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Madrid airport to our hotel in Toledo

We see that there is either a bus or a train into downtown Madrid, and then a train from there to Toledo. We sense a bit of confusion from several other posters about that downtown Madrid station/stop. So I think we want to just cab it. Or Uber it. Either one. I realize the cost, of course, is greater, but we'll choose that anyway. I think Rick Steves posted around roughly 90Euro for two people.

So, our question, and this is for December travel. How much roughly for this ride, and, any positive or negative experiences with the cab ride? Secondly, will Uber be any cheaper in Spain? Finally, could someone list any other cab company they might recommend (Eg., Kiwi, Suncoast, etc)?

Much obliged. Ken and Karen Novak

Posted by
2928 posts

Taking the metro to Atocha station where the train to Toledo leaves from is another option. It’s about a 40 minutes trip from the airport and about €6 per person. If you have a lot of luggage, the metro may not be practical.

Posted by
17881 posts

The train from Atocha Station to Toledo takes 33 minutes and costs 13.90 euros one-way, or a bit less as part of a round-trip ticket. It's easy to go to the train station at the airport and buy a ticket to Toledo so you don't have to deal with the staffed counters or vending machines at Atocha. I'm not sure whether there's an extra cost for the airport-to-Atocha leg; it's possible it's included in the price of the ticket to Toledo.

I couldn't get ViaMichelin.com to cough up a mileage figure, but Rome2Rio says it's 58 miles from the airport to Toledo.

90 euros sounds high for the trip from the airport to Atocha Station and low for the trip from the airport to Toledo, but I have not made either trip by taxi.

Posted by
50 posts

LOW from the trip from Madrid airport to Toledo? Yikes, now you're making it sound completely impractical to go by cab. I thought I read all kinds of posts online that Rick Steves estimated the cost to be 90Euros. Of course that could have been a few years ago.

I am scared off by all the talk online about the confusing parts of the Atocha station, ie., there are all kinds of nuances that are not easily understood by the non natives.

Posted by
17881 posts

I'm one who has commented on this forum that the station can be confusing. That just means you shouldn't count on finding your platform in 5 minutes. It's not that difficult, and there are normally uniformed Renfe employees floating around the concourse who will be glad to point you in the right direction. If you don't see someone like that, go to one of the entry gates you have to pass through to get to the platforms; there's normally someone nearby. Show you ticket, or say "Toe LAY doe" in a sort of questioning tone if you encounter a language barrier; you will probably be the hundredth tourist to ask that question that day.

One reason I'd expect the taxi fare to be high is that you'll virtually always pay for the round-trip mileage when you make an out-of-town trip like that. But again: I haven't taken a taxi to Toledo.

Posted by
5 posts

We (60s couple) just did a hired car from MAD to Toledo on Sunday 9/28. Total cost was $122.29. Ordered it through a link on our Toledo hotel's confirmation page in the Booking app. It was cheaper than the other 3 or 4 options I found online. I think it was billed through Rideways (Booking family of companies) and the taxi provider listed was Servicar25.

They monitored our flight (7:45 am) and updated us via text. Our driver was waiting for us right outside arrivals, grabbed our bags and whisked us door-to-door to the Toledo Alcázar in about an hour. Although we reserved a small car, the actual vehicle was an "executive" Mercedes van. We stretched out for a power nap, got lucky with early check-in, and hit the ground sightseeing before noon.

While it seems relatively expensive, we've learned from past trips that we're not at our best negotiating unfamiliar, multi-stage mass transit journeys in a jet-lagged fog. But after recovering for 2 nights in laid back Toledo, we were easily able to jump on the AVE to Atocha and take the Cercanías to Puerta del Sol, even with luggage in tow.

Posted by
11203 posts

A taxi from Madrid airport to Madrid Atocha station is a fixed fare of €30, and no tipping is expected beyond this. I have no idea what a taxi from the airport all the way to Toledo would cost.

Atocha station is indeed confusing and hard to navigate - and I'm used to New York Penn Station! As acraven says, that just means you can't allow only 5 minutes to change trains. Your train from the airport is a cercanias, and arrives at the cercanias part of the station. Your train to Toledo is an AVE, but here's where it gets complicated - there are AVE departures from upper and lower levels, and neither one is near the cercanias area. At least in 2015, the train from Atocha to Toledo left from the lower AVE level; by mistake I went to the upper AVE departures area, and had to find my way to the lower level. I couldn't find elevators or escalators and had to drag my bags (bigger ones than I use now, alas) down the stairs.

The other issue with Atocha station is that the ticket buying lines can be very long. However, as acraven says, you can buy your tickets for both parts (airport to Atocha and Atocha to Toledo) while at the airport. Tickets in hand, and knowing you have to look for the lower level AVE departures, you should be fine. Do ask IMMEDIATELY if you are at all lost or unsure - don't waste time, and don't make my mistake of not asking for elevators (I'm sure they have them somewhere).

Note that you have to go through a security check to get to the AVE trains. Your bags are X-rayed, but it's not nearly as intrusive as an airport screening. Also, they close the doors on AVE trains a few minutes before departure. These two factors mean that you can't jump on an AVE just as it's departing - yet more reason to allow some time between your scheduled arrival at Atocha and your departure. If you're early for your train to Toledo, you will wait in a lounge, where there are seats, snacks, bathroom, etc.

If you do want to take a taxi, I can say I've never had a problem with taxis in Spain (more than I can say for some countries). They use the meter (unless it's a fixed fare such as from the airport to the center of Madrid), and extra charges are clearly posted on a placard in the taxi (such as for putting items in the trunk, extra passengers, leaving from train stations, etc). So, I see no need to use another company.

Why not ask your Toledo hotel about how much a taxi will cost from the airport, or they can arrange a car for a better price? You always have the option to decline if their price is higher.

Posted by
50 posts

Superior insights by all, and Harold, most obliged as you put the hammer to the nail and got down to the specifics of the train station which are "oh so important". Anything more complex than Penn is pretty involved.

Great idea on just asking the doggone Toledo hotel how much a cab would cost. I bet they would even arrange one for us. As it stands, I am going to bite on taking that fixed cab rate to Atocha and then striking out from there to find the AVE rails to Toledo. All contingent on what our hotel says, of course. 30 Euro not a bad rate for two people to Atocha, especially with no tip. First though, buy that AVE ticket to Toledo at the airport!!!. I presume the AVE kiosk or window are plentiful in whichever terminal???

One thing that did not come across, how many "AVE's" per day to Toledo from Atocha??

Posted by
1669 posts

Trains from Atocha to Toledo are super frequent, no worries there.
But by the time you've paid 30 for the cab and 14 each for the AVE tickets, a 100-110 euro cab fare isn't too far off. It is 50 euro extra for a lot of comfort after a tiring journey.

Posted by
17881 posts

As far as I know, the only Renfe ticket counter at the airport is at the train station, which is at Terminal 4 (T4). I had no trouble finding it this year by following signs, but I don't remember whether my flight landed at T4 or at a different terminal.

Posted by
50 posts

Balso, here you loud and clear re the trifling difference on the cab fare while tuckered from the flight. The time saved getting there could also allow for more touristy time in Toledo that particular day.

Thanks to all for taking the time to be so considerate in answering my questions. (we've got a good group here, I can tell)