Riding the Metro in Madrid

Metro in Madrid


Did you know that the Madrid Metro is one of the best public transport systems in the world? It is comfortable, fast and safe! In this blog, I am going share my experience using Madrid Metro so that you can move around the city like a true madrileño.

When I first arrived, I found it quite easy to pay 1,50 € per trip and use the automated machines that offer instructions in English. Soon, I learned that I could save a little money and time at the machine by purchasing a 10-trip pass for 12,20E.

Now I’m riding the metro daily to get to my Spanish class and I decided it was best to buy a monthly pass (“abono”) for 47,90€. This was the first ‘tricky’ experience I had with the metro, but it wouldn’t have been if I’d checked out this website.

Finally, I got it: it doesn’t matter what time of month you purchase your pass, it will be valid for 30 days at a time and is valid on the metro, buses, and Cercanías (urban train), so it’s a huge asset to anyone traversing the wilds of Madrid.

Metro station Madrid Sol


Purchasing a monthly Metro pass: Tarjeta Transporte Público Personal (TTP)

The easiest option is to get your TTP is do it online by clicking on this link. It will take between 7 and 15 working days to arrive to your home in Madrid.

If you want to do it in person and take the card with you that same day, first thing you have to do is request an appointment at the Public Transport Card Office. You can do it by phone calling 012 or online. On the day of the appointment, you must go to the corresponding office with the indicated documentation. At that point you should get a red card (roughly the size and shape of a credit card) with your photo, name, and metro credit.

Each time you take the metro you’ll have to swipe your pass on the large green circle, located on the right side of each metro turnstile.  If you decide to get a monthly pass the next month, the process is much easier.  Go to one of the automated machines, select monthly pass, stick your red abono card into the machine, pay with cash or a card with a chip in it and you’ll have your new ticket for the month!

A couple of important notes:

  • You can plan your route and find the quickest way to get where you’re going at (available in English). This is also available as an app on your phone!
  • If you’re coming or going from Barajas Airport, the metro is a great way to go, but remember that you have to pay 3 extra euros at the machine in order to pass through.
  • If you don’t have internet on your phone or you don’t want to use Google Maps, it’s always good to have a metro map, which can be picked up at any metro station.
  • The lines are labeled with the final destination to let you know which direction it’s going – a map will help you figure this out or you can always find a detailed sign that lists the stops on that line.
  • If you get lost, don’t be afraid to ask a local. This is a great chance to practice your Spanish speaking skills!

Happy metro riding!




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