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Changing planes in Madrid, is 5 hrs. enough for Palace Real?

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Dallas, TX
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Changing planes in Madrid, is 5 hrs. enough for Palace Real?

Hi! I am arriving at the Madrid airport terminal 4S at 9:55 am and departing for Venice at 16:10pm from the same terminal. I woud appreciate your advice in deciding if I should go to visit the city. primarily Palace Real or not? If so what would be the best way to get there? Should I worry about clearing security and are there long lines? This is my first time to travel this route and would love to take advantage of the few hours I have in Madrid. Thanks in advance for your input!!!

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Changing planes in Madrid, is 5 hrs. enough for Palace Real?

You will need to claim and recheck your luggage before clearing customs and passport control upon arrival. Depending on how many other flights are landing at the same time, this could easily take up to an hour, 40 minutes if you are very lucky, longer if you are not.

If you will already have your boarding pass for the connecting flight to Venice, and just need to clear security, then you should plan on being back at the airport no later than 14:30. Most gates close at least 20 minutes before departure, but you need to check when your flight will start boarding and from which gate.

T4 is a large terminal. A very long one, and you'll have to take the rail link to T4S if your flight is actually leaving from there instead of from T4.

Making a few assumptions, including travel time to and from the city, you may have up to 2-1/2 hours with which to do something. A short tour of the Palace is possible, but you will have to take a taxi to save time. Allow at least 30 minutes in each direction, depending on the day of the week this is supposed to happen, and hope that there are no traffic delays due to all of the street repairs/construction going on.

Dallas, TX
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2. Re: Changing planes in Madrid, is 5 hrs. enough for Palace Real?

Thank you so much for your fast reply. It sounds to me that I may be able to venture out however I could add a lot of stress to my trip which is not needed. I will enjoy the airport :-)

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Changing planes in Madrid, is 5 hrs. enough for Palace Real?

With a couple of hours to spare, I would at least consider going for a walk in the park (Retiro Park to be specific) and maybe stop in for some tapas before heading back to the airport. It would be a quick trip , but even a one hour break (fresh air) would be better than sitting around in the airport for 5 hours, no matter how nice the airport. The park is a lot closer to the airport than the Royal Palace and taxis are easy to find at both the airport and around the park. The Retiro neighborhood has a number of excellent places. You can check Maribel's Guide to Madrid for a little more information (www.maribelsguides.com).

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Changing planes in Madrid, is 5 hrs. enough for Palace Real?

In July we took the AA DFW-MAD flight and connected to another European destination on Iberia. From the satellite terminal, you take the train to T4 and go through passport control. We arrived just after several flights from Latin America, so our wait was nearly an hour. You don't have to reclaim bags--just pick them up at your final destination.

If you take the metro to the center, there's a bit of a walk, so all in all figure you're on your way into town at 11:30. I'm guessing the metro ride is 45 minutes, so 12:15-12:30 you're in central Madrid (earlier if the passport line is shorter). Maybe subtract a few minutes for time at an ATM to get Euros?

Security to re-enter airside T4 could take 20 minutes. Your flight will probably depart T4, not the satellite, so the walk won't be too bad. Maybe plan to be back at Barajas by 3pm, so you need to leave the center around 2pm, or 90 minutes to 2 hours after arriving.

Not really time enough for the royal palace, in my opinion, but time enough for a stroll if you're willing to go through the hassle.

5. Re: Changing planes in Madrid, is 5 hrs. enough for Palace Real?

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