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Madrid Travel Tips

Madrid is the third-largest city in European Union, and the capital city of Spain. Situated on the Manzanares River, it is the famous touristic city of Spain and the seventh most visited place in the world. It is considered amongst the world's global cities because of its growing education, entertainment, culture and politics. The city owns a contemporary infrastructure, but it has fairly preserved its history. Visit Madrid to explore the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Golden Triangle of Art and Paseo del Prado and enjoy your holidays.

Get in and around

(Visit Site)

In Madrid, the public transportation is fast, safe and efficient. There are more than 170 bus lines, 13 metro lines and 10 lines of Cercanias. Passengers can purchase single tickets at the slot machines in metro stations or on buses, which are used for both buses and the metro system. Blue buses run in Madrid, but a few are red diesel buses.

Many new blue buses also offer a child seat with suitable seatbelt. Double-decker touristic buses run though 3 lines taking you on beautiful avenues, attractions and monuments. Commuter trains are always on time and effectively links the city centre with the suburbs. Madrid taxis are metered, but it's better if you obviously ask the fare as they might charge extra for long distance rides. Car rental is available with special deals, but it depends on your ability to bargain with local or international brand agencies in Madrid. Better to drive small car because of narrow roads and limited parking space. The busiest airport is Madrid – Barajas Airport, but there is a proposal to construct two new airports soon.


Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Kevin.B

Safety

Like other European cities, pretty crime exists in Madrid. Apply your common sense if you don't want to be a prey. In any case, never mix with strangers, who offer to help as they might be thieves. Don't keep your important documents and valuables in back pockets. Keep important things in a bag with zipper and if possible use inside pockets for money, passport and valuables. Hire only authorised taxis, white with a red band across the side, while travelling from the airport. Be vigilant in tourist areas like the Puerta del Sol and the Plaza Mayor. Use 112 for all emergencies. If you are unable to describe the event, then tell 'no hablo mucho español.' Required service will be sent. Keep a list of phone numbers for local clinics, the police station and medical services in case of urgency.


Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Jorge E. San Roman.

Tipping

Tipping is common in Madrid. Locals often tip small change near Euro or 1 for good service. Many people also tip extra Euro or 2 for great service and added value. In restaurants, tipping is 10%, but they don't charge extra on the final bill. Some expensive restaurants add IVA (value added tax) up to 10% on the final bill. Always tip service staff to get added advantages. Tipping taxicab drivers, hairdressers and hotel personnel is also customary in Madrid.

When to go

Because of its high elevation and Mediterranean climate, Madrid has cool winters followed by periodic snowfalls and minimum temperature. The temperatures constantly exceed 30 °C with varying weather conditions from warm to hot in the middle of summer, but rarely cross over 40 °C in July and August. Due to dry climate and altitude, the city experiences diurnal ranges during summer. Rainfall occurs in the autumn and spring, but rare in summer.

In spring and autumn, travellers love to visit Madrid. Spring stays from March throughout May. During this season, days are warm, but nights are cool. Streets are ready for the popular 'marcha,' which involves walking across the city, chatting on the streets, stepping in bars, having fun outdoors. Holy Week is another best time when madrilenos go away from the city on summer vacation. Autumn starts in September and stays until November. Schools and offices open after August holidays and the city glitters in the sparks of cultural activities. December to March is off season to go to Madrid due to chilly winter, but it's much enjoyable if you love snowfall and can sustain temperature below 0 °C.


Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Komal.tujare

Emergency Contacts

Emergency services in Madrid112
International Country Calling Code of Spain34
International Access Code for dialling out of Spain00
Madrid City Council Information010
Community of Madrid Information012
Central Police Station915 487 985
National Police915 805 263
Ambulances913 354 545
Red Cross Emergencies915 222 222
Victims of Terrorism900 150 000
Servicio de Atencion al Turista Extranjero (SATE)902 101 112

Important Phrases

Spanish

English

Buenos díasGood day, Good morning
Por favorPlease
GraciasThank you
Buenas tardesGood afternoon, Good evening
¡No comprendo!"I" do not understand!
¿Habla inglés?Do you speak English?
¿Podría ayudarme?Could you help "me"?
Disculpe, PerdónExcuse "me", Pardon "me"
¿Tiene usted un ___?Do you have a ___?
¿Dónde está ___?Where is ___?
¿Cuánto cuesta? How much does it cost?