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Madrid Transport: How to Get a Metro Ticket

Whether you’re in town for a weekend, or a week we tell you how to obtain a metro ticket to make your stay in Madrid as flawless and seamless as possible.

The Madrid Metro is one of the most well-connected and convenient around. It can save your life on any given day because it’s usually quite punctual, clean and easy to navigate. In Madrid there is a difference between the Metro, which refers to the capital of the city only and the Cercanías, the latter referring to longer distances. The Cercanías are a bit more expensive; however, tend to be less crowded, much faster (less smaller stops in between), even cleaner than the Metro and will take you much farther.

How to Buy a Madrid Metro Ticket:

You can buy a Metro ticket in the station, and as of recent years, for one-way tickets, you pay according to the distance you’ll be riding. For example, from Vodafone Sol to Atocha. Below, we will list a few steps to making this tiny, but necessary process that much easier.

  1. Go to the Metro station of your choice and choose a free machine. There are ones that accept ONLY credit cards, and others that accept only cash.
  2. Select the language you prefer by touching the screen and selecting the corresponding flag.
  3. Decide where you’d like to finish your journey, since once you buy a ticket, you can in fact connect to other lines without having to leave the station and purchase a new ticket. For example, if you start at Atocha, and you need to get to Moncloa which is on the yellow line, you can buy your ticket for Moncloa, ride to Vodafone Sol, and change to the line 2 without having to purchase a new ticket.
  4. After you select your final destination, it will ask you for payment. If it’s a credit or debit card, you will always have to you a PIN number for the transaction, otherwise, you can use cash and they will give you change. Keep in mind, the change will almost always be in coins, never bills, so try to be as exact as possible. So if you use a 10€ note, be prepared for coins.
  5. The ticket is a small white slip of paper. It will fall straight away and you should save this, as some metro stations require that you insert the card to validate it upon leaving.

[consejos]Si vas a quedarte varios días en Madrid o vas a moverte mucho por la ciudad, te recomendamos un billete de 10 viajes o el pase turista. Así no tendrás que pensar en el número de estaciones ni preocuparte de cuántas veces coger el metro.[/consejos]

Keep In Mind:

The metro OPENS at 6:00am and CLOSES at 1:30am.

Zones of Madrid include: A, B1, B2, and B3.

Type of Madrid MetroTickets (Short Stays):

  1. Tourist Ticket: €8,40 for all the rides in Zone A 
  2. TouristTicket (Comunidad de Madrid) €17,00
  3. 7 day Pass: €35,40 (Only Zone A)
  4. 7 Day Pass (Comunidad de Madrid) €70,80
  5. 10 Trip Pass: €12,20 (it’s transferable, and does not expire)

For detailed info, just visit the website of Metro Madrid: Tourist Ticket

There are always people on staff in the Metro area if you have any questions. There are also pocket-sized maps that you can pick up for free in the informational windows. Check the train schedules on the posters located inside the Madrid Metro, and make sure to check which exit will take you closer to your destination when leaving.


Madrid Metro
Happy Traveling!


If you're going to the airport, there is a supplement you will have to buy that cost 3€ if you do not already hold a monthly or annual metro pass. You can purchase this before or upon arriving at Barajas at the machines. 
1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days starting from the first time that you use them. From that moment, it will be printed on the ticket and you can check when it expires. The tickets are valid until 5 a.m.
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