As you probably know already, Adolfo Suárez – Madrid Barajas airport is a huge connecting hub for airlines and travellers from all over the world, and as such, it boasts a well-designed and effective public transportation network that has been made available to arriving passengers in order to ensure they get to their final destination as quickly and comfortably as possible. In the same manner, these transport options are varied and offered at different costs so that you can choose the one that suits you best. In this post, we will provide useful information about how to get to Madrid downtown from the airport by metro, train, bus and taxi.
Using the metro to go from Barajas airport to Madrid city centre
Upon arrival in the Spanish capital, you may use Line 8 of the city’s metro system which provides direct services between terminals 1, 2, 3 and the underground station of terminal 4 and the central “Nuevos Ministerios” station. This is perhaps the fastest way to reach your accommodation in central Madrid (it takes only 15 minutes), however, when making an estimate of your travel expenses, take into account that a single ticket for this journey will cost 4,50 euros, and surcharges apply when getting on the train at the stations of the air terminals. The metro trains from Madrid airport start running at 6 a.m. every day, the last one leaving its first station at 1:30 a.m.
Trains connecting Adolfo Suárez – Madrid Barajas to Atocha railway station
The railway station in Madrid International airport is located on the underground level of terminal 4, and is the point from which Renfe Cercanías trains depart towards Atocha train station in central Madrid and the Prado Museum area. Tickets cost 2,60€ and can be purchased at the airport kiosks, although the service might be complimentary if you are transferring to an AVE high-speed train in Atocha. This journey lasts 25 minutes and is a more comfortable one in terms of space, especially if you are carrying heavy luggage.
Travelling by bus from the airport to Madrid city centre
Several lines of the EMT public bus company stop outside the arrivals zone of the different terminals in Adolfo Suárez – Madrid Barajas airport on their way to the city. This service is the cheapest one (only 1,50 euros) and it must be said that, unless you commute during peak hours, you will have plenty of space to store your luggage safely. The EMT buses going from Barajas to Madrid are the blue ones.
Line 101, for instance, runs services between terminals 1, 2 and 3 and the nearby Canillejas area. This means that you will be able to travel cheaply and quick to many hotels close to Madrid International airport like the Barajas Plaza hotel. Its operating hours go from 6 a.m. to 11.25 p.m.
Line 200 transports travellers from all terminals in Madrid airport to Avenida de America central bus station, a connecting hub from where you will be able to take another bus to virtually any corner of the city as well as to destinations within Spain and the province. Services start running very early (at 5:00 in the morning) and are extended until it is almost midnight.
The Express Line 203 is a special bus service covering the distance from the airport to central Madrid in just 40 minutes, and a one-way ticket costs 5€. Its main advantage is that it works 24 hours a day, every day of the year, with buses picking up travellers every 15 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes in the night time. The last terminus is Atocha, even though the route ends at Cibeles at night while the train station remains closed.
Taking a taxi in Madrid airport, Spain
Travelling by taxi from Madrid airport after your flight lands may not be the cheapest option, yet it can be highly convenient if you feel tired, jet-lagged or if it is late at night. Official taxi cabs will be waiting at the clearly signposted ranks, and are identified by the badge of the city and its white colour with a red stripe. Bear in mind that, in most cases, the minimum fare the driver will charge is 20€, regardless of where you are heading to. What is more, supplements may also apply if you ask to be dropped off at a bus or train station or at the IFEMA exhibition centre.