Madrid is a cosmopolitan city. Recently, moreover, there has been an interesting transformation that highlights Madrid among the best options to discover South Europe and Mediterranean life, ancient and trendy at the same time, enjoying both good weather and good prices. “De Madrid al Cielo” (lit. “From Madrid to Heavens”): you will never forget the taste of a drink under the light of the blue sky on the plateau in the center of Spain.
DOCUMENTATION YOU MAY NEED TO VISIT MADRID
All member states of the European Union can visit Madrid just having their national ID, identity card or passport.
For short stays -less than three months-, visitors from the following countries would only need a valid passport: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Vatican City, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala , Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Switzerland, Singapore, Uruguay and Venezuela. For other nationalities just check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain.
If you have any concrete question, in our contact section we can help you from Madrid. We are your friends here.
THE COST OF LIVING IN MADRID
Madrid, compared to other European capitals, is always a cheap option. As an average, a coffee or a beer typically would cost slightly more than one euro (1.20-1.40). A midday meal 2- dishes menu about € 10-12, a loaf of bread € 0.50 and a dinner at a restaurant about € 20-40 per person depending on the wine and desserts selected. The price of a gin and tonic in a nightclub or cocktail would be between 8 and 12 €. The business hours schedule of the city is 10 to 14 and 17 to 20.30 h., though for the malls and the downtown area are often extended. You can pay by credit card in almost most places, although we recommend to bring some cash for small bars.
TRANSPORT FROM THE AIRPORT AND INSIDE THE CITY
Probably the fastest way to get around Madrid is the subway. Buses, depending on the route, often find traffic-jams. Cabs –taxis- are also widely, with a moderate drop flag and a maximum cost of € 10-20 for longer trips within the downtown area, normally accepting credit cards. Remember that taxi drivers do not normally speak English.
The taxi transport price from airport is fixed: 30 €. Subway (Metro de Madrid) runs to the airport (both terminals, T1-T2 or T4) by 8th modern line, with supplement of 3 € (single ticket costs 1.5 € and you use it for bus or metro, and the 10-trip-ticket costs € 12.50) in the special-enabled dispensing machines; it is very simple. Express bus also operates from the airport 24 hours, from all terminals to Cibeles and Atocha, each 13/15 minutes by rail and with a cost around € 5, really nice option too.
To move by train, you can use the RENFE, € 2-3, according to distance. These are the english links for your detailed information about metro, taxi, bus or train short distance.
Taxi Companies that operate in english: Radio Teléfono Taxi, Taxi Mercedes Madrid and Tele Taxi.
TOURS AROUND THE CITY
The sightseeing tour of Madrid City Tour has two routes (Historical and Modern Madrid), double-decker buses. It is a good choice. € 21 per day, or 25 for two, with special rates for young and older people. Tickets can be purchased on the bus, online or at newsstands.
#BiciMad is a new service in the center of Madrid: you can hire a motorbike, as in many other cities, for sightseeing place to place. It costs 50 cents the first half hour and scrolls smoothly.
In case of emergency, you can dial 112 free number, valid for all Spain, where you will be answered in english (french or german). Some links that can be useful for you are Tourism Offices list, International Police and Embassies
SOME GENERAL TIPS
– Madrid is a safe city, although it is advisable to always take care and watch out for belongings. People are open and friendly, although they do not speak english, they will try to help you.
– Sitting outside to drink on a terrace is more expensive than inside the bar. Tips are not mandatory.
– It is customary for many bars to offer some free tapas with an ordered drink.
– Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public spaces.
– The voltage in Spain is 220 volts, 50 Hertz alternating current. The Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system
– In many bars and restaurants –all hotels- you will find wifi access, including bus lines
– A local advice: do not take look for a nice paella or squids sándwich in touristic areas, there are many excellent restaurants in our guide. At the same time, we do recommend the “churros with chocolate” of San Ginés.
Here you have a link of private Hospitals in Madrid with english and chinese speaking: Hospitales Madrid.
Also you can be treated in a public hospital with your EHIC card. Public health places here.