How to come and get around Madrid!

Ok so again the same here, another city that I go often since childhood and drove on it first in 1982 and many many times afterward. Yes you can drive in Madrid as in any other major city if you are used to coming from driving in big cities. Madrid is no different than any others.

I hear folks telling me of the fears of driving here, the way Spanish people drive etc etc like Madrid is from another planet. If you have driven in Paris, London, Rome, Brussels, Frankfort, New York, Jakarta, Sao Paulo, Mexico DF, just to name a few than driving in Madrid is easy. If you have experience driving in smaller towns like Ronda, Pluvigner, Vineland, etc than you might as well be aware, it will be different….

I have written a post on my blog a while back on the subject and will bring it up here: Driving in Madrid

Madrid has several major roads coming out from it such as the A1 Madrid-Aranda de Duero-Miranda de Ebro-Vitoria-San Sebastian, and the A2 Madrid-Guadalajara-Zaragoza-Lérida-Barcelona-Gerona-PortBon-Frontier France, A3 Madrid-Valencia, A4 Madrid-Aranjuez-Cordoba-Sevilla-Jerez-Cadiz, A5 Madrid-Talavera de la Reina-Navalmoral-de-la-Mata-Mérida-Badajoz-frontier Portugal; A6 Madrid-Medina del Campo-Tordesillas-Benavente-Astorga-Ponferrada-Lugo-La Coruña. Other highways with origins in Madrid of major impact are the A42 Madrid-Toledo, M607 Madrid -Puerto de Navacerrada to service to Colmenar Viejo and Tres Cantos. The city ,also, has several beltways roads that have grown since living there such as the M30 (finished with me living there), This beltway below or above ground practically goes around Madrid inner ring; you have the M40 going further out into the residential areas and the M45 again further out, the M50 further out on a big huge circle and then again maybe more needed. Madrid has becomes a huge metropolis. Heavy traffic are encountered on a daily basis and need to know the rush hours to have it easier.

The highway watchdog with cameras, and heavy traffic points to avoid per road is here in Spanish. Dir Gen de Transports Madrid

Map of Comunidad de Madrid on highways that can be magnified and printed is here: map of highways Madrid region


The wonderful metro/tube/subway of Madrid opening in 1919 and already with 294 kms and 13 lines the third biggest in Europe by km and the 9th on passengers during 2014, last year could find. The network has 12 regular lines and the section Opera to Principe Pio as well as 3 lines of light metro and 38 additional stations. Of the current total of 301 stations, 200 are single lineand 27 are double and 10 have on three lines and the station of Avenida de America with four lines  correspondances. It connects in 21 stations with the suburbian train network Cercanicas of Madrid managed by RENFE. The beltway lines are MetroSur (Line 12) passing by Alcorcón, Móstoles, Fuenlabrada, Getafe, and Leganés; MetroNorte (Line 10) passing Alcobendas and San Sebastián de los Reyes; MetroEste (Line 7) reaching to  Coslada and San Fernando de Henares; TFM (Line 9)  connecting  Rivas Vaciamadrid and Arganda del Rey, as well as Metro Ligero Oeste (Lines 2 and 3), there is a tramway network at Pozuelo to Boadilla del Monte. Webpage : Metro de Madrid


Two main line train station, one at Atocha and the other at ChamartinRENFE Madrid

There is a huge bus network runs by CRTM and the EMT with 2000 buses and 200 lines . The principal terminals are at Avenida de America, Mendez Alvaro, and Plaza de Castilla, there are other smaller ones such as Moncloa, Principe Pio, and Plaza Eliptica. CRTM MADRID

Madrid municipal transports service or EMT has a well define network with bus lanes . The vast majority of these buses work from 6h to 23h30 at 4-15 minutes intervals and the weekend and holidays from 7h to 23h. There is a night bus or Bùhos lines known by their N number from N1 to N27 from their terminal at Plaza de Cibeles.  EMT MADRID

