How to get from Madrid Airport to the city centre
The Madrid airport has great public transport connections that take you to the city centre in less than 30 minutes. But the premium private chauffeurs are surprisingly cheap compared to the regular taxis. This way you may be able to avoid the long taxi queues completely. If you have a long connection between your flights, you can venture from Madrid airport to city centre, enjoy great tapas and wine or cervesas under the Spanish sun before heading back for your connecting flight. You can also leave your hand luggage at the airport if you wish. Luggage storage is available in terminals 1, 2 and 4. If you are looking for ideas on what to do in Madrid, have a look here! Next, I will tell you how to get from Madrid airport to city centre in no time.
Airport transfer with private car service
Madrid’s private car service can be very affordable, especially if you share a minibus with other passengers. It will also be one of the most convenient ways to get to the city centre from the Madrid airport. The driver will meet you in the arrivals hall and help you with your luggage. And as you can get a premium car service for just couple of euros extra, it makes far more sense to forget the taxi queues and ride comfortably in style. Booking a private car in advance makes even more sense, if you have tons of luggage. As the driver will help you with everything, all you need to do is to wheel your bags into the arrivals hall. The drivers usually speak English too.
How much is the taxi from the Madrid airport to the city centre?
The taxis in Madrid are still quite reasonably priced. They all have meters. The taxi ride from the Madrid airport to the city centre should cost around 30 euros. It’s good to check your meter is reset when you jump in the cab. The taxis run 24 hours a day.
- Fare: fixed 30€ price to the city centre
- Location: Outside of each terminal
Taxi apps in Spain
Is there Uber in Madrid?
In 2016 Uber in Madrid launched again and still operates in there in 2017. This new strategy that enabled Uber Madrid to re-launch its services in the capital city of Spain has brought an end to a country-wide ban. How did Uber Madrid achieve its goal to return to serve the passengers of the Spanish capital? Through compliance. Unlike in many other destinations, where Uber chooses to pay for the fines handed out to drivers after getting caught, the taxi company has chosen another route to follow in Madrid. For the time being, Madrid’s passengers are only able to book professional and licensed taxi drivers through the UberX service. However, in the summer of 2017, the city of Madrid has requested Spain’s anti-trust watchdog to investigate the fairness of the Uber Madrid airport service. At the moment Uber cannot really compete with price in Spain due to using high spec cars but the convenience of using the globally known app is something many of us have relied on for years. The future of Uber’s transfer from Madrid airport to the city centre is still under scrutiny.
Like in many other destinations Uber has expanded in, also Mardid has had their share of strikes and demonstrations against this Silicon Valley vigilante. In 2014 Uber was forced out of Madrid as a result of pressure from the local taxi companies. This is nothing unheard of in the digital age where new San Francisco digital companies batter the traditional industries, such as transport and accommodation. Recently Italy not only banned Uber but also similar apps that could be used to book rides. Since 2016, the more expensive service, UberX has been in operation in Madrid.
From Madrid airport to city with My Taxi app
The idea of the My Taxi app is very similar to Uber’s. You just download an app, type in your destination and either let the app identify your current location or type it in manually. Usually My Taxi works well if you are on a big road at the time of the booking. I don’t see a problem booking a transfer from the Madrid airport to ciry centre with My Taxi. Besides the typical chasing of the driver and looking for that right licence number plate out of a hundred identical taxis. If you have lots of luggage with you, you may want to choose a private car and book it in advance. This will save you all the trouble of chasing your car with your suitcases and dreading that your phone battery will die before you find your taxi from the Madrid airport.
We have found that unfortunately it’s too easy for the driver to cancel your trip or not pick you up at all. Once at 3 am we were only able to get a My Taxi to pick us up when we had accidentally selected a wrong destination from the list. The driver thought we needed to get to the airport, whereas we only needed a 10 minute drive this time around. We have also had problems booking a taxi to pick us up from smaller side streets. We just don’t get anyone to accept us as passengers. But once we walk for five minutes to a bigger road, all of a sudden getting a ride is no longer an issue! Again, this is not ideal if you have many suitcases and a frustrated or hungry partner.
Airport transfer in Madrid by Bus
There are also buses to choose from, if you need to get from Madrid airport to the train station or anywhere else in the city centre. You can catch any of the following buses for your airport transfer in Madrid:
- 101, 200, EXPRES 203, N27 EXPRES.
- The buses run every day from 6am to 11.30pm.
- Fare: 5€
- Location: outside terminals 1, 2 and 4
- Duration: 30 minutes
203 or Expres Aeropuerto bus runs between the airport of Madrid-Barajas and the Atocha train station. This bus is quite convenient, as it runs around the clock and every single day of the year. However, the Atocha bus stop only works between 6am and 11:30am. After that, the Cibeles stop is in use and the bus turns into N27 Expres Aeropuerto.
- Fare: 5€ one way
- Location at the airport: Terminal 1, 1st floor, Departures area
- Duration: 30 minutes in normal traffic conditions
- Runs every 15-20 minutes until 11:30pm. At night this bus runs every 35 minutes
Can I get from Madrid airport to the train station by train?
The trains run between the airport on the line C-1 and will take you to the Atocha central railway station. The downside is that if you don’t land in terminal 4, you need to first find the shuttle bus and then change for the train, which costs you precious time. You may want to choose another mode of getting from the Madrid airport to city centre if you land in terminal 1, 2 or 3.
- Fare: 2.60€ one way
- Location: Terminal 4. If you are in terminal 1, 2 or 3, you need to catch a free shuttle bus to get to T4.
- Duration: 27 minutes
How to get from Madrid airport to city centre by Metro
The Madrid Metro is a convenient mode of transport from the Madrid airport, way as long as you don’t arrive at night. The metro line 8 is also connected with lines 6, 10, 9 and 4 so you can easily get from the Madrid airport to city by Metro. This may be your most convenient way to get from the Madrid airport to city centre, as long as you don’t have lots of luggage along.
- Fare: 3€ one way
- Location: inside the terminals 2 and 4
- Shuttle to the terminals: if you land in terminal 1 or 3, you can catch a free shuttle bus to the terminal 2 or 4
- Duration: 22 minutes
- Times of operation: 6:00-01:30
How do I get from the Madrid airport to city centre?
The best method of travel depends on which terminal you arrive at. The Madrid airport is well connected to the city centre and you may choose to get a train, the metro, a bus, a taxi from the taxi queue, an UberX, another taxi booked via the MyTaxi app or a private car that you book in advance.