, Sundays and Holidays from 9h to 14h. Consignement or locker rooms are available from 6h30 to 22h30 for 2,40 to 4,50€ according to the size of the luggage.  right next to the tropical forest garden, map and details of Atocha at this site

At Atocha you come from AVE Barcelona (Zaragoza) ,Seville (Cordoba) ,Huesca (Zaragoza), and Malaga(Cordoba). It also connects to many destinations just outside Madrid like Alcala de Henares. The other main train station is Chamartin at calle Agustin de Foxa and Avenida de Pio XII., and open for counters from 6h35  to 22h55, it has consignment or lockers from 7h to 23h with prices as Atocha. It has metro connections on line 1 and 10. You can go to nearby towns from here too, such as Barajas T4 airport, and the arrival of trenhotel from France . The interactive map for Chamartin is here

There is a smaller station at Principe Pio to the west of the city on the Carretera de Castilla that service all the nearby suburbs of Madrid. Good luck as it is known to many of those who know me I am not a fan of trains.

Next comes the bus system with the main station at Intercambiador del Sur at Calle Mendez Alvaro, near Atocha train station. You have lockers for luggage storage in the basement or lower level. You have bus companies there such as Avanza ie Avila, Alsa, more national, Enatcar ie Barcelona, AutoRes ie Cuenca, Aisagrupo ie Aranjuez ,etc. The main site is here in Spanish

Then you have the Intercambiador Avenida de America, at Avenida de America with metro stop for lines 9,7,4, and circular line 6. You have Alsa, continental, etc here and service to Torrejon de Ardoz,Bilbao, Barcelona (Nord station) etc.  Then Intercambiador de Moncloa at metro stop Moncloa line 3,and circular line 6, service to San Lorenzo del Escorial on company Herranz as well as Alsa to Leon, Valladolid, etc. Intercambiado Principe Pio, at metro Principe Pio, connect metro lines 10 ,circular line 6, and special line R to Opera. here is La Sepulvedana bus line to Segovia. Intercambiador de Plaza Eliptica, metro connection Plaza Eliptica on lines 11, and circular line 6. with Alsa company connection to Toledo. This site from Madrid bus system tell you more of the intercambiadores or Interchange stations here

There is a general site for bus reservations in Spain at and you can type in the name of the bus companies for their sites above to find in the internet. There is ,also, a tourist bus at  Also, from the airport by metro line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios, there is the alternative choice of taken the Cercanias or suburbian train to Atocha or Chamartin instead of the metro;the counters are in lower level when you leave the metro system at Nuevos Ministerios. In addition to the international bus system of Eurolines that does have service into Madrid and other cities, see it at

Then there is my favorite the rental car, you can access many such as from abroad or or the locals or plus the usual names you should know. Driving in Madrid is not as bad as publish elsewere, if you can drive per se in New York city area or Miami or Paris or any other major city you will do good in Madrid too. The best is to use a parking garage and use the foot or local public transport, then get out again from the city to see the suburbs and elsewhere. The Parking is best done by ORA system for info and their parking garages at

you can ,also, find parking garages with inter Spain at or my favorites because I use parking plaza de Castilla and also in France is Vinci at

If you want to know the road conditions in Spain , take a look at the DGT transport direction ministry site with all info in spanish here

The information is impossible to be inclusive of everything but I am hoping it helps your travel to Madrid. IF you have any questions or specifics feel free to contact me here. Happy travels everyone ::)




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