How to get around Madrid

I arrived in Madrid on Monday 26th of November (noviembre). I had so many bags that I decided already back home that I’m taking the taxi. From the Airport (Barajas) to Carabanchel the cost was 35,00 euros, which is quite reasonable. The length of the ride was around half an hour.

I will be starting my work practice next week, so I have one week of “orientation” before that, which is a good thing. When you arrive before you start, you have time to settle in, find your nearest grocery stores, coffee shops and other stuff.

The one thing I was not prepared was missing home (my partner and cats) so much. I am quite independent and like to travel alone as well, so I thought I was more than prepared. My home (the Airbnb that I rented for the whole time) feels lonely, even though I have the nicest roommate Laura. I have realized that the more I go outside and talk with people it helps and when I start the practice I have some rhythm to my weeks.

So even though you feel like staying home, don’t. Go outside! 

I have found the nicest little coffee shops, organic food markets and other wonderful things. This is not my first time in Spain or Madrid, so I am not that lost, and we have common language that we can use. Also nowadays we have so many possibilities to have video calls etc, so I will be fine.

I did get my apartment from an area (Carabanchel) that is not that known to me, so I do have streets to explore. I also have less than 40minutes to my placement place in Usera (San-Fermín Orcasur metro station). My closest metro station is Oporto. The number 5 metro line will take me to the city centre in 25 minutes. The nearest metro station to city center (Sol) is called Callao.

I have a travel card for ten trips right now that costs 12,20 euros but I am getting my own personal travel card soon so I can get 30 days at a time. This will cost 54,50 + 4,00 euros for the card if you are over 26 years old.

For public transportation you have the following options:

Pay 2,50 euros for a travel card that is not personal and upload any kind of trips for yourself, for example 10 viajes (ten trips) at the price of 12,20 euros or touristic 1 to 7 days for higher cost

Reserve a meeting for a personal travel card, pay 4,00 euros for the card with your picture in it and upload any amount you want. Note the following if you are going to do this:

  • Reserve a time for yourself from the webpage, but don’t type in your mobile phone number if it’s not Spanish (it doesn’t accept it), just leave it blank
  • Take a photocopy of your passport and also your actual passport with you
  • After that it only takes a couple of minutes and they will take your photo and you pay for the card and get it right away
  • Download any amount you want from the machines

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-03 at 23.09.02

Remember that Madrid is divided into eight zones.

If you want your travel card to work in the city centre and surrounding areas, you only need zone A. The areas after that are really far away and I don’t see why you would want to go there.

Keep in mind that the airport is not included in the regular use, not even if you have monthly card.

Suplemento is 3,00€ (supplement) to get there and another 3,00€ to get out of there.

To know more about public transportation read: (the page can be translated to English). There is also an app for metromadrid for android and iPhone and offices where you can get help.

I will fill you in on the prepaid later but right now it’s siesta from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and in my district of Carabanchel the shops are closed during this time.

Hasta pronto!


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