Cheap Flights To Madrid, Spain
- Area Municipality : 604.3 km² (233.3 sq. mi)
- Area Codes : +34 91
- Currency : Euro
- Population Municipality : 3,141,991 (2014)
- Official Language : Spanish with English widely understood
- Time Zones : CET (UTC+1) Summer (DST): CEST (UTC+2)
- Airport : Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD)
Located just 12km from the city centre, passengers landing at Madrid-Barajas International Airport can take a taxi, train, bus or the Metro to reach the city. The Metro is located at T2 and T4 and operates from 06h05 to 01h30. Buses from the airport comprise long distance, suburban and urban, travelling to several destinations besides the city. Car rentals are located at the arrival areas of terminal T1 and T4 and comprise Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Sixt, Budget and Hertz.
Travellers in South Africa can take one of three weekly direct flights departing from Johannesburg to Madrid-Barajas International Airport with Iberia Airlines, taking 10h 20m or alternatively a connecting flight with:
- Swiss (via Zürich) 14h 0m+
- Air France (via Paris) 14h 20m+
Airlines touching down at MAD include those below and many others:
- Air Canada
- Air Europa
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- El Al Israel
- Etihad Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- TAP Portugal
- Virgin Atlantic
Best Time To Visit Madrid
Spring and Autumn are perfect seasons to visit Madrid in Spain, more specifically May and October. when taking into consideration weather and tourists. These are the periods where the weather is cool and warm and the least amount of crowds will be experienced. This time of the year will also give you cheap flights to Madrid as the demand will be lower than peak season which is summer.
Reasons to Visit Madrid
- Capital to Spain, it’s a beautiful metropolis with splendid olden buildings and friendly locals that make visitors feel right at home. Its elegant boulevards are alive with an invisible exuberance while tranquillity is guaranteed in one of many picturesque parks. Museums show off masterpieces by famous Spanish artists and its history is reflected in stunning architectural designs throughout the city, in royal palaces and medieval mansions. A simple meal turns into a marvellous gastronomic experience with dishes and flavours from numerous Spanish regions while after dark the streets are bustling with bars, nightclubs and pavement cafés with relaxed people mesmerised by surrounding life.
- The best time to visit this amazing city is from April to June during the Spring season or Autumn in September and October when parks become alight with colours and temperatures are pleasantly warm. Summers have an unbearable heat that virtually shuts down the city during August with locals seeking respite along Spain’s coastal regions. Numerous restaurants, bars and small museums close for the month.
- Visitors have great choices for accommodation comprising luxury hotels with historical character to those with modern suites as well as comfortable budget hotels. There are apartments and self-catering establishments including a great range of backpacker/hostel facilities.
Places to Visit in Madrid
- With a long list of museums all worth a visit, art lovers should start with:
- The premier Museo del Prado with over 7000 pieces, is one of the finest collections of European art (12th to early 20th century) in the world.
- The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the country’s national museum displaying 20th century art and named after Queen Sofía.
- The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is home to an amazing private collection of mostly European art from the 13th to 20th century.
- The Museo Sorolla founded in 1932 displays the works of Valencian artist Joaquin Sorolla who converted his lovely peaceful mansion, surrounded by lush gardens of his own design, into a museum after his wife’s death.
- Additional museums include Museum of Lázaro Galdiano, The Museum of Romanticism, Museum Cerralbo, Museum of the Americas, CaixaForum Madrid, the National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Museo Naval de Madrid and plenty more.
- The Plaza de Toro’s Monumental de Las Ventas is the most esteemed bullring around the globe. A guided tour provides much insight to this long Spanish tradition.
- The Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a Roman Catholic Church built in the 18th century. Its massive frescoed dome and chapel, painted by Goya leaves one speechless, best time to visit is early morning.
- The 1798 Neoclassical Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida is Goya’s resting place and renowned for its ceiling and dome murals by Goya.
- Used for state ceremonies is the lavish 2000 roomed Royal Palace of Madrid that opened in 1755 and is built in splendid classical and baroque architectural styles.
