So you have decided to pay the Spanish capital a visit. Here is everything that you’ll need to know before you embark on your adventure to explore the metropolitan city of Madrid.
Although it is slightly off the city centre, the airport is easily accessible through various methods of transportation. You will be able to easily find your way into the city centre through the several bus routes, that will drop you off near Atocha station, at the cost of around 5€. The metro also provides you with transport directly into town through Line 8, with prices ranging from 1.5-2€ with a 3€ airport fee. Alternatively, taxis charge a 30€ flat fee from the airport into the city.
The best mean of transportation when visiting Madrid is its underground network. The metropolitan offers a number of services that are very agreeable for tourist stays. By acquiring an ‘Abono Turistico’, or a tourist pass, you can get unlimited travel access for one (€8.40 for Zone A, €17 for Zone T) to seven days (€35.40 for Zone A, €70.80 for Zone T) in both the metro and the bus. Alternatively, you could also choose to purchase a day pass (8.40€) or a Megabus pass, in which ten trips, valid for both metro and bus journeys are included for 12.20€. The average single ticket costs from 1.50€ to 2€, depending on the distance of your journey. The metro is functional between 6.30am until 1.30am, although some stations may close earlier.
The red buses are also ideal for travelling within the city premises, as they are fast and well operated. While the metro does not provide an off-hours service, a system of night buses is operative until day services reopen. For touristic purposes, the use of taxis during night time would be recommended, as the buses are fitted mostly for locals who have a good grasp of the city.
Biking is a fun and eco-friendly transport alternative, widely embraced in the city. With a network of 1,600 bikes distributed in 124 stations across the city, you can purchase day tickets at every station you pass by. Prices are usually around 2€ for the first hour and an additional 4€ for every hour after.
Alternatively, if you are located near the city centre, walking is a great option to travel around the city, and perfect for exploring its various nooks and crannies.
Madrid is blessed with a temperate weather, being neither boiling hot nor freezing cold, with a yearly average in temperature of 19.9ºC (67.8ºF). Despite the milder, often sunny winters, Spanish summers can reach above 35ºC (95ºC) during their hottest peaks. Rain is mostly to be expected only during autumn and winter seasons, and springs are often sunny and mild in weather, whereas summers are quite warm and dry.
While the official language of the country is Spanish, the majority of the population is able to communicate in English, and in some tourist locations in a number of European languages, including French, German, and Italian.
In case of any emergency, contact the 24-hour operational line 112. The service connects you to the police, fire brigade and ambulances. It is reachable through any landline or mobile phone, even if it is locked or doesn’t have a SIM card.