The title of this tip says it all really. I arrived into Barajas mid afternoon on a November Monday with the flight actually early due to quite a strong tailwind. The plane parked on the tarmac away from the terminal building and as the captain remarked on the PA, "our early arrival seems to have caught out friends at Iberia off-guard". Indeed so, as we sat there for long enough whilst they summoned a set of steps and a bus to take us to the building. When we eventually got there we had to wait for a transit (basically an automatic train affair) which then took us to another building. I should mention at this point that I arrived and departed from Terminal 4S, perhaps other terminals are better.
Having reclaimed my baggage which had understandably arrived before us I went through passport and customs control which was a breeze as we were flying between two EU countries. I noticed that there was an arrivals "duty free" shop which is just opposite the baggage reclaim.
The signage was good throughout (in Spanish and English) and I followed it to the Metro station. If you are going to buy a travel card as I was, then the desk for that is just on the left before the entrance to the Metro and the staff there are helpful and speak good English. If you are not using a travelcard you should be aware that a Metro journey to or from the airport attracts a €3 supplement even though it is not nearly as far out of town as some of the other lines go.
The inbound journey was slow but not too bad but the return was far more stressful. I had left myself 90 minutes and arrived at 1415 for a 1545 flight which should have been more than enough time but turned out to be cutting it fine enough. I checked the board for the appropriate check-in desk and went to the appropriate area which was a block of desks. I saw that Iberia do not have a designated desk for each flight but rather all the desks seem to be bag drops which more or less forces you to use the self-service check-in. Perhaps you can check in at any of these desks but there were quite long queues at them all and I thought it would be quicker to use the machine rather than queue up just to be told I could not check in.
The machines have English instructions which I followed. Actually, I followed them four times as the machine did not seem to like my passport for some reason. Self check-in is quite a lengthy procedure here, moreso than at other places I have been and requiring more information. I did not see a single member of ground staff there to offer assistance. When I eventually managed to check in I took my baggage, baggage tag and boarding card and joined the queue for the bag drop which had gone down a little. Having dropped the bag I went though security which took an absolute age. There just seemed to be insufficient staff for the numbers of travellers.
Time was wearing on and I knew I still had to get the transit etc. to get to the gate which my boarding card stated was U55 and that the gate closed 15 minutes before departure which meant 1530. I did not dawdle and went briskly to T4S where I glanced at a departures board to see that ny flight was departing from U57 and not U55 as stated. In the event these proved to be adjacent but I did not know that and it just added to the stress I was already feeling. I raced through the "duty free" shops so they lost out on a potential sale there. Although I didn't stop to browse and I may have missed it, I didn't see any cigarettes for sale so I am not sure if they are available should you be a smoker. I had bought mine earlier. I eventually arrived at the departure gate at 1525, a mere five minutes before it closed. Frankly, I think this is ridiculous in a modern airport even on a busy Friday afternoon.
On the plus side and as the title suggests Barajas is clean, modern and spotlessly clean and it appears to be fully accessible for mobility impaired travellers.
The traveller really has no option if flying to or from Madrid as this is THE airport but be aware that you need to leave a lot of time.
If you arrive in Madrid Barajas's Terminal 4, it's easy to take the Metro, because the Aeropuerto T4 metro station and Cercanias C-1 station are right beneath the terminal.
However, if you arrive at Terminal 1 and want to take the metro, you need to walk to T2 and then to the metro entrance, then down into the metro. All in all, it's about 700 yards. Not a bad walk, but if you are jet-lagged or carrying a lot of stuff, it can wear on you. (Even further if you want to take the Cercanias from T4
A good alternative is to take the "Línea Exprés Aeropuerto" airport express bus (it even works well for T2 and T4 also)
Website (currently only in Spanish but other language versions coming soon)
Service is 7 Day/week, 24 hours/day, every 20 minutes [1130pm-0600am only goes between airport stops and Plaza Cibeles, which has night bus service to much of the city]. Most cost-effective way to get to the airport if you have a very early flight.