- For a feel of Egypt in Madrid, visit the Templo de Debod that was rescued from the waters of Lake Nasser and sent to Spain in blocks as gratitude to the Spanish archaeologists that assisted in saving precious olden monuments.
- Built during Philip IIIs rule, the Plaza Mayor opened in 1619 and is the city’s central plaza affording an expansive gap in the tightly knitted streets of Madrid. It’s close to the Puerto del Sol that’s a public square and one of the busiest areas in the city.
- A stunning structure of glass and metal is Palacio de Cristal built in 1887 for exhibiting fauna and flora. Its located in the middle of El Retiro Park, one of the largest in the city that belonged to the Spanish Monarchy. Within its 350 acres you’ll encounter glorious gardens, manicured lawns, a rose garden and lake where you can enjoy a tranquil boat road.
- Set in 20 acres is the historical garden of Campo del Moro Garden that has lush trees, gardens, streams and two enormous fountains.
- The Real Jardín Botánico is a royal botanical garden thats home to species older than 2000 years. There are trails, self-guided tours with activities held each month.
- Meander along wonderful pathways within the landscaped beauty of Parque del Oeste, a 20th century urban park with conifer and cedar trees.
- For an evening of outstanding Spanish cuisine, Santceloni located at 57 Paseo de la Castellana is high on the list including Restaurante La Mi Venta and Casa Paco.
- Experience a night with a difference at La Castafiore restaurant where you’ll dine as waitrons delight you with opera.
- For open-air shopping El Rastro is the biggest and most frequented flea market in the city. Open each Sunday and on public holidays from 09h00 to 15h00, its situated along Plaza de Cascorro.
- For shopping, theatre, a gamble at the casino and a night out, Gran Vía also known as the Spanish Broadway, is a street that never sleeps.
Getting Around Madrid
Visitors have an excellent, extensive and fairly inexpensive metro and bus system to traverse the city but for a great experience, central Madrid is best explored on foot. Public transport is ideal for getting to neighbourhoods and sights and then walking to explore. To read more on Madrid’s public transport system, go to www.ctm-madrid.es, available in Spanish and English with recommendations on the best ways to get from one place to another.
The Metro (Subway):
The Metro is extensive and operates from 06h00 to 02h00 connecting hub stations throughout the city. To save on transport, for a short stay in the city, purchase a Abono Transportes Turístico pass that affords unlimited rides on the Metro and bus for 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days. Tickets are available at Metro station counters or vending machines and sometimes at newspaper kiosks or tobacconists. Your ID needs to be produced and only the ID holder may use the pass.
Visitors doing a lot of travelling should purchase a 10-trip Metro bus ticket that can also be used on the subway. Regular buses run from around 06h00 to just before midnight with some operating until 02h00. Tickets can be purchased at any Metro station, newspaper kiosks or tobacconists.
Buses marked emt are ideal for fast transport up and down the Paseos and getting from Atocha to Puerta de Toledo. Operating from 06h00 to 23h00, passengers can use their Metrobus or Abono tickets.
The Madrid City Tour bus is a hop-on, hop-off double decker specifically for sightseeing with commentary via headphones in 14 languages. Its two routes include the majority of the main attractions and although more expensive, it eliminates using public transport to view sights
Madrid’s train network, known as Cercanía is geared towards suburban travel. Train rides are not included in the Metrobus or Abono passes.
Black or white taxis with horizontal or diagonal red bands are legal and found all over the city with ranks located at bus and train stations and near to hotels and attractions. They can be flagged down or booked by telephone with a maximum of four people allowed. Fares increase during the night shift and there are surcharges for trips to the airport, railway station, luggage, football stadiums, the bullring and on Sundays and public holidays. A 10% tip is acceptable.
For inner city travel its best to take public transport or a taxi but for excursions further afield, car rentals are located at train stations and the airport. Non-EU citizens must have an International Drivers Permit before entering Spain.