Asociación cicloturista y de ciclismo urbano

Cycling in Madrid

Madrid is (not) a city for bikes



This page is intended to help our visitors and tourists to ride a bike in Madrid.

Here we include the most relevant information available in English (or billingual) about cycling in our city.

Madrid cyclists guides

Official guide

Guia Ciclista de Madrid
Madrid Cycling Guide. Look at the city with different eyes.
(october, 2016 Edition)
(billingual PDF Spanish/English)

What will you find in this guide?:

  • Segregated cycle routes: streets with separated lanes for cyclists.
  • Recommended itineraries: suitable routes for riders, according to their features of comfort and safety.
  • Cyclist Green Belt of Madrid: it is a segregated pedestrian and cycle route which surrounds Madrid City. It provides connections with other segregated cycle routes and recommended itineraries.
  • APR (Residential Priority Areas): These are areas within the city with restricted access for motor vehicles, with low traffic density and limited speed, very suitable for bikers.

A printed copy of this guide can be found at the Centros de Educación Medioambiental.

Other guides

Bicycle regulations


  • If you ride on road, use the centre of the lane. In case of more than one, use always the far right lane, without considering the bus lane if it exists, unless there are specific signals allowing you to circulate on it.
  • Use the left lane only in case you want to turn left.
  • Bicycles shall not drive on the bus lane.
  • Do not run in parallel with other cyclists.
  • You are on a vehicle, you have rights and obligations: respect signs, traffic lights and others.
  • Never hold on to any other vehicle to be towed.
  • Do not wear headphones.
  • And never use your mobile while riding.


  • It is forbidden to drive on the sidewalks and pedestrian areas.
  • If you need to use any sidewalk or other pedestrian area you must get off the bike and walk pushing your bike.
  • Who has priority?
    • On the side path lanes, pedestrians have priority over cyclists. Cyclists must give way to pedestrians, adapting speed to theirs.
    • On cycle lanes, cyclists have priority. Pedestrians have to use the enabled crosswalks. In case of lack of crosswalks, pedestrians must avoid hindering cyclists when crossing.
    • In cycle crossings without traffic lights, bikes have priority over other vehicles. Remember to cross with caution and at a moderate speed.


Make yourself visible:

  • Remember to use duly approved reflective elements.
  • Install a bell on your bike; it will serve to alert other users of your presence.
  • If you drive at night or in bad weather conditions you need to have front light and rear reflector. You can put reflective elements in the spokes and pedals too.
  • Reflective elements make you visible even in daylight.
  • Bike mirrors increase your safety.

Helmet regulations:

  • Children under 16 must wear a helmet.
  • Wearing a helmet is recommended but not mandatory for adults (16 or more) in urban areas.
  • A helmet is required if you are cycling by roads outside a settlement/town.
  • (Note that many web pages contains outdated information about this.)


Cycling in the city is not dangerous as far as you follow few basic rules:

  • Drive maintaining a straight and predictable line, signalling clearly your turns with your arms.
  • Fit the appropriate speed.
  • Try to anticipate drivers’ maneuvers.
  • Pay special attention at crossings. Many drivers do not signal their turns to the right, cutting off your way and putting you in danger.
  • Do not relax and be ready to brake, especially when riding among cars. Note that in case of accident bikes and cyclists are the weakest player.
  • Do not drive too close to parked cars to avoid opening doors.
  • Adapt to the speed of the street where you ride in, and, if possible, choose streets suitable for riders.
  • Watch to road: there may be bumps or slippery surfaces.
  • When you ride on pedestrian priority areas, you must keep in mind their priority, adapting your speed at theirs.
  • Safety is based on active protection measures: moderated speed, driving attention, bringing forward your movements and those coming from others, signalling your turns…
  • Pay special attention when raining.
  • Keep your bike in good condition to increase safety: brakes, transmission, axis, wheels and lights.
  • Insurance is not mandatory but it covers any damage you might cause to others.


Biking is practical, fun and educational: children who are used to biking will be the cyclists of the future.

  • Always use a certified child-safe, seat.
  • Only kids up to 7 years old can be transported by an adult using an extra seat or trailer approved for the transport of persons.
  • Children under 16 must wear a helmet, whether riding on their own or as a passenger.
  • Trailers are only allowed on bike paths.


