Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Madrid Barajas Airport

sleeping in madrid barajas airportWhether you are an experienced airport sleeper or new to the game, this sleep guide will give you the essential information to better prepare you for sleeping in Madrid Barajas Airport.

Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Madrid Barajas Airport. If you have a tip to share, write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!

This guide was last updated: 2 July 2018. Read the latest traveller reviews.

Sleeping inside Madrid Barajas Airport

Locations & Seating
Madrid Airport sleeper
(Photo courtesy of Andrei / 12Mar2011)

The airport has a modern design, which means there are plenty of seating options in most of the airport, but they are often wooden or metal, not the most comfortable. Keep your eyes peeled for the few benches that are armrest-free. Terminals 2, 3, 4, and 4S are all fairly comparable, but Terminal 1 services low-cost carriers, so expect far fewer seats. The airport layout is simple and straightforward, making private corners and nooks few and far between. If you prefer to spread out on the floor, like many travellers, do bring an extra layer or two because the ground is mostly cold, unforgiving tile.

Here are good sleep spots that travellers have reported:

  • Terminal 1’s Mahoudrid cafe is probably your best bet for some comfort.
  • Terminal 3, Gate E82 may have some armrest-free benches.
  • Terminal 4’s McDonald’s has soft seating.
  • Terminal 4, inside Security, head to the top floor. Behind the Iberia lounge is a small, private corner on the floor.
  • Terminal 4’s K boarding area has some sofas,and the children’s play area offers some softer floor surface.
Rest Zones

Madrid Barajas Airport offers a few comfortable rest areas in Terminal 4S, just past Gate 17. Two islands have 6 padded reclining chairs each, fitted with lamps, power outlets, and USB ports. The spot has a little barrier wall to provide some privacy.

Temperature

Expect the airport to cool down at night, as air conditioning continues to run and the overall environment doesn’t offer many warm touches.  Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.

Lighting

Bright lights seem to be the norm here, even overnight.  Arrive prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.

Noise

A few travellers reported announcements running frequently, even overnight, but others reported a generally quiet nighttime vibe. Still, we always recommend bringing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.

Pro-tip: If you chose a spot near any eateries, keep in mind that the staff arrive early and they can get pretty loud in the kitchen.

Showers

Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Air Rooms, located in the pre-Security area of Terminal 4, offers a 30-minute shower and VIP Lounge access for €40. See our Madrid Barajas Airport Guide for details.

Food & Drink

When you get the midnight munchies or give up trying to sleep and need a coffee to stay awake, 24-hour food concessions are available. Check out these vendors:

  • Terminal 1: Mahoudrid (Arrivals) and Starbucks (inside Security)
  • Terminal 2: Espression Lavazza (pre-Security, Level 2)
  • Terminal 4: Eating Point (inside Security, Boarding Area J), Mahoudrid (Arrivals), and McDonald’s (2 locations: pre-Security, Level 2, and inside Security, Boarding Area J)
  • Terminal 4S: Starbucks (inside Security)
Security & Safety

Airport staff seem to tolerate airport sleepers. Overnight travellers should expect checks or wake-ups, around 11:00 PM – 12:00 AM (midnight), as security guards confirm IDs and tickets. Anyone without a ticket won’t be able to stay in the airport. There may be processes regarding where overnight travellers can stay for the night, and these may vary in each terminal.

At the time of this update, we have no reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at Madrid Barajas Airport. As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:

  • Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers. If you are sleeping in the public zone, make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.
  • Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
  • Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
  • Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!

Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.

Lounges

While Madrid Barajas Airport has several lounges, including some 24-hour options, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable environment, check out this list of lounges in our Madrid Barajas Airport Guide that you can pay to access.

Hotels

Prefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights without the stress of leaving the airport, check out Air Rooms. Located pre-Security in Terminal 4, Air Rooms rents private rooms overnight and in blocks of 3-6 hours during the day. Shower facilities are available, too. For details on this and nearby hotels, see our Madrid Barajas Airport Guide.

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Airport Sleep Guide