Wiki - Traveling via Madrid

If you have a tight budget, flying to Madrid and then traveling to Granada by coach or sharing a car may be a good option (check also Tips for those traveling from Málaga).

Madrid Airport

There are four terminals named T1, T2, T3 and T4. A free ("gratis") bus running every 10 min. connects the four terminals.

Iberia and associated airlines fly to T4, low cost airlines and almost everybody else fly to T2 or T1.

T1, T2 and T3 are within walking distance (15min, with moving walkways). Getting from the T4 to the other terminals using the free bus, takes between 20 and 30 min.

T4 is divided into the main building and a satellite building connected by a shuttle train. In case you arrive/depart from the satellite, be aware that it will take you 30 extra minutes just to get there from the main building.

Taxis between the airport and Madrid city center cost 30€ (fixed rate). If you go or come from terminal T4 the taxi driver would let you choose if you want to use the toll road (+2€ approx,) reducing the trip by 10 minutes. Most taxis would accept credit cards for payments, but check beforehand with the driver. Not all the drivers can speak English.

A suburban train (RENFE Cercanias, line C1) running every 30min, connects the T4 with the center of Madrid. 2.60€. Be aware that not all trains on line C1 reach the airport.

There are also Metro stations in both T2 and T4.

Finally, there are several city buses connecting the airport with Madrid.

From Madrid to Granada

Traveling by car

Granada is 420 km away from Madrid. Motorway all the way, it is an easy road. The trip can be done comfortably in under 4 hours.

Speed is limited in Spain in motorways to 120km/h, radars fire at 130km/h.

By coach

ALSA provides a coach service running a couple of times every day from the T4 to Granada.

There is a more frequent service running from Madrid "Estación Sur" to Granada. You can reach that station by train (RENFE Cercanias line C1 departing from T4 to Mendez Alvaro Station every 30 min, trip time 31min), Metro (departing from T4 and T2, between 50-70min) or taxi (20min).

See also Buses' discount.

By train

Trains to Granada depart from Atocha Station, located in Madrid city center.

The airport is connected by train (RENFE Cercanias line C1 departing from the T4 every 30 min, trip 26min), coach (Exprés Aeropuerto), Metro (departing from T4 and T2, 50-70 min) and taxi (30 min).

*Important*: the rail road section between Antequera and Granada is going to be closed for the conference dates and a replacement bus service provided instead.

Car and home sharing

Want a free ride or a place to pass the night in Madrid?

See Madrid car sharing.

Visiting Madrid

Madrid is a safe place were you can move freely but be aware of pickpockets, specially in crowed and touristic places, and in bus, train and metro stations.

Temperatures can be quite high in Madrid in the summer. Don't forget to drink (non-alcoholic) fluids frequently.

Also protect yourself from the sunlight, using a hat or/and sunscreen lotion.

Tap water is of good quality (usually better than cheap bottled water) and can be drunk without concerns.

At times, specially in the summer, the pollution levels can go over the maximum values recommended by the EU (too many cars, no rain). Pollution information is available from the city council.

An electrical bicycle renting service (some information in English) is available in the most central areas. Be aware that bicycles can not be ridden on sidewalks. It is not mandatory to use a helmet.

Ideas for a lightning visit

So you have a few hours to spend in Madrid...

  • Parque Juan Carlos I is a modern park where you can relax while you wait for your connection fly. It is just a metro station away from the T2 (Parque de las Naciones station, trip time 15min). There is a free bike lending service inside the park. Free bathrooms. Restaurants are available in the near office area Parque de las Naciones.
  • El Corte Ingles, mall store, just take the metro or the train to Nuevos Ministerios station (20-30min). There is a Gourmet section where you can buy and/or eat high quality expensive food. Also, the near "Calle Orense" is one of those typical unremarkable shopping streets where you can find Zara, Mango, McDonalds, etc.
  • Real Madrid Stadium, El Bernabeu: take the train or metro to Nuevos Ministerios station and then walk over La Castellana, direction north, until you reach the stadium (10min).
  • Museums: Most important ones are in Paseo del Prado. Just get the train (30min) or the bus to Recoletos or Atocha station and then walk (10min).
    • El Prado: main national art museum, features one of the world's finest collections of paintings. If you are in a hurry, go directly to the Goya section.
    • Reina Sofia: national modern art museum. Pablo Picasso's Guernica is there.
    • Thyssen-Bornemisza: a private held museum
    • Museo Naval: this is a very little known gem you can see in one or two hours. Features a large collection of ship miniatures that were used for the construction of historically notable ships. You would be able to see also arms, paintings of ships and battles, maritime carts, flags and other memorabilia.
  • City center walk: take the train to Recoletos or Atocha stations (line C-1) or the Metro L10 from Nuevos Ministerios to Tribunal or Noviciado, walk to Puerta del Sol, and then follow the Calle Mayor into Plaza Mayor, continue walking to La Almudena and the Royal Palace.
  • El Rastro: is the most popular open air flea market in Madrid. It is held every Sunday and public holiday, from 9am to 3pm. Take the metro or train to Nuevos Ministerios station and then the train to Puerta del Sol.
  • Segovia: take the train to Chamartín, and then a fast train to Segovia (30min, buy your passage at RENFE). Visit the roman aqueduct. Order "Cochinillo" for lunch at Meson de Cándido (ensure you are there between 1pm and 3pm, ask for a salad as a side dish, don't waste your appetite with the starters!). Optionally, walk around the medieval city and visit the magnificent Alcazar.
  • Beers at the mythical Rincón Guay: formerly known as El Rincón de Cambre, it is the bar in the center of Madrid where Madrid Perl Mongers have celebrated their social meetings since almost forever. Well, OK, it is not so mythical, but if you are around we can organize a social meeting just for the occasion and enjoy some beers there.

Get in touch

For more specific advice don't hesitate to get in touch with the organizers or the local Perl Monger groups via email or IRC (#yapceu, at