Flights to Madrid and Barajas Airport Suggested Itineraries

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Madrid’s status as Spain’s capital of culture means that it’s quickly catching up with Paris and London as one of Europe’s most talked about city break destinations. On a practical level this means that there are an increasing number of flights to Madrid, and an increasing number of bargains to be had. The best place to start looking for cheap seats is the Internet, where reduced overheads allow national carriers to sell scheduled tickets for substantially less than their high street counterparts. The Web is also a great place to find last minute flights and compare highly competitive ‘no frills’ offers.

Once you’ve touched down in Madrid’s Barajas airport; you’ll have to think about how you’re going to make the 15km (9 mile) trek into the city centre. Because of the airport’s proximity to the capital, the obvious temptation is to jump into one of the cabs queuing up outside the terminal buildings. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that traffic is heavy at the best of times and taxi meters soon spiral out of control during the rush hour. On a good day the trip should take between 25 30 minutes and won’t cost more than €20. It is advisable to take a cab from the official stand and avoid the touts who hang about inside the terminal.

A much cheaper four wheeled option is to catch the airport bus, which leaves from outside the ‘arrivals’ area every 15 minutes during daylight hours. The airport bus terminates at Plaza de Colon and operates between 4.45 a.m. and 2.00 a.m. daily. If you’re hiring a car you’ll find the route well signposted.

The most economic option is to catch the Madrid Metro Subway, but unfortunately it’s also the slowest. The Metro departs from Terminal 2, and you’ll have to change trains at Mar de Cristal (on line 8). It might sound like a bit of a hassle, but if your hotel is situated close to a Metro station it could well be the best solution. The journey to central Madrid takes around 40 minutes and will costs just over €1.