XXXV Simposio Asociación Española de Economía

The night is mythical. So is the sky, the street life, the way inhabitants welcome visitors. Yet... which concepts best define the city? Read these lines... and get ready to take the plunge and discover Madrid.

During the 1980s this neighbourhood epitomised the Movida, Madrid's in scene, full of pubs that stayed open all night long, concerts and gigs. The nocturnal and somewhat tongue-in-cheek spirit of the streets that converge around the Plaza del Dos de Mayo - Pez, Espíritu Santo, Divino Pastor -, lives on.

According the latest surveys, Madrilenians chose Gran Vía as their most-loved place in the city. It was designed exactly one hundred years ago and is still in full swing. Especially at eight o'clock sharp, when a colourful audience starts to line the pavements that descend from Plaza de Callao to Plaza de España. Musicals are currently stealing the show: impressive made in Broadway productions and national plays.

Orange, blue, violet... Madrid's sunsets are famous for the tonalities that colour the sky during that magical moment of the day. There are plenty of perfect locations for watching the sun go down -Debod Temple, Las Vistillas- where many painters, from Velázquez to Antonio López, have found their muses.

Madrid's sky looks different now, with a new skyline topped by the Glass Tower, Sacyr Vallehermoso Tower, Space Tower and Cajamadrid Tower, the four skyscrapers that compose a new business park in the heart of the Paseo de la Castellana. The latter, designed by architect Norman Foster, is, also, the tallest building in Madrid, rising up 250 metres.


Dual carriageways, motorways and arterial roads to reach the capital.
Madrid is the centre of Spain´s road links. Kilometre O is found at the traditional Puerta del Sol, next to the Real Casa de Correos. All the roads start at this point and connect Madrid with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. The capital city is home to a closely-woven road network, in which the six national road links are the most noteworthy ones that run through the capital.

A-1. Irún-Madrid. Dual Carriageway of the North
It leads to the plaza de Castilla, where the two famous towers forming the gateway to Europe are to be found. If you wish to visit the Sierra Norte de Madrid, you must take this motorway.
The route passes through the following regions and provinces: Basque Country, Burgos and Segovia. It is the road that connects the French border with the capital

A-2. Barcelona-Madrid. Dual Carriageway of Aragón
It passes through the corredor del Henares, and connects the Madrid-Barajas Airport to the capital.
It passes through the following provinces: Barcelona, Lleida, Zaragoza, Soria y Guadalajara.

A-3. Valencia-Madrid. Dual Carriageway of Valencia
It is also the route to Albacete, Alicante and Murcia. It passes through the following provinces: Valencia and Cuenca.

A-4. Seville-Madrid. Dual Carriageway of Andalucía
This motorway links the South of the Peninsula (connecting with other roads leading to Malaga, Cadiz and Almeria) to the capital
The route passes through the following provinces: Seville, Córdoba, Jaen, Ciudad Real and Toledo.

A-5. Badajoz-Madrid. Dual Carriageway of Extremadura
This motorway starts in the Portuguese border, and is an alternative route to access the west of Andalucía.
It passes through the following provinces: Badajoz, Caceres and Toledo.

A-6. A Coruña-Madrid. Dual Carriageway to A Coruña
After passing through the municipality of Villalba, it becomes the toll motorway AP-6 which reaches the municipality of Adanero.
It passes through the following provinces: A Coruña, Lugo, Leon, Zamora, Valladolid, Ávila y Segovia.

Arterial roads
M-30: This is the ring road closest to the centre, providing access to the capital’s more emblematic streets.


The fastest way to move around
The underground (Metro) is fastest, most efficient and most affordable way to move around in Madrid. The city has a vast metropolitan network, one of the most comprehensive in Europe, and covers almost all the points in the capital and many of the neighbouring cities.

Currently, there are twelve metro lines, three metro ligero (tramway) lines and the branch line connecting Ópera to Principe Pío. Out of all these, line 8 (Nuevos Ministerios – Airport T4) is particularly noteworthy. This modern line connects the capital to Barajas international airport, arriving in T4 in less than 20 minutes and in only 12 minutes to the rest of terminals, and to Madrid’s Trade Fair grounds (Ifema).

Madrid Metro Network

The underground is a fast means of transport that is operative from 6 am to 1.30 am, with trains leaving every 2 minutes in the morning rush hour and every 15 minutes in the small hours (as of midnight). At weekends, trains are less frequent during the day. Pitis station (line 7) and those between Puerta de Arganda and Arganda del Rey station have different opening hours.

A single ticket costs 1 euro and a ten journey ticket (called metrobús), which can also be used on buses, costs 9 euros. The metrobús cannot be used on Metrosur, MetroNorte or MetroEste although there is also a ten journey ticket for these lines that costs 9 euros. The combined single ticket for travelling on the whole underground network –including Metromadrid, Metrosur, Metro Norte, Metro Este and TFM (Puerta de Arganda- Arganda del Rey)– costs 2.00 euros. It’s free for children under 4 years old.


This Renfe service comprises 9 railway lines that run all over the Autonomous Region of Madrid. They all leave from Atocha or pass through it. In some areas, you can use the same transport tickets as you would for metro and buses.

The Cercanías trains are ideal for daytrips to the environs, to the Guadarrama Mountains and nearby towns such as Aranjuez or El Escorial. You can also take the Cercanías within the city. Getting from the stations of Chamartín to Atocha, for example, is much faster on this local train than by Metro.

The Cercanías start running every day between 5am and 6am and stop at around midnight. Trains normally pass by every 10 to 30 minutes. The price varies according to the distance covered. You can buy a single ticket or a bonotren with ten trips.

Children under 6 travel for free as long as they are not occupying a seat. There are also discounts for children under 12, groups and families with more than four children.