| Flying to Madrid
The main airport is Adolfo Suarez Madrid- Barajas International (MAD). MAD has direct flights from many major hubs within the United States and from major international cities. You can find a list and a map of destinations.
Once you land
The airlines are distributed by terminals at Madrid Airport. When you disembark from the plane, follow the signs to Passport Control (if you are coming from a Non-Schengen country) and to the baggage reclaim hall and Customs. You can find more information on the requirements for entry to Spain online at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
The official currency is Euro. If you need change or cash, you can find cash machines operated by different banks in the arrivals lobby of every terminal. In Terminals T1 and T4 there are currency exchange offices. Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport has a bank (BBVA) in the arrivals lobby of Terminal T4.
Getting to and from the airport
Check out on the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport Transport Information for details. Here are a few highlights.
The most common options to get to/from a downtown hotel:
- The most convenient way to arrive to your hotel is Public Transport. Do you want to use all the public transport of Madrid with a 30% of discount during your staying in Madrid? it´s possible thanks to Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid and the tourist travel pass that will allow you to move around the city in a swift and low-cost way to get around Madrid. Limitless travel on all metro lines, suburban trains and buses with a 30% of discount for the congress delegates and companions. And it also includes the airport fee!!. Buy online and exchange the voucher at the redemption point at the airport terminal 2 or terminal 4.
You can use the Underground (Metro) line 8, which runs from all the terminals to Nuevos Ministerios Station (Estimated travel time: 12-15 minutes). From Nuevos Ministerios you walk (25 min aprox to Melia Castilla ) or you can take Buses 27 and 147 to arrive to the hotel. There is also a Train connecting Terminal T4 with Chamartin Train Station and Nuevos Ministerios
- Taxis are available outside the arrivals hall. Fare to downtown Madrid is On trips with origin or destination between the Airport and the inside of Calle 30, including those that have been contracted by telematic means, a flat fare of 30 euros will apply. No supplements can be added to this flat fare, the maximum amount of the services contracted by telematic means will not be applied, provided the passenger is present at the meeting point at the agreed time. Minimum fare to/from the airport. On trips with origin in the Airport, in which the flat rate cannot be applied and which have not been contracted by telematic means, a minimum rate of 20 euros will charged on the first 10 km of trajectory of lesser distance. After the 10-kilometre mark has been passed, the taximeter will be used to calculate the rest of the fare at the appropriate rate.
- Should you need a car you can go to the car hire company desks in the Terminal T1 arrivals lobby and at basement floor P-1 of Terminal T4.
Getting around town
What are your options when getting around in Madrid?
-Metro: Efficient and fast. It is cheap: single fares cost €1.50 but a 10-trip ticket or Metrobus is available for €12.20. Visit here.
-Buses: Efficient and reliable. It is cheap: single fares cost €1.50 but a 10-trip ticket or Metrobus is available for €12.20. Visit here.
The 10-trip metrobus can be used indistinctively in any bus or Metro trip within central Madrid (metro trips to/from the airport have a €3.00 supplement); two or more people can share the same metrobus (just cancel two or more trips when you board). You can get it at any metro station (not at buses) from the ticket vending machines; they are multilingual, and take cash and/or credit cards.
There are special passes for visitors/tourists, for 1, 3, 5 or 7 days; for example, a two days unlimited bus, metro and suburban train (within the city) pass for central Madrid is €14.20. They can be bought at main metro stations or information offices (there is one in Barajas airport, immediately before entering the Metro station).
-Suburban train ("Cercanías"): Connects most of the train stations in the city and is included in the tourist pass (within the city). Note that Google maps directions do not pick these up as transportation options which can turn a 10 minute trip into 40 minutes. Visit here.
-Taxis: Inexpensive and well regulated. Can be hailed in the street: Look for an illuminated "libre" sign or a green pilot on the roof.
-Car: Crazy. Parking is nightmarish, traffic is heavy almost all the time, and the city's drivers can be frightening. August is an exception; the streets are quite empty as Madrileños leave the city on vacation. Madrid has 6 principal highways entering and leaving the city; the A-1 to A-6. It also has three major ring roads; the inner-one is known as the M30, an outer one is the M40 and the outermost is called the M50 (not closed in its north-west segment).
[Tip: If you get VERY lost in Madrid drive downhill, and you will eventually find the Castellana/Recoletos/Paseo del Pardo central axis or the M30.]
-Walking: Best way to get around the compact centre of Madrid.
The points of reference that you should know when getting around are:
1) Puerta del Sol marks the center of the city. It is surrounded by the old city with the Plaza Mayor, the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales and the Royal Palace.
2) The Gran Via is one of Madrid's principal roads. It runs from Plaza de España to Alcala Street.
3) Paseo de la Castellana which becomes Paseo de Recoletos and then Paseo del Prado. It runs from Plaza de Atocha to Plaza de la Castilla).
Visit here and here.
You can find information and special disccounts on Tourism and Public transport for gecco attendees on