There is so much to experience in Madrid. If you’re the type of traveler who likes to see it all, the Madrid City Pass will make exploring the city more manageable. Visiting Madrid’s famous sites can quickly become costly for tourists who don’t know the tips and tricks to get around the city.
Luckily, we’ve been there and done all the research to help you find your way around the best things to do in Madrid. The Madrid City Pass offers excellent value for money if you’re spending a while in the city or even if you’re a frequent visitor.
Madrid’s Cards and Passes for Tourists
Madrid has a wonderful selection of cards and passes for tourists to the city. Depending on which one you choose, the cards will help you save on transport costs and entrance fees. Like the Madrid City Pass, some will even let you skip the queues to a few of Madrid’s most popular attractions.
Here’s our review of the Madrid City Pass and some extra info on other passes and cards for tourists in Madrid.
Madrid City Pass
Although many Madrid cards are on the market, the Madrid City Pass is the city’s most popular option for tourists. Most likely because the pass does not have time limits like other tourist passes and because it’ll give you priority access to Madrid’s most famous museums.
The €70 ($76) pass remains valid for one year after the purchase date; that’s what makes it so great for frequent visitors. There’s far too much to see in Madrid, and fitting all the must-see spots into a short vacation just isn’t going to work.
So, it’s a must-have for visitors spending a while in Madrid or returning during the year. The Madrid City Pass offers free admission to two famous attractions, free rides on the hop-on-hop-off bus for 24 hours, and discounts on excursions and attractions for a year.
If you’re equipped with the Madrid City Pass, here are just a few of the experiences you can enjoy and how much you’ll save with the card.
The Prado Museum
The Prado Museum holds the world’s most expansive collection of Spanish paintings and a large selection of works from all over Europe. Altogether, Prado’s collection contains over 8 000 fine art pieces and close to 1 000 sculptures.
Besides all the beauty held within it, the Neoclassical-style building, completed in 1819, is a spectacular sight on its own. The building was initially designed as a natural science museum. Instead, it was opened to the public as a Royal Museum of Painting and eventually the National Museum of the Prado.
The Prado Museum and its art have withstood three European wars and witnessed many Spanish dynasties. The museum has the world’s most complete collection of works by El Greco, de Goya, and Velázquez and has essential works by Bosch, Raphael, and many others.
Because it has such unique history and so much to offer its visitors, The Prado Museum is extremely popular with tourists and locals. While the museum allows free visits on certain days, getting into the Prado Museum is a lot easier with the pass.
Here’s how the pass will help:
- General Entrance + Guide Book (without pass): €24 ($26)
- Price with Madrid City Pass: Free
- Bonus: Skip the queues and free audio guide available on the app.
Reina Sofía Museum
This museum is a vital part of the global contemporary art scene. It houses thousands of artworks dating back to the early 19th century. The museum’s most famous piece, Picasso’s Guernica, is one that many people worldwide visit Madrid to see.
The museum comprises two venues that each contain a variety of art collections and exhibits. Art lovers will appreciate the museum’s exhibits that discuss critical statements of contemporary art. But, all pieces can easily be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates beauty.
The Reina Sofía Museum is a must-see attraction for everyone visiting Madrid. Although the museum has free entrance on certain days, the lines at those times can be extremely long. While this is okay if you’re a local, you don’t want to lose any time as a tourist.
Here’s how the card will help:
- General ticket (without pass): €12 ($13)
- Price with the Madrid City Pass: Free
- Bonus: Skip the queues and access the apps audioguide.
Madrid’s Hop-on-Hop-off Bus is one of the best ways to see the city. It offers three different routes, the historical, modern, and night routes. Your ticket will include an audio guide in 14 languages.
The best part of taking a ride on Madrid’s tour bus is that you can jump off whenever you like. The bus will pass by fifty-two iconic places in the city and stop at the nearest bus stop, where you can disembark.
Your ticket is valid for the day, so you can use it for touring the city instead of hailing a cab or using the metro. When you’re ready to head to the next location, you can catch a new bus every 30-40 minutes.
Here’s how the pass will come in handy:
- General ticket for one day: €20.70 (＄58)
- Madrid City Pass: Free for the first 24 hours
Tours and Excursions
Your Madrid City Pass will give you up to 20% off on many tours and excursions around the city. Once you’ve booked your Madrid pass, you’ll receive a discount code that you can use to visit sites like the Real Madrid Stadium, Madrid’s Royal Palace, and much more.
Madrid Museums Pass
There are a few fantastic options for art and history appreciators. Spain offers visitors a selection of Madrid museum passes that are valid from 10 days up to 1 year. These passes are designed to suit every type of tourist visiting Madrid.
If you’re spending a while in Madrid, or are a frequent visitor, consider getting the “Annual State Museums Pass.” This card will take you to all of the state’s museums, as long as you bring your pass and photo ID with you.
There are also options for 10 and 15-day passes. While the 10-day pass will grant you access to about five museums, the 15-day pass lets you visit eight of Madrid’s museums. This variety of options is excellent because you’ll have some room to choose your Madrid tourist pass according to your vacation.
Madrid Metro Pass
The Madrid Tourist Card is a pre-loaded public transport pass that will make moving around Madrid a breeze. You can load the card according to how many days you’ll be in the city. During that time, you’ll be able to use Madrid’s public transport without additional cost.
The card is rechargeable for ten years, so you can keep it and charge it up on your next visit to Madrid.
Are Madrid’s Cards Worth it?
Buying a Madrid City Pass will be well worth your money if you’re planning to spend a while in the city and want to see many of Madrid’s attractions. If you do buy the pass for your visit, be sure to use the hop-on-hop-off bus in the first 24 hours to maximize the benefits of your card.
If you are only in Madrid for a few days on your journey through Spain, consider buying one of Madrid’s museum passes instead. Paired with a Madrid Tourist Card to cover the transport costs, seeing Madrid will be a lot easier.
Hopefully, our review of Madrid’s card will be helpful on your next trip to the magnificent city.