Expansion at Barajas, Madrid's airport, means that it will be capable of processing up to 700 million visitors and Madrileños a year. The strong of stomach can take long-distance coach services or the trains that run from France, Catalonia and northern Spain, while high-speed AVE trains connect Madrid to Lisbon and the southerly part of the Iberian peninsula.
Madrid's Barajas Airport is 13km (8 miles) north-east of the city on the A2 motorway. Thanks to the new Richard Rogers-designed terminal T4, the airport capacity is expected to reach 700 million passengers per year. All airlines that are members of the OneWorld network (including BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus and American Airlines) will share T4 for national and international flights.
All other traffic is distributed between three existing terminals: non-Spanish airlines and flights on Spanish airlines from non-Schengen-area countries (such as the UK and USA) use T1; domestic flights and Spanish airline flights from Schengen countries use T2; some local flights and the Madrid-Barcelona air shuttle use T3. In T1 and T2 there are 24-hour exchange facilities, ATM machines and hotel booking desks. There is a tourist office and rail reservations desk in T1, two tourist offices in T4.
For airport information, call 902 35 35 70 or 91 393 60 00, or check www.aena.es, which has updated flight info. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day.
By aiport shuttle
Aerocity (91 747 75 70/www.aerocity.com) provides shuttle services between the airport and city-centre hotels. Handy for small groups and cheaper than taking several taxis. Prices (€17-€38) depend on size of group (from one to seven), the location of the hotel (city centre or outskirts) and the number of pieces of luggage in some cases. The company has two reservation desks at the airport (arrivals at T1 and T2 and T4); phonelines are open 24hrs.
Line 200 bus service runs between T1, T2 and T3 and Avenida de América (information 91 406 88 10), while Line 204 runs to T4. Both take between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on the traffic. There are two stops en route. First buses of the day leave Avda de América and Barajas at 6am; they run every 12mins, 6am-11.30pm. A single ticket costs €1. The airport buses are accessible to wheelchairs.
The metro is the cheapest way to get to central Madrid. Bear in mind that the Aeropuerto metro station is between T2 and T3, which means that if, as is very likely, you arrive at T1, you have a 10-15min walk to get there. From T4, take the shuttle to T2 (allow 20mins in total). From the airport it's four stops on metro line 8 (pink) and 12mins to Nuevos Ministerios. On outward journeys, if you are flying with Iberia, Alitalia and some other airlines you can also check in here. From Nuevos Ministerios it's around another 15mins into the centre of Madrid. You can save money by buying a Metrobús ticket at the airport station.
Taxi fares to central Madrid should be around €19-€22 (depending on the traffic), including a €5 airport supplement (no luggage supplement). There are further supplements after 10pm and on Sundays (for both, 18¢ per km). There are lots of taxis at Barajas, but ignore any drivers who approach you inside the building, just use the ones at the ranks outside the terminal. Check the meter is at the current minimum fare (€1.85) when you begin the journey; it's a good idea to check a map first, and to have a landmark in mind in the area to which you are going.
Aer Lingus 902 50 27 37/www.aerlingus.com.
Air Europa 902 40 15 01/www.air-europa.com.
American Airlines 902 11 55 75/www.aa.com.
British Airways 902 11 13 33/www.british-airways.com.
easyJet 902 29 99 92/www.easyjet.com.
Iberia 902 40 05 00/www.iberia.com.
Almost all international and long-distance coach services to Madrid terminate at the Estación Sur de Autobuses, C/Méndez Álvaro to the south of central Madrid (information 91 468 42 00, 91 468 45 11 from 6.30am to midnight; bus companies also have their own information lines). It's next to metro (line 6) and cercanía (local train lines C5, C7 and C10) stations, both also called Méndez Álvaro. Bus 148 also runs from there to the city centre (Plaza del Callao and Plaza de España). Taxi fares from the bus station carry a €2.50 supplement.
Spanish national railways (RENFE) has two main stations in Madrid. Trains from France, Catalonia and northern Spain arrive at Chamartín, on the north side of the city, some distance from the centre. High-speed AVE trains from Andalucía and Valencia, express services from Lisbon and trains from southern and eastern Spain arrive at Atocha, at the southern end of the Paseo del Prado. There are exchange facilities at both stations, and a tourist office at Chamartín. Atocha is also the main hub of RENFE's local rail lines (cercanías) for the Madrid area.
Metro line 10 is the fastest from Chamartín to the city centre, and Atocha RENFE (the train station; not the same metro as Atocha) is four metro stops from Sol on line 1. A taxi fare to the centre from Chamartín should be around €13, including a €2.50 station supplement. There are extra supplements at night and on Sundays (18¢ per km). The same need for caution with cabs at the airport applies to drivers touting for fares at main rail stations.
902 24 02 02/www.renfe.es. Open Information 24hrs daily. Reservations 5am-10.30pm daily.
Estación de Atocha
Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V (Renfe information 914 68 83 32). Metro Atocha Renfe, Salamanca & the Retiro.
Estación de Chamartín
C/Agustín de Foxá, Chamartín. Metro Chamartín.
While every effort and care has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors it may contain. Before you go out of your way, we strongly advise you to phone ahead and check the particulars.
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