Airport pickup/drop off, at ground level, right outside T1, T2, and T4 terminals
City pickup/drop off, at ground level, in 3 locations having good public transport access:
--- Calle O'Donnel (metro Line 6, city bus)
--- Plaza Cibeles (metro Line 2, city bus, and night bus)
--- Atocha Railway Station (metro Line 1, city bus, and suburban/long distance/high speed trains)
All buses handicapped-accessible
Cost = 5 Euros (much cheaper than taxi), paid in cash to bus driver
Buses have luggage racks that can hold luggage up to 23kgs/50lbs, which is the standard acceptable checked bag weight.
Bus travel time stated as 40 minutes between T4 and Atocha station, however of course this is dependent on traffic situation.
Coming from the airport to downtown Madrid might generously be described as a regal pain, especially when you are schlepping too much luggage.
Since 2010 there is now a bus that goes to Barajas, 24 hours a day. Price is 2 euros.
Travel time is about 30 minutes during the day and 20 minutes at night.
the bus is yellow
From downtown Madrid-
Calle O Donnell (Metro station)
Ciebeles (Metro Banco de España)
Atocha train station
From Barajas Airport
Terminals 2 and 4- arrivals area
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to get to Madrid central from the airport is take the metro.
Single trip was 5 Euro.
The airport line is line 8. Once on the train, go to the end of the line (Nuevos Ministerios). Travel time is about 17 from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios.
Then take other lines depending on where you're haeding to.
When we flew into Madrid we were very happy with the airport and how convenient it was to find our way to the buses – everything was laid out nicely and clearly marked. We didn’t have checked-in bags so I can’t comment on how well that worked. So we had a good first impression of the Madrid airport.
And then it was time to come home. Our impression changed. We got to the airport as scheduled and zipped through security without any problems. Our gate number wasn’t posted yet so we found a quiet place to read until the time came and we found our gate. At that point it started to go downhill.
We kept hearing the same announcement over and over informing the public that they do not make announcements about flight information. Okay, fine. We were at our gate. But then we learned that our flight was delayed – no announcement, not even at the gate. How long was the delay? No idea since there was no information. And the board we were told to keep checking was not updated. The Information Desk was no help at all since they didn’t know and weren’t willing to find out.
Eventually we saw the board update and we’d have a three hour delay. Again, no announcements so we had to just keep checking the board until we saw our new gate. Once on the plan, we had other issues and we told to get off the plane and it would be another two hours. Well, good thing we stayed near the gate because within 45 minutes we saw the flight crew come back and they started reboarding the plane.
Again, no announcements and passengers were scattered all over the very long terminal. The board was never updated to reflect this change. I am still not sure how everyone found out to get back within one hour and not the two.
The airlines said they don’t have control over the announcement system, which belongs to the airport. Excuse me, but I thought that announcing out of the ordinary flight changes like we were experiencing would fall under the concept of customer service. I guess not; but the airport sure made a point of letting us know that no announcements would be made (although they don’t tell you they don’t update the gate board either).
My impression of Madrid Airport is not very good and I was frustrated at the lack of service by both the concept of no announcements and the Information Desk.
My tip – sit near your gate and make frequent trips to the boards to confirm that nothing has changed. You might miss your flight if you don’t.
The first time I went to Madrid I decided to take the subway from the airport into downtown Madrid. It may be more economical, but if you are carrying more than one small suitcase you may not find the experience so enjoyable.
First, you have to transfer several times. Only the first transfer (Nuevos Ministerios) has elevators), the other stations you will have to go up and down corridors and escalators etc with your bags,,,,
easier to just get a cab or shuttle. sometimes saving money is overrated!
Barajas Airport has an excellent connection to central Madrid by Metro: take the Metro line 8 direction "Nuevos Ministerios", from where you can change to Lines 1, 9 or 10 to get into the inner city. A tourist day ticket cost about 8,- € (2012).
To get to and from Barajas Airport and Madrid City Center take the yellow airport express bus. The bus fare is 5.00 Euros and drops you off at Plaza de Cibeles (pronounced Thibeles) on the side of Instituto Cervantes/Palacio de Buenavista. This is an important detail because for the way back to the airport you have to pick up the bus at Ayuntamiento, which is next to the Museo Naval.
I was having a few hours to spare at the airport.
At the airport metro station I bought a day return ticket for 8 Euros.
With this ticket I could travel to the city and back.
