Madrid Airport Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know

16 April, 2021by Bounce

The Madrid-Barajas Airport is Spain's busiest airport and the second largest airport in Europe. As the capital city of Spain, Madrid is unsurprisingly rich in cultural history. At only twelve kilometers from the center of the city, and with numerous transport options available, it makes sense to drop off your luggage and explore, even if only passing through. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using the Metro line and once you hit the city there are plentiful luggage storage lockers close at hand.

Why not take a stroll down tree-lined boulevards, sip coffee in one of the many ancient cobbled squares, or drop into one of the world-famous museums? If food is more your thing, Sobrino de Botin is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest restaurant in the world. It has been serving food since 1725 in four different dining halls. Its specialty is suckling pig or roasted lamb and it was deemed good enough to be rated as number three out of the ten best classic restaurants in the world by Forbes magazine.

Of course, Spain is also famed for its tapas and you will be able to sample these miniature pieces of culinary art at nearly every street-side taverna.  You might want to accompany these ubiquitous Spanish snacks with a jug of sangria incorporating local wine and fruit.

Don't think you will be short of shopping options if you fall into the shopaholic category. Whole quarters of the city are dedicated to antiques, books, clothes, and luxury goods.


Madrid Airport bag policy


Check-in luggage will be determined by what airline you are flying. Most companies allow two items of hand luggage sized 22'' by 14'' by 9'' and there will be security checks that incorporate both metal detecting and X-ray equipment.

EU restrictions on liquid and gels allow for 100 milliliter containers presented in clear, resealable plastic bags for ease of examination. Even if you have small liquid bottles, they will not be accepted if the combined total comes to more than one liter.


Madrid Airport food policy


You can bring your own food into the airport and onto planes providing it does not contravene the liquid policy above. This policy does not include products of animal origin from outside of Europe because of EU health restrictions.

The airport itself offers bountiful restaurant options. There is a gastro pub, many well-recognized fast food options, and several delis. Of course, there will also be many places to purchase regional delicacies, and as always in this country, tapas are easy to find.


Madrid Airport camera policy


You are free to carry electronic devices such as cameras and computers in your hand luggage, though you should be aware that security may require you to turn them on to confirm that they are functional and do not pose a security risk. As at any airport, avoid taking photos of secure areas or security personnel, since this can arouse suspicion.


Madrid Airport rules


  • You may fly with a firearm but it needs to be wrapped and in an appropriate case.  After that, you should report to the Department of Central Inspection at the airport where it can be certified and then returned to you at your destination.

  • No items deemed to be dangerous are allowed and this is at the prerogative of the airport security authorities.

  • Only drugs that are accompanied by a legitimate medical certificate are allowed to be carried.


Madrid Airport lockers


This is a historic city that demands a visit even if you are simply passing through the airport en route to another destination. The numerous locker rental options in the city mean that you can tour without having to drag your bags along, even if you are on a relatively short stopover.

The beauty of this airport is that it offers such easy access to the city and locker rentals are conveniently placed once you get there. To avoid dragging your luggage to a rental facility only to find it already full, look for a service that offers online booking options. Some of these will also offer free insurance and baggage tags.

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