Layover in Madrid?

Feb 26th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 276
Layover in Madrid?

I have the option of using some FF miles for a portion of my December trip to Spain. The only problem is there would be a long layover in Madrid before continuing to LHR, where the family would overnight prior to returning to the States. As it stands, we would arrive in Madrid around 12:30 p.m., with an 8 p.m. departure for London.

I have not yet been to Madrid. Is this enough time to explore a small part of the city - perhaps the Prado - or is this too much of a hassle?

I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks in advance,
Chels is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,007
Thoughts to consider:
Are the flights all booked together so your luggage would be checked through?

It could take about an hour to get through passport control and get to a cab (a wild guess).
It takes about 30 minutes in a cab to the city.
You will want to be back at the airport with 2 hours to spare (6pm), meaning leaving the city by 5:30 in a cab, but that might be rush hour, so maybe a little earlier.

So, that gives you roughly 2-5 to see part of the Prado and grab lunch.
I'm trying to decide on doing a similar thing myself, but with less time, so I look forward to seeing what others say.

If I have to sit in an airport a long time, Madrid's is one of the more pleasant ones.

yorkshire is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 276

Thanks for the response. Here is more information that may assist:

1) We will be coming from Malaga to Madrid, so we shouldn't have to clear Passport control in Madrid.

2) Our flights are booked together on Iberia, so we could check our luggage through to London, and store our hand luggage at the left-luggage in the airport (already checked that out!)

3) We would already have boarding passes, etc for the continuing flight to LHR, so we could probably return 1.5 hours before flight rather than 2.

I am trying to decide whether to build the layover into our itinerary just to see Madrid for a few hours or save it for another time. I can only get 2 FF seats for the short layover; so we would purchase the other 2 seats if the layover seems ill advised. I cannot fathom sitting in the airport for 7 hours with 2 young teens!

Thanks again, and I look forward to additional thoughts and suggestions!

Chels is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Based on your itinerary, and the fact that you'll have your boarding passes, you should be able to spend a couple hours exploring the Prado after a nice lunch at one of the excellent restaurants in the area. Lunch is served from 1:30 to 4:00, but you'll need to have reservations.

Allow 30 minutes travel in each direction if taking a taxi from and to the airport. The metro can take an hour in each direction.
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2008, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
I had much less time in Madrid (don't remember exactly how much) and took a taxi into the city and spent 2 hours at the Rastro flea market. And I had carry-on luggage that I had to check in the left luggage office. You have much more time and an easier situation in general. I would say go for it.
Cimbrone is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 276
Thanks for the replies! We are going to try and take the layover in Madrid. Hopefully, it will work out.

Thanks again,
Chels is offline  
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