As you may know in Madrid this week the Pope will be visiting and his visit will coincide with the World Youth Day celebrations also taking place in the city. Because of this there is going to be a huge influx of tourists in the city over the coming days- there could be around half a million extra people in the city, and due to the massive scale of the event, this will mean significant road and transport disruption from 16th-23rd August. If you are using the metro or the bus routes in Madrid, we strongly recommend checking the websites before making a journey as there will be some metro stations closed, and many bus routes will be diverted. If you are planning on using the Airport Express bus, it will pick up and drop off from Plaza de la Independencia, by the Puerta de Alcalá. Also the Madrid open top tourist buses will have a disrupted schedule on 16, 18, 19 August.
Metro de Madrid website
EMT Madrid bus network website (only in Spanish for the moment and info about route changes very hard to find!)
Red indicates major road closures. View Madrid in a larger map
From 16-23 August: the whole of Gran Vía from Plaza de España to Calle Alcalá, and the Prado-Recoletos axis (from Plaza Colón to Atocha station) will be closed to traffic. Plaza de Cibeles will be difficult to access at times. Banco de España, Recoletos and Colón stations may also be closed at times due to events. All bus routes along this axis, including the nightbuses which all terminate in Cibeles will be rerouted. Additionally there will be some closures around Calle Antonio Maura, Pl de la Lealtad and Alfonso XII.
Thurs 18-Fri 19 August: the following streets around the historic centre of Madrid will remain closed from the Thursday evening due to a procession and into Friday. Calle Mayor- Puerta del Sol- Alcalá- Ruiz de Alarcón- plazas de la Lealtad, Cánovas del Castillo y de Jesús- Duque de Medinaceli- plaza de las Cortes- calle de Toledo- Colegiata- Duque de Rivas- El Salvador- plaza de la Provincia- Esparteros- Sacramento- San Justo.
Sat 20 August: the Pope will be giving mass at the catedral de la Almudena in the morning, and this will mean partial closues around the cathedral area including Calle Bailén, Calle Mayor, Cuesta de San Vicente and Gran Vía de San Francisco.
Sat 20- Sun 21 August: the whole area around the Cuatro Vientos airfield will be off limits due to an open air mass. Probably as a tourist this won't affect you at all as it's way out of the city.