Here’s a step by step guide to arriving at Madrid Airport. There are several airport transfers that will get you to Madrid’s city center.
The airport is very well connected to the city and other transport hubs (bus and train stations). Moreover, the cost is relatively cheap compared to other European cities. Your decision depends on your final destination.
Read all the Madrid Airport practical information.
Additionally, have a look at how to get from the city center to the airport.
There are several options to exit the airport.
With some many public transport alternatives, there is no best solution. Your choice will depend on what terminal your flight arrives to and where in the city your accommodation is. Here is my advice.
You may also be interested on the Madrid Tourist Travel Pass. This transport pass entitles you to get free unlimited rides.
When arriving at Madrid Airport you can go to two Metro stations, one at T2 (floor 1) and the other one at T4 (floor -1). Both are part of line 8 (pink).
The ride to Nuevos Ministerios station takes 15 minutes from T2 and 20 minutes from T4.
Before using the subway, you will need to purchase a ticket. You can do so at the ticket counters and ticket machines. Have a look at a complete explanation on the different types of Metro tickets and how to buy them.
It’s a less than 10 minutes walk.
You will exit the baggage claim area through Arrivals hall 1 or 2. As soon as you go through the sliding doors, look for the Metro signs.
You need to go upstairs, to the 1st floor. You can use the elevators, but the easiest way is to use the moving ramps located next to each of the Arrivals halls.
As soon as you reach the 1st floor, keep walking straight across the different check-in counters.
Then, take three consecutive moving walkaways.
Once you exit the last moving walkaway, a sign indicates to turn left.
Use the moving walkaways to get to a big glass-window hall. From there you can access the Metro station, T3 and the car park.
To get to the Metro station, just follow the signs. The access is located on the left hand side and you need to go downstairs, to floor -1.
It’s a less than 5 minutes walk.
You will exit the baggage claim area through Arrivals hall 5 or 6. As soon as you go through the sliding doors, look for the Metro signs.
You need to go upstairs, to the 1st floor. You can use the elevators, but the easiest way is to use the moving ramps located next to Arrivals hall 5.
As soon as you exit the ramps, a sign indicates to turn right. Use the moving walkaways to get to a big glass-window hall. From there you can access the Metro station, T3 and the car park.
To get to the Metro station follow the signs. The access is located on the left hand side and you need to go downstairs, to floor -1.
It’s a less than 5 minutes walk.
As soon as you exit the baggage claim area through the sliding doors, you will see a Metro sign indicating you to take the moving ramps to go to downstairs, to floor -1.
There are signs both at the ceiling and on the floor. Just follow them.
The last moving ramp leads you to a big hall where both the Metro and train stations are located. The entrance to the Metro station is the first one on your left.
After arriving at Madrid Airport, you can go to one train station, located in Terminal 4 (T4), floor -1.
From T4 train station, it takes 25 minutes to get to Atocha, 18 minutes to Nuevos Ministerios and 11 minutes to Chamartín. There are trains every 30 minutes.
Download the Renfe App (for iOS or Android) to access a complete schedule of all trains. Alternatively, you can also check the Cercanías schedules on Renfe’s website.
Before using the Cercanías train, you will need to purchase a ticket. You can do so at the ticket counters and ticket machines. Have a look at a complete explanation on the different types of Cercanías tickets and how to buy them.
Don’t forget to keep your train ticket with you at all times during the trip because you need it to go through the exit barriers at your destination.
If you need to get to T4 train station from any other terminal (T1, T2 or T3), all you have to do is exit the terminal following the bus and taxi signs.
The shuttle bus connecting the terminals is free and operates 24/7.
See all the internal connections between the airport terminals.
The airport is very well connected by road and there are three public transport bus routes that you can use after arriving at Madrid Airport. Each one takes you to a different destination and has a different fare.
The Línea Exprés Aeropuerto uses offers a direct trip between the airport, Calle O’Donnell, Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha train station. The buses are yellow with a big 24 horas exprés sign on the windows.
The Airport Express bus has two schedules:
The buses frequency is between 13-20 minutes during the day and 35 minutes at night. The trip to Atocha should take no more than 40 minutes under normal traffic conditions.
Inside the airport, there are bus stops at
The stops are generally located next to the taxis, and are easily recognizable – look for a metal pole with a big yellow sign including a plane and all the information. These stops are shared with regular EMT city buses.
There are two EMT bus lines exiting the terminals, after arriving at Madrid Airport. Remember that EMT buses are blue.
The one you are more likely to use is line 200. It runs from terminals T1, T2 and T4 of Madrid-Barajas airport to the Avenida de América transport hub.
The buses run every 5-12 minutes at peak times and the journey to Avenida de América takes around 20 minutes from T1 and 30 minutes from T4.
The other line is route 101 and drops you off at Canillejas, where a transport hub offers connections to the Metro, and city and intercity bus routes.
Theses buses share the stops with EMT city buses, so you can catch them here:
The stops are generally located next to the taxis, and are easily recognizable – look for a metal pole with a big yellow sign including a plane and all the information regarding the routes.
Getting to the city center by taxi is the fastest and most comfortable option after arriving at Madrid Airport. It’s also the most expensive despite it could be interesting if you are a travel party of at least 4 people.
Every terminal has a large taxi stop and it is clearly indicated by signs located inside the terminal. All you have to do once you are in the Arrivals hall is follow the signs. The taxi stops are usually managed by the airport staff. Please stand in line and wait until you are designated a taxi.
The trip between the airport and Madrid takes about half an hour but it depends very much on the traffic conditions and your accommodation location. Terminal 4 (T4) is further away compared to Terminals 1, 2 and 3 (T1, T2 and T3) so your trip will be 10 minutes longer and the fare higher.
The trip from the airport to the center of Madrid should cost you 30€. All taxis must have a fares chart displayed on the rear windows.
Please note that there are two very specific fares:
No taxi driver is allowed to charge you for your luggage, as long as it fits in the boot or on the roof rack.
In addition to this, have a look at my insider’s guide to use Madrid taxis in the most efficient way.
At Madrid Airport (MAD), when you emerge from the Arrivals area, exit to the Arrivals hall through the sliding doors and your liaison staff member will be waiting for you, holding a sign with your name on it. He will help you with your luggage and lead you to the vehicle, most commonly a spacious, comfortable air-conditioned vehicle.
Your private driver will take you directly to your accommodation, where he will help you with your luggage to the hotel reception or apartment entrance.
While driving from the airport to your hotel, your driver will be polite and helpful, will drive carefully and observe traffic regulations, will not smoke, and will offer you complimentary refreshments (welcome after a long flight!).
Let me make this clear: this is not a common airport shuttle. You are booking your own private vehicle – it’s just for you (and your travel companions, if you have any).
Surprisingly, even though these fares are not much more than for a Madrid taxi for some rides, and only moderately more for others, a private transfer is 1000% more comfortable, reliable, safe and pleasant than an Madrid taxi. As such, a private transfer constitutes extremely good value for money.
Book your private transfer from the Airport to central Madrid »
This article is part of a complete tutorial on how to fly to Madrid where you can read all the information you need to organize your flights.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. How to find very cheap international flights
2. Looking for cheap air flights to Spain?
3. Getting to Madrid by plane
4. Madrid Airport guide: Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas
5. Guide on Madrid Airport transfers
6. Arriving at Madrid Airport: exit the airport after landing
7. Getting to Madrid Airport: go to the airport from the city center
8. Madrid Airport hotels