Getting from the airport to Madrid’s city centre is made simple by how well-connected it is. You can grab the metro, the bus, the train or a taxi.
Taxi. Taxis are an easy and comfortable way to get to and from the airport. All four terminals have marked taxi ranks on the ground floor, just outside Arrivals. Taxi fares from the airport should be around 20-25 EUR including a supplement for the airport, but there is no separate supplement for luggage if it fits easily inside the taxi or on the luggage racks. There are additional supplements per mile after 10 p.m. and on Sundays. Depending on traffic and your final destination, the trip from the airport to the city centre should take around half an hour.
Transfer. The most comfortable way to get to Madrid city center from the airport is by a private airport transfer service. You can book your transfer before you land in Madrid and the driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall with a name sign. The chauffeur will help you with your luggage and take you to the premium vehicle which will drive you to your destination comfortably. You will be able to get a premium service at about the same price as a taxi from Madrid Airport.
Bus. The bright yellow Airport Express buses at Madrid-Barajas run 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It's great for travellers who have to catch a red-eye and can't take the metro or the train. The trip from Madrid-Barajas to Atocha Train station is approximately 40 minutes. The bus runs every 15 minutes during the day and every 35 minutes at night. There are only three stops - the corner of O'Donnell and Doctor Esquerdo, Plaza de Cibeles (where you can catch an EMT night bus somewhere else) and Atocha Station (only between 6 a.m. and 11.30 p.m.). Catch the bus from terminals T1, T2 and T4. Tickets cost 5 EUR and can be purchased on the bus.
Metro. Hop on metro line 8 from Madrid-Barajas (in any terminal) to Nuevos Ministerios in Madrid's city centre. The trip takes around 15 minutes. From there you can transfer to metro lines 6 and 10. Madrid's metro system runs from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. approximately every five minutes during the day, every 10 minutes from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., and every 15 minutes from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m. Metro tickets with an airport supplement start at 4.50 EUR and can cost up to 5 EUR depending on your final destination. They’re available for purchase from ticket machines at the toll entry in the airport and metro stations throughout the city. If you plan on using the transport system a lot during your visit, spring for the Madrid Tourist Travel Pass for zone A 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days and you’ll be able to avoid paying a special fare for the airport.
Train. Take the light rail (‘metro ligero’) from Terminal T4 to Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios, Atocha or Príncipe Pío stations. To get to Terminal 4 if you're somewhere else, take the free terminal shuttle. The trip to Chamartín station takes approximately 11 minutes. Tickets to and from the airport cost 4.50 EUR. The light rail runs from 6 a.m. to 1.33 a.m. with trains every 15 minutes early morning and late at night, and trains every 5-8 minutes during the day.