Madrid Airport (MAD) - also known as Madrid-Barajas Airport - is just 25 minutes from the centre of Madrid via the M-40, allowing you to start exploring the capital of Spain as soon as you arrive. One of the most elegant cities in Europe, Madrid is a shopping, art and food Mecca, with plenty to do no matter what your tastes.
You've got around half a dozen car hire companies to choose from at Madrid Airport, providing you with a range of vehicle options so you can find the perfect one to suit your budget and needs. Finding the right hire car can be made simpler by using our site, which shows you all the vehicles on offer and their benefits.
All car hire desks can be found in the arrivals hall of Terminal One, which means you can simply collect your luggage and be on your way. Simply find the desk for the company you've booked with and they will direct you to your pick-up point. If you are arriving at Terminal Two, there is a regular shuttle bus to take you to Terminal One to collect your car.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
It won't take you long to realise why Madrid has the brilliant reputation it does. The city is incredibly beautiful, with the stunning architecture and open green spaces adding a lot of charm. This is coupled with great shopping destinations, museums, art galleries and restaurant, which provide you with everything you could want from your trip.
To truly appreciate the culture of Madrid, head to Plaza de Santa Ana, which combines stunning buildings and a lively cafe scene. The open space is surrounded by history for you to explore or you can simply people watch while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee at an outdoor table.
Take a break from the city and drive just over an hour down the M-607 to reach the stunning Royal Palace of La Granja of San Ildefonso. The royal palace features remarkable gardens and is everything you would expect from the the former summer residence of the Spanish royal family.
There is no shortage of great places to go for food and drink in Madrid. You can find delicious treats from all over the world, as well as some special dishes that are classics in Madrid. Whether you eat a fancy restaurant or small local eaterie, you should make sure to try some cocido madrileno pork stew, a delicious bocadillo de calamares (squid sandwich) and churros served with warm melted chocolate.
If there's one thing that Madrid has covered, it's shopping. You'll find local boutiques and designer stores aplenty, giving you the perfect excuse to treat yourself.
You can also head to any one of several museums in Madrid, although art lovers can't miss out on Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. This museum is home to Picasso's Guernica, which is truly beautiful. It also has an outstanding collection of other modern art, including pieces by Salvador Dali and Joan Miro.
There are a number of great sights that you need to see while in Madrid. Among these is Plaza Mayor, which is surrounded by cafes and has the incredibly statue of Felipe III in the middle.
You should also visit Almudena Cathedral, which has an interesting history. It took 110 years to construct the cathedral after it couldn't be decided whether Madrid should have one in the first place. See if you can work out which sections were designed by different architects as you wander around.