LivingTravelMadrid-Barajas International Airport Guide

Madrid-Barajas International Airport Guide

With more than 50 million passengers a year, Madrid-Barajas International Airport is the busiest national and international travel hub in Spain. With four passenger terminals served by dozens of airlines, the spacious and modern facility is the most important gateway between Spain and the rest of the world.

However, the sheer size of the Madrid airport can make it overwhelming, especially for first-time visitors. This guide will break down everything you need to know, so that your trip can go smoothly, so you can spend less time at the airport and more time enjoying Spain.

Madrid airport code, location and contact information

  • Airport Code : MAD
  • Location : The airport is located in the suburb of Barajas, nine kilometers (approximately five miles) outside of Madrid.
  • Website
  • Departure and arrival information
  • Map
  • Contact : (+34) 91 321 10 00

Know before you go

Madrid airport is large and busy, but overall efficient and generally easy to navigate. It has four passenger terminals, one of which (T3) is currently not in use as of June 2019. Terminals T1, T2 and T3 are located in the same building, but T4 (and its satellite terminal, T4S) are separated. A free shuttle bus connects the four main terminals and runs every five minutes during the day.

  • Terminal T1
    • Departures: first floor (in Europe, the “first floor” generally refers to the first story above ground level)
    • Arrivals: ground floor
    • airlines
  • Terminal T2
    • Departures: second floor
    • Arrivals: ground floor
    • airlines
  • Terminal T4
    • Departures: second floor
    • Arrivals: ground floor
    • airlines
  • Terminal T4S : If your flight departs or arrives at the satellite terminal of T4, you will check in (or collect your bags) from the main building of T4. T4S can only be accessed via a remotely controlled train called the Automatic People Mover (APM).

Madrid Airport Parking

Madrid airport has more than a dozen different parking options available, each at a different price depending on the location and the services offered. Short-term and long-term parking is available in all terminals, as are VIP options with valet services. Most parking spaces are in multi-story garages, but there are also some open-air parking lots (in which most spaces are covered). All parking options can be reserved in advance online.

Travel directions

Driving between the airport and the city center will take 20-30 minutes on the M40 motorway. Keep in mind that traffic in Madrid can be quite heavy at any time of the day, so give yourself a little extra time if you plan to drive to or from the airport.

Public transport and taxis

If you don’t have access to a car, don’t worry – getting to and from the airport is a breeze on public transportation.

  • Airport express bus : connects the airport with Madrid’s Atocha train station through Plaza de Cibeles. The total travel time lasts between 30 and 40 minutes on average. Luggage racks available. Tickets cost 5 euros and can only be purchased on the bus.
  • Cercanías (commuter train) : Line C1 travels between the Atocha train station and Terminal T4 (there are no other terminals, although you can always stop at T4 and take the free shuttle to your terminal) in less than 30 minutes. Tickets cost € 2.60 for a single trip and € 5.20 for a return trip, and can be purchased at the machines within any commuter station . The trip is free for passengers who have a long distance train ticket (AVE).
  • Metro : line 8 connects the airport with the Nuevos Ministerios station in Madrid proper. A general metro ticket, which can be purchased at the station’s machines, costs between € 1.50 and 2 euros depending on the distance, but all trips to the airport also include a supplement of 3 euros.
  • Taxis : all terminals have clearly marked taxi ranks outside. Madrid’s official taxis are white with a red diagonal stripe on the door.

Where to eat and drink

Madrid Airport is home to dozens of drinking and dining options. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed, sit-down experience or just want a drink, these are some of the best options.

  • La Bellota : Unfortunately, many countries will confiscate your Spanish acorn-fed Iberico ham once it arrives. Get your fix before you leave at this elegant venue with a menu focused entirely on Spain’s prized pork products. (Terminal T4, departures, second floor, public area)
  • Kirei by Kabuki – An offshoot of the famous Kabuki group (three of its five restaurants have a Michelin star), this luxurious Japanese-Mediterranean fusion spot is famous for its show cooking and custom-made sushi. (Terminal T1, departures, first floor, boarding area B)
  • MasQMenos – A modern beer and tapas place with a great selection of Spanish wines, this place offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that still feels classy and polished. (Terminal T4, departures, first floor, boarding area J)
  • Farine : Traditional French bakeries meet modern Spanish fare at this cute café, serving everything from delicious pastries to healthy, colorful salads. (Terminal T2, arrivals, ground floor, public area)
  • Mahou Sports Bar : the perfect place to enjoy one of life’s simplest pleasures while waiting for your flight: tapas and beer while watching sports on the big screen. (Terminal T2, departures, second floor, public area)

Where to buy

In addition to its standard duty-free shops, Madrid Airport offers many other options, from high-end luxury brands to quirky souvenir shops. Here are some highlights.

  • Official Real Madrid Team Store : Pick up a souvenir for the soccer fan in your life at this one-stop shop for all things Real Madrid. (Terminal T4, departures, first floor, boarding area J)
  • Thinking of Madrid : A colorful assortment of souvenirs from the Spanish capital, from books to food, works of art and more. (Terminal T1, departures, first floor, boarding area C)
  • Relay : Nothing is worse than boarding your flight and realizing that you don’t have any reading material, or that you forgot your headphones. Stock up on entertainment essentials here before you go. (Terminal T2, departures, second floor, public area)
  • Dodo : Beautiful but practical jewelry for men and women alike. Each piece contains a single gram of gold. (Terminal T4, departures, first floor, boarding area J)
  • Adolfo Domínguez : The Spanish fashion designer’s eponymous brand has been associated with class and style for more than 30 years. (Terminal T2, departures, first floor, boarding area D)

Airport lounges

Madrid airport offers six different lounges spread across all passenger terminals, including the T4S satellite terminal. Many, but not all, require passengers to be in possession of a boarding pass for a flight departing from that terminal to access the lounge.

The airport’s online lounge reservation service is not currently available, but passes can be purchased at the reception of each lounge on the day if space permits.

Wifi and charging stations

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport on the “AENA FREE WIFI AIRPORT” network. However, it can sometimes run a little slow. Many airport restaurants and cafes, such as Starbucks, offer their own public networks, which tend to work better.

The only designated charging stations are available in Terminal T4, but power outlets are available throughout the airport, including in coffee shops and restaurants.

Madrid airport tips and facts

  • The airport was the first in Spain and is the second largest in Europe in terms of size, behind the Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
  • Terminal T4, which opened in 2006, doubled the airport’s passenger capacity. Its characteristic design is courtesy of a team of architects led by Antonio Lamela.
  • If you want to relax or take a shower during your layover, the Air Rooms service in Terminal T4 offers almost two dozen clean and contemporary rooms available to rent for up to six hours during the day. Overnight stays are also available.

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