At www.ctm-madrid.es you can find many info (in English too) about the public transportation and a great option with a recommended path between two points of Madrid, including metro, bus, trains etc You just put the name of the street or the name of the attraction!!
I think the Metro network of Madrid is very useful and probably the most convenient way to move around the city. The only problem is that sometimes you need to change line more than once so you loose some time. The metro runs daily 06:00-01:30 and the ticket costs 1euro. I always buy a metrocard which costs 6.70euro and gives you 10 rides (every time you validate it there is a marking at the back). There are also 1day passes for 4euros, 2days(7euros), 3days(10euros), 5 and 7 days. http://www.metromadrid.es
There are 11 lines, each one has different color and number so it’s easy to check the map (free maps provided at the stations). Just check the direction of the train, usually written at the front panel of the train or somewhere on the platform. You can easily buy your tickets/metrocards from machines with touch screens (with menu in Spanish/English/german).
Although the metro is very useful for some spots the center of the city can be easily done by walking. Madrid is a big city, with traffic, pollution and kind of dirty but it’s the only way to “see” a new city. Take a good map, make a plan of the sights you want to visit and follow your itinerary. What I always love in Madrid is the Tapa bars in every corner where you can drink your beer and eat something light before continue. Some times we stop in so many of them that there’s no need for lunch till late at night! :)
I don’t think it’s a good idea to rent a car in Madrid because of the traffic. The metro runs 6:00-1:30am and the local buses till 23:30. After that hour there are 20 night buses departing from Cibeles square. And there are also many taxis of course, they are painted white with a red stripe, If you the lam on top lighted just raise your hand.
I noticed some bike rental shops around but for the same reason (traffic) I was afraid to use any but I guess it will be nice in less busy streets or at Retiro Park. The cost is about 12-15 euros per day.
BIKE SPAIN TOURS is at Plaza de la Villa 1 (Sol/Opera metro stations), tel:+34 915590653
TRIXI MADRID is at Calle de los Jardines 12 (Sol/Gran Via metro stations) tel:+34 915231547
OTERO is at calle Segovia 18, tel:+34 915473225
One of the funniest moments was back in 2005 when a bike protest took place in Madrid. I was in Gran Via and I saw hundred of naked bikers protesting for letting the cycles allowed in the metro!
Another way to see Madrid is to take a tourist bus(pic 1). There are three of them Red(historical madrid), Blue(modern city) and Green(monumental Madrid). The tour is audio guided (in several languages). It costs 16euros for a day or 21e for 2 days and you can ride them as much as you want. Check their site at www.madridvision.es for discounts.
I found this tool while planning how to go from point A to point B on my Madrid trip and I found it extremely useful. You have several ways to choose the best way for you: either metro, bus or suburban trains, choose by the name of an attraction or sight or by street address. Very good!
Travel planner: Consorcio Transportes Madrid - in English.
Update: for some reason the link above, which I got from their English version, sometimes ends up loading a page in Spanish. If that happens to you, click on the English flag.
I see this type of transport more and more around Madrid. If you don't have much time to walk around the city, but you also don't feel like getting into a bus or subway, you can choose to rent a Segway for the day. There are guided tours of different areas of the city for you to choose, or if you just want to try them out you can do it at the Retiro Park. I guess it could be an interesting way to see the city!
Walking on the streets of Madrid is a fantastic option, there are so many places to see and visit, have a drink or some food. There are walking tours where you´ll learn more about the history of Madrid
Caminar por las calles de Madrid es una de las mejores opciones, hay tanto por ver y visita o incluso para tomarte algo. También hay visitas guiadas donde te cuentan mogollón de cosas sobre la ciudad de Madrid.
For everyone who wants to discover Madrid by bike I recommend to go to the bike rental shop called TRIXI . It is located in the very centre of Madrid near the “Puerta del Sol” on the street called “Jardines”. They have very comfortable ´´Dutch type´´ bikes and the staff working there is friendly and very helpful. We rented a bike for a whole day for only 12 € (seems to be the cheapest place in town) which gave us enough time to cycle around the city, visit the most interesting monuments and hidden corners and even to have a break in the Retiro Park
This pass will give you free transport on buses, commuter trains and metro within the zone you buy it for. Madrid is divided into 2 zones: Zone A, which basically is Madrid, and Zone T which includes El Escorial, Alcalá de Henares, Toledo and Guadalajara.
They sell 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 5-day and 7-day passes and the price range goes from 3.80€ to 19.80€ for an adult in zone A or 9.60€ to 39.60€ for adult in zone T. With this pass you avoid paying an extra 1€ ticket at Madrid Barajas that does using single tickets have to pay.
You can buy it online and pick it up at the tourist board office at Barajas, terminal 2, right before the subway entrance.
Validate your ticket by inserting it on the machine where you first use it and have it with you at all times, because the controlants can be quite tough (not speaking by experience). I saw 2-3 of them on all the major subway stations.
Besides buying a regular 10 trip METROBUS pass you also have the option of buying an "Abono Turistico" Tourist pass that offers unlimited travel for the number of days it is valid. (between 1 and 7 days) Use it on Metro (Subway) trains, the busses and also commuter "Cercania" trains within the zone you buy it for. If you are using it for the Cercania trains and metro as well it is certainly a good deal. But you have to make at least 3 or 4 metro and bus trips a day to make this pass worth the price.
The pass also comes with handy city and transportation maps and has information in English.
Prices for the zone A (which covers all central Madrid and somewhat into the outskirts)as of January 2006 are:
1 Day : 3,50 Euros
2 Days: 6,30 Euros
3 Days: 8,40 Euros
5 Days: 13,20 Euros
7 Days: 18,40 Euros
Buy the tickets at metro stops, some newspater kiosks, Tourist office, IFEMA, Atocha AVE station. And remember to bring your Passport or ID as the number has to be written on the back of the ticket.
NOTE: This is NOT the "Madrid Card" which includes entrance to muesums and discounts and things like that...
The best and fastest way to go around Madrid is via Metro. Very efficient and with good coverage, moderately price. A 10 trip ticket costs around 6.10 euros while a monthly pass is about 39 euros for Zona A, which is pretty much what you'll need unless you go to school in the outskirts. The monthly pass is really worth it if you'll be staying for 3 weeks at least since you get unlimited use of the metro and buses. Buses are actually a good option too, if you don't mind traffic. the great thing about taking the bus instead is that you get to see the prettiness of Madrid, as opposed to just seeing black walls.
Opening in 1969 and connecting Madrid city centre to Casa de Campo is the Telerifico. It is a Gondola style car the rides high above Madrid. It takes 11 minutes to complete the ride (seemed more like 111 to me)
The views across Madrid and then across the vast shrubland of Casa de Campo were worth me being scared!! The trip costs 3.10 Euros for a single and 4.45 for the return journey. You can take the ride from near to the Templo de Debod just down the road from the Palace gardens.
The ideal way to get to know Madrid is to take the tourist buses. For one price you get the opportunity to ride on one or all of the three buses. There is a good commentary and through headphones provided you can choose from a number of different languages.
The red route takes you on the historical Madrid route. The blue route takes you on the modern Madrid route and the green route is the monumental Madrid. It is an excellent way to see the city and you don’t wear out your shoe leather in the process. Note the places of interest to you and visit them later.
The red and blue routes last approximately 75 minutes each and the green route is about 40 minutes long.
A one day ticket is 13 Euros and a two day ticket is 17 Euros. (discounts for young people and senior citizens.)
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