How to get from Madrid Airport to Madrid Centre
Madrid is awesome, and we are positive you will want to make the most of your stay in the Spanish capital until the last minute. Accomplishing that means making the best decisions with the transportation, and that endeavor starts at the airport. That’s why we bring you all the different formulas to go from the Adolfo Suárez Airport to the center of Madrid. From direct buses, through the subway, private services or digital platforms such as Uber, here you will find all possible ways to get from Madrid Airport to Madrid Centre. You decide which one is your favorite.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Traveling from the Airport to the centre of Madrid
Metro: Flying with the subway
Madrid takes price on its subway, which has the slogan “Metro de Madrid flies”. It is our first choice and, no doubt, one of the best. The estimated time from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios metro station, next to the Paseo de la Castellana, is only 15-17 minutes. This route allows you to reach quickly the center of the city and from there go anywhere else by walking or with the metro.
The price is 4.5 – 5 euros depending on your destination. The schedule is another of its virtues since the service runs from 6 AM until 1:30 AM. Remember that when we say that closes at 1:30 AM we mean that the lasts trains leave the last trains stop at that time, so depending on where you are, you still might have time. You better run!
For more information about the subway in Madrid check: www.metromadrid.es
Train: Keep on track!
Another good option to get from Madrid Airport to Madrid Centre is to travel by train. The C1 line that goes from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios is more expensive than metro, but more comfortable. The price of the train is 2.60 for a single ticket and 5.20 for a round trip. The train passes every 30 minutes and the time spent getting to the center will depend on where you are going: 11 minutes to Chamartín, 18 to Nuevos Ministerios, 25 minutes to the Atocha train station, 29 if you travel to Méndez Álvaro and 38 to the Príncipe Pio metro station.
For more information about train schedules check: www.renfe.com
Bus: Regular lines and Express Airport
The bus is a good and cheap option to get to the center of Madrid. There are regular lines that connect the Adolfo Suárez Airport with different points in Madrid center (line 101 and line 200).
There’s also a bus called “Express Airport” to get to the centric areas of Madrid. It usually takes 30 minutes from the first stop to the last one and passes every 15-20 minutes. The price of the regular ticket is 5 euros and it can be paid directly on the inside of the bus. The service line header is in the T4 terminal and during its route make stops at Terminal 2, Terminal 1, O’Donnell, Plaza de Cibeles and Estación de Atocha. It is more expensive than metro and train, but cheaper than the taxi and it takes you directly to Madrid. If you are willing to pay that extra cash, this is the best choice.
For more information about the Express Airport check: www.emtmadrid.es
Taxi: Getting a taxi at the airport
Taxi is the most comfortable option to get from Madrid Airport to Madrid Centre, yet the most expensive one. In Madrid there is a fixed fare from any point of the airport to the city, so the price will always be 30 euros if you go inside the inner circle of the highway M30. To take a taxi, you only must walk to the door of your terminal. There is the taxi stop, where all the taxi drivers are parked, waiting for customers. Depending on the time of the day and the number of available taxis, you will have to queue for a while. Getting to Plaza del Sol, Cibeles or Atocha can be around 15-20 minutes depending on the time of the day and the traffic. As with the other options of this list, it is important that you value time, money, comfort and if you are in a hurry. In that case, a taxi can be very useful.
Private car: Smartphone travelling
The new technologies give us the chance of booking the trip from the airport to the city with our smartphones. There are several apps for hiring a private car, among which Uber or Cabify stand out in the Spanish capital. According to this companies, the price up to Cibeles will cost you around 25 euros. The great advantages provided by these platforms is to know how much the trip will cost you before doing it, a slightly more personalized service, knowing the location of your driver before his or her arrival and the fact that pay the service directly from your mobile phone.
Rent a car
If you are planning a trip that will take out of Madrid at any point, we recommend you to rent a car. The airport is full of different choices for getting a brand-new car just for a couple of days. It can be useful if you want to travel around the Madrid surroundings, the “sierra” (highlands) or visiting other cities. If you plan to stay in Madrid the whole time, we wouldn’t recommend it for many reasons. Parking the car in Madrid is difficult and very expensive. It doesn’t matter if you park it in the street or in a private parking: it’s going to cost you. In Madrid there are green zones, allowing residents only to park there, while Blue zone is for the rest of the people. In both cases you will have to go to the parking meter every two hours to charge more money. So, unless it is strictly necessary, we recommend you the other options to get from Madrid Airport to Madrid Centre.
And how about the other way around?
We have talked about going from the airport to the city, but it’s also important to know the other way around: from Madrid to the airport. The Madrid airport has three terminals, so before going anywhere you should make sure which one you need to go. If you are going to travel from terminals 1, 2 or 3 you can get there by bus, with the line 101 that connects Barajas Airport with the urban area of Canillejas. Certainly it´s the most economical option, only 1.5 euros, and the ticket can be purchased on the bus.
On the other hand, if you want to go by train you can always take the express line or line 203 from the Atocha Train Station to the airport, and vice versa. Although the service is open 24 hours, 365 days a year with a frequency of 15-20 minutes, the Atocha-RENFE stop is not operational between 11:30 PM and 6:00 AM. That’s the reason the line starts in the Plaza de la Cibeles during this period, if your destination is to return to Adolfo Suarez Airport.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to go from the airport to the city. Our final recommendation? Metro. Basically, because you will take it later anyway when you move around the city, so the sooner you get acquainted with it, the better.