I’ve talked in a previous post about Metro. But there are other ways to move in Madrid, like taking the bus. Here you can find some tips to improve your experience but, first, some data that might be useful:
There are up to three different types of buses in Madrid. All of them are equipped with air conditioning and heating (depending of course of the season). They’re fueled by 100% electric energy and they’re adapted to allow access for people in wheelchairs. Look for the button below that’s placed in gates that are in the middle of the bus or ask the bus driver to activate it.
Blue buses are the most common ones. They’re meant to connect Madrid’s different districts and neighbourhoods. They have special seats for the elderly, pregnant women and disabled people, as well as a space for baby carriage or wheelchairs. Wifi is also available, although I must say it doesn’t work properly most of the times. Single tickets cost 1,5 euros; you can also use a 10-trip ticket bought at Metro or apply the bus driver for a single one.
Then you may find green buses: these ones only connect Madrid with cities in their surroundings or even big commercial hubs like Las Rozas Village outlet or shopping mall Xanadú. This tickets are a bit more expensive, up to 4,2 euros, although most of them are just 2 euros worth. You can check all green buses fairs following this link.
#MadridHack: It’s important to pay the exact amount, because green bus drivers usually don’t have exchange. You can also buy a 10-trip (called “bonobus”) at Metro stations or tobacco stores (which, by the way, are publicly held but work as franchises).
You may also spot a yellow bus; this one is important, because it’s a special line to transport passenger from big transport hubs (Atocha) or hot points (Cibeles) to the airport. It works 24/7 and it costs 5 euros each single ticket. See below more detailed information about taking this one.
Those three types o/f transports are publicly held by the Community of Madrid. There is additionally a private line of red buses that might be more familiar for you: like other touristic cities around the world, those double decker buses are an option if you want to visit the most interesting parts of Madrid without walking. If you really want to enjoy Madrid as a local, I wouldn’t recommend this option.
Taking the bus from/ to the airport
There are up to eight lines you may use from the airport depending on your destination, but two of them are the most popular. First, line 203 connects Barajas airport with Atocha station daily. Overnight, its name becomes N27 Exprés Aeropuerto and bus stop beginning/ end of route is in Cibeles (close to Gran Vía and Puerta de Alcalá).
#MadridHack: line 200 is really fast (about 15 minutes), specially out of rush ours (8:00AM, 15:00PM, 18:00- 20:00PM). Plus, you just pay an average ticket, without the airport fare. If you plan to stay in any place at the Salamanca’s neighborhood (Barrio de Salamanca), this can be a very good option.
You can find more detailed information at Madrid- Barajas Airport website.
#WARNING: My personal recommendation is choosing Metro instead of urban buses if possible. Buses are slower, with lots of stops, and traffic may be ugly depending if you are or not in a rush hour. Plus, to fight pollution the City Council is carrying selective traffic cuts on several bank holidays (like Christmas time, for instance).
#MadridHack: there’s an exception regarding blue buses. Line 53 offers a beautiful tour through the most elegant part of the City (Atocha, Serrano, Goya, Manuel Becerra…). You can drop off at Las Ventas (Madrid’s bull ring) and take some colofour pictures of this picturesteque part of the Spanish culture.
Hope you might find this information useful. Keep on moving, Madlocals!