How to get a Public Transport Card in Madrid.

 
Wondering how to get around the Community of Madrid? Smart Insiders is here to help you learn more about public transportation in Madrid and secure your personal monthly metro card, also called an abono. These cards can be used for metro, buses, and Cercanías  (short-distance trains), so they’re a great way to navigate Madrid easily and affordably. Keep reading to learn more about the zones, prices, and card options to make the most of Madrid’s public transport system. Though it may seem confusing at first, you’ll soon be riding around the city with ease!
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Smart Insiders or utilize our Settling In resources during your transition to Madrid!

Step 1: Finding your zone.

The map of Madrid is divided into 6 zones. (Click the links to explore the map and see what locations are included in each zone!) Knowing where your school or work is located will help you decide which metro card option to purchase. Luckily, the abono joven for people under 26 years old includes unlimited access to all zones!

Purchasing an abono (30-day Metro Card) for a zone further from the center will typically include all interior zones as well (for example, the purchase of an abono for the B3 zone will also include the B2, B1, and A zones). Adults aged 26 or over can also purchase supplements or inter-zone abonos to access additional zones outside of their monthly abono

Step 2: Deciding which metro card is right for you. 

 In this section, we’ll outline Madrid’s different types of metro cards, including the 10-trip cards that are perfect for tourists and the personal monthly metro cards that are convenient for those staying longer in Madrid. Both types of cards are valid for up to 10 years, and they will need to be reloaded monthly or upon completion of the designated number of trips. Metro cards look similar to plastic credit cards, and you can use them by simply tapping them at metro stations or on buses. The card itself costs 4 euros for the personal monthly metro card or 2,50 euros for the Multi Card.

Multi Card 

Abono Transporte

 

The Multi Card is a reusable public transport card that can be loaded with up to 20 trips at a time. Since it is not personalized, it can be shared between friends and family members. This is a great option for tourists and visitors who will only be in Madrid for short periods of time. These cards can be used on metro and buses, and they can be easily purchased in metro stations, including the metro station at the airport.

NOTE: Discounts for disability or large families cannot be applied to this card.

Personal Card (TTP)

Abono Transporte

 

This is a personal, non-transferable card which includes your name, photo, and the card identification number. With this card, you can load both personal (monthly) and non-personal (10-trip or single trip) transport tickets, so it’s a great option for people who are staying in Madrid for a month or longer. This card can be used for metro, buses, and commuter trains (Cercanías). To obtain this card, you can apply online or schedule an in-person appointment (cita previa)

NOTE: Large families, people with disabilities, and beneficiaries of the Employment Activation Program can receive a discount on this card.

Blue Medical Card 

Abono Transporte

This transport card is similar to the Personal Public Transport Card, but it’s reserved for citizens who are registered residents of Madrid and meet certain age, disability, and financial requirements.

Step 3: Checking your age. 

 

Wait! How old are you? Depending on your age, there are different abono options available. Adults between the ages of 26 and 65 receive the “normal” card and can select which zones they would like to purchase, while young adults under the age of 26 automatically receive a discounted price and have unlimited access to all zones. This is a great opportunity for students, language assistants, au pairs, and young professionals to easily travel around the Community of Madrid at a low cost!

Abono Joven

Unlimited 30-Day Travel in All Zones of the Community of Madrid

Cost: 20 Euros 8 Euros*

*Thanks to Royal Decree-Law 8/2023, prices have been reduced 60% for monthly abonos and 50% for 10-trip cards until December 31st, 2024.

Validity: Automatically applied to cardholders aged 25 or younger. As soon as you turn 26 years old, your metro card will automatically switch to the Abono Normal rates.

 

Abono Normal

Unlimited 30-day travel in your Purchased Zone

Cost: Depends on purchased zone listed above. You can check prices here.

Validity: This applies for people 26 to 64 years old. People above 65 years old can apply for the Abono de Tercera Edad.

Step 4: Time to purchase your metro card.  

There are two ways to apply for your personal monthly card: apply online or request an in-person appointment (cita previa). If you choose to apply online, you will need to provide a Spanish phone number and address where the card will be sent. (Don’t have one yet? Check out our Metro Card webpage and we’ll be happy to help you!) You will receive your card approximately 7-15 days after submitting your application. If you choose to have an in-person appointment, you will receive your card the day of your appointment, but it may be difficult to book an appointment, especially during the busy season in September. Remember that you will need a passport-size photo and a copy of your passport’s data page to apply for your personal monthly card. 

For more information, or if you would like to use the Smart Insiders phone number and address for your application, check out our Metro Card webpage!

Oficinas de Gestión

Abono Transporte

 

Estanco

Abono Transporte

Metro Machines

Abono Transporte

Bankia ATM

Abono Transporte

There are many places where you can purchase or charge your metro card. Check the list below to figure out which options will be easier for you.

  • Online (Application for monthly metro card)
  • Oficinas de Gestión (Application for monthly metro card)
  • Tarjeta Transporte app (Charge metro cards) *
  • Estancos (Purchase Multi Card & Recharge All Cards)
  • Machines in the Metro (Purchase Multi Card & Charge All Cards)
  • Bankia (ATM) Machines (Charge only)
* The Tarjeta Transporte app can be used to recharge metro cards; however, some users complain about the functionality of the app. 

What happens if my metro card is lost or stolen?

Accidents happen! If you lose your card for whatever reason, there are two things you can do.

  1. First, we recommend calling the Metro Transport Authority (+ 34 902 444 403) to see if anyone has turned it in. If no one has turned it in, you will need to get a duplicate card, which costs 6 euros.
  2. To get your duplicate card, you can go directly to an Oficina de Gestión inside certain metro stations and explain your situation. It is likely that they will be able to replace your card immediately!

Need help?

Smart Insiders is here to help you secure your Metro Card. Having an Abono (30-day Metro Card) is essential for you to safely, conveniently and affordably move around the city. Check out our services and resources here, or reach out to us for additional assistance or information. 

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