Located exactly in the middle of the country, Madrid is the capital city of Spain with a population of 3.16 million people. It is also the EU’s third largest city after London and Berlin, with the metropolitan population reaching 6.5 million. The river Manzanares crosses through Madrid resulting in an abundance of parks and green areas such as El Retiro. Madrid is also the financial centre of Spain, and it is therefore often the host of several trade fairs throughout the year.
Madrid Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport is the biggest airport in Spain and the 6th in Europe with over 39 million passengers travelling via here annually. Air Europa, Iberia, British Airways, Air France, American Airlines or Alitalia are just some of the airlines that work through Madrid-Barajas.It is possible to reach the city centre by Bus, Train and Metro. The creation of the 200 bus line is solely for the purpose of commuters and travellers wanting to get to and from the airport. The bus departs from terminal 4 of the airport, leaving multiple times an hour from 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and costing €5 for a single ticket. Also costing €5 for a single ticket is the Linea Expres Aeropuerto which runs 24 hours a day and will take you to the centre of Madrid and Atocha, the main train station of the city. A cheaper option is taking the train to the centre with a single ticket costing just €2.60, and the train departing from terminal 4. The quickest option is travelling by the Metro. This lasts just 20 minutes on Line 8 and departs from all 4 of the terminals at the airport. There are also taxis available from outside the airport.
Puerta de Atocha Station is the biggest train station in Spain. All of the high-speed trains from around the country will depart from this station, as well as most long distance rail routes. You can access the city centre from Puerta de Atocha Station by metro, bus and train. You can catch the metro, by using Line 1 which stops at Atocha Renfe. There are also several buses to catch to the centre including the 47, 55, 19, 85, 10, 24, 57 and 102. There are more buses you can take to get to the outskirts of Madrid. Taxi ranks ranks are located outside the station and are active 24 hours a day.
Journeys that terminate in the northwest of Spain will depart from Chamartin station. There are easy and regular metro and bus connections from the station to the centre. Metro lines 1 and 10 run very frequently and can not only get you to the city centre, but to all corners of the city. There are 3 bus lines available in order to access the centre, the L5, L80 and L10, in addition to intercity buses that depart from San Sebastian de los Reyes and Pozuelo de Alarcón.
Sur is the main and biggest bus station in Madrid. Due to the convenient location in the centre of the country, over 50 bus companies work from the station to provide more than 1,500 destinations in Spain and an additional 500 in Europe and Morocco. The station is located just under 4 km from the city centre of Madrid and there are metro, bus and train services to help you to go between the locations. By metro, catch the L6 from Mendez Alvaro. Every 5 minutes one of seven buses can take you to the centre from the bus station, and these bus lines include the numbers 8, 37, 58, 102, 113, 148 and 158. Going by train is another option for those wishing to access the centre of Madrid; the intermodal train which stops at the bus station is a great way to travel short distances that cover the whole region of Madrid.
The public transport system is Madrid is the most common way to travel around the city. The underground network is the second most expansive in the EU, after London, and fourth in the world. There are also 194 bus lines and an abundance of short distance trains that reach the outskirts of the city.
Cycling in Madrid is fairly common, especially with the introduction of the rental of electric bikes in the city. Despite this, cycle lanes are not always easy to come by as those living in Madrid tend to opt for the public transport system or simply walking.
Due to efficiency and size of the public transport system, taxis are not the most popular way to get around the city. However in the centre, where there will be a lot of tourists, taxis are used more often. You will recognise the taxis by their white appearance and the red signals on the door.
Madrid is a very pedestrian friendly city; if the streets are not entirely pedestrianised, there are wide pavements for people to occupy. Walking around the old town of Madrid is particularly worthwhile, not only due to the accessibility but as it is most definitely the best way to experience the old centre.