Transportation in Madrid

Commuting to Work
Updated 2023-07-23 12:30

Madrid is the second largest city in the European Union and covers more than 600 square kilometers. That said, it's important to consider the distance between your home and work and the impact this will have on your quality of life. Expats arriving in Madrid will be happy to learn that there are plenty of options when it comes to daily commuting.

Check out Madrid's neighborhood guide to help narrow down which part of the city is right for you. Additionally, use Google Maps to compare commute times between driving, walking and public transport.

Public transport options in Madrid

Madrid's public transportation system comprises local trains, the metro and buses. Most expats living in the city center or one of the well-connected suburbs will find this network more than enough to cover their daily needs. It's clean, safe, extensive and efficient. Compared to some other European cities, it's also quite affordable.


Cercanías trains connect Madrid's city center with local towns and suburbs. Ticket prices range from 1.70 euros to 5.50 euros depending on how many zones you'll cross during your trip. The green zone (C-9 line) has a flat fee of 8.70 euros.


The metro comprises twelve metro lines, three metro ligero tram lines, a special Ramal line and more than 300 stations. These run between 6:00 am and 1:30 am. During rush hour, they depart every two minutes and every 10 - 15 minutes after midnight. A single ticket in zone A (city center) costs between 1.50 and 2.0 euros.


Urban EMT buses are also well connected, with nearly 2,000 vehicles and more than 200 bus lines. Buses typically run every day of the year from 6:00 am to 11:30 pm. There is also a night bus service. Single bus tickets are 1.50 euros and purchased on board. Multi-trip or monthly travel passes can be shared between the bus and metro systems.

Good to know:

Madrid's bus and metro systems use the same card and fee schedule. Buy a reusable Tarjeta Multi, a contactless smart card, and top it up as needed. If you plan to use public transport for your daily commute, look into getting a monthly travel pass.

Personal vehicles, parking and carpooling in Madrid

You may choose to drive your car or motorcycle to the office each day. If you're traveling to or from an area with limited public transport options, driving is convenient and, even with traffic, can save time. When deciding whether or not to drive, use an interactive map like Google Maps or HERE WeGo to check traffic conditions before you head off.

Parking is another thing to consider when driving to work in Madrid. Check with your office to see if parking is provided. If not, there is ample public parking in paid garages where you pay by the hour or lease spaces by the month. Regulated parking zones have blue or green road markings. To park on the street in Madrid, simply look for the nearby ticket machine, pay for the desired amount of time, and display the ticket on your car's dashboard.

Carpooling and ridesharing are other possibilities for your work commute in Madrid. Ask around the office to see if there are co-workers in your area open to the idea, or register on a website like Carpool World. Bla Bla Car is a fee-based ridesharing service where you set up and pay for your trips through their website.

Good to know:

Starting on January 1, 2023, vehicles without a special sticker demonstrating compliance with air-quality standards are no longer permitted to drive in certain city areas. To obtain a sticker for your car, visit the website of the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico). You can also get one from any Post Office. 

Useful links:

Google Maps

Madrid's official public transport website

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.