MADRID TRAVEL GUIDE
Madrid Public Transportation
Public Transportartation in Madrid
Madrid proudly sports one of the best public transportation networks in the world and the second largest metro network in Europe, second only to London's. Buses and subways form an integrated network  and work with the same tickets. A single ticket costs €1, a ten trip ticket costs €9. Alternatively, you can buy unlimited travel passes as follows: 1 day (€5.20), 2 days (€8.80), 3 days (€11.60), 5 days (€17.60), or 7 days (€23.60). Children under 11 receive a 50% discount. Tickets can be purchased at Metro stations, news-stands, and estancos (tobacconists').
Madrid by metro
The Metro de Madrid (Madrid's Subway/Underground) is one of the best and cheapest metros in Europe. In addition, the underground tunnels of the Metro provide relief from the sun on hot days. Stamping the ticket one time allows you to use the Metro network as long and far as you like - make sure you stay inside the Metro zone, once you leave it, you'll have to stamp your ticket again. When you travel to or from airport stations, there is additional supplement of €1, which can be paid at the entrance or exit. The Passes do not require this supplement-it is included in the price. You can catch some trains as late as 2:00AM, although the official close time for the metro system is at 1:30AM.
Nights before Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays have a night bus (MetroBuho) service on the same routes as the Metro lines, from rougly 01:00AM to 05:30AM. Stops for these lines are sometimes not in obvious places, especially in the pedestrian areas in the city center.
Madrid by bus
Whatever the Metro doesn't cover, the buses do.
Night buses (Buhos, "night owls"), have their main hub at Plaza de Cibeles, covering most of the city at roughly 20-minute intervals.
Madrid by train
Madrid has a system of local trains (Cercanias) that connect outlying suburbs and villages with the city center. Although not important for short term visitors within the metropolitan area, the Cercanias make it easy and convenient to visit historic or outdoor destinations outside the city core.
Taxis can be hard to find during late hours on weekends, especially if there is some rain. Unlike in other European cities, there are few taxi stands; just stand by the side of a major road or bus stop and wave your hand to signal an available taxi passing by. Available taxis have a green libre sign in the windshield and a green light on top.
Official taxis are white, and have a red stripe and the flag of Madrid on the front door. The tariff is displayed on top of the car (a 1 during daytime, a 2 during the night, which become 2 and 3 on holidays such as Christmas Eve).
There are also special surcharges for entering or leaving the airport/train station. Ask for the written table of tariffs and charges (suplementos) (shown on small stickers on rear windows, compulsory by law) before paying if you think it's too expensive.
Be aware there are some taxi drivers that will do what is called 'la vuelta al ruedo' which basically means they will drive you around or through the crowded avenues to increase the fare.
Madrid by car
Transportation by private automobile in Madrid can be very difficult. The Spanish capital suffers from the typical problems of most big cities; far too many cars and not enough space to accommodate them. Sometimes there can even be traffic jams in the Paseo de la Castellana at 3:00 AM (early to some Madrilenos). The problem is compounded by the narrow streets in the old town, where a lorry delivering beer barrels to a local bar can cause a huge tailback. Looking for a place to park your car Finding a parking space can be very time consuming, and difficult if one is not skilled in the art of close proximity parallel parking. Many Spaniards are also lacking in this art, prompting them to simply park in the street, blocking other cars in. If you find yourself blocked in by such a practice, honk your horn until the driver returns. If you parallel park your car in Madrid, be aware that most Madrilenos park by sound alone. They will feel no remorse for repeatedly hitting the car in front and behind them while trying to get into or out of a tight spot. If you value your car's paint job, or you have rented a car, it may be best to park underground. Though this is no guarantee for nobody hitting your car, the chances are somewhat diminished.
On the other hand, travel by car can be advantageous; going home by car on weekends is, of course depending where you live, usually faster than by public transport.
Madrid by bicycle
Riding a bicycle in Madrid is quite dangerous because there is no reserved section of the road for bikers, and drivers are not used to seeing bicycles in the city. This is due to Madrid not being a flat city so Madrilenos do not see travel by bike as being practical. The Metro limits the times when a bicycle can be carried on it. However, Madrid is not totally devoid of bicyclists- Madrid bikers can often be seen riding in El Retiro, Madrid's second largest park. Enjoy the nature or do some sport, but note that the parks are considered dangerous after the sun sets.
You can get a map with the bicycle paths at tourist offices. The paths have been built the past few years to try and promote bicycling.
Enjoy your Stay in Madrid