Airport Guide: Madrid-Barajas

Madrid Barajas Airport Guide

Madrid-Barajas Airport, or to give its full name, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, is the main airport serving Madrid, the capital of Spain. It is the busiest airport in Spain and the second largest airport in Europe with regards to its size. Being such a large and bustling place, be prepared by reading our Madrid-Barajas Guide!

The full name of the airport is a result of its location within Madrid and for recognition of the politician Adolfo Suárez. Barajas is a district in the east of Madrid, where the airport is. Historically, the name was Madrid-Barajas Airport. The addition of Adolfo Suárez as a prefix came in 2014 following the death of Spains first elected Prime Minister following the Franco dictatorship.

The airport is within Madrid’s city limits, helping it best serve the Spanish capital. Both tourists and business travellers can quickly get between the airport and hotels or commerce sectors. The Plaza Mayor, the heart of Madrid, is only 13km southwest of the airport. The Spanish flag-carrier airline, Iberia, has its headquarters in Madrid, and subsequently uses Madrid Airport as a hub. In fact, the airline accounts for over 40% of the traffic at Madrid-Barajas. 


Madrid-Barajas Airport At-a-glance

Official Website:

Airport Code: MAD

Terminals: 5

Address: Avenida de la Hispanidad s/n,
28042 Madrid,

Gate Checker: – Enter your flight number or choose it from the search results list to see full details

Terminal Checker:

Contact Number: +34 913 211 000

Timezone: GMT+1 October-March, GMT+2 March-October

Lost Property Contact:
Terminal 1 Phone: +34 913 936 119
Terminal 4 Phone: +34 917 466 439

Map: The official website uses Google Maps will show the terminal detail when sufficiently zoomed in.

WiFi: Free WiFi is available throughout the airport. The network name is ‘AIRPORT FREE WIFI AENA’. 

Apps: Madrid Airport has no dedicated app, but Spanish airports operator Aena has an app detailing all airports for both Android and iOS.


Madrid-Barajas Airport Facilities

Madrid Barajas Airport Guide - Interior

With the sheer scale of Madrid-Barajas Airport, it’s no wonder that passengers can find pretty much everything they’d need when flying. Terminals split the services so travellers should note the terminal they are departing from and check whether the facility they’d like is available for them. However, all the regular airport services are accessible from all terminals such as currency conversion, children’s play areas, luggage storage, luggage wrapping, ATM’s, WiFi access, drinks fountains, lounges, duty-free shopping and the usual restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Terminals 4 and 4S are the newest developments with the most choice. As Iberia and their Oneworld partners fly primarily from these terminals (including budget airline Vueling), passengers of these airlines will most likely spend time in here. Despite this, Terminals 1-3 are not poorly equipped. The three terminals are physically connected, forming a large structure and offer everything a traveller would need at an airport. SkyTeam and Star Alliance flights operate from these terminals. Note that the T3 area is much smaller than the others and shares check-in and baggage claim facilities with T2. Many refer to T3 as an extension of T2 rather than as a separate terminal.

If looking to sleep or rest then travellers have one option in the airport itself, with several hotels in the surrounding area. The in-airport option is called Air Rooms in Terminal 4. These ‘Air Rooms’ are a short term hotel that passengers can rest in either overnight or for up to 6 hours if used during the day. Each room has a bed, bathroom and shower, toiletries, mini-bar and so on letting transitting travellers freshen up and relax with privacy. More information, including pricing, is available on the Premium Traveller website.

For a more traditional hotel service, there are multiple accommodation options available a short distance from the airport. Hotel chains such as Hilton and Ibis have a presence as well as independent offerings. Most include a free shuttle service to and from the airport also. For full information and the best rates, check or and search for Madrid airport.

Airport Hotel

Shower facilities are not available to the public. For any passengers who would like to freshen up before or after their flight(s), they will need to utilise lounge access. Every lounge at Madrid airport has a shower facility for no additional cost aside from the fee to access the lounge, if applicable.

The alternative is to pay for entry to the Air Rooms short term hotel which has a ‘shower only’ option. This Air Rooms choice doesn’t allow access to their rooms with beds but gives up to 1 hour of access in a specific shower room for the hefty price of €45. This high price is a little more comfortable as it includes free sandwiches and snacks. Note that this is landside (i.e. before security) in T2, so all passengers have access.

