Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) Guide
Welcome to Madrid Airport, the largest airport in Spain and a gateway to the vibrant city of Madrid. With over 50 million passengers passing through its terminals each year, MAD is a bustling hub of activity that can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. But fear not, our guide is here to help you navigate the airport with ease and confidence.
Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, our extensive guide is packed with helpful information and tips to ensure a stress-free journey from your door to your gate. From real-time flight status and tracking to airline departure terminals and gate locations, parking options, terminal maps, and food and shopping directories, we've got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let us guide you through MAD Airport.
For more detailed information about other major commercial airports, you can visit iFly's Airport Guide.
When to Arrive
When traveling through the airport, it is recommended to arrive at least two hours before your flight for domestic flights and three hours before for international flights. The busiest times to avoid are during peak travel periods, such as holidays and weekends. It is also important to check with your airline for any specific recommendations or requirements.
Getting to the Airport
Madrid Barajas Airport is conveniently located just 12 kilometers from the city center. The best ways to get to the airport include taking a taxi, public transportation, or driving. Taxis are readily available throughout the city and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. Public transportation options include the metro, bus, and train. The metro is the most affordable option and has a direct line to the airport. If driving, be sure to leave plenty of time for traffic and parking.
Madrid Airport can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. To get oriented, visit iFly.com's interactive airport maps. These maps provide a detailed layout of the airport, including terminal locations, gate numbers, and amenities. You can also use the maps to plan your route to and from the airport, as well as locate nearby hotels and restaurants.
To avoid delays at MAD, be sure to check the status of your flight before arriving at the airport. You can do this by visiting your airline's website or by using the airport's flight tracker. It is also important to pack your carry-on bag according to TSA guidelines to avoid any delays at security. Finally, be sure to follow all airport rules and regulations, including arriving on time for your flight and following all instructions from airport staff.
Navigating MAD's Terminals
MAD Airport has five terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, Terminal 4, and Terminal 4S. Terminal 4 is the largest and newest terminal, with gates A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, and R. Terminal 4S is an annex of Terminal 4, and it is used exclusively by Iberia Airlines. Terminal 1 is used by most non-SkyTeam airlines, while Terminal 2 is used by SkyTeam airlines and some non-SkyTeam airlines. Terminal 3 is used by Oneworld airlines, as well as some non-Oneworld airlines.
To navigate the airport terminals, passengers can follow the signs or use the free shuttle bus service that connects all terminals. The shuttle bus runs every 5-10 minutes, 24 hours a day. Passengers can also use the moving walkways and escalators to move between levels and terminals.
Major airlines that use the airport include Iberia, Air Europa, Ryanair, and easyJet. Passengers should check their airline and terminal before arriving at the airport to ensure a smooth travel experience.
Use our interactive airport map to locate food, services, and airline departure gates.
Connecting Between Terminals
Madrid Barajas Airport has five terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, Terminal 4, and Terminal 4S. The terminals are connected by a free shuttle bus service, which runs 24/7 and operates every 5-10 minutes. The shuttle bus stops are located outside each terminal, and the journey time between terminals varies from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the distance between them.
Alternatively, passengers can walk between terminals 1, 2, and 3, which are located close to each other and connected by a pedestrian walkway. The walk time between these terminals is approximately 10-15 minutes. However, it is not recommended to walk between Terminal 4 and Terminal 4S, as they are located further away from the other terminals and the walk can take up to 30 minutes.
Dining, Shopping & Enjoying the Airport
Madrid Airport offers a wide range of dining and shopping options for travelers to enjoy. Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, there's something for everyone. For those in a hurry, there are several fast food chains located throughout the airport, including Burger King, McDonald's, and Starbucks. If you have more time to spare, there are also several restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, such as La Pausa, serving Spanish dishes, and Wagamama, offering Japanese cuisine.
In addition to dining options, MAD also has a variety of shopping options available. From luxury brands like Burberry and Chanel to more affordable options like Zara and Mango, there's something for every budget. There are also several duty-free shops where travelers can purchase tax-free goods, such as alcohol, tobacco, and perfume. For those looking for souvenirs or gifts, there are several stores selling traditional Spanish items like ceramics, fans, and flamenco dresses.
The locations of all food, shops, and services at MAD Airport can be found using iFly's interactive map. For a complete list of restaurants, bars, shops, and news stands, find your choice of amenities here.
Traveling can be exhausting, especially after a long flight. Why not make your journey smoother by staying at a hotel near the airport? We have compiled a list of comfortable and conveniently located hotels that are perfect for minimizing your commute time. Whether you're on a business trip, a quick layover, or exploring the vibrant city, these hotels cater to your specific needs and preferences. Some even offer complimentary airport shuttle services. From family-operated inns to chic hotels, there's a wide range of options available. Ready to explore these options? Check out our Madrid Airport Hotels page for more information.
Picking Up and Dropping Off Passengers
The airport offers several options for picking up and dropping off passengers. If you are picking up a passenger, you can use the designated curbside parking areas outside each terminal. However, please note that parking is strictly prohibited in these areas, and you must remain with your vehicle at all times. If you need to leave your vehicle unattended, you must use the short-term parking facilities located near each terminal.
