This is quite an old airport, originally built in 1928, but it has undergone huge modifications with the building of Terminal 4, which is now one of the largest terminals in the world.
It was designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers, and opened in February 2006 to international acclaim. Incorporating careful illumination and large glass panes and domes, it is certainly one of the best-designed airport terminals around, and if you get the chance to travel through it you should take a moment to admire the architecture. That is if you are not hot, stressed and tired after your flight.
The airport is situated about nine miles away from the city of Madrid. To reach it, you should take the Madrid Line on the Metro to the Nuevos Ministerios station in the city, a journey which only takes about12 minutes and leaves you in the financial district. Alternatively, you could also take the Barajas Line to central Madrid from both Terminal 2 and Terminal 4.
If you would prefer to take a bus, EMT runs regular services to the city, taking you to the Avenida de América station. From Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, take the 200 from outside the baggage reclaim area, or from Terminal 4 take the 204 from the Arrivals area. If you decide to take a taxi from the Arrivals area of any of the terminals, then it should take about 30 minutes to arrive in the city.
There are two banks in the airport, including a 24-hour bank in Terminal 1. Added to this there are plenty of restaurants and cafés, and over 100 shops. Pharmacies, nurseries, first aid and a chapel are also on offer, making it pretty much cater for all requirements.
There is a free shuttle bus available to transfer passengers between terminals. Also, you may have to take the train to reach your boarding gate, but this is very clearly signed and will not take more than a few minutes. In fact, the whole airport is very efficiently designed, with large coloured signs dotted around clearly directing passengers to their gate areas, and stating how long the journey will take from any particular point.
Top 5 Madrid Airport Hotels:
- Hotel Melia Barajas – 4-Star Hotel – Double from €98
- Suites Kris Aeropuerto – Services Apartemnts – From €55
- Compostela Suites – Services Apartemnts – From €52
- Hotel Tryp Alameda Aeropuerto – 4-Star Hotel – Double from €95
- Hotel High Tech Madrid Aeropuerto – 4-Star Hotel – Double from €72
Photo of Madrid Airport’s Terminal 4 by marcp dmoz