Travel to Madrid

Wed, Jun 12
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How to Get to Madrid


Madrid Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport is the biggest airport in Spain and the 6th in Europe with over 39 million passengers travelling via here annually. Air Europa, Iberia, British Airways, Air France, American Airlines or Alitalia are just some of the airlines that work through Madrid-Barajas.It is possible to reach the city centre by Bus, Train and Metro. The creation of the 200 bus line is solely for the purpose of commuters and travellers wanting to get to and from the airport. The bus departs from terminal 4 of the airport, leaving multiple times an hour from 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and costing €5 for a single ticket. Also costing €5 for a single ticket is the Linea Expres Aeropuerto which runs 24 hours a day and will take you to the centre of Madrid and Atocha, the main train station of the city. A cheaper option is taking the train to the centre with a single ticket costing just €2.60, and the train departing from terminal 4. The quickest option is travelling by the Metro. This lasts just 20 minutes on Line 8 and departs from all 4 of the terminals at the airport. There are also taxis available from outside the airport.


Puerta de Atocha Station is the biggest train station in Spain. All of the high-speed trains from around the country will depart from this station, as well as most long distance rail routes. You can access the city centre from Puerta de Atocha Station by metro, bus and train. You can catch the metro, by using Line 1 which stops at Atocha Renfe. There are also several buses to catch to the centre including the 47, 55, 19, 85, 10, 24, 57 and 102. There are more buses you can take to get to the outskirts of Madrid. Taxi ranks ranks are located outside the station and are active 24 hours a day.

Journeys that terminate in the northwest of Spain will depart from Chamartin station. There are easy and regular metro and bus connections from the station to the centre. Metro lines 1 and 10 run very frequently and can not only get you to the city centre, but to all corners of the city. There are 3 bus lines available in order to access the centre, the L5, L80 and L10, in addition to intercity buses that depart from San Sebastian de los Reyes and Pozuelo de Alarcón.


Sur is the main and biggest bus station in Madrid. Due to the convenient location in the centre of the country, over 50 bus companies work from the station to provide more than 1,500 destinations in Spain and an additional 500 in Europe and Morocco. The station is located just under 4 km from the city centre of Madrid and there are metro, bus and train services to help you to go between the locations. By metro, catch the L6 from Mendez Alvaro. Every 5 minutes one of seven buses can take you to the centre from the bus station, and these bus lines include the numbers 8, 37, 58, 102, 113, 148 and 158. Going by train is another option for those wishing to access the centre of Madrid; the intermodal train which stops at the bus station is a great way to travel short distances that cover the whole region of Madrid.

Getting Around Madrid

The public transport system is Madrid is the most common way to travel around the city. The underground network is the second most expansive in the EU, after London, and fourth in the world. There are also 194 bus lines and an abundance of short distance trains that reach the outskirts of the city.

Cycling in Madrid is fairly common, especially with the introduction of the rental of electric bikes in the city. Despite this, cycle lanes are not always easy to come by as those living in Madrid tend to opt for the public transport system or simply walking.

Due to efficiency and size of the public transport system, taxis are not the most popular way to get around the city. However in the centre, where there will be a lot of tourists, taxis are used more often. You will recognise the taxis by their white appearance and the red signals on the door.

Madrid is a very pedestrian friendly city; if the streets are not entirely pedestrianised, there are wide pavements for people to occupy. Walking around the old town of Madrid is particularly worthwhile, not only due to the accessibility but as it is most definitely the best way to experience the old centre.

About Madrid

Located exactly in the middle of the country, Madrid is the capital city of Spain with a population of 3.16 million people. It is also the EU’s third largest city after London and Berlin, with the metropolitan population reaching 6.5 million. The river Manzanares crosses through Madrid resulting in an abundance of parks and green areas such as El Retiro. Madrid is also the financial centre of Spain, and it is therefore often the host of several trade fairs throughout the year.

Public Transport in Madrid

Whether you are travelling to Madrid for leisure or business, it's important to assess the city's best modes of transportation before arriving. The public transport in Madrid is clean, safe, fast and efficient. It includes the metro, bus, and the commuter rail service, with the metro being the quickest form of public transportation. The metro has 13 lines, travelling between more than 301 stations. Each line has a different color, making map reading and route planning easy. Taking the bus in Madrid is an affordable way to get around the city. The local bus service in Madrid is operated by a company called EMT, which offers 2,000 buses serving more than 200 lines between the downtown area and other parts of the city. Standard buses run daily from 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., every 10 to 15 minutes. Night buses operate from 11:55 p.m. until 5:50 a.m. Another fast way of getting from one part of Madrid to another, especially within the city center, is by the commuter rail service. The commuter rail service, also known as Madrid Cercanías, has ten lines, which offers frequent daily services between 5:30 a.m. and midnight.

