Adolfo Suárez Madrid – Barajas Airport (T1)

Madrid, ES


Getting around the airport

Four terminals, with shuttles

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport lies 13km north-east of the city centre, and is Europe's largest airport (together with Paris-Charles de Gaulle). It's a busy airport with four terminals (1-4), plus a satellite terminal (4S) over 2km away.

  • Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are connected in one building and have continuous gate numbers (A1 to E89)
  • Terminals 4 and 4S are in huge, separate buildings and have separately numbered gates (H, J, K in Terminal 4 and M, R, S, U in Terminal 4S)

Distances can be long, so leave plenty of time to get your flight, and note that seating is limited.

Handy colour coding

To make it easier to navigate the airport, direction signs, within the airport and on the approach road to Terminals 1, 2 and 3, are colour-coded:

  • Terminal 1: orange
  • Terminal 2: green
  • Terminal 3: red

Shuttle bus to Terminal 4

To get from Terminals 1-3 to Terminal 4, take the free shuttle bus. This runs 24 hours a day from outside Arrivals and Departures. Journey time is around 15 minutes from Terminal 1 to 4. It also travels to the low-cost car park.

Shuttle train to Terminal 4S

Take the driverless, underground shuttle train to get from Terminal 4 to Terminal 4S: a distance over 2km. It runs every three minutes and the journey takes 10 minutes. 

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Getting into Madrid

Efficient underground connections

Madrid airport lies 12km north-east of the city centre. There are plenty of travel options, but the RENFE train is the best option for Terminal 4, as it's cheap, direct and comfortable: in fact cheaper and faster than the metro. For Terminals 1/2 it may be easier to take the metro, as there's a station serving these terminals. 

Watch out for pickpockets in stations and trains.


The Spanish railway company, RENFE, takes you into the city on the Cercanías Line (C1) from Terminal 4, Floor 1.

Trains leave every 30 minutes or so and run from 05:58 to 22:27. The journey takes 11 mins to Chamartín Station (north of the city), 18 mins to Nuevos Ministerios (city centre), 25 mins to Atocha (south of the city, for AVE high-speed trains), 29 mins to Méndez Álvaro and around 40 mins to last stop, Príncipe Pío.

Cost: EUR 2.60 one-way, EUR 5.20 return 
Buying tickets: Machines in the stations (cash and card)
Location: 'Aeropuerto T4' station, Terminal 4, Floor -1 (free shuttle buses run to other terminals, and the metro goes to Terminals 1/2 – but you'll have to buy another ticket)


Line 8 (pink) metro takes you to to Nuevos Ministerios in the heart of the financial district in 15 minutes. You can then change to line 10 or 6 if you need to. Trains leave every five to 15 minutes from 06:05-01:30.

Cost: EUR 6 (including EUR 3 airport supplement)
Buying tickets: Machines in the stations (cash and card)
Location: Stations at Terminal 2 (Level 0) and Terminal 4 (Level -1) 

Tip: It may be worth buying the Madrid Tourist Travel Pass at EUR 8.40 for a day in Zone A (including airport). Or, if you think you'll use public transport during your stay, you can save by buying a 10-journey 'Metrobus' ticket for EUR 18.30 at 'estanco' kiosks or stations, which covers buses too. 


There is now a fixed rate to the city centre (inside the Calle 30 ring road), so don't pay more than that. Walk past anyone offering you a taxi in the terminal building and head to the official ranks outside. Official taxis are white with a red stripe and the coat-of-arms of Madrid City Council on the doors. 

Cost: EUR 30 fixed rate for distances under 10km (a minimum of EUR 20 for any journey)
Location: Taxi ranks can be found on all Terminals;

Terminal 1, Floor 0, Arrivals Area

Terminal 1, Floor 1, Departures Area

Terminal 2, Floor 0, Arrivals Area

Terminal 2, Floor 2, Departures Area

Terminal 3, Floor 0, Departures Area

Terminal 4, Floor 0, Arrivals Area

Terminal 4, Floor 2, Departures Area

  Bus The bright yellow Exprés Aeropuerto (Airport Express shuttle bus) is a good option if you arrive late at night and the Metro isn't running. It runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and journey time is 40 minutes to Terminal 4 (less to other terminals). Buses leave every 15 minutes during the day (06:00-23:30) and every 35 minutes at night, stopping at three points:
  • Calle O’Donnell (connect with Metro Line 6 and city bus services)
  • Plaza Cibeles (Metro Line 2, city buses and night buses)
  • Atocha mainline station (Metro Line 1, city buses, and suburban, long distance and high speed trains)
Note that it only stops at Plaza Cibeles at night. Cost: EUR 4.50 one-way plus the ticket supplement which costs EUR 1.50 for trips up to 5 stations, EUR 0.10 for 6-9 stations and EUR 2.00 for 10 stations or more.
Buying tickets: In cash on the bus (only EUR 20 notes or smaller)
Location: Outside Arrivals at Terminals 1, 2 and 4
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Go to gates early

There can be long walks

Your boarding pass will show three letters signifying areas of the airport, like HJK, meaning your flight could arrive at any one of these three separate areas. Gates are only displayed and not announced over tannoy, so keep an eye on those screens.

