The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport of Madrid!!

Wow need to update this older post on one of my favorite airports in the world. Even if done more by car to my beloved Madrid, had my share of flights and on business trips all of them! I know the Madrid airport is actually base in Barajas town , which later was annexed to Madrid, and now call the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport  after the prime minister hero of Spanish democracy. Now, a wonderful modern aiport indeed. Let me tell you a bit more on the popularly call the Madrid airport!!

The main airport of Spain is in Madrid name the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport located at about 12 km from city center. Most of my trips by plane there have landed at T4 on Iberia; sometimes on T4S and once at T3. Of course, I have gone in private trips by car, only once by plane. However, plenty of business trips done by air from Nantes or Roissy CDG flying from France. I have ,also, gone there by car to take folks to Madrid and it now has super highways.  There are tourist office in the airport at T1 and T4 open every day from 8h to 20h. The airport has consignment of luggage open 24/24h. They are between the passageways of terminals T2 and the metro entrance and on the arrivals level of T4.

A bit condense on the history I like

The Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport of Madrid is located in the district of Barajas, in Madrid, as said about 12 km from the center of Madrid. The airport changed its name from Madrid-Barajas to Adolfo Suárez Inter Airport in 2014. The reappointment sought to pay tribute to Adolfo Suárez, the first Prime Minister of Spain after the restoration of democracy and recognized as one of the architects of the Spanish Transition who died on March 23, 2014, a few days before the decision to change the name.

It has four passenger terminals, an Executive Terminal, an air cargo center and two main hangar areas, one in the Old Industrial Area, between T3 and T4, and another in the La Muñoza Industrial Area. On March 23, 1929, the specifications were published for a contest to choose the land to developped the Madrid civil airport. The wasteland meadow was selected in the town of Barajas with good communications with the city via the highway from France (the current A-2) and in an uninhabited area free of obstacles. The purchase of the land was signed on July 30, 1930. It was opened to national and international air traffic on April 22, 1931, although regular commercial operations took two more years to begin, as the airport was still under construction. The first regular line was established by the company Spanish Post Air Lines (LAPE) with its line to Barcelona. During the Spanish Civil War, military and civil transport services are carried out with Paris, Barcelona and the north. Once the war was over, Barajas regained its status as a civil airport, with the landing on April 12, 1939 of a German plane from the Lufthansa company. On May 1, 1939, Iberia moved its equipment from Matacán (Salamanca) to Madrid-Barajas. In July 1946, Barajas was opened to international traffic. In 1997 the North Dock was inaugurated, which is used as Iberia’s exclusive terminal for Schengen flights. In 1998 the new control tower, 71 meters high, was inaugurated and in 1999 the new South Dock, which represents an expansion of the international terminal. The south dock and most of the International Terminal are renamed T1; the rest of the International Terminal and the National Terminal are now called T2 and the north dock is called T3. The construction of the new T4 terminals and its satellite, T4S Terminal 4 , both buildings are 2.5 km apart. On February 4, 2006, Terminal 4 was opened. In 1999 the Madrid Metro links the airport with Mar de Cristal through Line 8, arriving at Nuevos Ministerios in 2002. In October 2006, the project to build a Renfe Cercanías line that linked the airport with the Chamartín stations and with it the Atocha-Cercanías station was finally inaugurated in 2011 as Line C-1.

The airport terminals are layout as such :

T1: Gates A, B and C, the latter up to C42. It has 170 check-in counters, including automatic ones, and has a total of 43 boarding gates. It also has two arrival halls, each with eight and seven baggage claim belts, respectively. It is made up of part of the old International Terminal and the new South Dock.

T2: Gates C, from C43 onwards, and D. In addition to the 99 check-in counters, it has a few more at the gateway to the airport, which have not been indicated. It has 20 gates for boarding and baggage claim from two arrival lounges with six baggage straps each. It corresponds to the old National Terminal plus part of the old International Terminal.

T3: Gates E and F. It has twenty check-in counters , five baggage claim belts (in a room attached to that of T2) and 21 boarding gates (from E68 to E82 and F90 to F94, the latter destined exclusively for regional flights). T3 corresponds to the North Dock.

T4: Gates H, J and K. On the first floor there are 22 baggage claim belts divided between 2 lounges, 10 and 11, the first for international arrival flights and the second for domestic arrival flights. It has 2 double straps and 2 straps for the collection of special luggage. The first floor has 76 boarding gates (from H1 to H37, from J40 to J59 and from K62 to K98). On the second floor are the billing desks and the main security filters.

T4-S: Gates M and S. It has 19 boarding gates (gates M22 to M48) in the Schengen area. The second floor is dedicated to international departures, with 48 boarding gates (gates S1 to S12 and S15 to S50). The third is dedicated to receiving international arrival flights, so it has the appropriate security filters for this purpose.



To get around routines , hope its clear,  if not let me know.

All terminals have taxi ranks outside the properly marked areas. Terminal 4 floor 0, Arrivals area,  Terminal 4 floor 2, Departures area,  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, Arrivals area. The rates are fixed for all journeys between the Airport and the city of Madrid, regardless of the number of passengers and the distance traveled. Thus, if the travel destination is within the M-30 (initial beltway of Madrid where visitors go anyway), the price is 30 euros, while if the destination is in the outer area of the M-30, the price is 20 euros for tours of up to 9, 5 km. After 9.5 km, the meter will continue to count at the corresponding rate. The official taxis are white with red bands and Madrid City Hall shields on the doors.


