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Cheap flights to Madrid, Spain

Madrid overview

Madrid Travel Guide

Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid is located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula. Culture vultures take cheap flights to Madrid to “ooh” at the treasure troves that are the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofia galleries. All are stuffed with priceless religious paintings and magnificent royal portraits. The streets offer plenty of opportunities to say “aah”. Philip II established his royal court in Madrid in 1561 and later kings added to the streetscape with ever grander palaces, ornate cathedrals, stately public buildings and glorious monuments.

The galleries and museums might feed the mind, but Madrid has plenty to feed the soul too. It is one of Europe’s greenest cities with more than 40 parks. These include Madrid’s best-known park, the Retiro, as well as the Casa de Campo and the Parque Quinta de la Fuente del Berro.

As for feeding the belly, Madrid’s cuisine is a melting pot, featuring of all of Spain’s regional dishes. Renowned in particular for its stews and hotpots and tapas, they provide the fuel for long nights. Starting late, a night out for Madrilenos can end at breakfast time the following day.

Madrid oozes charisma and it’s apparent from every angle. Immediately upon arriving from your Madrid flight, travelers will be captivated by this Spanish city’s charm. The third largest city in Europe and Spain’s capital city, Madrid has something for everyone. Take part in one of Madrid’s famous fiestas or cultural festivals, study at one of the city’s top universities, and explore the ancient city center lined with Spanish architecture and packed with museums and monuments. Book flights to Madrid to see it all.

Summer and fall months host the largest festivals, so travelers booking Madrid flights during those times should plan to party. Carnival, Veranos de la Villa and Festival de Otono are among the top three all year. For the truly eccentric traveler, book a flight to Madrid in May for the San Isidro Festival, which signifies the beginning of bullfighting season.Take time out from the fiesta and hit Madrid’s fashionable shopping district.

If your flight to Madrid is for business purposes, head straight to the Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid’s business quarter, where skyscrapers shape the landscape and the international headquarters of multi-million dollar companies make corporate history. Don’t despair — there will be time for fun outside the office. After a long day in the boardroom, head to Spain’s largest bullring at the Plaza de Toros where regular bullfights still take place.

Whether your flight to Madrid is for overseas studies or you found cheap airline tickets to Madrid for a long weekend full of arts and entertainment escapades, this exciting Spanish city bids you un tiempo bueno. 

What’s the weather like in Madrid?

Madrid has a temperate, Mediterranean climate. Summers, when most travelers take cheap flights to Madrid, are hot with temperatures of 86 degrees or hotter, sometimes up to 104 degrees. The heat is dry, not humid. Winters are cool, but not cold: Daily winter temperatures average 48 degrees.

In May through October, Madrid’s weather is usually warm and dry. The spring brings some of Spain’s most spectacular fiestas, starting with Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter.

Madrid’s biggest holiday is the feast of San Isidro, the city’s patron saint, which begins on May 15. It’s a popular party, so book well in advance. 

When is the best time to fly to Madrid?

Peak season:

Madrid is a go-to place for most of the year thanks to its warm weather. July and August are the busiest times and also the hardest for finding cheap flights to Madrid. You’ll find that early spring and late autumn are a lot quieter and also cheaper on accommodations and for flight tickets too, making them ideal times to visit the city.

If there are any festivals or events going on, make sure to book your flights to Madrid in advance to save yourself from overpaying on flight tickets. The 15th of May is when the feast of San Isidro begins. It’s Madrid’s biggest holiday and will force the prices of flights and accommodation to skyrocket so be sure to secure your flight tickets as early as possible.

Off season:

October through to April is normally the quieter period of the year, although October is still lovely and warm but with a fraction of the tourists. It’s still advisable to book your flights to Madrid early, especially if you want to grab a bargain. Christmas and New Year’s Eve will be hard times to find cheap flights to Madrid but if you pre-plan and book early you should find a good deal.

 When is the best time to book a flight to Madrid?

Due to many airlines operating flights to Madrid it can be relatively easy to find cheap flight tickets — that said, booking early is key to securing deals. January time normally offers the cheapest flights to Madrid, with some flight tickets going for as little as £35 per person which is a bargain.

If you’re flexible with your dates then you will definitely find the cheapest flights to Madrid without an issue, especially if you visit outside of the main tourist periods. Sitting on either side of the plane should give you good views of Madrid as you approach the city, as well as views of the surrounding land.

How long is the flight to Madrid?

Travelers flying from the United States will fly into Madrid-Barajas International Airport, located about six miles from the city’s center. Flights to Madrid from New York City are approximately 7.5 hours, from Chicago are about nine hours, from Dallas are about 10.5 hours, and from Los Angeles are about 12 hours.

Which airlines fly to Madrid?

The three major U.S air carriers that offer direct flights to Madrid are Delta, United, and American Airlines. U.S. travelers can also find direct flights on air Europa and Spain’s flagship carrier, Iberia Airlines. Other airlines that offer flights to Madrid from the U.S. include British Airways, Air France, TAP Portugal, Aer Lingus, and KLM.

What should you pack for a flight to Madrid?

