Transport System in Madrid
Transport in Madrid works quite well for getting around the city. Even if it is not perfect (what city in the world has a perfect system of transport?). The traffic and situation of the buses and trains depend a lot on rush hours, which in the capital are from 8.00 to 10.00 AM and 18.00 to 19.00 PM (Fridays, from 14.00 to 16.00 PM). The rest of the day, transport in Madrid is usually bearable.
Tourists can choose different options for the getting around Madrid. The simplest one to use is the Metro (subway), the most comprehensive system is the bus service, the one that that will get you farthest are the local trains (Cercanías) and the fastest way to get around is with taxi. Other options for transport in Madrid are private solutions, such as the car, motorbike or bicycle.
In addition, there are methods of transport in Madrid especially focused and tailored for tourists. We talk about the tourist buses, the cable car of the Casa de Campo or the tourist trains organized by RENFE, the Spanish railway company. All of these options of getting around Madrid have their own pros and cons.
Public transport in Madrid
Although the economic crisis has led to increased prices and reduced the frequency of the service, public transport in Madrid is still efficient and cheap. The Metro (subway) is the best way to move and get one’s bearings. It has 12 lines, all except one run in the capital. Using this method of transport in Madrid, you can get to the most important places in the city, such as the airport, the attractive downtown Madrid and the business and commercial areas.
The bus service is a transport system in Madrid used by Madrilenians. It takes you everywhere and probably you will get off at the closest point you need to, as after travelling by Metro you usually have to walk some minutes more. This method of getting around Madrid is also most popular and convenient at night, as there is an efficient service from midnight to dawn, especially at weekends.
The train service is the best method of transport in Madrid, to travel from the Great Madrid to the capital. It is fast and usually connects with Metro and bus stations. Its frequency is lower than the Metro, but it stops much less. This mode of transport in Madrid arrives to the most central places in the city, the Puerta del Sol, and to the airport (Terminal 4).
The taxi is, of course, the most flexible mode of transport in Madrid. It runs 24 hours per day 7 days per week and the prices are fairly reasonable (approx. 25 euro from the airport). There are several taxi stops around the city, especially near the big stations and hotels. Tourists with special needs, such as wheelchairs, can use this mode of transport in Madrid asking for adapted cars.
Private transport in Madrid
Renting a car is an interesting solution for your transport needs in Madrid if you are going to visit other cities in the surrounding vicinity of the city or even other capitals of Spain. Of course, this solution also offers you a level of freedom that other methods of transport in Madrid just can’t give. The main companies work in the city, as well as other platforms to rent motorcycles.
Meanwhile, the bicycle tries to become an important mode of transport in Madrid. There are long bike lanes, but most of them in the surroundings, with no connection to downtown. In central Madrid, cyclists must share the road with vehicles, which is usually dangerous because there is no bike culture between drivers. For the people of the city, a bike is still not a transport in Madrid but more of weekend entertainment.