The main airport is the Adolfo Suarez Barajas at 12 km from city center connecting with the city on line 8 at Nuevos Ministerios to T4 airport in about 20 minutes and about 12 minutes on the other terminals. Adolfo Suarez Airport Barajas


There is a express bus line from Barajas airport and Madrid Bus Express. More here: bus express airport Madrid

Cercanías is a service of Renfe on suburbian train service having 9 lines . They connect all the lines by the Atocha train station that allows you to go to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Aranjuez, mountain towns in the Sierra de Guadarrama (C-8 and C9 to Cercedilla and Cotos) ,and Alcala de Henares  as wel as reaching rapidly the T4 terminal at Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport  The C-2 and C-7 to Alcala de Henares and C-3 to Aranjuez and El Escorial. The line C-1 is the one very fast from T4 to the city as well as connecting Atocha with Chamartin main train stations.  More info here: Cercanias Madrid

The taxis of Madrid are white with a diagonal red and  white line on the front door and the city coat of arms.  If the roof is green the taxi is free to take passengers, you simply signal for them the usual way.  If the trip is from the airport there is a fix price of 30€ as long as the trip is inside the beltway M30 (the old central beltway). This price does not include any other service added as long as the place of pickup and the hour are respected. Some further useful info from the tourist office here: Getting around by Taxi in Madrid

More and more a very nice bike network is setting up lead by the organisation of Madrid BiciMad as well as stores specializing in bikes that rent out as well especially on the parks and the tourist places. BiciMad is with electric bikes that last count were 1560 with 3216 bornes to pickup and dropoff at 124 stations. the Municipality has several technological innovations such as application Donkey Republic allowing you to find your bike and others such as Ofo-Smart Bike Sharing available in itunes, google play or oBike as well.  I give you the official webpage as well as a private operator Doncielo.

I won’t go into details with pricing and choices as these are subjective as well prices can change, you need to check the official sites before your trip to be sure. In general, there are forfaits of 1,2,3, 5,7 days on the two transports zones of Madrid A and T . The tickets are available in consecutive days from the date of first use.

The Zone A allows you to go to all the lines of the metro, airport (with supplement of 3€inclus) , all the bus lines in town like the blue buses of EMT except the Express line Airport, the zones 0 and A of the Cercanias network of Madrid and the line M1 of Metro LIgero. The  Zone T  is recommended for those willing to go outside the city such as to go to El Escorial, Alcalá de Henares, Aranjuez etc and includes the entire metro network such as zones A, B1, B2 ,and B3), all the lines of city bus blue EMT and intercity green bus of the comunidad de Madrid , the Express Airport bus is included as well as the services to Guadalajara and Tolède,as well as the Cercanias trains of Madrid , and lines ML2 and ML3 of the Metro Ligero,as well as the tramway ML4  to Parla.

You have plenty of tourist offices throughtout the city that helps you with all questions (really a big improvement for the visitors) including security issues. These are

Tourist center Plaza Mayor ,Plaza Mayor, 27 (Casa de la Panadería), Info kiosk Paseo del Prado Plaza de Neptuno, info kiosk Atocha Ronda de Atocha, s/n (next to Museo Reina Sofía), info kiosk Plaza de Callao, Plaza de Callao, s/n; info kiosk Recoletos-Colon ,Paseo Recoletos, 23 (under a bunker looks like a metro entrance across the Plaza Colon); info kiosk Paseo de la Castellana, 138 (next to  Santiago Bernabéu stadium) , info kiosk Centro, Plaza de Cibeles, 1 (Palacio de Cibeles), info kiosk at Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport T2 between halls 5 and 6; info kiosk airport as well at T4 hall 10 ; , and SATE assistance service to foreign tourists at Calle Leganitos, 19 (police). SATE Madrid

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip and enjoy the transports of Madrid

Download a city map of Madrid from tourist office

Find a parking  (I am register here really good one) in Madrid:

How to plan your trip on streets and highways and services around them street finder in Spanish:

Hope it helps make your visit a more enjoyable one to a great city very close to me . And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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