How to get to Madrid city center from the airport

Last updated on September 23rd, 2018 at 05:36 pm

Planning to visit Spain and Madrid for your first time? How to get to Madrid city center from the airport is easy and cheap. If you are coming for the first time to Madrid, the capital of Spain, you will land in Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport which is well-connected to the city center. It is only 13 kilometers away and you can reach Madrid in 20-30 minutes by public transportation.

If you are looking for the cheapest (and easiest) way how to get to Madrid city center from the airport, you can use the metro, Renfe Cercanías, or take the Airport Express bus. But if you are looking for a more comfortable way to travel, we also listed other options like taxi, car rental and private transfers from your hotel.

How to get to Madrid City Center from the airport by Public transportation

1. By Metro

There are two ways to go by metro from the airport. One of them is from the airport’s Terminal 1, 2 and 3, and the other option is from Terminal 4.

If you want to use Madrid’s metro, the first thing you have to do is buy a metro card to move around Madrid. The card costs €2.50 and you can buy them from metro machines with cash or credit card.

How to get to Madrid city center from the airport

Once you buy your card, you then have to add credits to the card to go around the city center or other destination in Madrid that you are planning to visit. Aside from the initial €2.50 for the card, €3 will be added for your fare from the airport to the city center along with the extra €2  to go around Madrid. Basically, if you want to get to Madrid from the airport using the metro, it will cost you €7.50 but you will be able to use the metro card while visiting Madrid adding more credits.

Madrid city center is well located in metro maps so it would be easy to go there. If you’re headed to Puerta del Sol, the main center of Madrid, you have to transfer in Nuevos Ministerios and get into Line 10 heading to Puerta del Sur. There are other metro stations in the city center apart from Puerta del Sol. You can check the stations and schedules in Metro de Madrid’s website.

2. By Bus

Airport Express leaves from Terminal 4 and makes stops at Terminal 1, 2 and 3 of Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport. Buses runs every 13-20 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes at night. From 11:30 PM-6 AM, the bus will make stops in Cibeles instead of the Atocha train station.

The bus travels to Cibeles and Atocha, with the ride lasting 40 minutes and costing €5. Cibeles is located in the city center and has buses that connect with most of the points of interest in the city. Atocha is the main train station in Madrid and it has great connections for long distance  travel to areas like Toledo and Segovia.

There are also buses from EMT going to the airport from Canillejas and Avenida América de Madrid.

3. By Taxi

As you guys know, riding a taxi is for sure the most comfortable way to get to Madrid city center from the airport. There is a fixed price of €30 from the airport to the city center, so it would be best to have someone to share the ride with. Here’s a fun fact: I was actually a taxi driver in Madrid before I started traveling the world and meeting Rachel. This was my job until we started our travel blog in November 2015. Would you believe that? Cool, right?

Anyway, as I was saying, a taxi ride from Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport to the city center lasts 20-30 minutes on a taxi. These vehicles are available 24/7 and accept both cash and credit cards. Very convenient, indeed!

4. By Train Cercanías

Going by Renfe Cercanías of Madrid is another great choice for you to get Madrid city center from the airport, especially if arriving in Terminal 4 of the airport. The journey from the airport to Puerta del Sol in Madrid city center can last 30 minutes on Train Cercanías. There are also stops in Chanmartin, Nuevos Ministerios, Atocha, Príncipe Pío and finally heads to the main bus station in Madrid: Méndez Álvaro. This is the ideal place to take a bus to other destinations in Spain like Seville.

The ticket costs €2.60 to and from the city center and €5.20 if you take a long distance train.

The train runs every 15-20 minutes, with the first train departing at around 6 AM and the last train leaving at 11 PM.

How to get to Madrid city center from the airport by Private Transportation

5. Car Rental at Madrid Airport

There are many options for renting a car in Madrid’s airport. It’s the most convenient option if you have a place to park your car in Madrid. It will take you 20-30 minutes to get to Madrid city center from the airport with a private car. There are a few agencies like Hertz, Avis, Centauro available in the airport.

One inconvenience I notice about renting a car in Madrid is getting stressed out with the traffic and finding parking. In my opinion, it’s still best to use public transportation from the airport to the city center so you won’t have to worry about these things.

6. Private Transportation from the airport to your hotel

Hotel transfers are also very easy and convenient but can be a little bit pricey. The transfers are usually available 24 hours and is only ideal if you have the budget and you really want comfort after your flight to Madrid.

Need accommodation in Madrid?

There are great deals starting from €30 in Airbnb close to the city center. Read below for more options:

Click here you can get $30 USD off your first booking with AirBnB when you sign up with us!

Click here to get the best deals in Madrid with Booking and Agoda!

So, once you manage to get to Madrid city center from the airport, make sure you read all the things to do in Madrid like eating tapas, visiting museums, going on road trips and much more in our full travel guide. More cool places to visit in Europe, check our travel guide to Nice!

Happy travels!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. He believes in travel without money. Recently, he finished a bicycle trip, 9500 km, from Madrid to North Cape.

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