History and background to Madrid–Barajas Airport

The airport at Madrid, which is only minutes drive from the city centre, is a busy affair, being the world’s 11th busiest and Europe’s 6th busiest. It has a great range of facilities and first opened it’s doors to passengers in 1928. Sometimes known as Barajas, it is Spain’s main air link with the rest of Europe and Latin America in particular. Built in the early 1900’s, the airport has grown from a small local affair to become the important location it is today. Falling within the boundaries of the city and sitting towards the north east, the airport is only a stone’s throw from Madrid’s business district and tourist attractions, making it a popular choice for business and pleasure travellers alike.

madrid barajas

No matter why you are flying into Madrid-Barajas Airport you’re sure to be able to find plenty to do. Here, you’ll find a whole host of cultural and tourist attractions to visit, as well as what is often referred to as Europe’s finest shopping. In Madrid itself, you could take time to visit the Royal Palace, which is reputedly the biggest palace in Western Europe as well as the Cathedral and Templo de Debod, which is a 2nd century Egyptian temple located right in the middle of Madrid city itself.   Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor Plaza de Oriente, Plaza de Cibeles and Plaza de la Villa are all renowned Madrid quarters and are well worth a visit.

If you fancy getting out and about around the city, then Toledo is a good day trip from Madrid because it’s only an hour’s drive away. A fortress city, Toledo really is a “must see” when you’re in this neck of the woods. A city with a rich cultural history, it boasts its fair share of religious symbolism, some of which, such as the Iglisia de Stanto Tome plays host to some of the city’s best-known artworks by El Greco.

Another fine day out in this area, taking only 45 minutes or so from Madrid in is El Escorial. Situated at the foot of Mount Abantos, El Escorial is a historic royal residence and boasts, amongst its other attractions, the renowned monastery, Monasterio de San Lorenzo del Escorial as well as the burial place of General Franco. Segoria on the other hand is a UNESCO world heritage site and is easily do-able as a day out from Madrid. The city is steeped in medieval history with an almost surreal feel to it. And while you’re there, don’t forget to visit the aqueduct, which is a mind-blowing piece of Roman architecture and not to be missed. Other must-sees are: El Alcazar and the 16th century cathedral.

No matter why you are visiting Madrid-Barajas Airport, you are sure to find plenty of interesting things to do. In fact, even if you are visiting on business, it’s well worth taking an extra couple of days to make the most of the opportunities that this airport opens up to you.