If you are dropping off a passenger, you can use the designated drop-off zones outside each terminal. These zones are strictly for dropping off passengers only, and you must not park or leave your vehicle unattended. If you need to accompany your passenger inside the terminal, you must use the short-term parking facilities located near each terminal.
For those who prefer to wait for their arriving passengers, Madrid Barajas Airport offers cell-phone waiting areas. These areas are located near each terminal and provide a convenient place to wait for your passenger to call you before proceeding to the curbside pick-up area. Please note that parking is not allowed in these areas, and you must remain with your vehicle at all times.
Parking Facilities & Options
Madrid Airport offers a variety of parking options for travelers. There are several parking lots and garages located near each terminal, making it easy to find a spot close to your departure gate. In addition, there are cell phone waiting areas available for those waiting to pick up arriving passengers.
For travelers with disabilities, there are designated handicapped parking spaces available in each parking lot and garage. These spaces are located near the terminal entrances for easy accessibility.
If you're looking for a more economical parking option, off-airport parking is available near the airport. These lots offer shuttle service to and from the airport, and can be a great way to save money on parking fees.
Get details about MAD parking options and rates, along with more economical off-airport parking here.
MAD Airport offers a variety of ground transportation options for travelers. Car rental facilities are available at the airport, with major providers such as Avis, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. Visitors can easily rent a car and explore the city at their own pace.
Taxi services are also available at the airport, with designated drop-off areas located outside each terminal. Fares are regulated by the government and vary depending on the time of day and distance traveled.
Shared ride services such as Uber and Cabify are available for pickup at designated areas outside each terminal. However, there are restrictions on where these services can drop off passengers, so it's important to check with the driver before getting in.
Airport shuttles are a convenient option for travelers staying at nearby hotels. These shuttles operate on a regular schedule and can be found at designated pickup areas outside each terminal. Fares vary depending on the destination and the number of passengers.
For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, public transportation is available at the airport. The metro system has a station located at Terminal 4, with connections to the city center and other destinations. Bus services are also available, with several lines operating from the airport to different parts of the city.
The airport is equipped with a range of passenger services to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free travel experience.
For those who need to stay connected, free wifi is available throughout the airport. Lost and found services are also available in each terminal, so if you misplace an item, be sure to check with the airport staff.
Traveling with children? Madrid Barajas Airport has designated play areas for kids in each terminal, complete with toys and games to keep them entertained. Special-needs services are also available, including wheelchair assistance and accessible facilities.
If you need to access banking services, there are ATMs and currency exchange booths located throughout the airport. And if you require medical assistance, there are first aid stations located in each terminal, as well as a medical center in Terminal 4.
Flight Status Info
As an air traveler, it is important to stay updated on the status of your flight. At Madrid Airport, there are several ways to check your flight status and stay informed about any changes.
One of the easiest ways to check your flight status is by using the Flight Information Display System (FIDS) located throughout the airport. These displays provide real-time updates on flight departures, delays, and gate information.
Passengers can also download their airline's mobile app to receive push notifications about any changes to their flight status. Additionally, airlines may send text or email alerts to passengers with information about departure delays, cancelations, or gate changes.
It is important to check your flight status regularly, especially during times of inclement weather or other disruptions. By staying informed, you can avoid unnecessary stress and plan accordingly.
Passengers can check the status of their flight departure at MAD by visiting the flight departures page on ifly.com, which provides real-time updates on flight departures, delays, and gate information.
Airport Facts & Stats
MAD Airport, also known as Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, is the largest airport in Spain and the sixth busiest airport in Europe. It is located in the northeast of Madrid and serves as a hub for Iberia and Air Europa airlines.
The airport has five terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, Terminal 4, and Terminal 4S. Terminal 4 is the largest terminal in the airport and one of the largest terminals in the world, with an area of over 760,000 square meters.
On average, the airport handles around 150,000 passengers and 1,200 flights per day. The airport serves over 200 destinations worldwide, with the top 5 destinations being London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Barcelona.
The top airlines with the most daily flights from Madrid Barajas Airport are Iberia, Ryanair, Air Europa, Vueling, and easyJet. These airlines operate flights to various destinations across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Madrid Airport is also a hub for several airlines, including Iberia, Air Europa, and Ryanair. These airlines operate numerous flights to and from the airport, connecting Madrid to various destinations around the world.
MAD, also known as Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, is the largest airport in Spain and the sixth busiest airport in Europe. It serves as the main hub for Iberia Airlines and handles over 50 million passengers annually.
Here are some significant events in the airport's history:
- 1927 - The airport was established as a military airbase.
- 1931 - The airport opened to civilian air traffic.
- 1954 - The first terminal building was constructed.
- 1974 - The airport underwent a major expansion, including the construction of a new terminal building.
- 1997 - The airport was renamed in honor of Adolfo Suárez, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Spain after the Franco dictatorship.
- 2006 - Terminal 4, designed by renowned architect Richard Rogers, opened and became one of the largest airport terminals in the world.
- 2020 - The airport was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a significant decrease in air traffic.
Today, MAD Airport continues to be a vital transportation hub for Spain and Europe, connecting travelers to destinations around the world.
Airport Contact Info
For more information about the airport, please use the following contact details:
Find more help here for your journey through the airport