Get to Madrid by plane:
Madrid-Barajas Airport is located 12 kilometers from Madrid city centre in Barajas district on the northeast of the city. It’s the main airport in Spain, ranked 5th important in Europe in 2014 by Eurostat Agency.
The airport has 4 terminals linked by a transit bus: T1, T2, T3 contained in one building and the fourth is in a separate one. It’s divided to the main T4 and its satellite building T4S. There is also an automatic train APM connecting T4 and 4S.
- Terminal 1 handles international flights: The check in area is at the first floor and the baggage claim at the ground floor.
- Terminal 2 serves less airlines which are basically European flights: The check-in desks are located on the first and second floor. Baggage claim area is in areas 6 and 7 on the ground floor.
- Terminal 3 operates domestic flights from and to cities in Spain: Check-in desks are on the first floor. The ground floor contains the baggage claim in areas 6 and 7.
- Domestic flights and European flights from the Schengen Area arrive at the main T4 while international flights outside the Schengen Area and arrive at the satellite building. You can check in on the second floor. The baggage claim numbers 10 and 11 are on the ground floor of the main T4 building.
Transport between terminals:
- To transport between terminals in Madrid airport, a free bus service is available 24 hours a day. A bus arrives every 5 minutes from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm, every 10 minutes from 11:30 pm to 2:30 am and every 20 minutes from 2:30 am to 6:30 am.
- For a trip from T1 to T4, the bus depart from T1 floor 0 passes by South Dock,T2 floor 2 and arrive at T4 floor 2.
- If you’re taking the bus from T4 to T1, the bus departs from Terminal T4 floor 0.
- The Automatic People Mover train (APM) runs between Terminal T4 (floor 2) and Terminal T4S (floor 2) for 24h daily. It can be used for passengers with boarding pass. The trip lasts about 3 minutes.
- All terminals have a large number of restaurants and shops, WI-FI hotspots, Medical services 24h available in T2, T4 and T4S, pharmacies in T1, T2 and T4…There are two information office, one in T1 and the other inT4.
- There are many family amenities: playgrounds, children lounges…You can also arrange an assistant service for passengers with disabilities before 48 hours of the arrival.
Get to Madrid by train:
Madrid has two main transport station Atocha and Chamartin.
Chamartin station is situated 6km from the airport. It’s the destination for trains coming from France, the north and the east of Spain.
The largest and most popular train station is Atocha located at the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V. Commuter trains for the city, intercity trains from all over Spain, high-speed AVE trains, Renfe trains arrive at this station. This station provides large facilities: Shops, restaurants, bars, newspapers, a left luggage service, car rental desks, tourist informations and even a hotel « Hotel Husa Chamartín ». There is also a close metro stop ‘Atocha’.
- For travelers from other parts of Spain, most reputed high speed trains are: Altaria, Alvia, the AVE and Euromed.
- If you want a night adventure, you can choose between « Trenhotel domestic night train » connecting Barcelona, Madrid and Granada and the French « Intercités de Nuit night train » linking Spain, Luxembourg and France.
- In few hours you can pass by south Europe main cities thanks to famous TGV line extended on Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg and France.
- The fastest train reaching Atocha station in Madrid from Paris, Marseille and Lyon in France is The Renfe-SNCF en Cooperation.
Get to Madrid by bus:
Madrid’s main bus station is « Estación Sur de Autobuses » located in Méndez Álvaro. The major bus companies operating with this station are Alsa and Avanza. The bus station is a transportation center with availability of Metro, city buses, trains…
To leave Madrid South station for Atocha or Chamartin train station use the Cercanías train, line C-1 (light blue), C-7 (red) and C-10 (light green). Metro line 6 and Renfe also passes by Méndez Alvaro.
There is also two other bus stations and transport hubs less frequented in Madrid: Chamartin and Alsa bus stations.
Coming by bus, you have several options to choose from:
- Alsa has a national network linking Madrid to Granada, Bilbao, Burgos, Zaragosa…Added to an important number of international routes. You can benefit of discounts booking in advance.
- Eurolines has a widely reputed bus network connecting Madrid to more than 50 French cities.
- Ouibus offers rides between Europe main cities for cheap prices.
- Flixbus is a German bus company offers connection between more than 400 European cities.
- MegaBus doesn’t have direct routes to Madrid however it links Barcelona to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin… from which you can change buses to Madrid.
