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Apr 20, 2011 08:49 AM

4.5hr Layover In Madrid - What Are The Options?

Hi Chowhounds!

I have a four and half hour layover in Madrid in September (on a Thursday) from about 11:40a - 4:10p (flight leaves at this time). I am accounting for about 30-40minutes to get out of the airport (no baggage) and will either take a taxi or metro to the desired destination. But what destination? Am I better off picking a place to eat near the airport? Near Nuevos Ministerios (El Quinto Vino)? Near Salamanca (Bar Tomate)? Or do you think I have enough time to travel into the city center?

I am traveling with my wife and we are in our early 30's. We would like to take this opportunity to also take a quick look at the City's beautiful buildings/scenic parts, even if it is only for a few minutes on the way to an eatery.

As far as food - we will be on our way to Barcelona so would prefer somewhere with cuisine that Madrid does better than BCN. We are thinking tapas due to the time constraints but are open to suggestions.

Appreciate any help!!! Thanks!

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  1. Much as I love my chow and live to uphold the motto of "Living to Eat", a meal during a 4.5 hr layover would give me cause to reconsider eating and probably give me indigestion as well.

    It's not worth the haul into city centre, especially since you will be going to Barcelona afterwards.

    I haven't been to Madrid yet but I've been researching for months. If I were in your situation, I would opt for sthg near Nuevos Ministerios. Either your selection, El Quinto Vino, or La Taberna de Pedro (website linked below). Metro and walking to this area takes about 30 minutes(Line 8, 4 stops, 15 minute transit). By taxi, it's approximately 13 minutes.

    Hopefully, someone who knows La Taberna de Pedro will comment on this place.

    1. I am quite certain that you can find an asador in the vicinity of Barajas. Castilian roast meats would be something you should try in Madrid, if you are not heading to the lechazo lands further north.

      This is one that turns up with a search and that seems to get a decent review on at least one Spanish-language review site. Perhaps someone else will know of others. I would get a taxi to take me there' the restaurant will call you a taxi to take you back to the airport.

      When driving to Barajas from the Pedraza area, I remember seeing a few restaurants near the highway...again, perhaps a local can offer more suggestions.

      3 Replies
      1. re: erica

        Thanks for the advice Aleta and Erica! It sounds like I should definitely stay out of the city center (the time crunch will indeed inhibit my ability to enjoy the meal). I will look into the recs made and let you know what happens. Thanks again!

        1. re: Searching4Dunny

          I did a search (in Spanish) for asadores near the airport and this one also turned up:

          Asador del Rey Fernando in San Fernando de Henares, which seems to be about 4 km from the airport....

          it would be good to have a reliable place to eat near Barajas--maybe someone else can offer more details.

          1. re: erica

            Thanks for doing a search erica, that is too kind of you! Asadors interest me and I will definitely look into this Asador del Rey Fernando. I do want to try some seafood while in Madrid but the timing may be an issue. I am hoping it will not be a problem with Rey Fernando.

      2. If you like seafood, Casa d'a Troya, a good Gallego place, is pretty close to the airport (by cab--it's walkable from the Avenida de la Paz metro stop, but it's kind of an odd walk near big highways). Your problem is your timing... Lunch starts here--at the very earliest at 1:00. Many restaurants don't open until 1:30 and get into full swing after 2:00, which could make it difficult to get back in time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: butterfly

          Thanks for the recommendation butterfly. I will look into Casa d'a Troya and am very interested in trying some good seafood in Madrid (as I hear it is tops). The timing sounds like it may be an issue so I will need to work with the off time frame. Wish we had more time!