Walking Around in Madrid

Madrid is made up of distinct neighborhoods, or barrios, each with its own character, drifting in and out of fashion. Unlike some capital cities though, its center is still a popular place to socialize, eat out, enjoy the nightlife and meet friends for a tapas crawl. The obvious starting point is Puerta del Sol, the central square that is used as the capital's measuring point for all distances in Spain, as well as the  meeting place for city celebrations or protests. West of Sol is the city's elegant 17th century Plaza Mayor, beautifully restored to its historic splendor, with archways leading to small streets still filled with traditional Castilian restaurants and bars. Sightseers heading further west to the Palacio Real pass through the oldest part of Madrid, with winding streets showing vestiges of Moorish occupation in the medieval era. An alternative route from Sol towards the Prado Museum leads southeast through the vibrant neighborhoods of Huertas and Santa Ana.  These barrios were once bohemian quarter of the city, and are still the preferred evening destination for enjoying a glass of wine and the latest tapas, with views of the picturesque Plaza Santa Ana, one of Madrid's must-sees.    

Eating in Madrid

Tapas bars may have become a global phenomenon, but the idea began in Madrid as a basic snack served in bars, a 'lid' for a glass of beer or wine. Madrid locals have turned a simple idea into a lifestyle, and most evenings will find office workers and families enjoying an early evening stroll in city center neighborhoods sampling the latest creations from the bar kitchens. Traditional dishes such as kidneys in sherry, potato omelet, braised tripe, or meatballs with paprika still feature, but are now joined by elaborate and stylish seafood morsels, as well as more international offerings. Basque chefs have also introduced the capital to stylish pintxos, northern Spain's eye-catching version of tapas, and these have become a popular lunchtime option. Although Madrid has all the international restaurants you would expect of a capital, locals still flock to Spanish regional specialty restaurants. Late evenings around Puerta de Sol are full of Madrid families thronging established eateries and snacking on Galician octopus, Castilian roast lamb, or suckling pig from Segovia. The perfect antidote to a spot too much Rioja is a morning visit to a Madrid cafe to dip freshly-fried churro donuts into the distinctively thick Spanish hot chocolate.

Best Time to Visit Madrid

If you are planning to visit the lovely city of Madrid, knowing when the best time to go is a great way to ensure that you have the most fun on your vacation. Summer stretches from June to September. These are the hottest months but should not be missed because of the music festivals and open-air concerts that take place throughout the city. August is the best month to explore the beautiful beaches in Madrid. Spring, from mid-March to May, is also a pleasant time to see the city. Throughout these months the weather is warm during the day, and cool at night, making nightlife very exciting. There are also a lot of cultural activities during this season. The winter season is from December to mid-March. It is usually dry and the best time for those who are avoiding the sun-tanning weather and large crowds. Snow falls, but it does not accumulate in the city, and during this time, you can stroll down without distractions from the crowds. You can enjoy seeing museums and other historical sites without waiting in long queues. It is also the best time for skiing in the mountains. Whatever season you may choose to tour Madrid, be assured that you'll find culture, cuisine, and excursions that are second to none.

Coffee Shops in Madrid

The coffee scene in Madrid has experienced exponential growth in the past decades, with formerly residential neighborhoods like Chamberi and Lavapies transforming into specialty coffee hotspots. Head on over to the heart of Madrid, where you'll find Ruda Café, a tiny but cozy caffeine shop where you can enjoy 100% Arabica coffees and great conversations with fellow coffee lovers - the place is always buzzing. For other breakfast options, find HanSo in the trendy Malasaña neighborhood. The menu hinges on single-origin beans roasted to a balanced perfection, served with a round of delicious Tostada con tomate and Matcha cake for dessert. With an eclectic, contemporary style featuring white wall tiles, concrete floors and a large communal table, you'll feel right at home amongst coffee lovers. A few steps away is the equally trendy Toma Café, where you'll find a set of staff devoted to the art of brewing coffee. Toma makes a great espresso with avocado toast, and is famous for brewing Toma beans in small brown envelopes. With a snug, laid-back vibe, it's the perfect place if you're in no rush and want to observe coffee connoisseurs in their element. Whether it's a morning coffee or an afternoon snack you're looking for, Madrid has a cup of coffee for all kinds of brew lovers.

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