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How to get around Madrid

Hi guys! My name is Laura, I’m 21 years old and I’ve moved to Madrid to learn Spanish. I’ve been living in this fantastic city for two weeks now and today I’ve decided to explain to you how to get around Madrid easily, as it’s full of wonders to discover and we certainly don’t want to waste time!

Are you ready? 

First of all, you have to know that the best way to get around Madrid is definitely by Metro, which is very fast and cheap and can take you to every corner of the city. Madrid’s metro has more than 300 km of tracks, making it one of the most extensive networks in the world.

In order to take the metro in Madrid you need a rechargeable “Multi card” or a tourist card. A single journey ticket costs €1.50, while a 10 journey card costs €12.20. The service runs from 6:00 am to 1:30 am (when the last train leaves its home station and runs to the end of the line).

A good alternative to the metro is to take the bus, which has more than 180 daytime lines running from 6:00 am to 11:30 pm and almost 30 night-time lines running from 11:45 pm to 5:30 am. This is also a good way to see the city while moving from one place to another, especially if you take the Madrid City Tour: a nice tourist bus, which offers a comfortable and practical way to see the capital.

The most comfortable way to get around Madrid is by taxi. There are many taxi ranks around the city where you can catch one, or you can simply hail one by raising your hand.

Prices are not very high, but it is recommended to inform yourself about the tariffs so that drivers cannot take advantage of you. For example, there is a fixed airport fare of 30 euros for all journeys to and from the airport.

There is also a cheaper alternative to taxis: Uber or Cabify. To use these services you have to download their app and request them through it. In this case, prices vary depending on demand, so before using the service it is advisable to compare the estimate given by the app itself.

As Madrid has such an efficient public transport network, renting a car is not recommended. In addition to that, the traffic is always very dense and there are also some traffic restrictions such as “Madrid Central” or environmental restrictions.

A silent, comfortable and above all ecological vehicle is the bicycle! It’s name is ‘BiciMAD’ and it is a shared system of electric bicycles that depends on the Madrid City Council. It is very simple: you can take a bicycle anywhere in the city and return it to the place that suits you best.

There are two options for acquiring the card: the occasional use card, which costs €2 for the first hour and €4 thereafter, or the annual card, for Madrid residents. The latter costs €25 and if you have a transport pass it is only €15. With this card, the first 30 minutes cost €0.50 and the next €0.60.

Another fun and environmentally friendly option for getting around Madrid is the electric scooter, a growing trend in the big cities. Madrileños love it, like the Brazilian football legend Ronaldo Nazario, who risked getting a red card for riding an electric scooter on the pavement in Madrid (his adopted hometown) in November 2018.

These new personal mobility solutions are not only super funny, but also really easy to get: you just have to sign up on the app of one of the companies offering the service, to indicate a payment method, to locate the scooter and to enjoy the ride. Moreover, the average price for renting an electric scooter is not very high: €0.15 per minute.

The last option to get around Madrid is to go for a walk: there are many itineraries that can be done walking through the streets of Madrid! It is a city full of places to visit, plans to make, experiences to live and history to know. Even the Madrileños prefer to walk rather than use public transport when they have to make short journeys.

Madrid is a lively city where it is practically impossible to get bored!

One of the best ways to see the most emblematic sights of the city starts from Atocha station, where the street Paseo del Prado starts.

Walking along, the first thing you see on the right is the Real Jardín Botánico, a calm spot in the middle of the hectic city life. Next to it there is one of the best art galleries in the world: the Prado Museum and, at the end of the building, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Madrid, with the Ritz Hotel in front of you, the church of Los Jerónimos on the right and the fountain of Neptune and the Palace Hotel on the left.

Before continuing your walk, at the Neptune fountain you can take a detour a few metres up to the Spanish Congress of Deputies, from where you can see the image of what we were talking about earlier from an even more beautiful perspective.

If you go back down to the Neptune fountain and walk to your left. Before reaching the statue of Cibeles you will find another of Madrid’s best museums: the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza.

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