Molecular dynamics simulations of electron and ion transfer reactions near a smooth surface are presented, analyzing the effect of the geometrical constraint of the surface and the interfacial electric field on the relevant solvation properties of both a monovalent negative ion and a neutral atom. The simulations show that, from the solvation point of view, ion adsorption is an uphill process due to the need to shed off the ion's solvation shell and displace water from the surface. Atom adsorption, on the other hand, has only a small barrier, related to the molecularity of the solvent. Both the electrostatic interaction of the ion with the solvent and the ion's solvent reorganization energy (the relevant parameter in the Marcus electron transfer theory) decrease as the surface is approached, whereas these parameters are not sensitive to the distance from the surface for the atom. This is a consequence of the importance of long-range electrostatic interactions for ion solvation and the importance of short-range interactions for atom solvation. The electric field either attracts or repels an ion to or from the surface, but the field has no influence on the solvent reorganization energy. By including the quantum-mechanical electron transfer between the metal surface and the ion/atom in solution in the MD simulation by using a model Hamiltonian, we calculated two-dimensional free energy surfaces for ion adsorption allowing for partial charge transfer, based on a fully molecular picture of ion solvation near the surface.