Madrid is one of the easiest cities to get around in. A public transport infrastructure that includes an efficient and reliable subway system, an organized bus network and late-night buses, long-distance high speed trains, and even electric bikes with charging docks, all make Madrid a highly commuter-friendly capital.

Travelers with reduced mobility will be happy to find Madrid's bus and subway vehicles and stations specially designed for universally accessible travel, one hallmark that makes the Spanish capital stand out as a world class tourist destination.

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Busy traffic on the streets of Madrid at sunset
Madrid's main shopping street at twilight © emperorcosar / Shutterstock

Get around on Madrid's excellent Metro system

The Madrid Metro is one of the most important parts of the city. The King of Spain declared that Madrileos should be proud of their transport network when he joined commuters on the 100th anniversary of the Metro.

One of the best subways in Europe, the Madrid Metro has 12 metro lines, 3 tram lines and over 300 stations. During the busiest times of the day and after midnight, Metro trains travel by every 2 minutes. You can easily get around Madrid if you fly into the Adolfo-Surez Madrid Barjas Airport.

Passengers at the departures panel of the AVE station of Atocha, Madrid
Passengers at the departures panel of the AVE station of Atocha © Eduardo Parra / Europa Press / Getty Images

Catch fast suburban trains out of Madrid

Some of the prettiest villages on the outskirts of Madrid can be found at the Cercanias Renfe. You can easily get to quaint towns, World Heritage sites, and premiere ski and hiking destinations by taking the fast suburban trains.

The trains run from 5am to 6am up to midnight. You will need to purchase separate tickets, the Bonotren, if you want to travel to long-distance destinations, even if you have a metro ticket.

A bus drives past the front of Palace of Communication in Madrid, Spain
Bus in front of Palace of Communication in Madrid, Spain © Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock

Sightseeing on the bus in Madrid 

Taking the Metro is quicker than getting around Madrid on a bus. Taking the bus is an excellent way to see Madrid if you don't have time to wait.

EMT Madrid

EMT Madrid has over 200 bus lines and runs from 6 am to 11:30 pm. Three zero-carbon-emission buses are free to use because of a push by the local government to have more eco-friendly vehicles. There are 27 night buses that can be accessed from Plaza de Cibeles after 11:30pm.

Inter Urban Bus

The Green Buses are managed by different transport companies. Intercity buses are a good option for connecting you to different places in the region. Vouchers for ten trips can be purchased from the bus station kiosks.

Electric bicycles lined up for rent parked in a street in Madrid
Electric bicycles for rent parked in a street in Madrid © Cristina Arias / Cover / Getty Images

Go eco on an electric bicycle 

BiciMAD is a new transport service that has over 3000 electric bikes distributed around Madrid. This is a great way to explore the city and stay in shape. There are a lot of bike friendly routes in Madrid.

Tourists can get a one, three or five day pass. When you're on the move, the Bici Mad app can be used to find bike docks and stations.

Rays from the lights of traffic on the main shopping street in Madrid at night
Traffic at dusk on the main shopping street in Madrid at night © ventdusud / Shutterstock

Join the locals on a car-sharing website

If you want to visit Madrid's regional towns, you can use car sharing services. It's a good way to save money with longer distances, and you can practice your Spanish with locals. Bla Bla Car is one of the most popular car share services in the country. You can publish your own rides and indicate your intended destination on the Bla Bla Car website if you are driving alone.

Elevator access to the entrance of the Lavapies subway station of the Madrid Metro
Elevator access to the entrance of the Lavapies subway station of the Madrid Metro © EQRoy / Shutterstock

Accessible transportation in Madrid

Madrid's trains and stations have been made more accessible for people with disabilities. Over half of the Metro's stations are fully accessible with lifts and ramps for wheelchair access, thanks to the Metro's goal of giving full autonomy to disabled passengers. Several accessibility measures include reinforced step edges and elevator signs.

Wheelchair users can use the tilts and ramps on the EMT buses, which are specially designed for universal access.

The Madrid Tourist Board has collaborated with PREDIF to develop a guide for travelers with disabilities.

A person's hand holding the tourist travel pass of Madrid at an underground metro station
The tourist travel pass of Madrid at an underground metro station © Ivan Marc / Shutterstock

Which public transport ticket should I buy in Madrid?

The Tourist Travel Pass is the most cost-effective option for multi-modal travel and can be purchased at any Metro station. The Metro, bus lines, light rail and Renfe suburban trains are all included in this.

Bus tickets can be loaded onto the Multi card at any Metro station. Cash or credit cards can be used to pay for a single bus trip. If you pay with cash, you will be met with bewildered stares from bus drivers who will tell you they can't change your bill.

You can top up your smartcard at any Metro station on your next visit to Madrid, since they are valid up to 10 years.

About 2 hours ago, this article was updated.