Some time ago, parking zones in Madrid were introduced.
The zones consist of blue zones and green zones and operate during the following times: Monday to Friday: 9 to 20.00. Saturdays 9 to 15.00 horas. Sundays & National holidays: no service. August: from Monday to Saturday 9 to 15.00.
BLUE ZONES: These are primarily for non-residents of the area, though they apply to all persons, even those who are residents of the area. The maximum time limit you can park in these zones is 2 hours.
GREEN ZONES: These are primarily for residents of that specific zone, where a yearly pass can be purchased from the vehicle registration office, All the information on parking zones in Madrid can be found here. The maximum time limit however for parking in your zone is 5 days in the same space.
Visitors to the zone are only allowed to stay for a maximum period of 1 hour.
The annual rate for residents is in the region of 27 euros. You can obtain a monthly parking pass for a small fee.
Paying for your parking ticket is simple. Just look out for the blue or green coloured automated booths (depending on what coloured zone you are parked on - note each side of the street may be a different colour zone). The instructions are simple and consist of simply depositing the money and getting the ticket form the slot. Try and park in the blue zones as this gives you 2 hours parking and it's cheaper (not the 1 hour max in the green zones).
Note: Be careful when entering certain zones, especially the centre of Madrid. If you are NOT a resident of this area (Zone 1:3) and decide to enter the Zone, you will be automatically fined a large sum simply for entering, even if you are lost or picking someone up.
Only emergency vehicle, delivery vehicles and residents are allowed to drive in this zone. Look out for the warning signs and intricate network of cameras.
Don’t park between two arrows facing eachother, this indicates it’s a NO PARKING zone. Also, avoid parking on the “Carga and Descarga” areas within the blue and green parking zones. The times allowed for parking on these spots are limited and different from the Green and Blue zone hours but the fines that the wardens impose are heavy!