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Finding you way around Madrid is relatively easy as the City has a very reliable and efficient public transport network. You can choose to travel by bus, Metro, taxi or of course your feet. Getting around by bus is made easy, as the various routes and stops are shown at every bus stop on a plan. If you prefer to travel by Metro it is a very reliable system and is the best way of getting around the city quickly. A stress free way of travelling around is by taxi. Official taxis are white with a diagonal red stripe. A green light on the roof shows when they are free.
Another option if you want to absorb some real city atmosphere is to take a guided tour. These can be taken by bus, by foot or even bicycle. There are many tours that deaprt regularly from the Madrid Tourist Centre on Plaza Mayor 27, but do book in advance to be sure to get a place.
Read more on this destination in The AA Citypack Guide to Madrid.
Ways to get around in Madrid
Buses: There are two types of buses - the standard red bus and the yellow microbus. Both operate between 6am and midnight, and charge €1 for each one-way ride in the city, though the bono or Metrobus ticket (valid for Metro or bus) giving 10 rides costs €7. Night buses (known locally as buhos, meaning owls) operate from Plaza de Cibeles to many suburbs between midnight and 6am and the tickets cost the same as during the day. The night bus service is not as punctual as the day time one.
Metro: There are 12 lines, each with a different colour and number shown on route maps and at stations. The system is split into zones, with most of it in Zone A, while the outlying areas and lines are in zones B1, B2 and B3. The two airport terminals are classed as a seperate zone, for which a supplementary fee is charged. The Metro system runs from 6am to 2am, and trains run about every 3 to 6 minutes from Mon-Fri; this extends to every 15 mins after midnight, and there are slightly fewer trains on weekends. It's best to avoid the rush hours, generally 7-9.30am and 7-9pm, when it gets very busy.
Tickets: A single journey ticket (sencilla) within Zone A costs €1 (€1.90 for all zones), but you can get a Metrobus ticket (valid for Metro or bus), giving 10 rides for €7. A tourist card (arbono turistico) is also available for visitors, and can be for 1,2,3,5 or 7 days. A 1-day pass costs €5 for Zone A, a 7-day pass €22.60, with reductions of up to 50 per cent for children. You would need to make six metro or bus trips a day for it to work our cheaper than a Metrobus ticket. You can buy tickets (also valid for the buses) from Metro stations in the city and from some newsagents.
Taxis: The standard base taxi fare is €2.05, with a charge of €0.98 for every further kilometre. There is a supplement payable on Sundays and holidays, and for certain destinatins, such as rail station, airport and bullring. Make sure the meter is turned on and set at the base fare for your journey.