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Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:49 pm
by 767-332ER
I am taking the metro in Madrid for the first time, going from Barajas to Atocha train station. How is it? How comfortable are the trains? Stations generally clean? Let me hear your overall experiences there.
Regards

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:14 am
by teahan
Madrid metro is fine but watch the pickpockets. They work in gangs and it's not unknown for tourists to get caught on the way into town.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:31 am
by skidmarks
Madrid Metro is excellent. But, as Teahan says, watch for pickpockets. Otherwise it's clean, efficient and incredibly cheap.

Enjoy!

Andy  old 

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:35 am
by 767-332ER
You guys have a bad experience there by getting pick-pocketed or know someone? What should I watch for? How easy are the stations to transition from one line to another?

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:48 am
by skidmarks
On our recent trip to MAD our excellent guide, IBERIA747 (Alfonso) gave us the warning about pickpockets, as did the other Spanish A.netters.

As to transition from one line to another, follow the coloured signs and you will not go far wrong. I managed to get from Barajas to the centre of Madrid and back without getting lost. So if I can do it, anyone can! Big grin

Andy  old 

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:03 am
by HEGAN
The Metro service in Madrid is very good: it has one of the most efficient metro network in the world (at least that's what they say).

For going from Barajas to Atocha Train Station:
- It will take you 39 minutes (in a labor day)
- You will go trough 13 stations.
- Itinerary:
o Take in the Airport the line 8 until Nuevos Ministerios (4 stations).
o In Nuevos Ministerios take the line 10 until Tribunal (3 stations).
o In Tribunal take the line 1 until Atocha Renfe (6 station)

And that's it. The lines 8 and 10 have new stations and trains. The number 1 is older but good. The stations are clean.

You can check by yourself in: http://www.metromadrid.es/default.asp?id=293 (go to Map and Best journey)
Agur,
HEGAN

[Edited 2005-10-18 18:05:42]

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:17 am
by 767-332ER
Quoting HEGAN (Reply 5):
The Metro service in Madrid is very good: it has one of the most efficient metro network in the world (at least that's what they say).

For going from Barajas to Atocha Train Station:
- It will take you 39 minutes (in a labor day)
- You will go trough 13 stations.
- Itinerary:
o Take in the Airport the line 8 until Nuevos Ministerios (4 stations).
o In Nuevos Ministerios take the line 10 until Tribunal (3 stations).
o In Tribunal take the line 1 until Atocha Renfe (6 station)

And that's it. The lines 8 and 10 have new stations and trains. The number 1 is older but good. The stations are clean.

You can check by yourself in: http://www.metromadrid.es/default.asp?id=293 (go to Map and Best journey)
Agur,
HEGAN

Thanks a lot! You've been great help!

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:21 am
by HEGAN
You are wellcome.

Many trains of Metro Madrid (in lines 1 and 8 sure) are made by CAF - Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarril, a Basque company that is very near from were I live.

Agur,
HEGAN

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:29 am
by Toulouse
HEGAN gave the instructions, so you'll have no problem!

IMO, Madrid probably has the best metro system of European capitals (well, compared to London and Paris for example), clean, easy to follow, and generally safe. However as others said, to be aware of pickpocets, who tend to target tourists. Usually in groups. I lived in Madrid for 10 years and only ever had one problem, once after collecting a friend from MAD, took the bus to Colon (before Metro link to MAD) and then Metro from Colon (frequented by pickpocketers as they knew tourist arrived there... I was talking in English with my friend, so stood out, just as we we're boarding the train, a group of North Africans (nothing against N.Africans... the pickpocketers can be of any nationality!) grabbed our feet, yes, our feet, apparently to confuse us and grab our bags... I roared back in Spanish at them, they suddenly stopped, sort of apologised (yes, apologised) and ran off. My mother (very Irish looking) suffered 3 attempted pickpockets in central Madrid, each time foiled by friendly locals screaming at her and scaring the offenders off. My father (of Italian extraction, so not foreign looking there, never had a problem, nor did I apart from that other incident). So as in any other large city, be careful, but Madrid is a safe city I never felt frightened in.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:46 am
by AlekToronto
Talking from experience..and also I have family in Spain.

The metro line from MAD is a favorite of pickpockets and various scum.
I have taken that line many times but the last time a solo creep tried to run off with my carry-on bag however since I had the strap wrapped around my shoulder he pulled me..he must not have seen the strap?!?!

He grabbed it just as the subway doors were closing and I have been told this is one of their fav tactics as that way you cannot run after them.

A friend of mine was pickpocketed in Madrid on Gran Via in 2004 (but still loves the city) and at the hostel where she was staying at least 5 others had stuff stolen.

Lesson: watch your stuff but enjoy yourself!

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:57 am
by IBERIA747
Quoting HEGAN (Reply 7):
Many trains of Metro Madrid (in lines 1 and 8 sure) are made by CAF

Trains operating in line 1 are indeed Spanish, built by CAF as you mentioned.
However, the first trains operating in line 8 were built by Alstom, being the last ones to join the service built by CAF (design is exactly the same).