The ticket was valid only for the metro, not the trains.
Usually at the airport, you have to pay a supplement of 3 Euros.
I think I was visiting Madrid when this supplement payment was suspended.
Line8 connected the airport with the city.
ok so we write in the forums lots of tips that gets post it here, but in bits and pieces, I will try to do it once shot deal here .
There are four terminals 1,2,3,and 4 plus an annex 4S. You have bus or train connection to all of them. The buses are Lanzadera shuttle buses at several stop along the terminals from 6h30 to 23h30 each five minutes.and from 23h30 to 1h50 each 20 minutes, from 1h50 to 6h30 each 40 minutes. the service is free.
To come from and to airport, by metro you take line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios. At Barajas airport the metro stop at T2 level 1 or planta 1, and on T4 at level -1 or planta -1. You need to pay a supplement so therefore for example from T4 to a connection to line 10 you pay 2,50 euros.
tel for assistance +34 902 444 403
By bus, there are several. EMT buses on line 101 that goes from Barajas to Canillejas in Madrid.stop at T1 planta or level 0, in front of hall 2 baggage area.T1 level 1 arrivals, T2 level 0 front of hall 5 baggage area. T2 level 2 arrival; T1 ground floor, opposite baggage claim hall 2, T1 level 1 departures, T2 2nd floor departures.
bus of Madrid webpage http://www.emtmadrid.es/
interurban buses ,no 802 from mondays to fridays working days only; T1 to Coslada,San Fernando de Henares.
Bus 824, Torrejon de Ardoz from T1 departures, T2 arrivals, T1 arrivals;
using CTM interurban buses webpage http://www.ctm-madrid.es/
infoline Tel +34 902 507 850
There is the Express bus to all terminals, to Atocha,passing cibeles,O'Donnell ,dr Esquerdo, it does stop in airport at T4,T2,and T1 arrivals levels.cost is 2 euros, for information tel +34 902 507 850
bus No 200, to avenida de America interchange from T4 arrivals, T3 arrivals, T2 arrivals, T1 arrivals,and at Canillejas next to the metro stop.
interurban bus 827 to tres cantos , take it at T4 level 0 arrivals.
bus No 828 to Alcobendas , take it at T4 level 0 arrivals
long distance buses are taken from T4 level 0 arrivals for Alsa
tel +34 902 422 242
There are, also, taxis on all terminals at different spots. The fares are according to hours,and days, as well as luggage
by train, the cercanias C1 from Principe Pio to T4 every 30 minutes 5h15 to 23h32
T4 level -1, to Atocha is about 25 minutes, chamartin 11 mins, principe pio 38 mins cost is 2,15 euros, tel +34 902 320 320
by car, you canhave several approaches, the M40 exit 9A to A2 exit 12 to M14 to terminals 1,2,3.
R2 exit 3 to M12 then terminal 4
A1 exit 17 to M12 for all terminals and its the one I usually take.
parking is available and price by minute or days up to 4 days 18,30€ and over 5 days 14,65€ each day. webpage
tel +34 902 404 704
Of course you can rent cars ,Avis, Hertz, National Atesa,Sixt, and Europcar, at level 0 in T1 and level -1 at T4
there are children play areas at T2 level 1, business center at T4 level 2 (very nice)/ there areleft luggage areas at T1 level 0, T2 level 1. Pharmacies at T1 level 0, T4 level 2.
Nursery in T2 level 1, T4 level 1
the trains of Spain RENFE has an office at T4 level 0 and T1 level 0.
you have for currency exchange American Express T4 , Airport Exchange T1, and Global Exchange T4S,T1,T2
ATM cash machines are all over by BBVA, Banco popular,Banesto,Caja Madrid. The place is like a commercial center with stores and restaurants all over the place.
Hope it helps
very nice terminal 4 and 4S, all link up by tramway train very fast and convenient. They have an outside bus too connecting all terminals, the T4 is huge spacious,and plenty to eat and shop. The connections screens are well posted and notices are given quickly. All I spent 7 hours going in and out into Madrid on both legs of a trip and it was nice and easy
this is a good site for info and will have the official one in link
Barajas is a pleasant little airport with good transport links to the city: lots and lots of taxis, airport bus every 15 minutes or so (24/7)and Metro. I can only speak of Terminal 1.
