I will be arriving at Madrid airport at 20:55 on a Saturday evening and my connecting flight leaves at 06:25 the following (Sunday) morning. We are a couple with a 2 year old son.

How much time do we realistically have between having collected our baggage from arrivals and needing to check in for the following flight? Are there any hotels that would be in the right place to make reserving a room worthwhile?

Obviously I'm assuming the flights are on time and that our baggage arrives correctly!

(both flights are within the EU if that makes any difference to timing)


2 Answers 2


Barajas Airport is pretty good, it's nice and new, and efficient. I've been through many times and been impressed at its speed of processing.

Assuming you need to check in at 4am, say, you'd probably have from 9.30pm till 4am outside the airport.

I had a night in Madrid last year, and stayed in a hostel downtown as it was easy and quick to get there. However you're returning to the airport at an unusual hour, so it may be better to stay in Barajas nearby.

If you go to say, booking.com and do a search for your dates in Barajas de Madrid, Spain, it'll show quite a few hotels within 1.2km-4km from the airport. So then it's up to you in terms of price vs hours, but if things go smoothly you could be in your room by 10pm, and get 5 hours of sleep.

My friend stayed in Barajas as he was coming in later than me, and then met me in the morning, and had no problems getting taxis to the area from the airport, even at weird hours of the night/morning. And I'm sure the hotel could help out with that.


If possible, check your baggage directly in to the final destination. This will allow you to save time as you won't have to take up your luggage in Madrid and check in again. If that's not feasible, as you are leaving early, you might be able to an evening check-in in Madrid. You will save precious time in the morning. In either case you could take the essentials for the one night in you hand luggage.

I would stay in an hotel next to the airport. The airport's website lists 17 hotels nearby. Very often hotels close to airports offer free shuttles to and from the airport.

If you really want to go to an hotel downtown, take a taxi. You can go by metro, but it takes more or less 45 minutes to travel from the airport to Puerta del Sol. Not so convenient with a tired 2 years old ... The Madrid Metro operates from 6AM to 2AM. To go back to the airport you would need a taxi anyway.

  • 1
    Not sure why you got a downvote, I thought it was solid. Upvote (and typo correction) from me.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 6:48
  • Maybe someone does not like the idea of staying near the airport and prefers staying in the city? That is perfectly legitimate. Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 9:02

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