Luggage storage is purchasable at all terminal locations (T2 shares its facility with T3). Excess Baggage Company provides the service and offers storage solutions of up to two hours minimum, to seven days. After seven days, a lower daily rate is applicable. It is €6 to store an item for 2 hours, €10 for 24 hours, and €10 for every additional 24 hours.

A 50% large item surcharge applies if storing an oversized item that is larger than 210cm when adding length, width and height together. 

Discounts apply for storing multiple bags, starting at 25% when leaving for items of luggage.


Madrid-Barajas Airport Terminal Layout

Iberia Plane

Although Madrid Barajas Airport officially has five terminals, there are just three structures. Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are under one roof and passengers can walk between the three. To the north of these three is where Terminals 4 and 4S are. Terminal 4 is the primary and largest airport terminal at Madrid-Barajas following its opening in 2006. Terminal 4S is a smaller satellite terminal to Terminal 4 some 2.5km east with an underground, driverless train system connecting T4S to T4.

Terminals 1, 2, and 3

Arrivals and baggage claim are on the ground floor of all three terminals. The check-in facilities, passport control, security and flight gates are on the first floor. The three terminals are intra-connected, and passengers can move between them.

Terminal 1

Home to Star Alliance and SkyTeam airlines, as well as Easyjet, Terminal 1 is for international departures and is the southernmost terminal. Once past security, passengers will find the departure lounge with food and shopping options. Gates beginning with A are on an extension of the terminal and are furthest away, with B and C gates situated next to the departure lounge area.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 is where non-Oneworld flights within Spain and the Schengen area depart from and arrive. The terminal is the oldest of the five at the airport. Some long-haul flights may also operate here. The departures area is long and wide with the gates spread across the terminal in duos. The lower numbered C gates are to the right when exiting security, and the higher numbered D gates to the left on the way to Terminal 3.

Terminal 3

Terminal 3 is the smallest of the terminals at Madrid-Barajas. Some see it as an extension to Terminal 2 with a small number of gates (E gates) servicing only domestic flights occasionally. The terminal had been for the regular flight service between Madrid and Barcelona before the services relocation to Terminal 4.

Terminal 4

Terminal 4 of Madrid-Barajas is one of the largest airport terminals in the world. The airlines in the Oneworld alliance use the terminal for their domestic and Schengen area flights thanks to their codeshare agreement with Spains flag-carrier airline Iberia. T4 is the home to the Madrid-Barcelona shuttle service that Iberia provides too. The terminal has a link to Terminal 4S by an automated people mover that takes just three minutes to transfer. Once past security, the main departure hall offerings of high-end shops and eateries is centrally located. There are two long wings to the left and right of this, with H gates to the right, J in the middle, and K gates to the left.

Madrid Barajas Airport Guide - Terminal

Terminal 4S

Terminal 4S’s construction coincided with Terminal 4’s and is as modern as its counterpart, but smaller. The terminal is for long-haul flights to international destinations that aren’t part of the Schengen area. Its design is similar to its bigger brother, T4, with a central departure lounge area housing most concessions and the wings extending left and right for gate access. Lower numbered gates are to the left when entering the departure area, with higher numbers to the right. M gates are on the ground floor, with the majority of gates, S, R, and U on level 1. The underground connection to Terminal 4 is on the lower levels, as one might expect.


Madrid-Barajas Airport Connections

Madrid-Barajas is within the city limits of Madrid itself, and as such, there are a host of options to reach the city centre, or further. Rail and road options are plentiful. Passengers can expect to reach the hustle and bustle of central Madrid in as quick as 25 minutes. To get further afield, the train lines from the airport can get travellers to national train services allowing onward travel throughout Spain. Long-distance coaches to other Spanish cities are also possible.

Bus: Exprés Aeropuerto is the quickest bus service that will get a passenger from the airport to the city. The journey will take around 30 minutes from T1 (allow five to ten additional minutes for other terminals), and the buses are bright yellow and are difficult to miss! It is a flat fee of €5 that is payable by cash or contactless credit/debit card. Buses run 24 hours a day and should be as frequent as every 15 minutes from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM, or every 35 minutes overnight. The bus is available at all terminals. Click here for more information.

Local bus routes stop at the airport also thanks to the regional CRTM buses. Passengers can make use of these if they are comfortable with navigating Madrid and are okay with additional stops. More information is available on the CRTM website.

