How to get from Madrid Airport to city center (All Possible Ways)

Last updated on September 3rd, 2021 at 03:19 am

how to get to Madrid city center from the airport

Planning to visit Spain and Madrid for your first time? How to get from Madrid airport to city center 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.

Read here how to get from Madrid airport to Toledo, Madrid airport to Avila, best places to visit in Madrid, Spain sim card for tourist, Madrid itinerary, Madrid Instagram Spots and where to stay in Madrid!

Read here Spain travel tips, Instagrammable places in Spain, Budget travel in Spain, Most Instagrammable places in Barcelona and how to get from Madrid airport to Segovia, Madrid airport to Salamanca and Madrid to Segovia.


How to get from Madrid Airport to City

1. Metro from Madrid airport to city center

Madrid Airport to city center Metro

There are two ways to go by metro from Madrid airport to city center. 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 €3 and you can buy them from metro machines with cash or credit card.

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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 €3 for the metro card, €3 will be added for your fare from Madrid airport to 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 €8. But you will be able to use the metro card while visiting Madrid adding more credits. The metro starts at 6 am until 1 30 am.

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.

Remember total price is €8 for one way ticket. It will be worth it as I mentioned if you will use the Madrid Metro card in the city next days. Anyway you should purchase €3 metro card and top up. Maybe you can find your Metro Card for free in information if they are promoting Metro campaigns (but don’t trust on this).

2. Madrid Airport Bus (Madrid Airport Express Bus)

Madrid Airport Bus (Madrid Airport Express Bus)
Image from Wikipedia

If you want to go from Madrid airport by bus. The Madrid Airport Express Bus 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. Starting in Terminal 4, Terminal 2, Terminal 1, O’Donell (already Madrid city center), Cibeles and Atocha Train Station (only during the day and not stopping at night). Click here to check schedule and prices!

Madrid Airport Bus (Madrid Airport Express Bus) schedule

Take note of this 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 only payment in cash. 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 regular buses from EMT going to the airport from Canillejas and Avenida América de Madrid.

The best thing about the bus is flat rate €5 and it’s 24 hours leaving every 20 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes at night from the airport. Remember you have to pay in cash to the driver. There are ATM’s available for this in Barajas Airport.

3. By Taxi Madrid Airport

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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 by taxi Madrid airport to city center. So it would be best to have someone to share the ride with. It’s fixed price from 2019 (will update for sure when changing) and again is €30 read below I’m taxi driver in Madrid. 

Madrid Taxi Airport

Here’s a fun fact: I was actually a taxi driver in Madrid (see the picture above) 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!

The best thing by taxi is so comfortable and you will not have to be worried of anything until you get to your hotel or Airbnb in Madrid. It can be expensive but if there are 2-3 of you totally worth it the comfort. If you are on a budget keep reading the other options which are cheaper.

Read here where to go in Madrid city center: Temple of Debod, Sabatini Gardens, Retiro Park and San Miguel Market.

4. Getting to Atocha Train Station (Cheapest Way)

Madrid Train Renfe Airport

If you want to go from Madrid airport to Atocha Train Station by train is the cheapest way. 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 Atocha Train Station and Sol in Madrid city center can last 30 minutes on Train Cercanías. There are also stops in Chanmartin, Nuevos Ministerios, 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.

Madrid Train Renfe Airport

The ticket costs €2.60 (last time I did was July 2020 and still same price) to and from the city center and €0.50 cents for the card that you can use in the future if you stay in Madrid. If you are coming from AVE (High Speed Train) the train ticket will be free since it’s included in the High Speed 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.

The best thing is that train is really comfortable if you go to Atocha Train Station plus is cheaper price. Maybe you will catch a train to Valencia, Barcelona, Malaga or Sevilla so can be the best option for you. But it can be tricky since is only going to Terminal 4 and not to Terminal 2 (mostly domestic and European flights) and Terminal 1 (mostly international flights). There is a Transit Bus for free connecting Terminal 4 (the one is farther) with Terminal 3, 2 and 1 in Barajas Airport.

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

5. Car Rental at Madrid Airport

Car Rental at Madrid Airport
Image from Madrid-Atocha

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.

Car rental option can be great if you are traveling with a few people or a lot of luggage and planning to visit places around like Toledo and Segovia. Make sure you have parking place in your hotel or Airbnb since sometimes can be so challenging in Madrid city center.

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.

Click here to get your discount booking online your private transfer with Klook!

For sure private transportation will be so comfortable same like taxi, they will wait for you and drive to your final destination without you worrying of anything!

Best Way From Madrid Airport To Downtown

The best way from Madrid airport to downtown obviously if we talk about comfort by taxi or airport transfer. In my opinion quality price I would say the best way from Madrid airport to city center by train is only 30 minutes and is the cheapest from 6 am to 11 pm. If you are getting to Madrid at night time you will have the Airport Express Buss 24 hours for €5 and it will take 30-40 minutes. Read here Madrid Atocha to airport.

Where to stay in Madrid

For accommodation in Madrid prices can start from €15 in a dorm room in the city center. If you are looking for mid budget you can get deals for€50 and you will find luxury hotels for€150. 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!


Budget Travel in Spain tapas

You can spend €5-10 in food for a meal. You can try for a street food named bocadillo it is a sandwich made with Spanish bread and the cost would be €1.50 you can pair it with coffee or tea for €1.30. You can also try churros, did you know that churros originated in Spain, you can find churros at breakfast time.

There are beer and free tapas especially in Andalucia where you can get your beer and small snack for €2. If you want to have dinner in a fine restaurant it will cost you €10-20.

Click here to get a discount with Klook for tours in Madrid and around!


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Spain has four lovely season, and loveliest which are spring and fall. In these periods it is considered the best time to visit Spain. Summer might get too hot and winter might get to cold. So from the months of March to May is where Spring falls.

And Fall is on the month of September to November. The season of Spring and Fall is the best time to visit because of its filled with sunshine and tourist will be delighted to stay in the country.

Click here to know more about the weather in Spain.


Euro is one of the most known and important currencies all over the world. €1 is equivalent to $1.16. ATM’s in Spain is used more often to buy stuff rather to have cash on hand. You can pay with card almost everywhere bars, hotels and supermarkets.

Click here to know the exchange rate between Euro and your currency!

Hope you liked our travel guide how to get from Madrid airport to city center. Which one would you like more? Madrid airport by bus or the easiest by taxi from Madrid airport, metro from Madrid airport to city center? Let us know in the comments below

So, once you manage to get to Madrid city center from the airport, make sure you enjoy 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. Now based in the Philippines!

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