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Barcelona metro (and/or Madrid)

We used the Paris and London metros a lot. Does anyone know if you need to use the metros in Barcelona and Madrid as much? It feels more compact, but I don't know that.

If so, would you recommend buying a pass?

Posted by
6018 posts

It depends where you are staying in Barcelona, if you are near Las Ramblas, then you may be fine without a pass, the bus maybe better to take to the cathedral and parc guell, but walking just fine.

aside from that, if you buy the T10 card, a trip is just about 1 euro a trip, we stayed a bit futher out, 1 euro is cheap (try London...Yikes) so using the metro to pop about or even from one end of the Ramblas to the other is handy.

Posted by
1293 posts

Both metros are great and easy to use. If you stick just to the main tourists zones then walking should/could suffice. We like to use the metro to expand beyond the tourist zones so will hop on one and head to a random destination for the purpose of "seeing what we can find". Rarely have stopped at a place of no interest and often find local restaurants offering much cheaper priced menus and great food. If you want to reduce your "risk" than ask the hotel staff about where do they live and eat to use their knowledge to find a more "local" experience.

Posted by
1178 posts

Have used them extensively in Madrid, and some in Barcelona. Good to get long distance or if you are tired. I prefer to walk and see what is above ground, but feel safe on either of them.

Posted by
16883 posts

I've probably used metro an average of once-twice/day in these cities, using tickets, not passes, less than in Paris and London. In both Barcelona and Madrid, Rick suggests discounted 10-ride Metro/bus ticket deals, which can be shared by several people, and which might be all you need for a few days' stay.

Posted by
11292 posts

I used the Metros in both cities a lot. You can do a lot of walking between sites, particularly in Madrid, but I found that got old fast. In Barcelona, the sites outside of the Barri Gotic are more spread out. And the t-10 passes (or whatever they are called now) in both cities are great deals - 10 rides for the price of about 6 single tickets.

A fun other reason to take the Madrid Metro: the announcements are the most amazingly clear I have ever heard. They sound like language teaching tapes, and are the exact opposite of the incomprehensible squawking on many systems.

Posted by
1 posts

Today, we were victims of a scam run by the Metro system. My son, wife and I were at Sagrada Familia and went to the Metro station there to go back to our hotel. We had one trip left on a 10-trip card, so my son used that and we bought another one for my wife and I. We went through the turnstile and went down toward our train. We were stopped by a very rude TMB official who asked for our tickets. We showed him our new 10-trip card but my son had thrown away the now worthless old 10-trip card he had used. We explained that to the official. His response was that we either could pay an immediate €50 fine or show our passport and have a hearing and then pay a €100 fine. My son knew exactly where he had left the ticket and offered to go get it. The official denied us that option. We asked to speak to his supervisor. His reply, "I am boss." We wound up paying the €50 fine. So, keep your tickets with you. Perhaps re-think going to Barcelona.

Posted by
1293 posts

Hmmm..... "scam" or were you scammed? I would not recommend passing on a city due to one experience.

Posted by
4535 posts

He threw away his valid ticket that he needed to legally ride the metro system. When asked to produce it and he didn't have a ticket, he got fined. How is that a scam?

I understand that many people are not used to riding public transportation. And even those that are may not be used to the ticketing and rules for various European cities. But like any "rules of the road," ignorance is no defense. It's imperative that people understand how tickets work and follow those rules. Most European cities I've been in are pretty vigilant about enforcing tickets on busses and trains. I've seen countless people, locals and tourists alike, get fined on the spot for not having a valid ticket.

Posted by
11292 posts

For anyone reading this thread, Paris has similar rules. It is not enough to use a ticket to pass through the turnstiles; you have to retain it during your journey, until you pass the sign on exiting saying "limit of validity of tickets" (in French, of course). At any point on your trip before you've passed that sign, a ticket inspector can ask to see your ticket; if you don't have one valid for THAT trip, you will be fined (and they're not nice about it).

Again, this is not a "scam," just the rules - like it or not.