MADRID, SPAIN. The Abono Transporte is Madrid’s unlimited metro pass. It is valid for:

Metro (subway), Autobuses (buses), Cercanías RENFE (suburban trains)

There are different types of abonos, including:

(1) the Abono Transporte Turístico, (2) the Abono Transporte, (3) the Abono Jóven, (4) the Abono Tercer Edad.

The Abono Transporte Turístico: Ideal if you’re only in town for a short time.

You can choose unlimited access for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days.

The Abono Transporte: Perfect if you’re going to be around Madrid for a while and plan to be going places. It gives you unlimited access to all of Madrid’s transport for the month.

Which Abono is Right for Me?

Madrid’s abono prices are based on two things: Your age, and your zone.

First, determine whether you qualify for any age-based discounts. (Because we know you love discounts.)

If you’re under 23 years old, you’re eligible for an Abono Jóven, which offers a 20-euro discount each month. Each recharge costs just €35,00.

If you’re over 23, you’ll need the Abono Normal, which costs a still-affordable €54,60 each month.

Those 65 and older are eligible for another discount, the Abono Tercer Edad. For all prices and discounts, consult the pricing guide.
Next, decide which transport zone you’ll need to use. You can find a map of Madrid’s transport zones here.

If you’re going to be mostly out and about in the center, you’re likely to only need the Zone A pass. If you’re working or studying a little farther out, then you may have to purchase an abono that allows you to travel within more zones.

Note: If you purchase an abono for zone B2, you can travel within zones A, B1, and B2 without paying extra.

How to Acquire a Zone A Abono

To purchase a Zone A Abono, you need to make an appointment (cita previa) on the Madrid Consorcio de Transportes website. The appointments take place at various metro stations and estancos (tobacco shops) around Madrid.

Note: Walk-ins are possible at many estancos but as there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to help you immediately, it’s more secure and convenient to make a cita previa.

Follow the prompts to submit your information and schedule your appointment. On the day of your appointment, you must bring:

  • A passport (if you’re a foreigner) or Spanish ID.
  • A photocopy of your ID.
  • An ID-sized photo, which you can take in photo booths in most metro stations. (Note: Some appointment locations, like Sol and Avenida de América, will take a photo for you.)
  • A phone number.
  • Your address.
  • €5 for the transport card.
  • €35 (joven) or €54,60 (normal) for your first recharge. You can pay in cash or with a credit/debit card (in most locations). It’s best to have cash on-hand just in case.

You can also request your abono online and have it mailed to you. However, it’s typically faster and easier to purchase it in-person at a cita previa.

In most cases, you’ll be able to walk away with your new abono and start using it immediately – no waiting required. However, if you’d like to wait to activate your abono for any reason, there is a 10-day grace period after each recharge.

According to the Consorcio de Transportes website, the Zone A abonos are valid for 30 natural days. For example, if you start using your abono on October 14, it’s valid until November 14. This is not the case for the other zones.

To avoid long lines, passes for the following month are available for purchase on the 20th of each month.

Tip: Keep your abono recharge receipts in the plastic sleeve that comes with your card. This will allow you to prove there’s money on your card in case the card readers aren’t working.

How to Acquire an Abono for All Other Zones

Abonos for all other zones are valid only for a calendar month, so, even if you bought your abono on the 6th of the month, it still expires when the new month starts. Therefore, be sure to start using your new abono on the 1st of the month.

Getting an abono for other zones is a multi-step process. These abonos are made up of two parts: the actual ticket (cupón) for the month, and the voucher, a plastic sleeve that displays your photo and information.

Although it might appear easier to buy the cupón at the vending machines inside the metro, you’re unable to until you have your voucher.

In order to get your voucher, take the following to an estanco:

  • A passport picture (there are photo booths all over Madrid, in the metros and on the street)
  • A passport or photo ID + 1 photocopy.
  • An ID-sized photo, which you can take in photo booths in most metro stations.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your address.
  • The cost of your first recharge according to your zone, which you can find here.

Tell the staff at the estanco what kind of abono you’d like. They’ll make your voucher and sell you your first abono metro ticket. Keep in mind most estancos only accept cash.

If you’re purchasing an Abono Joven for zones B1-E2, you often have to wait for your abono to be processed. This processing period can take up to 15 days.

Because this waiting period often differs according to the estanco, the only way to find out is to apply and speak to the staff.

The Abono Normal for zones B1-E2 is typically issued on the same day. However, this could also differ according to the estanco.

Once you have your voucher in hand, you’re able to purchase your ticket for the following months at the vending machines inside the metro by scanning your voucher. Cash and debit/credit cards with a PIN are accepted at most metro stations.

To avoid long kiosk lines, passes for the following month are available for purchase on the 20th of each month.

What if I Lose My Abono?

In the unfortunate case that your abono is lost or stolen, the first thing you need to do is call the Metro Transport Authority (902 444 403) to report the loss and see if anyone has turned it in.

If your abono hasn’t been turned in, you can get a new one only if you pay for it.

In addition, monthly passes are only sold until the 15th of each month, so if you lose your pass on the 16th, it would be more affordable to travel with Madrid’s 10-trip or 7-day passes, which can be purchased at all Metro stations.