Finally, Madrid Airport is huge, so leave at least 25-30 minutes to take the shuttle or walk to your gate.

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Medical centres

No appointment required

Madrid Airport offers three 24-hour medical centres.

Terminal 2, Arrivals, before security, Floor 0
Terminal 4, Arrivals, before security, Floor 0
Terminal 4S, boarding area M, after security, Floor 0 

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Espression Lavazza

Decent espresso in nice surroundings

There aren't too many good food options in Terminal 1. Espression Lavazza is pretty reliable though, and serves decent coffee, sweet treats and savoury snacks. There are three cafés in Terminal 1.

Locations (Terminal 1):
Before security, Floor 2, Public Zone (open 24 hours)
After security, departures level, Floor 1, Boarding Area B (open 07:10 to 20:40)
After security, departures level, Floor 1, Boarding Area C (open 05:10 to 21:40)

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Only one, but a good one

The only lounge in Terminal 1 is 'Sala VIP' Cebeles Lounge. Reserved for non-Schengen flights, it offers food and drinks, newspapers, Wi-Fi, relaxation area, showers and other services.

Location: Terminal 1, after security, departures, second floor, between gates B26 and B29
Cost: EUR 26.50 (free for Priority Pass membership)
Opening hours: 24 hours   

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Save on your car rental

Lowest price guaranteed

Car rental companies are all located on Floor 0 of Terminal 1:

Opening hours: 07:00-02:00 

Opening hours: 07:00-02:00

Opening hours: 07:00-01:00 

Opening hours: 07:00-02:00 

Opening hours: 07:00-01:00 

Opening hours: 07:00-01:00 

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Spanish origin guaranteed

If it’s Spanish Protected Designation of Origin products you’re searching for, Sibarium should be your first stop. Local and artisanal ham, cheese, wine, and sweets are just some of the tasty treats you’ll find here.

Terminal 1, after security, 1st floor Departures, Boarding Area B
Opening hours: 07:40-23:20

Terminal 2, after security, 1st floor Departures, Boarding Area D
Opening hours: 05:00-21:00 

Terminal 4, after security, 1st floor Departures, Boarding Area J
Opening hours: 06:15-22:15

Terminal 4S, after security, 1st floor Departures, Boarding Area R
Hours: 07:50-23:30

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Luggage storage

Keep your bags safe

Madrid Airport has two luggage storage areas, in Terminals 1 and 4, provided by the Excess Baggage Company. There are also plastic-wrapping machines in the departure areas of Terminals 1, 2 and 4, provided by the company BagWrap.

For a piece of luggage smaller than 210cm, storage costs:

0-2hrs, EUR 6 
2-24hrs, EUR 10
24hrs+, EUR 10/day

There are reduced rates when storing luggage over seven days: 
7-14 days, EUR 7.14/day (EUR 50/week)
14 days+, EUR 4.29/day (EUR30/week)

Terminal 1, before security, in front of baggage claim 2, in the garden area, Floor 0
(This office services Terminals 1-3)
Terminal 4, before security, arrivals hall, Floor 0

Opening hours: 24 hours 

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In the lounge only

Unfortunately, there are no showers in Terminal 3. In Terminal one, you'll only find showers in the Sala VIP Cibeles Lounge.

Location: Terminal 1, after security, by Gates 26-29
Cost: EUR 26 for lounge access (or use a Priority Pass card)
Opening hours: 24 hours  

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How to get a VAT refund

In Terminals 1, 4, 4S

Madrid Airport has three offices which will stamp your goods to ensure you pay no VAT on goods you’ve bought in the EU.

Terminal 1, Departures, after security, Floor 1
Opening hours: 07:00-22:30

Terminal 4, Departures, after security, Floor 2 
Opening hours: 07:00-22:30

Terminal 4S, boarding area, after security, Floor 2
Opening hours: 24 hrs 

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Power outlets


The airport offers around 80 USB points to connect your phone or tablet, scattered around all the terminals of the airport.

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