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One hour to catch bus Madrid airport to Leon?

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
Hi guy's, quick question. My flight with Ryanair lands (if not delayed) at Madrid airport at 1010 am. Bus from there to Leon is 1115. Is it realistic to think that I may make this bus? I was going to book it online but thought I better throw this out there first. The next bus is 130 or something and takes for ever to get to Leon with lots of stops. I won't have any bags to pick up. Thanks ahead of time :)
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
Hi guy's, quick question. My flight with Ryanair lands (if not delayed) at Madrid airport at 1010 am. Bus from there to Leon is 1115. Is it realistic to think that I may make this bus? I was going to book it online but thought I better throw this out there first. The next bus is 130 or something and takes for ever to get to Leon with lots of stops. I won't have any bags to pick up. Thanks ahead of time :)
T1 is not too big and i am assuming that if you are flying with ryanair you will not have to clear immigration or customs, and you have no checked in lugagge... you'll have time for the loo and a coffee before jumping on your bus
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Does the bus depart from Terminal 4? You have to deplane, get to the shuttle bus, ride shuttle bus, get to bus ‘station’ at T4.

And use the loo as suggested.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@Abigail Kelly, you've already noted "if not delayed" for your flight landing time. Remember, flight landing times are usually "wheels on the ground" not taxied to disembarking point, disembarked, walked half-way to Erewhon to find Border Control and queue with a smile waiting for that welcoming grunt time. And then you'll have to get the shuttle to T4 unless Ryanair have upgraded their landing slots.

I wouldn't book that bus. I'd still go for a bus 'cos otherwise its at least 45 minutes to Principe Pio from T4 and then wait for a Leon train. There are a mix of "express" & slower buses from T4 throughout the day and depending on your travel date. You can have a loo break and treat yourself to a ludicrously expensive Bocadillo & coffee while you wait...
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
T1 is not too big and i am assuming that if you are flying with ryanair you will not have to clear immigration or customs, and you have no checked in lugagge... you'll have time for the loo and a coffee before jumping on your bus
Hi Jeff, still have to go through passport control. I think I read somewhere here that you have to get a shuttle to the ALSA bus? I hope there is a loo on the bus :eek: :)me need loo a lot🙃 I could take a chance on getting a ticket when I get there but I have a feeling tickets might be sold out for that bus as it is non stop to Leon.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
Hi Jeff, still have to go through passport control. I think I read somewhere here that you have to get a shuttle to the ALSA bus? I hope there is a loo on the bus :eek: :)me need loo a lot🙃 I could take a chance on getting a ticket when I get there but I have a feeling tickets might be sold out for that bus as it is non stop to Leon.
then i'm assuming you are flying in from one of the few non-schengen countries ryanair flies to from spain. still, unless it's morocco, it should go fast as most of the passenger will be europeans/spaniards.
as for the alsa bus, if you need to use a shuttle, then it departs from T4, so yes, allow yourself 20 minutes to get from T1 to T4 (free airport shuttle), and use the loo at T4. no loo on the bus. and perhaps purchase your tix online (alsa.com).
good luck!
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
then i'm assuming you are flying in from one of the few non-schengen countries ryanair flies to from spain. still, unless it's morocco, it should go fast as most of the passenger will be europeans/spaniards.
as for the alsa bus, if you need to use a shuttle, then it departs from T4, so yes, allow yourself 20 minutes to get from T1 to T4 (free airport shuttle), and use the loo at T4. no loo on the bus. and perhaps purchase your tix online (alsa.com).
good luck!
Thanks Jeffery, I will have start praying that flight will land on time from Dublin :) No loo on bus :eek: :confused: as soon as I board the bus I will want to go lol a mind thing :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
I'm ALSA's biggest fan! I always take the bus in preference to the train! ... I've flown into T1 and then shuttled to the ALSA stop at T4, and it's very easy to do! ...

But IMHO what you're considering doing cuts it unrealistically close! If anything at all goes wrong, you're toast.

