Definitive guide to understand Madrid’s public transport

¡Hola Spaneasiers! How are your Spanish classes going so far? We hope that you are learning our language the best way possible with our Spanish courses. Some students who come to Madrid to study Spanish have told us that using public transport for the first time can be complicated, however, in this post we’re bringing you the definitive guide to understand it!

To get to use public transport like a true Madrileño, you have to know the different types of transport that exist.

BUS

First of all, we must distinguish between the two types of buses you will find: blue urban buses and green intercity buses. Normally you will use the urban ones, since there are thousands of stops around Madrid. The bus ticket prices vary depending on your needs:

  • Single ticket: it can be purchased on the bus for 1.50€.
  • 10 trip ticket: this is a card that you can buy at metro stations or tobacconists. The price depends on whether you are only looking to move by bus or you also want to use the metro, being 18.30€ or 12.20€ each.

If you want to see which buses you need to take to move around our city, this interactive map will help you.

SUBWAY / UNDERGROUND

Madrid’s subway has a total of 16 lines: 13 metro lines and 3 light rail lines. These lines run every day between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. To use this public transport, you have to buy a rechargeable card for 2.50€ and once obtained, it can be recharged with any type of ticket that best suits you. The single ticket costs 1.50€ and 10 trips cost 12.20€, it all depends from which area you’re moving to.

Madrid’s Metro Lines

Later on, we will explain in detail all the transport passes that exist.

TRAINS (ALSO CALLED CERCANÍAS)

Several of Madrid’s commuter trains are connected to the main metro stations in the city. It is a quick and easy way to move between different parts of the community. The schedules of these trains vary depending on the zones and lines, but usually trains leave every few minutes.

The rates to use this transport vary depending on the area you are traveling to, here is a table to better understand the prices.

ZONESINGLE TICKETBONOTREN (10 trips)
1 and 21,70 €10 €
31,85 €13,70 €
42,60 €18,55 €
53,40 €24,30 €
64,05 €28,55 €
75,50 €38,45 €

BICYCLES

Electric bicycles called BiciMAD are a good option if you are looking to make a short trip through the city center. It is very easy to use, since you can take a bicycle at any stop and leave it at another point. Depending on the time you are in Madrid, you can choose one rate or another.

  • Tourist card: if you visit Madrid for a few days, you can get a free card that allows you to use the bicycles as many times as you want during 1, 3 or 5 days. Rates vary between 2 and 4 euros depending on the hours you use them.
  • Anual pass: for city residents, the annual fee costs between 15 and 25 euros depending on whether you have the transport pass or not.

In addition to the tickets we have mentioned, Madrid has created a tourist ticket which allows you to use all types of public transport. There are different types depending on the number of days you want to use it: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 days.

TRANSPORT PASSES

On the other hand, if you are moving to Madrid for a long time, we recommend taking out your transport pass. The most important are:

  • 30-day pass: depending on the areas you travel through, the price goes up. Here you can see the updated prices.
  • Annual pass.
  • Youth pass: if you are under 26, traveling through Madrid will cost you only 20€ per month. With this pass you can use all types of transport except BiciMAD.

Lastly, in our city we also have white taxis with a red band on the front door. Madrid’s taxis are cheap and comfortable if you’re carrying too many suitcases or if public transport has already been closed. You can also find companies like Cabify and Uber!

That is everyting for today’s post! We hope that this small guide has helped you, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments or contact us. If you want to continue discovering Madrid, you cannot miss this post in which we show you some of the mythical candy shops of our city. Until next time!

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