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Getting Around Madrid

In addition to being a city full of charm and monuments, the Spanish capital boasts a highly efficient transport system. From this point of view, the metro represents the real flagship and the ideal solution for getting around Madrid.

The road network is also enviable; active from morning until evening. In the latter case, however, it should be borne in mind that the city is quite chaotic and busy, especially at peak times.



Twelve main lines, a connecting line (Ramal), and 4 tram lines; a total of 320 kilometers and 326 stations. These numbers explain well why the Madrid metro is one of the largest in the world. In Europe, only London and Moscow are ahead.

Not just simple numbers, though! The Madrid metro system is highly efficient; center and periphery are connected in a capillary way. Among other things, the frequency of the races is impressive, which for some lines reaches as much as three minutes. A train every three minutes… impressive.

Getting Around Madrid by metro

The metro consists of 12 main lines. Each is associated with a number (progressive from 1 to 12) and a color. Line 6, Circular, is the busiest and stops at the key points of the capital. Whoever decides to move around Madrid by metro, rest assured that he will often use this line! The metro is well marked on the outside by special signs. Each line has its white number on a colored box. They are, by far, the best way for getting around Madrid.

The twelve lines are joined by the so-called Ramal, a simple connecting line of only 1.1 km, between the Ópera and Príncipe Pío stations. Outside, the Ramal is highlighted by special signs with the letter R in color and a blue box on a white background.

Since 2007, the so-called Metro Ligera, that is the Light Metro, has been active. In reality, it is a tramway that consists of four lines for a total of approximately 30km. The Metro Legera is highlighted by a number and colored box on a white background. Each line has its own number (progressive from ML1 to ML4) and its own color.

The lines are generally active every day from 06:05 in the morning until 02:00 at night. We also point out that the official metromadrid APP is available. You can download it from the official website or from the Store. Free, interactive, it allows you to better plan your trips, knowing in real time frequencies, delays and even the balance of your Tarjeta Multi.


EMT, i.e. Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid, is the company that manages public transport by road. Currently, it is part of the Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid which also includes the metro. The figures are impressive: 204 lines and a total of 1900 buses. The network extends in a capillary way from the center to the periphery; is active, thanks to the night lines, 24 hours a day.

The big flaw of surface transport is traffic. Madrid, the great European capital as it is, is an extremely chaotic and busy city; especially at peak times. Buses are also affected by the inconvenience. Despite this, the buses are, however, an excellent solution for getting around Madrid.

We point out that, like the Metro, EMT also provides an interesting APP for getting around Madrid.


getting around Madrid by taxi

Photo ©, Jorge Franganillo

Avoid unnecessarily polluting and opt for public transport. In addition to being highly efficient, they are certainly more environmentally friendly than “four wheels”. And, of course, cheaper.

Taxis in Madrid are white, with the logo and meter clearly visible. The fare is generally clearly displayed above the car. Prices vary depending on the time and day. In the evening and on holidays you will find the highest price ranges. Taxis apply a surcharge for departures/arrivals from the airport and for luggage transport. If you opt for the car, it is preferable to leave it on the outskirts, where there are numerous parking lots, continuing on foot.


Getting around Madrid by bicycle has never been too “fashionable” but the situation is slowly evolving. In recent times, major investments have been made to improve and increase the number of cycle paths. Today, companies such as BiciMAD or Baja Bikes offer the possibility to rent your bicycle in different points of the city to move freely and, above all, with ZERO EMISSIONS. The rate is around € 2 for each hour or part thereof. The operation is similar to many others and, after registering, you can unlock and use your bicycle in one of the various points.

In some areas, such as the beautiful El Retiro Park, cycling is highly recommended.

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