Buses run every 15 minutes, daily, from 6:00am to
11:30pm. Now you might be wondering, 11:30pm? What if I need to get
somewhere after that time? Well don’t worry because Madrid has night
buses. The night buses run between midnight and 5am. To date, there
are twenty-four night routes that run, N1 – N24, and they all leave
from Plaza de Cibeles and head out to the suburbs. For information on
fares and schedules, click here.
The metro is the easiest way to travel around the city of Madrid. There are thirteen lines and a number and a color identify each. The metro opens at 6am and closes at 1:30am, daily. You can buy tickets (one way, ten day pass, six rides) at the coin-operated machines in each station or from the ticket booths. The trains are very reliable; they run every 3 to 5 minutes during the weekdays, and every 10 to 15 minutes after eleven at night. Remember rush hour is at 7:30am – 9:30am, 1:00-2:30pm, and 7:30 – 9:00pm. During these times the metro is packed, and it’s a great time for someone to steal your wallet…pay attention to your belongings.
Many of you might be wondering about abonos. Abonos are monthly metro passes that you buy from the tobacco shops. We know it is strange, but believe me, you’ll get used to it! What you need for a monthly pass is a passport size photo, and your passport. Go to the tobacco store (estanco) and tell them which zone you would like. Unless you plan on traveling outside the city, Zone A should be sufficient. Fill out the information, give them your photo, money, and in a matter of seconds, you have your abono!
The local train network is known in Madrid as the Cercanias line. There are twelve lines that connect at Atocha and other metro lines like Nuevos Ministerios. If you are looking to take a trip out of the city and into the suburbs, these trains are most likely your best bet. The lines run, daily, from five in the morning to eleven at night. To find out fares and schedules, click here.
There are more than 15,000 taxis in Madrid and they aren’t difficult to find. The white cars are easy to spot because of the red diagonal stripe on their front door. When a taxi is available, you’ll see a green light on the roof, and a “Libre” or free sign in the window. If you also see a district name in red on the window, this means the taxista is on his or her way home. Always make sure the taxi driver has their license number visible and a meter. It also doesn’t hurt to ask in the beginning how much the fare will be for the specific route.