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From the Gran Via's architecture to the cozy tapas bars of the Puerta del Sol, Madrid has something for all travelers in Spain. The works of Picasso, Dali, Velazquez and Goya, featured at the Prado museum, will delight art lovers, while gourmands will enjoy a glass of Rioja wine and some of Madrid's famous cured hams that often hang from the rafters of the city's restaurants. Be sure to conserve your energy for Madrid's nightlife and the parties that often continue until dawn.
Important Stations and Airports for this Journey
Everything you need to know about Madrid-Barajas Airport
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Where is the airport and what is the best way to get there?
Metro line 8 runs from all the airport terminals to Nuevos Ministerios station in central Madrid and back. The buses number 203, 200 and 101 run from the main bus and train stations to the airport. The T4 is connected also by train with the line C1 to the Chamartín Station.
Madrid Puerta De Atocha
Madrid Principe Pio
How to Get to Madrid
Madrid Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport is connected to Madrid's city center by bus, train and metro. The creation of the 200 bus line is solely for the purpose of commuters and travelers 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 costs 5€ for a single ticket. The Linea Expres Aeropuerto also costs 5€ and arrives at Atocha train station in the center of Madrid. The quickest option for reaching Madrid's city center is by traveling on the Metro. This requires 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 high-speed trains in Spain depart from Atocha station, as well as most long distance rail routes. Travelers can access Madrid's city center from Atocha by bus, train, or metro. Taxi ranks ranks are also 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 routes from the station to Madrid's city center. There are 3 bus lines available in order to access the center, the L5, L80 and L10, in addition to intercity buses that depart from San Sebastian de los Reyes and Pozuelo de Alarcón.
Sur bus station, located just under 4 km from the city center, is easy to reach by both metro and bus. Catch the L6 metro from Mendez Alvaro station to reach Sur. Similarly, every 5 minutes one of seven buses can take you to the center 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 center of Madrid; the inter-modal train which stops at the bus station is a great way to travel short distances that cover the whole region of Madrid.
Getting Around 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 center, where there will be a lot of tourists, taxis are used more often. You will recognize 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 pedestrianized, 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 center.