I was very impressed at being able to pass border control very quickly using my electronic passport and my fingerprint: it is rare that the equipment available for such entry is actually working so it was a pleasant surprise to be able, in effect, to just 'walk into Spain' with no hassle at all. My bags arrived very quickly too.
I like the ease of catching the airport bus (just outside Arrivals) and the small sitting area around the statue of a large lady on a donkey, where i sat and read in the sun until it was time for me to check-in.
A word of warning though: on my return the airport was very busy (too many school groups on their way home). Queues for Easyjet check-in were huge (this is the reason I *always* pay for speedy boarding) and security was pretty chaotic. They only have very small trays which you have to fill then carry to the scanner..not easy if you have more than one tray (which is essential if you have a laptop/netbook with you).
The other word of warning is that, food and water both pre and post-security is grossly overpriced. But that is nothing new in airports, and certainly not unique to Barajas!
Barajas sure has changed since the days when I flew in and out of here on a regular basis. Not only is it much larger but it's beautiful! From the undulating formation of the ceiling to the abundance of shops and restaurants, it's now a world-class airport.
If you're like me, one of the ways you make traveling affordable is by taking public transport to/from airports whenever feasible. Madrid's Barajas is served by Metro Line 8, costing just 2 Euros [1 Euro standard Metro fare + 1 Euro Airport Supplement], which is like 1/20th the price of a cab.
Taking the Metro can be more of a hassle if you are sleep-deprived after a long flight and/or you have too much luggage. For example, to take the Metro to the center of the city [the "Sol" stop, at Puerta del Sol, near Plaza Mayor], by metro, you must change trains twice....the first change is at Nuevos Ministerios, which is the end of Line 8 coming from the airport. Nuevos Ministerios is a big station and you must walk a long ways to get from Line 8 to Line 10.
(Note: the new 2-Euro Línea Exprés Aeropuerto bus now travels between T1/T2/T4, and O'Donnel, Plaza Cibeles, and Atocha Railway station. If you arrive/depart @ T1, it will save you lots of walking!)
However, if you spend another 1,3 Euros, you can get to Sol 15 minutes faster, walk less, and change trains only once. How? Once you arrive at Nuevos Ministerios, take the "Cercanias" suburban railway [like the RER in Paris] to your destination.
Getting off of the Metro at Nuevos Ministeros
When you disembark, on the platform, look for signs to the "Cercanias" suburban railway [like the RER in Paris].The Cercanias logo is a solid red circle containing a reversed white letter "C." The interchange between the Metro Line 8 and Cercanias is easy, with lifts and escalators, and actually requires less walking than from Line 8 to Line 10 within the Metro itself.
Follow the signs and exit the Metro and go to the Cercanias ticket machines or ticket window. Buy a ticket [the 1,3 Euros I mentioned above].
Going to the new Sol railway station in Puerta del Sol
Look for the directions to "Sol" or lines C-3 or C-4. Because other Cercanias trains pass through Nuevos Ministerios, be sure you get on the C-3 or C-4 train only. They are marked "Aranjuez" and "Parla" respectively, because those are the last stops on those routes. Sol is the next stop, and takes only 5 minutes.....rather than 18 minutes, 6-7 stops and another train change on the Metro.
Going to Atocha Railway Station
For Atocha station, you can get on any southbound Cercanias train [follow signs that say "Atocha" on them]. It will be the second stop and the journey will take 8 minutes rather than the Metro's 22 minutes, another train change, and 10 total stops.
Going to Chamartin Railway Station
For Chamartin station, you can get on any northbound Cercanias train [follow signs that say "Chamartin" on them]. It will be the next stop, and the journey will take 4-6 minutes rather than the Metro's 14 minutes and four stops.
East of the city is Madrid’s busy Barajas Airport - around 13kms (9 miles). It is Spain’s busiest and largest airport. It was opened in 1928 and new runways and terminals were continually added over the years. Today the airport has 4 terminals and services major airlines such as American, British, LAN, Air Europa and Spanair to name just a few. It was voted the Best Airport in 2008 in the Conde Nast Traveller Reader Awards.