Parking the bike properly:

  • You must park your bike in a bike rack or other cycle parking.
  • Do not use parking lots reserved for other vehicles like motorcycles or disabled people vehicles.
  • If you do not find a bike rack, you can park your bike on the sidewalk only if it is more than 3 meters wide, and always parallel to the curb.
  • Never bind a bike to a tree and always without hindering public transport, crosswalks, etc.

Cycle racks:


  • Park your bike in populated and well-lit places.
  • Note your bike’ serial number: it will be easier to recover if it’ stolen.
  • Lock the bike properly. U-shaped locks are recommended, but you can supplement it with others.


  • POLICE: 092
  • EMERGENCY: 112

Cycle ways infraestructure

The bikeways in the city can be classified into six types:

  1. Bike tracks
  2. Bike lanes
  3. Greenways
  4. Car-shared lanes
  5. Bike sidewalk-paths
  6. Shared-use paths

Every road has its rules:

It is a roadway constructed specifically to be used only by cyclists.
Exclusively for bikes. A bike lane can go in one or two directions. Protected bike lanes are separated by a curb or bollards.
A roadway constructed specifically for cyclists, separated from pedestrian and motorized traffic.

One way integrated road, where motorized vehicles may not exceed the posted speed limit (usually 30 km/h). It has specific signallin. In these paths, bicycles and motorized vehicles coexit, and vehicles shall adjudt their speed to the bicycle’ pace, riders do not have priority over motor vehicles, so you will have to circulate as any other vehicle through the middle of the lane, signalling clearly your turns and observing carefully the traffic signs and the traffic lights.

  • Cycle path (ciclocarril): lane of coexistance (bike-vehicle) on a road including several traffic lanes.
  • Cycle street (ciclocalle): road of coexistance (bike-vehicle) composed of one single lane and one single traffic direction.
Sidewalk lanes are part of the pedestrian path and are separated by physical or visual barrier. Stay alert: there are bus stops, loading and unloading areas… It’s a busy space! It is a bike lane built on the sidewalks. It is separated from traffic but integrated on the walkway. It has some sort of signalling and / or physical or visual element that segregates itself from pedestrians.
Shared-use lane for pedestrians and bikes separated from traffic, that runs though open spaces (parks, gardens…). There may be signs separating cyclists from pedestrians.

Bike sharing & hiring

Bicycle-sharing public service: BiciMAD

Madrid has it’ own public bicycle system: available 24 hours, 365 days a year, BiciMAD is perfect for everyday use and to explore the city.Find out more in BiciMAD web site (in Spanish).

  • BiciMad is Madrid’ new public transport service.
  • It is supplied by 100% electric bicycles: practical, simple and sustainable.
  • BiciMad works 24 hours a day. 365 days a year.
  • BiciMad’ objective is to provide all citizens with a healthy option for urban transportation, and to promote the use of bicycles in the city.

Useful resources in English about BiciMAD:

Bicycle-sharing private services

  • Donkey Republic: 24/7 Bike Rental. Find a bike near you and unlock with your phone.
  • Ofo: With ofo, you pick up a bike, get where you’ going, and leave it there. No docking stations, no walking the rest of the way. Because that’ what a bike share is supposed to be.
  • oBike: oBike is a dockless bike-sharing company with a difference, combining technology and bicycles to transform transportation in ES cities and beyond!

Other bike-rental services

Tourism in Madrid

Combining cycling and public transportation

The combined use of bike and public transportation allows you to travel long distances reducing pollution, increasing energy efficiency and enjoying many benefits:

  • Increase the competitiveness of transport.
  • It is a door to door means of transport, as bikes are easy to park.
  • It is the greenest and more efficient intermodal combination, especially when combined with railroad.

This table summarizes the criteria for carrying bicycles, both folded as normal, in each mode of transport

Source: Madrid on a bicycle (CRMT): During the past years, the numerous transport operators integrated in the Consorcio Regional de Transportes (CRTM) have been modifying their legal frameworks to standardize the conditions for bicycle access to their facilities and vehicles. The RENFE Suburban rail, Metro, light rail and EMT have amended current legislation based always on the characteristics of their networks and vehicles. Currently, there is no standard or guidelines for the admission of bicycles, but the legislation is based on the respective regulation developed from the Transport Regulation Act.

