±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Buses and Trams

Spain - Buses and Trams

Bus services will vary from place to place but in most urban areas of Spain they are well run and efficient. The buses themselves are often fairly new vehicles and usually have air conditioning. It is also considered that buses in Spain offer one of the cheapest methods of getting around, particularly if you are travelling from one region to another. The only downside is the length of time it can take to reach your destination if you are travelling across the country.

On the main routes the bus services are reliable, with buses turning up late only on a rare occasion. Buses which offer journeys of more than an hour will have toilets and long distance journeys are normally broken up with regular stops to allow travellers to get some fresh air. It is recommended to book tickets for long distance journeys in advance in order to avoid disappointment. This can be done online or at the bus station. On shorter regional routes you can simply buy your ticket when you board the bus.

In Madrid there are a number of bus companies. The distinctive red EMT urban buses are run by the city council and those who wish to use the services can obtain the latest information on when the bus will arrive by sending a text message with the number of the bus stop to the company, which then replies back with an ETA of the next bus. Buses that cover suburban areas in Madrid are usually green and are run by several private companies, although they will all operate out of the main bus stations.

There are also bus services which run from Madrid to other parts of the country. These are also organised by private companies. For example, the La Sepulvedana service takes passengers from Madrid to the mountainous areas in the north of the country.

Madrid has a number of bus stations around the city centre and these are usually located close to railway stations or shopping areas. The same is true of most other cities in the country. For those who live in smaller towns or rural areas it may be some distance from the nearest bus station. Most of the other larger cities in Spain are serviced by urban buses. It is common practice for the bus company to put a plan of the route at each bus stop.

Buses in Barcelona are run by TMB which also runs the underground system and some overland rail services. The TMB website has a great deal of information in English on timetables, prices and the routes that are available. In Barcelona there is an integrated fare system which offers travellers the opportunity to use both buses and trains on the same ticketing system. This is only for the metropolitan area of the region. There are also reduced fees for those who purchase passes for between 2 and 5 days public transport use. Passes and tickets can be purchased from most bus stations.

There is the ‘Barcelona Card’ available to both residents and tourists which give unlimited public transport travel and offer discounts on entry to different tourist attractions in the area. For the best information on public transport in Barcelona the website of EMT gives details on all the different types of transport available in the city as well as running a bus service throughout the night.

It is worth noting that bus services in rural areas do not run as often and can be seasonal, depending upon the area. In addition there are some areas which do not have bus services late in the evening, on Sundays or on public holidays. If you are in a rural area then you need to check where the bus stops are as in some villages they are not actually marked and if you are catching a bus to a village, the stop for returning may not be anywhere near the one you used to disembark.

Useful Resources

Comunidad de Madrid
Community website with details of bus services
Tel: + 34 915 80 42 60

EMT Buses Madrid
Tel: + 34 902 50 78 50

Estacion sur Menendez Alvaro (Madrid Bus Station)
Tel: + 34 914 68 42 00
Email: info@estaciondeautobuses.com

Tel: + 34 932 23 51 51
Email: info@ambmobilitat.cat

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.