Hi, We have one night in Madrid, following long visit in Andalusia, before flying home, in April. Is there a good (nice but not super-expensive) hotel that is an easy trip to the airport, but also in a cool Madrid neighborhood where we could experience the city a bit for one night? We don't have lots of time and will make another trip to visit Madrid properly some day, but don't necessarily want to spend the night right next to the airport at some chain hotel. Thank you!!!
The airport isn’t right in Madrid so I’d pick a location based on how you plan on getting to the airport. My wife and I take the metro so stay by the Sol metro stop. If you’re leaving from Atocha station, then select a hotel near it. Atocha is close to the museums but about a 15 minutes walk from the Plaza Mayor. If your flight is really early in the morning, then a hotel near the airport might be best. You could go into town for the evening then return to the hotel and not have to travel to it in the morning.
I like to spend the last night of my trip at a hotel near the airport - one that offers free transportation. Like others have said, the airport is not terribly close to the Madrid city center. Two options: first is to stay in the neighborhood you like (or is central), like Sol or Gran Via. You can take a taxi to the airport. The other option is to stay at an airport hotel that is close to a metro station. That way you can take short, safe trip into the city center when you want.
The airport is easy to get to from the city, via any mode. Cabs there are 30 mins in the morning—and bout 30€. Public transit is around 45. (Which form of transit I’d recommend would depend on the airline, and thus the terminal you’d fly. This could also influence a specific neighborhood recommendation for an easy-assess one night stay.
There is a 24-hour Airport Express bus with a stop right at Cibeles, which is then walking distance to dozens and dozens of hotels. We use this on all our visits to Madrid, including a couple weeks ago. 5 Euros per person and very reliable.