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Madrid-Barajas Airport

Barajas airport is the name of Madrid’s airport. Contrary to other European capitals, Madrid has a unique airport serving all the routes arriving to and departing from the city.

The airport is located in the district of Barajas, hence the name. Barajas is in the northeast, approximately 20 km (12.5 mi) from Puerta del Sol.

The IATA airport code for Madrid is MAD.

Barajas airport is Spain’s biggest and most important airport. It currently has five terminals (T1, T2, T3, T4 and T4S) and three control towers. Each year 40+ million of passengers use it. In addition to this, almost 80 airlines operate here and more than 250 routes are served.

 

The Terminals

The Madrid airport has five terminals. However, this division does not correspond to the number of buildings composing the airport.

There are two big complexes. The old premises reunite Terminals 1, 2 and 3. These were initially built in the 1950s (current T2), expanded in the 1970s (current T1), and refurbished over time. The new premises, more than a couple of kilometers away, were inaugurated in 2007 and include Terminals 4 and 4S.

  • Terminal 2 (T2). This terminal generally serves domestic and Schengen flights of airlines outside the Oneworld alliance.
  • Terminal 3 (T3). It is seldom used and acts basically as a T2 extension, not as an independent terminal. It is unlikely that you will use it.
  • Terminal 4 (T4). Oneworld airlines operate their flights from T4. Generally, most domestic and Schengen flights depart and arrive here.
  • Terminal 4 Satélite (T4S). Oneworld airlines operate most of their international flights arrive from T4S. Please note that even if your flight lands here, you will claim your luggage and exit the airport through T4.

Check the list of the airlines working at the airport and the terminal from which they operate.

 

How To Move Around The Terminals

The shuttle bus connecting the terminals is free and operates 24/7.

 

Terminal

Go to

Means of transport

Estimated time

Bus stop location

Terminal T1 Terminals T2 and T3 Free shuttle bus 1.30 minutes Terminal T1, Floor 1 (check-in)
On foot 4 minutes
Terminal T4 Free shuttle bus 7 minutes Terminal T1, Floor 1 (check-in)
Terminals T2 and T3 Terminal T1 Free shuttle bus 8 minutes Terminal T2, Floor 0 (arrivals)
On foot 4 minutes
Terminal T4 Free shuttle bus 6 minutes Terminal T2, Floor 0 (arrivals)
Terminal T4 Terminal T1 Free shuttle bus 9 minutes Terminal T4, Floor 0 (arrivals)
Terminals T2 and T3 Free shuttle bus 6 minutes Terminal T4, Floor 0 (arrivals)
Terminal T4 Satélite Remote-controlled Train 3 minutes Terminal T4, Floor -2
Terminal T4 Satélite (Satellite) Terminal T4 Remote-controlled Train 3 minutes Terminal T4 Satélite,  Floor -2

 

See all the internal connections between the airport terminals downloading the transport map.

 

How To Get To/From Barajas Airport

You can have a look at two detailed guides. Both explain in detail the different transport options available and provide some advice.

 

Airport Services

As any major airport Madrid-Barajas offers an extensive range of services. Here is a list of the most useful ones.

  • Car rental companies. Avis/Budget, Enterprise Atesa, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt have desks on both T1 and T4.
  • Parking. All terminals have low cost, long stay and regular car parks. T2 has also an express car park. T4 has also a VIP car park. You can book online a spot.
  • Shops and Duty Free. If you are interested in a particular shop, search for it.
  • Left luggage office. There is one office at T1 arrivals located outside the main terminal. The other one is at T4 arrivals, located in the main concourse. Both open 24/7.
  • VIP lounges. There are a total of six VIP lounges and a Business Center at the airport. Did you know that you can purchase online passes to access these lounges? A perfect solution for long-haul flights!
  • VAT refund. To request a Value Added Tax (VAT) refund, the purchase value for each establishment must exceed €90.15. Before checking in your luggage, you must present the goods purchased and the “tax free” invoices for these to be stamped at the airport’s duty reduction office. There are 3 offices: at T1 floor 1 departures, at T4 floor 2 departures and at T4S floor 2 boarding area.
  • Wi-Fi. According to the airport’s website, the first 15 minutes of Wi-Fi access are free. Unfortunately, every time I’ve tried to use them, the carrier asked for my credit card details so I’m not really sure what their concept of free is.
  • Police. National Police offices are located at T1 floor 1 in the check-in area and T4 floor 2 in the check-in area. Local Police is only at T4 floor 0 in the arrivals hall. Guardia Civil is at T2 floor 1 next to the boarding area D.