Now that you are arriving in Madrid you need to consider how you are going to travel around the city and the outskirts of town. Chances are you don't have a car and have no means of getting one. Packing your bike from the states probably wasn't an option either. Now what do you do? Are you forced to walk from one end of the center to the other? Luckily you have found yourself in Madrid, where the public transportation is reliable and cheap.
Managing your way around the Communidad de Madrid is not a frightening task, nor does it cost you an arm and a leg to do so. All it takes is some time, patience, and a few items of paperwork to become a navigator in your new city. Well maybe a few jarras of beer will help the situation too...
If you haven't heard or seen the word "Abono" yet, you haven't paid any attention to any bus, metro, or public transportation announcement. This "Abono" refers to a card that is utilized for public transportation around Madrid. Most citizens around the city center do not own a personalized vehicles nor want to pay parking as they navigate the city. Instead they use the public transit and utilize their Abono privileges to get where they need to in an organized manner. Metro, bus, cercanias, and Búhos (Night Buses) are part of your Abono pass and all are unlimited passes for a month for each means of transport. Most public services run from 6 am to 2 am with the exclusion of night buses and certain cercanias lines.
What it looks like...
Now Abono prices are based on your age and where your destinations are such as home or work. If you are 25 and under you are granted access to all zones at a set price of 20 euros a month with the Abono Joven. It's a steal! Now if you are old like me.....I just turned 26 you are no longer eligible to be considered a Joven in Madrid. In stead you are forced to bite the bullet and settle for the general Abono.
The Community of Madrid is broken up to several sections and each section is considered a zone. The red section of the map is considered the city center, home to Sol and most popular neighborhoods to dine and enjoy night life. As you work your way out of the center you find yourself looking at different neighborhoods and subdivisions. If you are 25 and under you have full access to the entire map for the flat fee of 20 euros.If you are 26 and older, well you are in tough luck. There is a base price to find access to Zone A, a fee of 54.60 euros. Not exactly cheap but will allow you to move around freely in the center. Also consider where your main destinations may reside (Home, Work, Private classes,) The further you travel out from the center the more you have to pay and that payment is done once a month when you load your Abono.
What the Zones look like.......with a general map of Cercanias.
Get me my Abono!
Now for you, a foreigner who just arrived. How do you utilize that Abono, or even obtain one?
The process is easier than you think and there are multiple ways of obtaining one. I prefer the easy option which I will share with you along with the other ways to be successful.
3 Things that are needed for your Abono
If you chose to go with an online means you may be required to make an appointment to obtain your Abono at a local office such as in SOL or other major Metro Stations. You can do so by clicking here This may require some planning ahead and usually a long wait period and can be exhausting.
Once obtained you can go to any metro near you to load your first months trip that is valid for 31 days.
Dreamer. Lost in the moment.
Podunk Wyoming native, living and thriving in Madrid. Lover of Craft beer and art.