This page will give you 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 transport sites that give more detailed information about the Madrid Metro system.
Ticket prices detailed on this page are up to date until the end of 2015.
You can buy an individual ticket for travel anywhere on the metro, priced at €1.50 . (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 €1.50 for a metro ticket only.
The cheapest way to travel on the 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 Tourist Travel Pass.
The 10 journey Metrobús ticket costs €12.20 . 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. In the Puerta del Sur station you will find the machine at the gate, and at the Puerta de Arganda station, you can buy tickets on the main platform.
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. Remember that the Metrobús ticket only covers journeys within zone A. Additional tickets are required for travel into other zones.
Stations found within zones B1 to B3, although still part of the MetroMadrid system, are detailed on the metro map as either MetroSur or TFM stations. These stations are on the outskirts of the city, but you may still purchase your metro tickets at these stations for travel into zone A.
If you are using the ticket for travel on the EMT 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.
Your Metrobús ticket may not work if it becomes creased or damaged in some way. If you know that you still have some journeys left and the ticket machine is not accepting your ticket, then take it to the ticket desk inside the metro (which will be near the turnstiles) and explain that the ticket is no longer working. "El ticket no funciona" means "The ticket doesn't work". Your ticket will then be checked and a new one given for the number of journeys that you have left.
The Tourist 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 €8.40 for travel only within zone A. The 1 day pass for travel across the whole autonomous region of Madrid costs €17.00 . For a full 7 day pass for travel only in zone A it costs €35.40 . For the 7 day pass covering the autonomous region it is €70.80 .
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.
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.
Watch your head. If you are walking to a platform via the stairs, and are taller than 5ft 10, then be careful not to bang your head. Some of the roofing is quite low.
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 06:05 - 02:00 on all days of the year, including fiestas. Except line 7 to Pitis station and the connection between Puerta de Arganda and Arganda del Rey (Purple Line, L9).
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. Or to call for information about the metro ring Tel: +34 90 244 4403 .