Suburban Rail
They are always welcome.
They can be unfolded to the platform.
After a few years with rules regulating access in terms of time and lines, the Suburban Rail always accepts bikes always at the discretion of the occupation of the train at that time.
They are always welcome.
They can be unfolded to the platform.
Holiday and weekend can be unfolded.
On lines 8, 11 and 12 they are always welcome.
In the rest of the lines they are always allowed in the sections that go from the Anillo Ciclista to the outside.
For the rest, admission subject to Schedule:

  • Weekdays: During all service hours except from 7:30 to 9:30, 14:00 to 16:00 and 18:00 to 20:00
  • Weekends and holidays: All day
Light Rail
They are always welcome.
They can be unfolded to the platform.
Holiday and weekend can be unfolded.
On lines ML1, ML2 and ML3 they are always welcome.
In Parla Tram, admission subject to Schedule:

  • Weekdays: During all service hours except from 7:30 to 9:30, 14:00 to 16:00 and 18:00 to 20:00
  • Weekends and holidays: All day
EMT Buses
They can be folded on the central platform at all times, giving priority to wheelchairs and strollers.
Only lines with outside bracket as in line 33 that goes to the Casa de Campo and wherein this rack is placed in the back of the bus.
Suburban Buses
Travelers who carry a bicycle have the right to access buses under the terms and conditions established by the Ministry of Transport, Housing and Infrastructure, respecting in all cases the right to use spaces reserved for people with reduced mobility.
Travelers who carry a bicycle have the right to access buses under the terms and conditions established by the Ministry of Transport, Housing and Infrastructure, respecting in all cases the right to use spaces reserved for people with reduced mobility.

Metro Madrid (“Subway”, “Tube”)

Information from the official web:

Other sources of information:

Cercanías RENFE (“Suburban Rail”)

EMT Madrid (“Urban Buses”)

Madrid Barajas Airport

Transport in Madrid: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The English edition of Wikipedia contains a Category:Transport in Madrid:

Useful resources

Cyclists dictionaries

About us (Pedalibre & ConBici)

Pedalibre (“FreePedal”)

The Pedalibre Association of Bicycle Users is composed of a large group of people of different ages who practice urban cycling and bicycle touring. We demand the use of bicycles as alternative transportation system for the activities in the daily life. Our proposal is to enjoy cycling through various leisure activities, like ecological and cultural tourism, in addition to activities designed to vindicate the use of bicycles as a means of transport.Founded in 1982, Pedalibre is the oldest cycling association in Madrid.

Together with many others Spanish cycling associations, we form ConBici.


  • Phone: 634 529 217
  • E-Mail:

ConBici (“WithBike”)

ConBici is an association (federation) of 61 cycling advocacy and environmental organisations. ConBici is a non-profit organisation under the Spanish law.Purpose of the Organisation:

  1. Promote the use of the bicycle as a mean of transportation and leisure
  2. Promote urban, interurban cycling and cycling tourism
  3. Recognise the right of cycling in safe conditions and promote road safety
  4. Advocacy for building new and better infrastructure and the necessary measures to make cycling safer
  5. Promote intermodality between bicycle and other transport modes (train, bus, etc.) Defend the interest of the cyclists and consumers of service associated to cycling. Promotion of training, social integration specially of young people-.

In general, improve the quality of life, environment, socialcultural promotion, solidarity and the defence of social interests of people mobility. (Text from: ECF)

La Bicicleta Café

Workplace – Gallery and Cycling Café
Plaza de San Ildefonso, 9
Malasaña (Madrid)

We meet here the second Tuesday of every month at 8:00 p.m. (GMT+1).Cyclists from all over the world are always welcome.

Copyright note

Some of the contents of this guide have been extracted from PDF documents of the Ayuntamiento de Madrid and the Consorcio de Transportes de Madrid. The information was copied and rearranged into text in order to provide it directly in a web page.

The translations of the bikeways names into Engllsh are taken from the Wikipedia.