As a sidenote, the trains operating in line 10 are designed by Pininfarina and built by Ansaldobreda.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:19 am
by rmcf
MAD metro is wonderful. Efficient, always on time, good trains... You'll see. Going from the airport to the city you'll have to take the modern line 8, and stop at the impressive Nuevos Ministerios station! I take the metro daily and I have never had any kind of problem with it, but of course there are exceptions. If you want to avoid any problems just walk as if you know where you are going and with self-confidence.
Enjoy the Metro and MAD!
bye! rmcf

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:28 am
by babybus
Last time I used the Madrid metro the place was littered with young , spaced out, junkies shooting up with heroin and other injectable substances. Has that changed?

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:42 am
by Schoenorama
I have travelled on the MAD metro for many years and I have never EVER had problems with pickpockets (and yes, I am a foreigner who also looks foreign  Smile).

Quoting Babybus (Reply 12):
Last time I used the Madrid metro the place was littered with young , spaced out, junkies shooting up with heroin and other injectable substances. Has that changed?

Depends on which station you used and at what time of day.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:50 am
by RedDragon
Quoting Babybus (Reply 12):
Last time I used the Madrid metro the place was littered with young , spaced out, junkies shooting up with heroin and other injectable substances. Has that changed?

I don't recall seeing a single junkie when I used the metro for a few journeys last month - what I did see a lot of were buskers, on trains as well as at stations. Saxophone, accordion, and even some bizarre stringed (sic) thing  Smile

Rich

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:00 am
by USAFHummer
Is the pickpocketing thing that big of a problem in MAD itself??? My parents are going to MAD in a few weeks for a week, and my mom will likely be exploring the city by herself while my dad is in business meetings there...should I warn her about it??? They've been to Spain before (BCN), but not MAD...

Greg

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:05 am
by Vasu
I've found it very cheap and easy to use!

However I can also vouch for the "watch out for pickpockets"

I've also experienced high levels of begging at stations and on the trains themselves...

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:13 am
by RedDragon
Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 15):
Is the pickpocketing thing that big of a problem in MAD itself??? My parents are going to MAD in a few weeks for a week, and my mom will likely be exploring the city by herself while my dad is in business meetings there...should I warn her about it???

I wouldn't be surprised if pickpocketing is as bad in Barça as it is in Madrid. The thing to do is probably just to follow some common sense - don't walk around with expensive touristy paraphenalia (wallets, cameras etc.) on display, and try to blend in/not look too timid if possible. Oh, and try not to unconsciously finger the pocket where you're hiding your wallet either  Wink

There are lots of beggers as I've seen in Spain (particularly outside churches for some reason), but I for one haven't seen an obvious pickpocketing problem.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:20 am
by 767-332ER
Well, I will be carrying my personal items in a personal, inconspicuous and not accessible place. Is there room between the seats for me to keep my small rollerboard?

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:22 am
by ndebelebev
At the recent MAD-LPA meeting we found the Madrid Metro very easy to use. Trains are clean and most of all were on time.

Pickpockets and beggers you get anywhere not just in Madrid.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:28 am
by IBERIA747
Wow people!...you speak as if Madrid was the only city in this world where there are pickpockets!!. I feel Madrid to be safer than other European capitals and waaaaaaaaay safer if compared to some major American cities.

People begging at stations and inside trains?...well, unfortunately that's true, and sadly that's a consequence of the huge amount of illegal immigration that has entered Spain in the last years (in the last 5 years more immigrants have entered Spain than those that have entered France, the UK, Germany and Italy COMBINED). But then again, I have also seen a high rate of begging in other big cities, so that shouldn't amaze or surprise anyone. I still remember last year when I went to Chicago, I saw more people begging in the streets of downtown Chicago during a weekend than the people I see begging in Madrid in a couple of months.

So...don't be scared!!. Madrid is beautiful, clean and safe...and the metro system is great!.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:35 am
by 767-332ER
Alfonso, How are the seats if I have a small rollerboard with me, can I slide it in with me. Also, around morning time, how busy is the metro?

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:41 am
by AlekToronto
Of course common sense when travelling is normal and overall Madrid is a safe city - however I have been all over Europe and you do indeed see more pickpockets and questionable characters in Spain then in some other Western Euro countries..not need to get defensive..I have not seen overt drug use however in all my visits.
I deal with travellers all the time and most pickpocketing stories come from Spain or Italy where a lot of illegal immigration comes thru.
Barcelona (in the tourist areas) has a lot of pickpockets as well.
cheers
Alek

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:57 am
by rmcf
Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 15):
My parents are going to MAD in a few weeks for a week, and my mom will likely be exploring the city by herself while my dad is in business meetings there...should I warn her about it???

You talk as is MAD was an awful city, and that you can't walk alone in the streets! Of course not! It's a very safe city, with lots of police. Your mom shouldn't have any problem by going of her own! Obviously avoid at night some districts with bad reputation, but MAD has only the same problems that other big cities in Europe: pickpocketing.

Quoting 767-332ER (Reply 21):
Also, around morning time, how busy is the metro?

