You can travel to Madrid by air, rail or road. The city has an international airport, the International Airport of Barajas, which is the main airport in Spain and the fifth in Europe. Barajas Airport has four different terminals from which national and international flights operate.

The airport is about 8 miles north-east of Madrid city centre and is well connected to the city by underground and bus services. Underground line 8 (pink) runs from terminals 2 and 4 at Barajas Airport to the city centre. Another option is to take a taxi.

It is also possible to reach Madrid by train from other European countries. The Spanish Railway Network, RENFE, offers connections between Spanish cities and major European cities, both with conventional trains and the AVE (high-speed train). There are two main train stations in Madrid: Atocha, located in the south of the city, and Chamartín, located in the north. Both of them are linked via underground.

If you prefer to travel by road, there are two options the first being coach and this method links Spain with other European countries. The Estación Sur de Autobuses, located in Menéndez Álvaro, offers numerous routes and connections by coach. The second possibility is to travel independently using your own car or a hired car. Madrid has six main roads that reach the city centre, but it is not advisable to travel by car in Madrid as there are often traffic jams and restrictions in some central streets.

Public Transport

Public Transport in Madrid is relatively efficient and easy to use. The underground or metro in Madrid has 12 different lines which interlink at several stations. They are clearly mapped out by colours and numbers and serve a total of 237 stations.

Map of Madrid underground

The bus service is a good alternative to the underground when visiting the city. At night, there is a special bus service where the buses are called búhos (owls). However, fewer buses run through the night and all of them stop at Plaza Cibeles.

There is a bus service that caters specifically for tourists called Madrid Visión. These buses cover three different routes in Madrid, but all of the trips start at Puerta del Sol, and tours are available in eight languages. There are also companies that offer guided and personalised tours in Madrid.

The cheapest way for tourists to travel in Madrid is by buying the Abono de Transportes Turísticos which is a ticket that allows you to travel at any time using any public transport in Madrid except taxis. Prices vary depending on the time and the zones you choose to travel in.

Both buses and the RENFE railway network operate in the areas surrounding Madrid and so provide an excellent service to use if you are a planning a trip to visit areas outside of the city.


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