All population centres can be reached by the state road network, however tiny the village or difficult the route. The road network is organised in a very hierarchical way. The fastest roads are the highways and motorways, which allow the highest speeds (maximum 120 km/h) and link the main Spanish cities. Motorways impose tolls and the highways that do not impose tolls are known as autovías in Spain. National roads set lower speed limits (100 km/h at most). They may go through towns, though this is avoided if possible. These roads have one or two lanes in each direction, but no central barrier. This type of road connects all the towns. Below these are the secondary roads, which set much slower speed limits. These roads are very narrow and do not have a hard shoulder.
Almost one third of international travellers enter Spain by air. More than 50 million passengers per year pass through Spanish airports. All the major cities have an airport. The most important is Barajas in Madrid, followed by Barcelona. These are connected by a shuttle service, which carries over two and a half million passengers per year. Flights to the Balearic and Canary islands are also very significant because of the volume of traffic.
The most important cities have very efficient underground transport networks (metros) that normally operate from 6.00 am to 1.30 am the next morning. The price of a single ticket is more or less EUR 1 and it is better value to buy one of the multi-trip special offers available. For example, a 10 trip combined Metro-bus ticket costs around EUR 7.50. Any town or city of a certain size also offers a good city bus service. The taxi service is the most comfortable means of transport, but also the most costly. Apart from inter-urban buses, another means of transport widely used in Spain is the train, which offers various services and covers the entire country. In addition to the local commuter train network, regional trains offer a great variety of destinations and there is also a high speed line (AVE)
Text last edited on: 08/2010
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