This page will give you all the information you need to know about the Madrid Metro underground train system. This includes information on the Metro Zones, the best Metro tickets to buy depending on your type of visit, and it will help you to plan your route and provide essential information regarding timetables. You will also find links to official Madrid transport sites that give more detailed information about the Madrid Metro system.
Click here if you want to see the Madrid Metro Map
Ticket prices detailed on this page are up to date until the end of 2011.
You can buy an individual ticket for travel anywhere on the metro, priced at 2.00 euros. (Sencillo combinado metro). This is valid on every day of the week for a single journey passing through any zone on the network and also entitles you an EMT bus journey.
You can buy metro tickets at the ticket office or the automatic ticket machine. For a single journey anywhere within zone A, tickets cost 1.00 euro for a metro ticket only.
The Cheapest way to traven on Madrid Metro
There are two options for travelling more cheaply on the metro. The first is the Metrobús 10 journey ticket. This gives you 10 journeys on any metro line in zone A, and on buses from all EMT (bus) stations, except the Plaza de Colón to Airport line.
The second option is to buy a Tourist Travel Pass (Abono Turístico) which is valid for either 1,2,3,5 or 7 consecutive days. This pass permits unlimited travel on all forms of public transport within Madrid and its surrounding autonomous region.
The Madrid metro is divided into zones A, B1, B2 and B3.You can also purchase ‘10 journey tickets’ for zones B1, B2 and B3, however the major attractions in Madrid all lie with zone A. So, the following explanation will detail the ticket required for travel within zone A. Following this, further explanation will be given about the Madrid Travel Pass.
The 10 journey Metrobús ticket
The 10 journey Metrobús ticket costs 9.30 euros. The 10 journey ticket also gives you peace of mind as it saves having to buy separate tickets.
The Metrobús ticket has no expiration date and can be used by your travel companions as well. Simply insert it into the slot on the turnstile machine and wait for it to pop out before retrieving it, and you will then be able to pass through. Then pass the ticket back to the next person who must repeat the process. Each time the ticket is passed through the machine, it counts as one journey.
To buy the Metrobús ticket you can go to ticket offices at all Madrid metro stations, or you can get it from the automatic ticket machines situated in the entrance of all metro stations. Some stations have their ticket machines away from the entrance.
The ticket is also available from booths at EMT (bus) stations, and from tobacconist’s and newspaper kiosks throughout the city. Take change as well as notes if buying your ticket in the metro, this will save you time when buying tickets.
How To Use The Metrobus Ticket (and other metro tickets)
In order to enter through the turnstiles and head for the platform, you must first pass your ticket through the machine at the metro entrance. The machine will check if the ticket is valid, and then print a date and time on the reverse, and then you have to pull it out again. Once you have retrieved the ticket you can then pass through the turnstile. If you are using the ticket for travel on the buses, you have to validate it in the machine that will be inside the bus as soon as you start your journey. From time to time, personnel on the bus may also ask to check your ticket.
The Travel Pass
The travel Pass is a second, cheap way to travel around Madrid. It also covers the entire autonomous region of Madrid including surrounding towns. It is most useful if you are planning a stay of several days and want to incorporate travel outside of the city centre. An adult pass for 1 days’ travel costs 6.00 euros for travel only within zone A. The 1 day pass for travel across the whole autonomous region of Madrid costs 12.00 euros. For a full 7 day pass for travel only in zone A it costs 25.00 euros. For the 7 day pass covering the autonomous region it is 50.00 euros.
You will need some form of identification such as a passport in order to purchase the pass, and it cannot be shared between users.
A little known fact about the metro! If you rent a bicycle during your stay, it is permitted on the metro during weekends and fiesta days. One ticket covers you and the bike. However, you must enter through a special gate manned by a member of staff who will check you ticket, and you must store the bike in the compartment next to the engine drivers cabin.
Guide dogs are also permitted to travel on the metro.
Navigating The Madrid Metro System: Madrid Metro Map
You will find a map on the wall of each entrance, which will help you plan your journey. Free maps or ‘mapas’ in Spanish, are available from the ticket office if you ask. Once through the turnstiles, each corridor has a sign on the wall detailing the direction of the train.
Calculating Your Journey Time
As a general guide the trains arrive every 2 to 4 minutes during working hours. At weekends and in the evening they are slightly less frequent, but you will only have to wait up to 10 minutes, unless you’re travelling after midnight, and then you may wait 15 minutes. If you need to change stations during your journey, then allow an extra 10 minutes.
All trains run from 06:00 until 01:30 on all days of the year, including fiestas.
Important note – The timetable is subject to change if there are works on the line. To check this you can visit the official Madrid metro website.