As you may understand, at morning the metro is packed with thousands of people going to work. Trains are usually full of persons, but also the frequencies of trains between stations are higher.
bye! rmcf

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:05 am
by IBERIA747
Quoting 767-332ER (Reply 21):
Alfonso, How are the seats if I have a small rollerboard with me, can I slide it in with me. Also, around morning time, how busy is the metro?

Well...due to the fact that there are lots of people carrying luggage and suitcases, the number of seats on the trains that run between Nuevos Ministerios and Barajas Airport (Line 8) is quite limited. Many people is standing up and there are also racks for luggage across the train..little space for seats. In lines 10 and 1 the situation is better. However, the seats in Madrid's metro are most of the times with the back against the windows so you will always have the central aisle in front of you.

You shouldn't have any problems to carry a rollerboard with you. You just have to be careful not to lose it.

Finally...yes, the metro is quite busy during weekdays, and the line between the airport and central Madrid can get really crowded.

Quoting AlekToronto (Reply 22):
Barcelona (in the tourist areas) has a lot of pickpockets as well.

I caught a Romanian pickpocket last year in Barcelona right when he was stealing a friend of mine's wallet...I think his ribs and teeth had to be checked after that  taekwondo  Big grin

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:13 am
by N1120A
The best way to deal with pickpockets is a wallet chain. I have foiled 2 pickpockets with mine, and a good friend of mine stopped another. I also once shoved a guy up against a ticket machine at Tottenham Court Road station who was trying to grab my stuff.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:54 pm
by bhmbaglock
Watch out for laptops as well. A business partner of my father's had his stolen there recently. A Chinese gang squirted ketchup in his eyes to distract him and grabbed his brand new laptop along with quite a few papers that were difficult to replace.

So... as the joke(half serious) goes around here, beware of the Chinese Ketchup Mafia when you travel the Madrid subway!

Before someone asks, this is not a joke - remember that truth is usually stranger than fiction.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:39 pm
by Toulouse
Quoting Babybus (Reply 12):
Last time I used the Madrid metro the place was littered with young , spaced out, junkies shooting up with heroin and other injectable substances. Has that changed?

Suppose it depends on station and time of day. Never really encountered this problem during my 10 years living there. Lots of beggars though!

Quoting IBERIA747 (Reply 20):
So...don't be scared!!. Madrid is beautiful, clean and safe...and the metro system is great!.

Totally agree with you IBERIA747!

Quoting AlekToronto (Reply 22):
I deal with travellers all the time and most pickpocketing stories come from Spain or Italy where a lot of illegal immigration comes thru.

Unfortunately, this is true.

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 26):
Watch out for laptops as well. A business partner of my father's had his stolen there recently

Last month arrived at Madrid Puerta de Atocha railway station with my pregnant wife, and were waiting in the taxi line. As I started to load taxi, a Morrocan looking guy attempted to take my lap-top off the trolley, I turned and spotted him, and shouted "Qué haces?" "What are you doing". The cheeky f**ker just shrugged his shoulders at me, looked at me as though I was crazy, and didn't even move away. Just stayed there watching us. Can ahppen anywhere, but no offence to my friends of Madrid, but Madrid does have its fair share of pickpocketers compared to other European cities (Spain and Italy do seem to be much worse). That said, apart from possible pickpoceting, I never felt nervous in Madrid. A great city.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:04 pm
by 767-332ER
Well, is decking someone allowed?

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:38 pm
by Stratofish
Let's just put it that way:
Madrid is a very safe city. While walking in the city centre you have to worry less about your personal safety than in most other cities of comparable size.
I even felt perfectly safe wandering the streets of MAD alone at night.

However the pickpocket problem in the metro and in the fast-food joints around Sol do exist. Many of my other fellow foreign students had it happen to them, BUT in a packed metro-car you simply shouldn't have your cellphone loosely in the outer pocket of your jacket! Very simple precautions: put your valuables close to your body or inside pockets of your clothes, that will most likely do the trick.
Also I have taken the metro many times with all my luggage (huge trekking-backpack + another backpack) and I knew I was easiest prey possible, but NOTHING happened. It is safe to take your suitcases along the metro, just keep an eye on them, like you do while being in any other public place in the world. I have never heard of any violent crimes on the metro while I lived there.

Oh, and make sure you get off the metro Line 1 at Atocha RENFE if you want to travel to the train station.  Wink
You can also take a "Cercanias" train from Nuevos Ministerios to Atocha, safes you a transfer, is (depending on the time of day) "safer" (again the metros generally are safe), but costs more and is half the fun.

RE: Madrid Metro, How Is It?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:12 pm
by TNboy
I didnt have any problem at all during 5 days in Madrid, or on the Metro, which I used a lot. It is probably one of the cleanest and most efficient transport systems in Europe. I especially loved the entertainers who came on and played/sang - MUCH better than the ones in London. I found Madrid to be one of my favourite cities in Europe. Never felt unsafe (even though there was a bomb blast a couple of blocks away from me), and the people were great. Just observe the normal precautions. If you get a chance to do a trip to Toledo, - TAKE IT! I'd go back to Madrid in a minute!
Cheers
Bill