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A Short Guide to Madrid Airport

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

If you are heading to Madrid this fall, then it is likely that you will end up travelling through Madrid Barajas Airport.

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.

Transport Links

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.

Airport Facilities

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:

Photo of Madrid Airport’s Terminal 4 by marcp dmoz

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer jon france

Jon has travelled widely across Europe, and is always keen to share the hidden gems he has discovered whilst on the road. He is a freelance writer specialising in travel writing, and his dream destination is Madagasgar.

3 responses to “A Short Guide to Madrid Airport”

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  1. Renny Amundsen says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 23:06

    You know I love to read about your experience and travel tips. Now, maybe I have a chance to return the favour:

    Could I tempt you to consider meeting me and other bloggers around the world in Oslo, Norway next year?

  2. Kelly Bodine says:
    October 20th, 2010 at 04:32

    If you’re traveling to this airport from downtown Madrid via the clean/brightly colored/did I say clean? subway make sure you allow at least 30-40 minutes and know which terminal you are leaving from.

    The subway has two stops at the airport. One stop is for Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and the final stop is for Terminal 4. Unfortunately there is virtually no signage in the subway indicating which airlines fly from which terminals. If you’re running late and don’t know which terminal you’re flying from this could cost you your flight.

    If you’re flying out of one of the smaller carriers, ie Easy Jet, you’ll get off at the first stop labeled Terminal 1,2 or 3. Bigger carriers, ie Iberia or American Airlines, both fly out of Terminal 4.

    If you’re flying into Madrid and land at Terminal 4 allow plenty of time for customs and connections if you’re traveling to another destination. We gave ourselves 2 hours and if our connecting flight out of Terminals 1, 2 & 3 had not been late we’d have missed our connection.

    Hope this helps someone! ;)

  3. Kelly Bodine says:
    October 20th, 2010 at 04:39

    I forgot to add that the subway charges a supplementary fee to take you to the airport. Subway tickets are 1 euro, supplementary tickets are also 1 euro. If you don’t pay the supplementary fee at the time you board you’ll have to pay it before you can exit into the airport.

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