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long layover in Madrid - advice re: quick visit to City?


Apr 14th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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long layover in Madrid - advice re: quick visit to City?

On Sunday April 24 my mother (who has never been to Spain) and I have a layover from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm (arriving from US and traveling on to Venice, Italy). Is that enough time for a quick trip into the city, and if so what would you recommend we do? Mom is almost 70, this is likely the only time she will ever see Spain.
pluckylommy is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2016, 10:47 AM
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Personally, I wouldn't do it. Assuming the doors on your plane open at 9:00AM and you are among the first off, figure on at least 30 min to clear immigration & customs, at least 30 min to get into the city (train or taxi) and it is at the earliest 10:00 before you get into the center. You need to get back to the airport 2 hours early, maybe more (check to find out). So at best you have 3 hours in downtown Madrid. Doable? Sure but I personally wouldn't do it because a traffic delay anywhere could ruin everything.
sparkchaser is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2016, 11:56 AM
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Just sounds like a lot of trouble to me. I have never booked such an itinerary on purpose because I wouldn't want to hang around an airport that long.

But sure, you could do it, you would have several hours there. But is that really seeing Spain? A film might be better. I don't know, it will be hectic just all those arrangements to spend a couple hours in central Madrid. I think you should ask your mother if this kind of trip appeals to her or not. If she really really wants to do it, at least you won't have to deal with luggage, right? I presume they are taking care of that. Customs isn't anything that takes any time at all, you walk through it, I presume you aren't going to be bring goods into the city you need to declare. Hard to tell how long the immigration will take, it has never been that long for me.

Take the Airport Express bus that goes right to Plaza de Cibeles. They run every 15 minutes and have stops at each terminal, I believe. YOu can buy a ticket on the bus, costs 5 euro. It will take about 40 minutes to get there, probably. There is the bus info http://www.gomadrid.com/transport/Airport-Express.pdf

Plaza de Cibeles is right at top of the park that runs along the Paseo del Prado (and the Prado and Thyssen museums are not far, either). I'd just spend my time around there, the park is pleasant, and if you walk a bit to the west, there is an older area (barrio de las letras) which is historic. You could walk along calle Cervantes and/or Calle del Prado to get to Plaza Santa Ana and go back. Something like that, anyway. Presuming you don't want to go into a museum for an hour. If one were dying to see some particular painting, you could do that. So 3 hours in that area is a chunk of time to experience it if you are up for the hassle. I would predict you won't be there (Plaza de Cibeles) until more like 10:30-11 if all goes well. You'll want to be back by 2 pm latest. So I think you might really have more only about two hours to really count on. But I think that might be the easiest way (airport bus) and it does get you somewhere that is a destination, you don't need to then take the metro to get anywhere else. Of course you could take a cab, that might save a little transit time over the bus which has a couple stops.

I don't think you would need to be at the airport more than 2 hours before departure for a flight from Spain to Italy. I never do that within Europe, get to the airport that early.
Christina is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2016, 12:18 PM
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Just remember Barajas airport is a bear. It is truly HUGE, and it will take you a long time to reach the gate for your Venice flight.
Bedar is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2016, 02:39 PM
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You simply do not have enough time (4-1/2 hours) to spend any time in the city. If you're flight arrives at 09h00, assuming at T4S. After taxing up (15 to 20 minues) it will take you nearly 30 minutes to go from the arrivals gate to the arrivals terminal, where you'll have to go through passport control. Depending on where you're sitting on the plane, it can take up to 30 minutes just to deplane.

Just enjoy your time at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, relax and have lunch (Kirei by Kabuki - Gastro Hub - La Mary - MasQMenos) before catching your connecting flight to Venice. If you don't have access to one of the clubs, then you can do some duty-free shopping

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