The metro goes all the way from the airport to the rest of the city so it is easy and fairly quick. We never had to wait long and the journey was a fraction of the price of either the bus or taxi.
A One-way ticket is €1.15 and is valid for any one way journey within the whole network
A map of the metro can be downloaded from the website.
The journey from the airport to the Puerto del Sol took about 40 minutes.
Downtown Madrid is not very big so if you're a good walker, chances are you'll be able to walk to pretty much all the major attractions in the city. However, if you ever get tired and would rather go by metro, don't hesitate to do so! Because I lived a little bit outside of the city center, I had to take the metro every day to go to school and I have to say, this is the best metro system I've ever had a chance to use! It runs from 6:00 am to 2:00 am, and usually I wouldn't even bother checking the schedule before leaving as trains were never more than 5 or 6 minutes apart, even on the weekends. And if the city itself tends to get a bit dirty, it certainly doesn't apply to its metro which is always spotless clean! Another great thing is that it really isn't expensive - a single trip costs only 1 Euro, and you can also get a 10-trip ticket for 6.70 Euros (it's the same ticket you use 10 times). The metro also goes all the way to Barajas Airport (there's an extra 1 Euro fee to get to the airport). So to sum it all up, it's a cheap, easy, safe and effective way of getting around in Madrid!
Here you have the chance to save some euros. If you take a cab it will charge you in-between E25-E35. However, if you take the Metro it will cost you only E1.25 per person.
The catch is that you will have to drag your bags up and downstairs a couple of times even though most trams have mechanic staircases. Not too bad but may be too much for older people.
The best itinerary from the airport is to take the Metro to Nuevos Ministerios, then switch to the blue line until Tribunal station and from there on take the light blue line either to Gran Via or Sol, depending where your hotel is.
The trip will take you around 45'.
Madrid's Metro system has been opening many new lines and stations over the last few weeks - and more are expected in a near future. It now has one of the longest networks in the world - apart from being fast, cheap, clean and safe.
The map in your guide is most probably outdated. Check for the new version before your trip in the web, and get a new pocket map in any ticket office.
There are also new fares. Apart from the traditional single ticket (1 EUR per trip) and "metrobus", (6.40 EUR per 10 metro or bus trips) there are new "tourist passes" that give great value: unlimited bus/metro/trains within the city (abono turistico "zona A") is 3,80-6,80-9,00-14,20-19,80 for 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 days, and there is a "zona T" option with a wider coverage area including buses and trains to Toledo and Guadalajara (double price). Both Come with maps, instructions, etc. in Spanish and English, and in both cases there is a 50% discount for kids under 11. Thay are available at any ticket office, and you'll have to show a passport or photo ID to buy it.
Madrid has a highly functional metro/subway system that will get you to most of the important tourist attractions within the city. As I was staying at a hotel right on the Puenta Sol, this was very valuable. It seems like virtually everyone of the seven subway lines in the city passes through the Puenta Sol. The subway cost .95 Euros to use which for a city of this size, is good value. For 5 Euros, you can also purchase ten tickets.
The metro is cheap, efficient and runs very often. From Barajas airport you take line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios (end of journey) and from there (or before, it depends on where you're headed) you change lines to your final destination. A map of the metro can be found at Metro de Madrid (in Spanish, but you'll get the idea ;)).
A single ticket costs 1€ but there's the Metrobus ticket, which is valid for 10 trips and costs 6.70€ and there's of course different kinds of travel cards (abonos). The prices are found at the link below, when you click on "Billetes y abonos".
The Metro runs from T2 and T4. It is about 5 -10 mins walk from T1 to the Metro.
The Metro service runs between 0600-0200hrs.
Tickets can be purchased from machines or at ticket offices in the metro entrance.
A 1 euro supplement is paid for the airport service - a normal 1 journey ticket is 1 euro. (so 2 euros from airport to city)
There are 'saver tickets' for unlimited travel - I later purchased a tourist 2 day ticket for 6.80 Euros, which I used quite a lot to get from my hotel to the city and back.
Tickets are validated at the turnstyle when first using.
On my second visit to Madrid, I purchased a 3 day tourist card from the airport metro station Info office. (pic 2)
Free Maps are available at the metro stations. There are 11 lines- identified by number and colour.
Line 8 (pink) runs from the airport. it terminates at Nuevos Ministerios, where You can change to line 6 (grey) which is the circular route that runs around the city centre if Your hotel is central.
You might need to change lines again, for example to reach Sol, exit at Legazpi then follow the sign for the line 3 (yellow).
I found it quite easy to use the metro, but I was travelling alone, with a light case. It might be slightly more stressful for you if travelling with lots of luggage/ children / or if you have mobility problems.
There are steps/ escalators and lifts (elevators) at most stations-but not all!!
I expected the busy times on the metro to be around 07.00-09.00 and around 17.00hrs. I hadn't accounted for the lunch time siesta, when the carriages were quite full, so allow for this if returning to the airport mid afternoon
...unless you're going to visit a lot of the places they give discount or free entrance. This card does not cover public transportation, so you must to buy a tourist card (Abono Transporte Turístico) on the side.
Excellent and wide network. You can buy a single ticket or a 10 trip ticket, in this case, you can save much money. The ticket is called MetroBus, and it's valid for both, metro and bus.
Have a look at the website to know more.
The combined metro/bus ticket is best. Available in machines at all stations. "abono10"
The metro is well sign posted and easy to use.
Free metro map available.
Trains run frequently.
The metro is clean and safe.
A single trip anywhere in Madrid cost Euro 1.00 in September, 2009.
The abono10 cost 7.50 for 10 rides.
Usable on both the metro and buses.
There is a surcharge for the airport metro.
1 ticket may be used for up to 10 persons for one trip, 2 people for 5 trips and so on e.g. it is not personal to the individual.
From Barajas airport you can get to city center through the underground, you can stop at Nuevos mInisterios or Mar de Plata to join other tube lines
the web page is very sueful as it containes map plans that help you to find what you are looking for, and the closest station to your destination
Taxis are ridiculous expensive to airport
The trains in Madrid are clean and there is announcement inside the train about the next station. Most platforms have a timer there displaying how minutes the train will arrive. Also, there is a handle on the door cause you might have to lift the handle to open it. It does not open on its own.