Madrid has a subtropical climate, so most days of the year are warm and dry. If you are traveling sometime between May and October, pack light clothes such as T-shirts, shorts, skirts, or sundresses, with comfortable sandals or shoes for walking. Be sure to pack a swimsuit if you plan on visiting the beaches, and an umbrella if you are traveling during spring. Sunglasses are useful year-round. Pack some light jackets or sweaters for when the sun goes down and the temperature drops. If traveling during the winter months, pack hats, scarves, boots, and a warm coat in case it is cold and windy.

Getting to and around the city of Madrid

 After landing on cheap flights to Madrid, the city is easy to get about on foot. When you get tired of walking taxis can be hailed on the street. There are also several taxi ranks throughout the city.

Madrid also has an efficient metro system with cheap fares. There are 12 metro lines, three tramway lines and the branch line that links Ópera to Principe Pío.

Empresa Municipal de Transporte (EMT) operates the buses. Just like the Metro, bus services are efficient and cheap.

One of the most wonderful ways of getting around Madrid is by cable car. The cars link terminal on Paseo Pintor Rosales with the Casa de Campo. From the cable car there are views of the Air Transport Ministry, Temple of Debod, Plaza de España skyscrapers, Royal Palace and Cathedral of the Almudena.

 A frequent, reliable and cheap option is to take the Expres Aeropuerto, a bus which runs very regularly from the arrival Terminals at the airport for a low cost. However, it only makes 2 or 3 stops during its journey so you’ll have to then board the metro to get to your final destination.

If you’re not carrying a lot of luggage this might not be a problem. But if you have a couple of suitcases then this can be quite bothersome after your flights to Madrid.

A much easier method, although more expensive, is to get the metro directly from the airport to the center of the city. Again you might need to transfer once or twice depending on your destination, but it’s a much faster and convenient way to travel. Finally, you can get a taxi from outside of the airport although this will cost a lot more money than the bus or metro. If you have a few friends traveling with you, though, you can split the fare and make the cost more reasonable.

 What are some things to do in Madrid?

Spain’s capital of Madrid is a large, modern city with plenty of things to see and do. Museums abound here, and you will find one on just about every street in the city. The city stays awake throughout the night, and you will want to join residents on an evening stroll, or paseo por la noche, along streets lined with restaurants, shops, and entertainment.

Tips for your stay in Madrid

  • El Rastrois a magnet for bargain hunters. It’s the most popular open-air flea market in Madrid, held every Sunday and public holiday. You’ll find it between Plaza Mayor, La Latina and Puerta de Toledo.
  • Bull-fighting– Madrid attracts the best matadors in Spain. If you are interested, try to time cheap flights to Madrid during May and June. The San Isidro bullfight festival kicks off on May 15. San Isidro is the male patron saint of Madrid. His day is marked with local pilgrimages, fairs and bullfights.
  • The Church of San Nicolás de los Servitasis the oldest church in Madrid, parts of which date back to the 11th century. An exhibition in the small chapel tells the story of Madrid’s early history when the Moors ruled.
  • One of the best places to see flamencois Corral de la Moreria.
  • Madrid has a wealth of art museums. In addition to the world-renowned Prado, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia for modern art, and the formerly private collection the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, there is a little-known jewel, the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales. This elegant convent was built in the 16thcentury for aristocratic nuns. Each new arrival brought a dowry, many of them priceless works of art. Now open as a museum, the convent has a superb and eccentric collection of religious relics and art, including works by Rubens, Breughel, and Titian. Tours are led by a nun; they are in Spanish, but if you had a couple of years of high school Spanish, you’ll be able to understand a lot of it.
  • The Museo Sorolla exhibits the work of Spain’s most important impressionist painter, Joaquin Sorolla, in the house where he lived and worked for most of his life. The house and the gardens are charming. In addition, the Museo Sorollais one of several museums that host occasional concerts under the Ministry of Culture’s program called Tiempo de musica en los Museos.
  • The tower of the church of San Nicolas de las Servitasis one of the oldest buildings in Madrid, believed to date to 1085. The exhibits in the church are devoted to the Moorish history of early Madrid.
  • Madrid has many lovely parks, of which the foremost is the Parque del Retiro. Originally the private gardens of King Philip IV, the park consist of 350 acres of formal gardens, fountains, lakes, sculpture, playgrounds, and outdoor cafes.
  • Much of Madrid’s nightlife is unique. In the summer, cafes spill out onto the terrazas, and the eating, drinking, and partying often go on till dawn. For a typical Spanish experience, visit several tascas, the pubs that serve tapas, those wonderful Spanish appetizers. Each tasca has its specialties in tapas and wines. And you will find the soul of Spain in flamenco music. At a flamenco tavern, you can experience these haunting gypsy folk songs and dances.
  • Unlike Daylight Savings Time in the U.S., Spain’s time change is on the first weekend of spring. Be aware of the local time so you don’t miss a flight

 Finding Flights from Madrid

 There is plenty to see and do right in Madrid, but you may want to head out and explore the rest of the country. Cheapflights can help you find some great deals on flights from the city to other destinations throughout Spain.

Your flight will leave from Madrid-Barajas International Airport, which can get very busy so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get through security and reach your terminal. Madrid’s metro line 8 has two stations at the airport and runs daily from 6:00 am to 1:30 am. There are several bus lines that run between the airport and Madrid, including routes 101 and 200. You can also find taxis to take you to the airport.