If coming by car, there are parkings. The P1 is an outdoor car park located in front of the terminal T1 building; P2 has 7 floors and is an indoor car park with direct access to terminals T2 and T3. The P4 is in terminal T4, divided into floors and modules, connected trough a central corridor with the airport terminal T4. A  Parking ‘Express’ facility, available for short periods only, is located at Terminal 2 and dedicated long-term parking is also available with 1,655 spaces; a free shuttle operates between the long-stay car park and all terminals. Long-Stay parking and Vip Car Park. .You can book your parking space ahead of time for better availability and prices at AENA parkings :


Bus line 200 of the EMT city bus network, connects the Avenida de América Interchange (with metro/subway on lines 7,9,4, and circular line 6 ) with Canillejas and terminals T1-T2-T3 and T4, respectively. The buses that operate line 200 are specifically designed for this route, have luggage racks and operate between 05:00 and 24:00, a much longer schedule than the other EMT lines. Bus line 101 connects terminals 1,2 and 3 of the Airport with the Historic Center of Barajas on one end and with the Canillejas interchange on the other. You can connect with the center on metro line 5. The same can be done on bus 204 from T4 at ground level to intercambiador Avenida de America.

There is a nice Airport Express or bus 203 which have taken several times from T4 to Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha (tried and good to Cibeles). The Airport Express bus is a good alternative for getting around Madrid. From Madrid Airport T1 T2-T3 T4.  During the day, the bus runs every 15 to 20 minutes to Atocha station. From 23h30 to 6h, the Airport Express operates every 35 minutes as line N27 . The bus stops are Terminal 4, Terminal 2, Terminal 1, O’Donnell, Cibeles (great stop) and Atocha (train if continue traveling).  The Madrid EMT bus network on the Airport Express bus:

Mad airport express now at atocha aug16

The Madrid metro Line 8 goes from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios and connects the Nuevos Ministerios station with the airport terminals in 20 min. There are 2 stations at the airport, the one that serves the old terminals (T1-T2-T3, located in Terminal T3) and the one in the new terminal area (Airport T4) with a shuttle train connecting to T4S. To enter or exit any of the two stations a supplement of 3€ is required, which can be purchased separately or added to the corresponding cost of the single metro ticket. Bear in mind you can opt to go elsewhere in Madrid by connecting at Mar de Cristal with line 4 (taken to connect with line 5 Alonso Martinez) ,and Colombia with line 9 (taken from the airport to connect with Sainz de Baranda)  The official metro/subway/tube of Madrid :

Mad barajas airport T 2 metro line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios jan19

Terminal 4 has a Renfe commuter station or Cercanias C1 and C10  (floor -1). In the future, it is planned to take the AVE fast trains to the airport, for now you can connect using same AVE ticket for the local train connection. In this way, the  Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport  will be integrated, not only in the Madrid Cercanías network, but also in the AVE and Long Distance RENFE networks. The airport has available for the users a bus connecting for free 24/24 the terminals T1, T2, T3, and T4. The train C1 goes to Príncipe Pío in about 38 minutes, Atocha : 25 minutes, Nuevos Ministerios : 18 minutes, and Chamartín : 11 minutes. The train C10 goes to Príncipe Pío in about 41 minutes, Estación de Chamartín – 15 minutes, Estación de Nuevos Ministerios – 22 minutes, Estación de Atocha – 29 minutes, and Méndez Álvaro – 34 minutes. RENFE on Cercanias suburban trains ,see the C1 and C10 on the map:


Finally , some anecdotes , stories, figures that I like

On April 30, 1931, the newborn Madrid National Airport received its first plane, which came from the nearby town of Getafe (less than 30 km away). There is no record of how long this journey lasted, but it is known that the then superior chief of Aeronautics, Commander Franco, (as the later dictator) was on board.  In 1950,  it opened the symbolic direct line with New York. In 1965 it would be renamed Madrid-Barajas while in March 2014 the Ministry of Public Works gave it a noble name : Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas. However, for nomenclature purposes, it will remain MAD.   The tower of the popular parish Church of San Pedro Apóstol in the former town of Barajas had always been the architectural ceiling of this district of Madrid. No one could build over 50 meters high or mislead their storks… until 1998. In this year, the North Tower was inaugurated, the main control tower of the airport, which, with its 71 meters, surpassed the famous bell tower. However, as it is a necessary good, it is considered a justified exception to the rule, so San Pedro will continue to be the lighthouse of Barajas.  The large numbers of this airport are based on the fact that it is the great gateway to Latin America, (of course) concentrating on its runways the largest number of flights to and from this continent from all over the world.  With its 940,000 square meters, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas is the largest airport with the largest terminal area on the planet. The 18R-36L is the longest civil runway on Earth but because, being so long, many pilots get confused looking for the assigned gate. There is no scientific data to prove it, but it is very likely that this airport is the one where the planes wear out their tires the most while rolling until they reach the runway.Oh yes I believe it!!

The official AENA airports of Spain on the Adolfo Suàrez Madrid-Barajas Airport

The unofficial airport network on the Madrid airport :

The Madrid tourist office on the airport :

There you go folks, one big airport but easy to use me think!! Anyway I spent quite a bit of time on airport lately and think will reduce the trips in the future as we are now in telework, skype; webex, video conf etc etc etct, and the future is that I retired!!  Hope you enjoy the post and can find it useful. The Adolfo Suàrez Madrid international airport is a dandy indeed.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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