teleférico de madrid

At the end of February, we checked another local attraction off our list, played tourist in our own town, and took a ride on the Teleférico de Madrid with our friends Josh and Gemma.  Now, I'm going to be honest (to be fair, I think I usually am...but this might not be the most raving review), so don't be surprised if you don't walk away from reading this post ready to take the Teleférico the next chance you get.  

The Teleférico de Madrid is essentially an 11 minute (one-way) cable car ride that begins in the Argüelles area and ends in Casa de Campo, Madrid's largest park.  While the narration in the car is fine (we were able to get ours switched to English), it doesn't last the entire ride, and the views really aren't that impressive, either from the car or from the final destination in Casa de Campo - I can think of plenty of other places for good panoramas over the city.  However, you're not far over the ground (never more than 40 meters/~130 feet), and much of the ride is over green space, so while the views aren't spectacular, they are pretty and different from what you'll find from more urban spots.  

One other thing to note is that if you purchase a round trip ticket, you cannot disembark to walk around the park, picnic, or take in the views from the halfway point - you must do the round trip ride all at once.  I think this is the main downside to the Teleférico, as it's a great way to reach Casa de Campo from western Madrid, especially if you're not conveniently located near metro lines 5 or 10, which goes straight into different parts of the park, and the one-way ticket is not much cheaper than a round-trip ticket.  The other part of the Teleférico that would have drove me crazy if we weren't with friends was the line - it took us about an hour to get onto the cable car for our roughly ten minute ride.  And I know we're not alone in this - I read many reviews beforehand from previous guests and this was a frequent remark.  It would seem that long lines are commonplace year round at the Teleférico, leaving many guests frustrated and potentially keeping some from visiting in the first place.  Overall though, because we came with friends we had plenty to keep our minds off the long wait and we all went for a nice walk through the park afterwards, so the experience was more about being together than the Teleférico itself.  If you're just coming to Madrid as a tourist, I can't really recommend the cable car as a way to see the city - I think there's other ways to do that.  But as a way to get out and welcome the spring weather with good friends - oh yes.  Definitely a fun afternoon out.  :)