How to get there
Madrid is the Iberian Peninsula's main communications hub. All the main routes to the rest of Spain and Europe lead out of the city. The region has a modern transport network with airports, trains and roads, which are constantly being renovated and extended.
Madrid has an excellent road network –mainly motorways– which takes you quickly around the region. This mostly free system is structured around six major routes that link Madrid with other Spanish cities.
Within the Region of Madrid there are four ring roads around the capital with access from all the motorway routes. These orbital roads also give access to the suburban residential areas in the Madrid Region and provide rapid and efficient transport connections. Madrid is also the centre of the Spanish railway network, with international, inter-city, high-speed and regional services. The Renfe national railway company runs all these rail services, as well as the local lines.
The city has two major railway stations –Puerta de Atocha and Chamartín– both of which offer international rail services linking Madrid with Paris and Lisbon, as well as the 'Grandes Líneas' inter-city services between Madrid and all the main Spanish cities.
These services guarantee outstanding quality and speed, and there are also high-speed railway (AVE) connections to cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Malaga, Valladolid and Segovia, among others. For longer journeys, Renfe offers the 'tren-hotel' service, with overnight routes to Paris, Lisbon, and A Coruña.
There are also regional trains with a broad range of connecting services to cities close to Madrid, many of which are popular tourist destinations, such as Salamanca, Toledo, Valladolid, Sigüenza, Avila and Segovia.
Madrid's airport is just 13 kilometres outside the city centre. Barajas is Spain's busiest airport, and one of Europe's top five. It is also the main European hub for flights to Latin America. With the new Terminal T4 extension, this airport now has capacity to handle 70 million passengers every year, with some 120 take-offs/landings per hour.
More than one hundred carriers from different countries operate out of Barajas Airport, with scheduled, charter and air-taxi flights. Furthermore, the airport offers travellers a wide variety of efficient services (banks, car rental, restaurants, booking offices, VIP lounges, etc.).
You can access the airport by road from the A-2 (exits 10 and 12), from the M-40 (exit 9), and from the A-1 (exit 17), among others. Buses to Barajas airport depart from the bus station at Avenida de América: look for line 200. They run from 5 am to 11.30 pm, and tickets cost €1.50. There is also a 24-hour bus service from the Puerta de Atocha railway station with stops in the Plaza de Cibeles square and Calle O'Donnell, costing €5. Line 8 on the underground system also runs between the different airport terminals and Nuevos Ministerios station. It operates from 6 am to 2 am and costs €4.5. Finally, the C-1 railway line connects T4 with several stations in Madrid including Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios, Atocha and Príncipe Pío. It runs every 30 minutes from about 5:15 am to midnight and a one-way ticket costs €2.40. There is also a free internal shuttle service connecting the four airport terminals.
Taxis charge a special supplement for journeys to and from the airport, or originating at a bus depot or railway station.
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