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Flights to Madrid
Madrid-Barajas Airport is the main international airport serving flights to Madrid. Nearly 50 million passengers visited in 2010, making it the largest airport in Spain. It was the 11th busiest airport in the world in 2009. It is located within the city limits of Madrid. The Madrid Metro line connects the airport to the city center. Regular public bus services between the airport and the city are available. Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are adjacent and serve the Sky Team and Star Alliance airlines as well as Air Europa for Madrid flights. Domestic Madrid flights and international flights to Madrid are spread across all four terminals. EasyJet services many domestic Madrid flights from Terminal 1. All terminals have ample shops and eateries that can be explored while waiting to board.
After your flights to Madrid land, you'll find it is over 2,000 feet from sea level. Lovely weather comes in May to mid-July, when temperatures are between 65F and 90F. Daytime temperatures usually don't go higher than 104F from mid-July to August. The climate in Madrid is dry, with rain occurring mainly in the spring and fall. Relief comes at night with temperatures dropping to the low 60s F. During this time, being outside is delightful as you ride the world's most horizontal cable car from the slopes of La Rosaleda to the open green expanse of Casa de Campo.
Madrid When to Go
Thanks to pleasant weather and the San Isidro Festival, which officially kicks off the bullfighting season, May might just be the best month to visit Madrid. It’s also a nice time to view the picturesque Real Jardín Botánico, the royal botanical gardens dating back to the 18th century. The 30,000 or so plants bloom during the spring and summer, making the grounds a peaceful place to stroll. The livelier Retiro Park—a huge expanse of statues, greenery, beautiful old buildings, and a lake with rowboats for rent—is also nearby.
In between the festivities of spring and the dry but extreme heat of mid-summer, June promises plenty of sun without the overwhelming crowds that start streaming in during July and August. Take the time to sip sangria on an outdoor patio or look for the perfect keepsake along the Gran Vía. Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises ends at the grand boulevard, but if you’re a shopper, you’ll just be getting started at this mecca of noteworthy architecture and upscale shops.
January and February are the coldest—and least popular—times to visit. But with temperatures ranging from about 30 to 60 degrees, it’s not too chilly to enjoy yourself, and lines at the biggest attractions are nearly nonexistent. The broad, tree-lined Paseo del Prado houses three such attractions you won’t want to miss: the incomparable Museo Nacional del Prado, a must for anyone who enjoys European art; the well-loved Museo Reina Sofía, a contemporary art museum that’s home to Picasso’s Guernica; and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which includes a nice assortment of works from the likes of Duccio, Auguste Renoir, and Titian.
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