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Madrid - Essential information
A sprawling city like Madrid is surprisingly compact when you consider the major attractions that you will visit on your trip. Still, a lot of visitors do end up using public transport, transportation cards, and city cards during their stay in Madrid.
Getting around Madrid
If you are only interested in traveling between the main tourist attractions, it is quite possible to walk your way around Madrid.
Public transport systems - buses, metro, commuter railway - come in handy if you are staying in areas away from the centre.
Like in other major European cities, Taxis are widely available. They can make sense for group travel over short distances. Uber is fairly popular in Madrid.
From Barajas Airport you can reach the city centre by Airport bus or by light rail ('metro ligero'): from Terminal T4 to Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios, Atocha, or Príncipe Pío stations.
Bike rentals are getting to be popular with tourists. Bikes can be hired for days from the totems of bike stations, for around 2 euros per hour.
Best time to visit Madrid
Like in the rest of Spain, the summer months in Madrid do get hot and crowded. March and April can be quite wet, with the winters becoming much colder than in Barcelona or Andalucia. Best time to visit Madrid is in the shoulder season - May and September.
If you are a budget traveller , you may want to visit Madrid in the month of February when the room tariffs are at their lowest.
Transportation Pass – A single pass that covers underground services within Madrid city, city bus lines (except Airport Express shuttle), Renfe commuter trains zone 0 and A, and Metro light rail train ML1. You should buy Zone A travel pass as it covers almost all the tourist attractions.
Madrid City Palacio Real - This card offers Royal Palace entry, and a combination of smaller attractions, plus shopping discounts.
Madrid iVenture Card - You can customize this card with different attractions depending on your interest.
Madrid Tourist Travel Pass - This single user card is for unlimited public transport valid for a certain number of days.
Metrobus pass - This is a 10 trips pass that can be shared, similar to the T10 in Barcelona.