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The cheapest way to get from Madrid Airport to Madrid City Center

Radical Storage comes to the aid of all those who want to move from Madrid Airport to City Center but don’t know how to because it is their first time in the Spanish capital.

There are many travel options from the Airport to the Old Town, and they have different costs, so keep reading to find what is right for you.


Things you should know about Madrid Airport


✈️ The full name of Madrid Airport is “Adolfo Suárez de Madrid-Barajas” (IATA airport code: MAD).
🧭  It is located about 14 km northeast of Atocha Station.
⏳  On average, it takes 35 minutes to get from Madrid Airport to City Center.
🚕  Madrid-Barajas has several transportation options (both public & private): train, metro, bus, taxi, etc.
🏢  There are 4 terminals (T1, T2, T3, and T4).
🍴 Inside the airport, you will find a wide range of restaurants, bars, shops, and boutiques.


From Madrid Airport to Madrid City Center by train (the best option)

One of the most convenient ways to reach Madrid City Center is definitely by train (Line C-1 Renfe-Cercanìas). Madrid’s airport station is located at Terminal T4 on the -1 floor and connects you to Príncipe Pío’s train station in 40 minutes.

If you have not landed at Terminal T4, don’t worry because you can find free shuttles outside the airport that take you straight to the railway station. You still don’t have a ticket? You can buy it at the machines in the station!

Trains run every 30 minutes according to the following timetable:

  • Direction T4 Airport: from 06:02 AM to 11:33 PM.
  • Direction Principe Pio: from 05:56 AM to 22:25 PM.

Remember that when the metro stops working, trains run every 15-20 minutes.

Intermediate stops: Chamartìn, Nuevos Ministerios, Atocha (Madrid’s main station), and Mendez Alvaro.

Ticket prices

Train tickets from the Airport to the City Centre of Madrid and vice versa cost €2.6 (one way) and are valid up to two hours after purchase. The round-trip ticket costs €5.20 but must be used within the day after validation.

Transport from Madrid Airport to City Centre: metro station

The metro, together with the train, is one of the most comfortable connections to and from Madrid Airport and leads you to your destination in just over 20 minutes. You will find Line 8 at Terminal 4 (first floor) and Terminals 1 2 & 3 (also on the first floor).

Metro service starts at 6:00 AM and ends at 1:30 AM. During rush hour, trains run every 3 minutes. The metro takes you to the Nuevos Ministerios Station, located in the AZCA shopping area.

Prices

To get on the subway, you need a single ticket (for zone A). The minimum price is €4.5 for 5 stations and increases by 10 cents for each additional stop, so it can cost up to €5. If you already have a ticket for the urban route, to go to the airport or from Madrid Airport to the city centre, you will have to pay an extra €3.

Here you will find the map of the Madrid metro

Taxi from Madrid Airport to City Centre

Definitely, the fastest way to get to your hotel or Airbnb from Madrid airport is by taxi! Be careful, Spanish taxis are different from traditional ones. They are white with a small diagonal red stripe on the sides.

Madrid taxis have a limited capacity, in fact, they can fit up to 4 people with 3 pieces of luggage. If you are traveling with your family, then you will need to rent a minivan.

Taxis have some advantages: they allow you to reach your destination in a short time, they have air conditioning and are available 24/7. Moreover, the taxi driver can help you with your luggage and give you some useful information about the city.

Things to know before getting into a Spanish taxi

Well, the minimum price of a taxi ride from Madrid Airport to Madrid Center is €30. We strongly recommend booking online in advance so you won’t be overcharged. The fare may increase if you need to travel to an area outside the city ring.

When you get in the taxi, make sure that the meter is reset, so you don’t get ripped off! Also, remember that it’s not legal to charge a fee for extra luggage.

The cheapest way to and from Madrid Barajas Airport to the City Centre is the bus! 🚌

You can also travel from Madrid Airport to the City Centre by regular buses outside the lobby of all four terminals. The three lines that connect you to the City Centre are 101, 200 & 203 Express. You find 101 only at Terminals 1, 2, and 3, while 200 and 2003 Express reach all the terminals.

101 and 200 buses take more to get to Madrid City Centre since they reach intermediate stations. The only direct line to Atocha Station is 203 Express. The former options cost only €1.50, while the latter costs €5.

You can buy the ticket directly on board, but keep in mind that the driver only accepts €5 paid in cash.

Timetables and information Line 101

Line 101 connects Madrid’s terminals with the Área Intermodal de Canillejas. Stops:

  • T1 Ground Floor – Arrivals;
  • T1 First Floor – Departures;
  • T2 Ground Floor – Arrivals;
  • T2 Second Floor – Departures;
  • T3 Ground Floor – Arrivals.

From Área Intermodal de Canillejas, bus 101 runs from 06:00 AM to 11:45 PM from Monday to Saturday, and from 07:30 AM to 11:45 AM on Sundays and public holidays. From Barajas Airport, the bus leaves from 06:00 AM to 11:25 PM from Monday to Saturday, and from 07:30 to 11:25 on Sundays and holidays.

Timetables and information Line 200

Line 200 connects the Airport with Avenida de América, where you can take other trains to several districts of Madrid. Stops:

  • Terminal T1 Ground Floor – Arrivals
  • Terminal T1 First Floor – Departure
  • Terminal T2 Ground Floor – Arrivals
  • Terminal T2 Second Floor – Departure
  • Terminal T3 Ground Floor – Arrivals
  • Terminal T4 Ground Floor – Arrivals

From Avenida de América, the first bus leaves at 5:00 AM, and the last one at 11:30 PM. From Barajas Airport, the first bus leaves at 05:10 AM, while the last at 11:30 PM.

Timetables and information Line 203 Express

For those who are looking for quick access to the city centre, line 203 Express is the perfect solution: it connects the airport to Atocha station, just a few steps away from the city’s most famous museums, such as Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen.

The average journey time is 40 minutes, depending on city traffic. This line makes 5 stops within the airport area:

  • Terminal T1 Ground Floor – Arrivals
  • Terminal T1 First Floor – Departure
  • Terminal T2 Ground Floor – Arrivals
  • Terminal T2 Second Floor – Departure
  • Terminal T4 Ground Floor – Arrivals

The ticket costs €5 and you can purchase it on board. Luggage transport is free of charge. Please note: the driver only accepts max €20 in cash.

Note that Atocha Station is closed from 11:30 PM to 06:00 AM. At that time, Line 203 Express will stop at Plaza de Cibeles.

If you need a faster way to get to the city, you can rent one of the many Madrid Airport transfers!

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By Anna Maria Parente

Content manager and SEO copywriter at Radical Storage. She is interested in linguistics, illustration, and rock music.