Madrid preview

Spain

Public transportation in Madrid is excellent, but traffic is a horror show. There is no point to owning a car in Madrid unless you want to deal with the hassle of traffic jams and a serious lack of parking space.

Madrid has a top-notch metro system that not only runs to all corners of the city, but even services some of the nearby commuter towns. The metro is timely, with a new train arriving about every 2 to 3 minutes during rush hour, and quite safe, although pick-pocketing is a problem, so always keep a close eye on your belongings. The metro runs from 6:00AM to 1:30AM, 365 days a year, and allows free transfers from one line to another. But best of all, the Madrid metro is very affordable: 1.00 euro for a single ride and 7,40 euro for a ten-ride pass. Monthly passes are also available.

Buses are plentiful in Madrid and run to every part of the city, but as traffic is also an issue for buses, the metro is often a better option. However, starting at 11:00PM the city’s nocturnal buses, called buhos (owls) run every hour during the week and every half hour on the weekends until the metro reopens and regular bus service resumes at 6:00AM. The cost of the buses is the same as the metro and the ten ride pass can be used for rides on both.

The city’s commuter rail has several stations scattered throughout different sections of the city, and there are four major commuter bus terminals in different parts of the city, making commuting in and out of Madrid fairly uncomplicated.

Madrid is also swimming in taxis. Finding a taxi in the center of the city is never a problem. And in neighborhoods where cabs are scant, you can always call for a radio taxi to come and get you.