Getting around, Madrid
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.)
I was impressed with their transportation system, specially the subway/metro, is very dependable. If you want to save time metro is the way to go.
You can ask about their specials like we did and save some money.
If you are not in a hurry to go some place the Madrid Vision buses are a good way to see the city. You can get on and off at any stop and transfer between the 3 routes. Listen to the commentary with the headphones and learn interesting things about the city.
Madrid is a big city so it's sometimes more convenient and less time-consumming to use public transportation, but if the places you're visiting are within walking distance of each other, just walk. There are a lot of old beautiful buildings, statues, and fountains in Madrid, and when you walk you can stop and take a better look at them and take pictures.
At first we had some trouble finding a bike rental shop in Madrid, but then found one near Plaza Mayor. We had great fun exploring the city on our bikes. If you avoid the main streets and are used to cycling through city traffic, this is a great way to discover the city and visit its main attractions. Especially recommended is cycling through Retiro park or along the wide avenues on Sunday morning, when there is almost no traffic.
Price is 24 euros for the weekend, but they are closed on Sundays so this only works if you can return the bike on Monday morning. You can also rent a bike for one day. They do not speak English, but with little knowledge of Spanish (bike=bicicleta; rent=alquilar) you're in business! Otero's shop is at Calle Segovia 18-20, 5 minutes walk from the Plaza Mayor.
Motorcycle is the best way to move around Madrid. No traffic jams, no parking problems, no delays, cheap, you don't need A/C.
Of course if you come for 3-4 days, you won't bring your motorbike, but you can always rent a scooter.
BTW, rent a little one, not one of those huge monsters like Ivan's, which are quite inconvenient for traffic jams, LOL
In a given Spanish city or village, walking is the easiest way to enjoy the sights. Comfortable shoes are a must because many streets are made of cobblestone. As you set out to explore you will find that Granada is great for strolling, Toledo is very easy to tour on foot, and Seville is best seen up close as you get around by walking, and the walk between Marbella and Puerto Banus is only three minutes.
All the monuments, museums, and places of interest are close to one another. The majority of the historic centers are made up of pedestrian streets and narrow, winding paths.
You must be 21 or older to rent a vehicle in Spain. An average rental will cost US $30 per day for a small car. A motorcycle may be rented for about US $17-23 per day. Helmets are required. Most insurance policies do not cover theft.
Major roads are considered in great condition. Traffic, though hectic at times, is manageable in the cities. One word of warning—Spain ranks high for the number of traffic accidents in Europe. Fuel prices are costly and could be double the pump prices in the United States. Driving is on the right side of the road, as it is in the United States. Parking in cities is challenging. If your hotel offers parking, then you will save lots of time looking for a parking spot. Never leave anything valuable in the rental car because theft of personal items from unattended vehicles is common.
National; 1-800-227-7368 (Ambassadair members receive a discount up to 20 percent off rental cars).
Holiday Autos, 1-800-422-7737.
Spain provides reliable and affordable public bus service. The bus service is reduced on Sundays and holidays.
Madrid: Thousands of taxis operate in Madrid and they are a good value. 95-547-8200.
ok, we bought one of those ten-rides tickes that is valid for the Metro and the Bus, to have it just in case. Though we walked most of the time - BuT IT IS WORTH IT. In case your feet hurt too much, moving around the city by metro or bus is just fine.