Taxis in Madrid are not yellow but withe with a red strip; the service is quite good and not very expensive. The picture shows one taxi in front of the Castrensian Church.
Los taxis en Madrid no son amarillos, sino blancos con una franja roja; el servicio es bastante bueno y no demasiado caro. La foto muestra un taxi frente a la Iglesia Castrense.
It is said that 1 of every 10 cars in Madrid is a taxi. And you can see this by just standing in any corner for 1 minute: plenty of taxis will pass by... except when it rains!!
They are painted white with a red diagonal stripe across the front doors. If the green lamp on top is light they are free.
The meter starts at 1.05 euros and there are extra charges for:
- Each bag 0.31 euro
- Holidays 0.90 euro
- Nights 0.90 euro
- Dogs (other than guide dogs) 0.90 euro
- Airport (departures & arrivals) 2.41 euro
The easiest way to take them is just on the street, but here are some telephones just in case:
91 405 55 00 / 91 447 51 80 / 91 445 90 08
The taxis in Madrid are readily available. Just wave at the driver when you see his green light on. This means that the cab is available. The taxis are white, mid-sized cars and I didn't have any trouble with dishonest taxi drivers, but I'm sure they exist like in every city I've ever visited. Just be sure you ask the appoximate price when you get in the cab.
Taxis are easily available in Madrid. You will not have any problem of finding taxi ranks or hailing a taxi. Like everywhere in the world taxis are expensive compare to busses or underground metro. From Atocha station to Puerto del Sol the cost is around €7 and from the International Airport to our hotel which are close to Atocha station is €29 including airport tax of €5.50. Catch less taxis if you can avoid it.
I live in Madrid; I feel I live in an undeveloped country when I have to use a taxi in my city. No doubt taxi drivers are the most ignorant people but at the same time enough clever to try to thieve us. Most of them represent the most abominable guys you can find in Spain. Bad guys. They always try to steal to Spaniards and most frequently to foreigners, because taxi drivers think they are stupid. I always try to avoid using taxis. If there is no remedy to pick up one of them: control that taxi drives put the taximeter on before the taxi speed up, Try to see if he looks for the longest travel. And finally, at the end of the travel you must control carefully that he doesn’t put the taximeter to cero or stand by before he asks you the money. They used to do so, suddenly the digits have disappeared, and in this way they invent the amount of money. If you go to or from the airport formally you must pay 4, 5 euros plus the amount indicated in the taximeter only. You haven’t to pay any extra for any baggage or packet. In summer 2006 the cost to go to city centre is around 20 euros and 10 more if you go to the south of the city. They always try to get (rob to you) 2, 5 or 10 euros more. They think that they have the right to collect the gratification directly. Taxi drives as the rest of them all over the world don’t represent the good people that I’m sure you will find along you trip. Since a lot of years, city council in Madrid works hard to try to organize and control the misuses and trickery but is a lost battle. In general they are no honest people at all. Try to use Metro (underground) o buses. I can’t stand when they try (or sometimes achieve) to steal me, and I used to go to the airport with my baggage in my own car, put it in a cloakroom, return home to park my car and then go back to the airport by Underground (Metro). Good luck.
Taxis in Madrid have surcharges for everything. There is a charge to be picked up at the airport, dropped off at the train station, etc., etc. If you are going to Atoche Train station, just say you are going to Hotel Mediodia, and walk across the street to catch the train.
You can hail a taxi by just raising your arm and attracting their attention. If one is showing a green light or a card showing Libre, then they are available. If you see Occupado, then the taxi has passengers. A few just have certain destinations and usually when the driver is heading home. Make sure you only take the metred taxi’s and be aware of the surcharges.
Taxis are quite affordable in Madrid, as they're not expensive at all. They are everywhere. Just be sure to stop one that has a green light on the roof, and lookout for the rate, as it can be 1, 2 or 3, being 1 the cheapest.
If you're coming from the airport, taxis are the choice. They do charge extra for the luggage, and don't even intend to tell the taxist where to put your bags: they will manage to carry them on the car, even if it's on top of the roof, believe me.
Do not trust the taxi drivers. The poor economy means they nearly all take the longest route. I took what was supposed to be a 9.2 mile trip to my Hotel at max cost of €30. It cost me €46. Sadly from my comments to Hotels and Tourist authorities taking the long route appears to be the norm. Take the Metro - cheap and easy. PS on the return airport trip do not pay the €3 airport supplement until you try your metro ticket as normal.
We took taxis to and from the airport. It costs around 20 Euros for that. Around town, it costs less. But if you're going to a bus station, be sure you know which one you're going to! I think there are 3 bus stations in Madrid, and we had that problem one time. The taxi driver asked us what station we wanted, and we didn't know. He took us to one, and when we realized it wasn't the right one, we took another taxi to the next (which turned out to be the right one).
Taking a taxi around Madrid is the easiest and most expensive way to get around the city. A taxi is free for hire when the light is on, if it isn't on then the taxi is taken. I wouldn't advise you to take a taxi around Madrid, because the public transport is good, but it is certainly the easiest way to get to and from the airport.
I don't know how to avoid this, and many other VT'ers have similar tips, but it is really easy for taxi drivers to over charge you when you arrive at the airport. When we told the concierge at our hotel what we paid (two weeks later), he said we should have called the police. But, if you don't know, you don't know. If the airport has limousine or taxi kiosks inside, it's a good idea to ask a few of them what they charge before committing.