Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD IATA) is the main airport of Madrid. It is an important connection point for flights between Europe and Latin America and home base of Spain's flag carrier Iberia as well as Air Europa.
Barajas is 13 km from the city center of Madrid. It is one of the largest airports in Europe and is served by many airlines. It is the homebase for Iberia Airlines. The airport has 4 terminals, including Terminal 4, a new terminal that has won architectural awards, and might be worth the trip to have a look even if you are not flying.
Barajas is the 5th busiest airport in Europe and there are direct flights to most major airports in Europe and the Americas. There are some flights from African and Middle Eastern destinations as well, and direct flights to Asian destinations such as Beijing Capital Airport, Seoul, Bangkok and Tokyo. If you are flying from Europe to Latin America - especially if you want to avoid traveling through the United States chances are you will either fly out of or change planes in Madrid Barajas. The route between Barajas and Barcelona El Prat Airport used to be far and away the most flown in Europe and though it is still a popular route, the advent of high speed rail has led to a sustained decline of air passenger figures and fierce competition on price.
There are four terminals.
- 1 Terminal T1 is the main terminal.
- 2 Terminal T2 is used by domestic flights and flights to destinations in the Schengen Area.
- 3 Terminal T3 is used by Iberia and Air Nostrum for flights to France and Portugal.
- 4 Terminal T4, was opened in 2006. It's primarily used for Iberia flights and as a check in terminal for oneworld flights.
- 5 Terminal T4 Satellite (T4S) a satellite terminal of Terminal T4 which is a separate building. It is used by T4 companies for flights outside the Schengen Area.
By far the most convenient way of reaching downtown is a 24-hour express bus service that passes all terminals and then goes directly to 1 O'Donell metro stop, 2 Plaza de Cibeles (a 20-minute walk or quick metro ride to Puerta del Sol) and 3 Atocha rail station (not serviced between 23:30 and 06:00). €5 cash, payable on entry to driver; the largest note accepted is €20. Departures from 06:00-23:30 are every 15-20 min, from 23:30-06:00 every 35 min. The travel time from Terminal 4 (end of line) to Cibeles is 40 minutes.
Public bus 200 operates between the airport and the 4 bus station on Avenida de América in Madrid. It is only €2 and you can use your weekly ticket or 10-trip ticket.
Public night bus N4 goes from Plaza Cibeles to 5 Plaza Hnos Falco y Alvarez de Toledo in the Barajas district, a 400-metre walk from the terminal through a passageway over the highway. It's best to get off at the second-last stop, Avenida Central, and then make a right turn immediately after the bus stop. Go straight on, keep going straight crossing the parking lot, and then you make a left to cross another huge parking lot. After that you see the road and the pedestrian highway overpass. Only €1.50, and the 10-trip ticket is valid as well.
By train or metro
The airport is connected to the city centre by the Cercanías C-1 commuter train. Trains depart from the basement of Terminal T4 every 30 minutes from 05:59 to 22:28, with a fare of €2.60.
6 Charmartín rail station (travel time 11 minutes, 2 stops) has long distance connections; 7 Nuevos Ministerios (travel time 18 minutes, 3 stops) has connections to lines C-3 and C-4 (on platform 8) as well as to the Metro; Atocha rail station (25 minutes, 5 stops) has long-distance and high-speed rail connections; and 8 Méndez Álvaro (29 minutes) and 9 Príncipe Pío (38 minutes) serve as hubs for long-distance buses.
The Metro runs from all terminals to Nuevos Ministerios downtown (line 8 pink, from 06:05 to 01:30, fare €4.50-5.00 depending on zone).
A map of all commuter train and metro connections in the Madrid area is available at download.
Taxis from the airport to anywhere in the inner city have a flat fare of €30. There are taxi stands outside all terminals except the satellite terminal T4S.
If transferring at Barajas, you may need to plan in some extra time because the terminals are rather spread out. T4 and T4S are about 4 km north of T1, T2, and T3. T4 is connected to T1-3 with a free shuttle busses.
By automatic train
The two buildings of terminal 4 (T4 and T4S) are about 2 km apart. They are connected by an automatic underground train line, an Automatic People Mover (APM). A journey takes approximately 3 min.
Eat and drink
All terminals are equipped with restaurants and bars.
For an inexpensive bite to eat (compared with the extortionate offerings elsewhere in the airport) seek out 100 Montaditos opposite gate D64 in Terminal 3.
There are over 100 stores at the airport.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport.
Spanish pre-paid SIM cards are sold in Crystal Media Shops in Terminals 1, 2, and 4. Free outlets for charging mobile devices are scattered throughout all terminals.
- Airport information: +34 902 404 704
- ATM's are located in terminals 2 and 4.
- Tourist offices (Oficina de información turística aeropuerto de Madrid-Barajas) (in terminals 1,2 and 4). 9-20.
- Airport information website
There are no hotels at the airport, but there are several in the district of Barajas, a little more than a kilometer from the terminals.
- 1 Ibis Hotel Madrid Barajas, 49 Avenida General, ☎ . Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Includes free transportation to the airport from 06:00 to 23:30.
- Madrid is 13 km (8.1 mi) from the airport, accessible by metro, bus or taxi.