Madrid’s international airport, the Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, is 12 kilometres (7 miles) east of the city.
There are four terminals: Terminals 1, 2 and 3 for Air Europa, Ryanair, easyJet and other members of Star Alliance and SkyTeam; and Terminal 4 for Iberia and Oneworld Alliance flights. T4 is accessible via free shuttle buses that leave from the other terminals. If your departure gate is in T4S, check-in at T4 and take the automatic train to the T4S building. Facilities include banks, hotel and rail reservation services, pharmacies, tourist information, left-luggage, post office, shops, places to eat, car hire and family rooms that include cots, microwaves and playing areas.
The Línea Exprés airport bus operates 24 hours a day and departs regularly from outside T1, T2 and T4 to Atocha-renfe train station in the city centre (journey time around 40 minutes). City bus no. 200 runs from 5am to 11:30pm from T1, T2, T3 and T4 to the Avenida de América transport hub. Taxis take at least 30 minutes. The Barajas metro link (line 8) (open from 6:05am to 1:30am), from T2 and T4 takes 12 minutes to Nuevos Ministerios, and the Cercanías (overground) train runs from T4 to Madrid’s main stations.
Madrid’s airport is served by all the major national and international airlines. There are regular flights within Spain with Vueling, Air Europa and Ryanair, while Iberia operates a shuttle service between Barcelona and Madrid with up to 30 flights a day. British Airways and Iberia are the main carriers from London Heathrow and London City, while there are flights with easyJet, Ryanair, Norwegian Air and Air Europa from Dublin, Liverpool, London Luton, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester.
There are also direct flights from national and low-cost airlines to most major European cities. From the US, American Airlines flies direct from New York, Miami and Dallas/Fort Worth; Delta flies direct from New York and Atlanta; Iberia flies direct from New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Charlotte, Boston, and Philadelphia. Qantas flies to Madrid from Australia and New Zealand via Dubai and other stopovers.
You can travel direct from France or Portugal. The national Spanish rail operator is renfe. Madrid’s main stations are Estación de Atocha in the south and Estación de Chamartín in the north. Both are connected via the metro. Buy tickets from stations, travel agents, over the phone or through the renfe website. Atocha serves trains from southern Spain and Portugal. The AVE terminal handles the trains to Seville, Málaga, Toledo, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Huesca, Albacete, Cordoba and Cuenca. Exchange facilities and shops are located at every station.
Chamartín serves trains from northwest Spain. The AVE train serves Madrid–Segovia–Valladolid, Palencia y León. Facilities here include money exchange, cafés, car hire, post office, tourist information, hotel reservations and a shopping centre.
There are three main bus and coach stations in Madrid. The largest and most important of these is the Estación de Méndez Álvaro, which is where travellers from France, Portugal and many of Spain’s major cities arrive via Eurolines. The Estación de Avenida de América is used mainly for services to towns and cities within the Comunidad de Madrid, and the smaller Estación de Conde de Casal provides services to a handful of major Spanish cities, as well as to Portugal.
You need two days to drive from the UK, either via the cross-Channel ferry or the Channel tunnel. A third option is the ferry to Bilbao or Santander, followed by a four-hour drive from Bilbao, or a five-hour drive from Santander. Traffic is likely on the outskirts of Madrid. Madrid is linked to the rest of Spain and Europe by autopistas (toll highways) and toll-free roads.
Metro trains run from 6am to 1:30am. The 12 lines are colour-coded but you need to know your destination and the name of the end station. Some station names have changed in 2018. For more information visit the Metro Madrid website. Renfe runs suburban rail services (cercanías) to towns around the city. The train service is connected at several points with the metro.
EMT buses run 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Bus route maps can be obtained from tourist offices (see Visitor Information) or can be downloaded from the website. Night buses known as buhos (owls) depart from Plaza de Cibeles and run every 20 to 35 minutes. Metrobus tickets are valid.
Driving in central Madrid, with its narrow streets and restricted on-street parking, is not recommended, however, there are various car hire services such as Avis, Budget and Hertz. If you choose to drive, use an official underground car park or designated pay-and-display area – green or blue lines indicate a limit of one or two hours. Illegally parked cars may be impounded and should be collected as soon as possible, since fines rise every hour.
City taxis are white with a diagonal red stripe and a green light on the roof. Tele and Radio Taxi may be hailed or hired at a taxi rank or by phone. Extra charges apply on Sundays, public holidays and at night. If you order a taxi by phone, the meter starts running from the moment the taxi arrives at your location.Cabify and Uber are also available.
Madrid is not a bicycle-friendly city, and has very few dedicated cycle lanes, although this is slowly improving. The city has introduced a bike-sharing system (electric ones, due to the steep city streets), BiciMAD, which has some 130 hire stations dotted around the city centre. Crash helmets must be worn on mopeds and motorcycles. Numerous companies provide moped rental, including Cooltra.
The historic centre is relatively compact and easy to explore on foot.
A Metrobus ticket, valid for 10 journeys, is the most economical way of getting around the city and costs €12.20. Stamp your ticket at the beginning of each journey. The Tourist Travel Pass is valid for up to 7-days and allows unlimited metro travel within Zone A and all EMT buses.Tickets and travel passes are available from newspaper kiosks, estancos (tobacconists) and metro stations. Single metro tickets cost €1.50.
913 21 10 00
912 32 03 20 (24 hours)
917 37 62 57
914 68 42 00
914 68 42 00
915 06 33 60
Metro Madrid (METRO)
917 79 63 99
EMT (local buses)
914 06 88 10
902 18 08 54
902 11 25 85
917 49 90 69
915 47 82 00
913 71 21 31