11 tips to living the best Metro Madrid experience

11 tips to living the best Metro Madrid experience

1) Keep your possesions safe at all times. This includes handbags being closed and tucked under the arm while standing or on the lap with at least one hand grasping it. Don´t let anyone distract you, and ask for help if you are being harassed!

2) Buy a monthly pass or a 10 trip (€12) pass rather than billete sencilla or one trip pass that costs a minimum of €1,50.

3) Avoid peak hours if you possible. The metro is really full in the mornings between 7am and 8:30am and also between 5:30pm and 7pm in the evenings. Apart from being squashed like sardines, packed metros are a breeding ground for pickpockets.

4) Avoid the metro during major football matches. Clear away from the metro stations close to the metro stops around major football club stadiums like metro Santiago Bernabeu for Real Madrid FC and the stations Pirámides and Marqués de Vadillo (Line 5) for El Atletico de Madrid.

5) Avoid the metro on weekend nights (especially Thursday to Saturday nights), if you are not going to the center of Madrid. The waiting times are much longer and the metro is full of inebriated teenagers and some of whom tend to get rowdy and vomit in the metro.

6) Get a metro map and keep it safe. The metro maps are free and we should all do our part to not lose them because of that. After all, increased demand equals increased printing causing a negative impact to the environment. If you have a smartfone, I suggest you get an app for Metro Madrid which is also FREE. The added advantage, apart from being a paperless resource, is travel times and other useful functions.

7) Catch up on some reading! One of the pleasures of using the metro is devouring a good book whether in printed or digital format, or even studying as I did for my theoretical driver´s test. Take advantage of the literature and reading campaign in the metros to take up the habit.

8) Catch up on some series and may I dare say movies! I have not does this myself but I have seen various passengers quite enthralled in their PSPs and mobile phones watching their favourite series and even movies. This can only be enjoyable if you do longish uninterrupted trips. But then an average time for an episode of a series like Friends lasts about 20 minutes which is about the same duration as a metro trip from metro  station Sol to the station Hospital 12 de Octubre on line 2,the yellow line.You can calculate your own itinerary from this valuable Metro trip tool here.

9) Keep the metro clean and tidy throughout the trip. Metro Madrid prides itself as being one of the cleanest and well maintained metros in Europe…with a relatively new fleet of wagons too! If you dont believe me just go to Paris or London and see the metró and the tube in those cities! There are trashcans/dustbins in the actual station.

10) Respect and collaborate with authority. There are checks/ticket control now and again in the metro, so you could be asked to show your ticket. Keep your ticket with you at all times. There are also security guards with dogs patrolling the installations so be alert for any orders or instructions from their part. For example, in cases where the metro does not go any further than the current metro stop the guards will inform passengers in every wagon.

11) Practice good metro courtesy. This includes giving up seats for senior citizens,  pregnant women and those with special needs. Take your eyes off a book, every once and again to check if there is someone else who could use a seat more than you. Besides, standing up is good for circulation.

We hope you find these 11 tips to living the best Metro Madrid experience practical and useful!

2 Replies to “11 tips to living the best Metro Madrid experience”

  1. Very wise advice. Always keep your bag secure on the metro. A moment’s inattention caused a friend to lose her purse with all her money, house keys, ID card and credit cards – and she’s lived here all her life. Of course, this is true whether you are on the metro or just walking the street, as I wrote on my blog in : http://aviewofmadrid.blogspot.com/2009/11/words-of-warning.html.
    All cities have their miscreants. They will target obvious people. The answer is don’t make your self an obvious target. Don’t carry money obviously – and that means in money belts and those silly plastic wallets tourists wear around their necks – as that makes you a target. In fact, only carry what you will need. Don’t carry all your holiday money on you all the time. Hotels have safes! Be aware your backpack will point you out as an obvious mark. Better to travel with a case on wheels you can monitor at all times. If you have to have one, take it off and supervise it while riding the metro. Don’t think that locked zips are any protection. These guys have razor blades that will slice open any pocket on a back pack in seconds. But really it’s just a matter of common sense. Unfortunately some visitors seem to leave their brains on the plane!
    I have to say that though I have seen rowdy, beer swilling kids riding the metro at night, I have never seen anyone vomit in a carriage. Perhaps I have been lucky. No public transport system in the world is comfortable during rush hour, but Madrid’s modern carriages and very frequent service do much to lessen the pain of travelling at that time.
    The metro maps provide a source of income through advertising for the Metro. So they are print new ones regularly. Plus, with several new stations literally coming “on line” every year it is wise to update the dog-eared thing you’ve been carrying for months from time to time. All in all, like Madrid in general, I have to say the metro is relatively safe for visitors to our city. Yes, be careful with your belonging and be aware of those around you, but I feel far safer, even late at night, here in Madrid than in any other city I have lived in.

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