- Avanza services plenty of destination within Spain, while traveling to Madrid you get the chance to discover a number of wonderful Spanish regions.
How to get from Madrid-Barajas Airport to the city center?
Taking a taxi to Madrid center is the best choice for people with much luggage but can be expensive. All you have to do is go outside the terminal to the taxi rank.
- Taxis are situated in all terminals in floor 0 at Arrivals area and in floor 1 at Departures area.
- Be mindful from taxi drivers offering their services inside the airport.
- Price for a ride from airport to a central location in the city is fixed at 30 euros but there can be surcharges for luggage or during holidays such as on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day between 9 p.m and 7 a.m which add a supplement of€6,70.
- You can use Aerocity services which are cheaper. It’s a door to door service and can be reserved in advance online or by telephone. Taxis are available 24 hours at T1 in front of Arrivals Gate 2, at T2 between gates 5 and 6 or in T4 arrivals hall. The fare is just 23 euros for 3 persons or less and 26 euros for 4 or more but you may have to share the taxi with someone else.
There are several bus lines connecting Madrid airport to the main transport points in the city from which you can get to your destination easily. These buses offer a very cheap service for about 5 euros. Tickets can be bought on board from the driver. The line to choose depends on the terminal:
- If you’re at terminal 4, take line 203, 200, 827 or 828.
- At terminal 3, there are lines 200 and 101.
- Terminal 2 is served by line 200, 101, 824 and 203.
- At Terminal 1, you can choose between 203, 200, 101, 822 and 824.
- Buses on line 203 come every 15 minutes from 6 am to 11 pm and every 35 minutes during nighttime. They provide trip to Atocha taking around 30 minutes.
- Buses on line 200 take to Avenida de América from which you can take other transport means. They are available from 5 am to 11:30 am every 10 to 20 minutes.
- Buses on line 101 leads to Canillejas transport Hub from Monday to Saturday, from 6.00 am to 11 :25 pm. On Sunday and public holidays from 7:30 am.
- Buses on line 822 connect to Coslada and San Fernando de Henares from 6:00 am to 23:30 am daily.
- Buses on line 824 take to Torrejón de Ardoz and Alcalá de Henares from 6:40 am to 10 pm daily.
- Buses on line 827 lead to Canillejas, Alcobendas, the Autonomous University, and Tres Cantos locality.
- Buses on line 828 take also to Canillejas, Alcobendas and Universidad Autónoma.
Go to the train station on the terminal T4 of Madrid airport (floor 1) also called Aeropuerto T4 and take the renfe train line C1. The trip from the airport to Príncipe Pío in Madrid center takes about 40 minutes and passes by Chamartin, Atocha and Mendez Avaro. A train is available from 6 :00 a.m. until 22.30 a.m.
Different ways of payment are used. A single journey ticket from ticket machines costs 2,60 €, valid for two hours. If you have AVE tickets (high-speed train) connecting with a flight or transport passes you can travel for free.
Madrid-Barajas Airport has two metro stations: The first one is called “Aeropuerto T1-T2-T3” located in terminal T2 floor 1 and the second is “Aeropuerto T4” in terminal T4 floor 1.
- The metro is a good choice to save time as trips from T1, T2 and T3 take only about 13 minutes and from T4, 20 minutes.
- The line taking to Madrid city is Line 8 in direction of Nuevos Ministerios.
- Returning from Nuevos Ministerios stops are Colombia, Pinar del Rey, Mar de Cristal, Campo de las Naciones, Aeropuerto T1-T2-T3, Barajas and final destination Aeropuerto T4.
- Don’t be confused the stop between T4 and other terminals called « Barajas » isn’t in the airport but in town.
- The metro departs every 5 minutes from 6 am to 2 am
- A single journey ticket costs 5 euros. It’s advised to buy the Madrid Tourist Travel Pass or T-10 ‘metrobus’ ticket valid for buses also from the airport?
By car :
Equipped with a GPS or a Smartphone map, it’s easy to get to Madrid center by car. Join bypass road connected to the airport then follow A1, A2, M40, M40 South, R2, and M11.
Main car rental companies such as Hertz, Europcar, Avis… they have desks between arrival halls 1 and 2 in Terminal 1. It’s recommended to book in advance to benefit of discounts.