Long-distance coach services to cities within Spain are available thanks to AvanzaSocibus, and Alsa bus companies. Socibus operates from T1, Alsa from T4, and Avanza from both terminals.

Madrid Metro

Metro: Madrid Metro Line 8 runs to the airport with a station at Terminal 4, and another at Terminal 2. The latter provides access to Terminals 1 and 3, while Terminal 4S is accessible via the automated underground shuttle train in Terminal 4. If catching the metro passengers will be able to take the line to Nuevos Ministerios station in around 12-15 minutes depending on which terminal they depart. Note the station “Barajas” is on the line in between the terminals and is for the area called Barajas, not the airport itself. Tickets cost a minimum of €4.50 depending on how many stops the final destination is.

For passengers at Terminal 4 or any others who can get to Terminal 4, a high-speed train is available. The train takes 11 minutes to reach Chamartin station with Principe Pio being the final stop and 38 minutes from the airport. A ticket costs €2.60 one-way. The train station is on level -1 of T4.

Car: The usual car hire companies such as Sixt, Avis, Europcar, Hertz, as well as Enterprise and Goldcar operate at Madrid-Barajas Airport. All the companies have a location at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 4. The booths are on level 0 in the arrivals hall of T1, and level B1 of T4. Highways encircle the airport allowing travellers to get around the city, or out to other towns and cities in Spain. If arriving at Terminal 4S, then passengers will need to take the underground shuttle service to Terminal 4 for the nearest car hire. Those at Terminals 2 and 3 can walk to Terminal 1 without leaving the building, or use the free shuttle bus, though it only runs every 40 minutes.

Taxi: Signposts clearly mark taxi ranks at every terminal for passengers. They operate from every arrivals and departures location, aside from Terminal 3 where they are solely available at arrivals. It should take 40-50 minutes to get into the centre of Madrid, and there is a fixed fee of €30. A minimum charge of €20 applies to all taxis departing Madrid Airport.


Madrid Terminal 4S

When travelling on a single ticket with the same airline or their codeshare partners, the connection time will not be shorter than the airlines pre-defined minimum. Therefore you won’t have to worry about missing your next flight, and even if you do, the airline will need to re-arrange your transport if it’s down to their delay. For passengers who are self-transferring, or checking how tight their connection is, you should allow additional time to pick up luggage and clear immigration where applicable. The airport’s main airline, Iberia, has the following minimum connection time guide for Madrid-Barajas Airport:

Between T4 or T4S: 45 minutes

Between T4 and T4S: 55 minutes

Between T4/T4S and T1/T2/T3: 150-165 minutes

A free shuttle bus operates between Terminals 1/2/3 and Terminal 4, although only every 40 minutes. More information is here. To get from Terminal 4 to Terminal 4S, an automatic people mover takes just 3 minutes to transfer between terminals.

As Iberia has no connections inside T1/2/3, they do not publish a minimum connection time. It takes 10-15 minutes to walk from T1 to T2, so a minimum of 60-70 minutes would be advisable in case of security or passport control delays.


Madrid-Barajas Airport Lounges

Despite the scale of airport size with the vastness of Terminal 4 alone, Madrid-Barajas Airport is not full of lounges. Terminal 4 unsurprisingly has the most options with four lounges, and Iberia is the sole airline/alliance lounge presence in the entire airport. Terminal 4 is also home to the only landside (i.e. before security) lounges for those who don’t wish to get stuck with the airside offerings. Unusually for lounges at many airports these days, however, is the fact that all lounges have shower facilities for no additional cost.

Terminal 1 Lounges

Sala VIP Cibeles (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on the 2nd floor, near Gates B26-B29

Terminal 2 Lounges

Sala VIP Puerta De Alcala (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located in the departure hall, opposite Gates D59-D60. 

Terminal 3 Lounges

Sala VIP Puerta Del Sol (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on the 2nd floor, accessible via the stairs near Gate E69

Terminal 4 Lounges

Premium Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located in the arrivals hall, level 0

Premium Traveller Arrivals Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located below the arrivals hall, level -1, opposite the train station

Sala VIP Plaza Mayor (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located past the duty-free shop after security. Follow the signs

Iberia Dali Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located to the right once you clear security

Terminal 4S Lounges

Neptuno Lounge/AENA VIP Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 2. Accessible via the elevator to the left before duty-free

Iberia Velázquez Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located in the duty-free shop and it is easy to miss if unaware

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