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Few European air hubs are as close to their nearest city as Madrid Airport. Here, tourists need only drive less than six miles to reach their accommodation in the financial district or eight miles to get to Puerta del Sol, the Spanish capital's historic centre, with car hire in Madrid Airport the transport mode of choice.
Who to Book With
Passengers that fly to Madrid Airport have a choice of five car hire companies. Desks here include those representing Avis, Europcar, Hertz, National Atesa and Sixt. Not all suppliers have an on-site presence, with some requiring hirers to access their depot via shuttle bus.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents at vehicle collection:
- Valid UK driver's licence
- Credit card that was used for completing the reservation
- Confirmation of ID via passport
- Confirmation of booking
Driving around Spain's major cities can be a nerve-wracking experience and parking fines of up to £80 are common for offenders. Many cities have one-way routes and left turns can be a rarity. Drivers using Spain's highways must legally rest every two hours; fines are a constant threat to those that don't adhere to this law. The procedure at most filling stations is to fill the tank first and then pay after, although this varies from station to station.
Roads such as the E-5 and E-90 help drivers connect to Madrid Airport in around half an hour from the city centre, depending on traffic. Other transportation options to and from the hub include the Metro, taxis, buses and exclusive services such as the Aresmobile and Aerocity.
Madrid's Metro trains run between Nueveos Ministerios Metro, located in the heart of the city centre, and T1, T2 and T3. Trains along Line 8 leave every five minutes from 06:00 until 02:00 and take around 23 minutes to complete the journey. A Metro ticket to or from the airport costs around £4 per person.
Taxis are available from outside all terminals at specially-designated ranks. It is advised to only travel in cabs from the rank and to not accept offers from drivers loitering anywhere else.
Madrid Airport to Madrid city centre is about £20
The 200 bus travels between Madrid's central business district and Madrid Airport. T1 and T2 are the best places to board the bus, which terminates at Avenida de America interchange. Fares are typically less than £1.
Madrid Airport consists of four modern, well-equipped terminals – the youngest of which, Terminal T4, opened as recently as 2006. Between them, the terminals make Madrid Airport the largest and busiest hub in Spain, with the airport receiving close to 50 million passengers per year. Iberia, Spain's national carrier, supplies 60 per cent of flights that fly to and from Madrid Airport.
Each terminal of Madrid Airport has its own low-cost car park, long-term car park, VIP car park and others that drivers may leave a vehicle at for up to four days. T2 has an express car park and motorcycle parking. Parking in the long-term park costs around £18 per day.
A free Wi-Fi service is supplied by Madrid Airport.
Madrid Airport has over 20 information counters scattered around its four terminals. Members of staff, easy to spot in their green jackets, are able to help with passenger queries.
Service Centre: +34 913 936 000
Conference room or VIP lounge information: +34 913 936 808 797
All four terminals in Madrid Airport are easy to access by those with reduced mobility. Wheelchair ramps, toilets, telephones and elevators for the disabled are all commonplace, while any required equipment can be rented if arranged prior to travel.
Restaurants and Bars
Fast-food chains such as McDonald's and Ars have branches in each of the terminals, while other establishments such as the Food Gallery and La Piazetta can only be found in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, respectively. Medas Beer and Vinea are popular watering holes, while Starbucks and Illy serve coffee and other beverages.
Puerto de Alcala
Puerta del Sol
Money and ATMs
BBVA has both ATMs and branches in Terminal 2 and Terminal 4. Various currency exchange booths can also be found here.
An abundance of shops can be enjoyed in Madrid Airport. Fashion and accessories retailers such as Accessorize (Terminal 3) and Mango (Terminal 4) are present, as are duty-free branches of Aldeasa, pharmacies, florists and sellers of perfumes and cosmetics. Terminal 1 has the most options, including outlets of Bvlgari (luxury items), Lacoste (clothes) and Relay (newsagent).