(Supplementary Note: The bus ride from Madrid to Leon is about the most boring bus ride I've ever had in Spain!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago March 18 , Camino Frances June 18 Camino Frances May 19 ,May 2020
Hi guy's, quick question. My flight with Ryanair lands (if not delayed) at Madrid airport at 1010 am. Bus from there to Leon is 1115. Is it realistic to think that I may make this bus? I was going to book it online but thought I better throw this out there first. The next bus is 130 or something and takes for ever to get to Leon with lots of stops. I won't have any bags to pick up. Thanks ahead of time :)
I was in the same predicament last year from Dublin and catching a bus to Burgos , It was very tight for time and a big queue for the bus after moving from arrival terminal to bus stop . Have your bus ticket booked and your backpack as carry on . Going through customs in Spain is slow compared to Dublin . They really take their time looking at people’s passports even if you are EU . On paper I had an hour to spare like you but I remember only being at the bus stop 5 mins before it arrived so it was rush to make it . Buen Camino.
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
But IMHO what you're considering doing cuts it unrealistically close! If anything at all goes wrong, you're toast.

(Supplementary Note: The bus ride from Madrid to Leon is about the most boring bus ride I've ever had in Spain!)
Thanks for the info regarding scenery. Ryan air can be unpredictable regarding time so I think with advise I am going to look at getting a train. Oh and they will have a loo on there and I can have as many coffee as I want without worrying 🙃 😅
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
very tight for time and a big queue for the bus after moving from arrival terminal to bus stop . Have your bus ticket booked and your backpack as carry on . Going through customs in Spain is slow compared to Dublin . They really take their time looking at people’s passports even if you are EU . On paper I had an hour to spare like you but I remember only being at the bus stop 5 mins before it arrived so it was rush to make it
I feel stress before I start Salvador/Primitivo all because of bus times 🤣🙃 Thank you for input will look at train and weigh my options.
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
half-way to Erewhon


Not often I see a Sam Butler reference on here - or anywhere else for that matter!
Erewhon, I knew what it mean ish but I still had to google who referenced it and their meaning lol "Butler meant the title to be understood as the word "nowhere" is a novel by Samuel Butler which was first published anonymously in 1872. My learning for today 😅
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Erewhon, I knew what it mean ish but I still had to google who referenced it and their meaning lol "Butler meant the title to be understood as the word "nowhere" is a novel by Samuel Butler which was first published anonymously in 1872. My learning for today 😅

Debatable whether he deliberately transposed the W and the H, or whether he was just too clever for his own good.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
We fretted about the exact same thing, arriving from the UK and having about an hour to catch the bus to Astorga. I prebooked as I have seen the slow queues on the ALSA desk at T4! We had hand luggage only, paid for our seat at the front of the plane to make sure we got off quickly, and power walked to passport control, then after that (depending on which gate you land at I suppose, but rule of thumb) you just keep walking straight ahead past luggage pick-up, keep exit doors to your *left* following the T4 transit bus signs along and one level up, then out and catch the free, fast, transfer bus to T4, about a ten minute ride which looks like it's taking you out of the airport and causes quite a lot of stress for first-time passengers. At T4, get down to street level and the ALSA desk is by the exit to where the buses are. We have made it successfully twice and had time for the loo - there is one on the bus too, and they do a 10-15 min comfort break along the way - and buying some water and snacks for the trip. Having the ticket means you can choose your seat and get straight on, but beware the driver will insist you put your pack under the bus. Fingers crossed you will be fine (though I understand if you don't want to take the chance). Buen Camino!

Edited: keep exit doors to your *left* following the T4 transit bus signs
 
Last edited:

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
We fretted about the exact same thing, arriving from the UK and having about an hour to catch the bus to Astorga. I prebooked as I have seen the slow queues on the ALSA desk at T4! We had hand luggage only, paid for our seat at the front of the plane to make sure we got off quickly, and power walked to passport control, then after that (depending on which gate you land at I suppose, but rule of thumb) you just keep walking straight ahead past luggage pick-up, keep exit doors to your right, go one level up, then out and catch the free, fast, transfer bus to T4, about a ten minute ride which looks like it's taking you out of the airport and causes quite a lot of stress for first- time passengers. At T4, get down to street level and the ALSA desk is by the exit to where the buses are. We have made it successfully twice and had time for the loo - there is one on the bus too, and they do a 10-15 min comfort break along the way - and buying some water and snacks for the trip. Having the ticket means you can choose your seat and get straight on, but beware the driver will insist you put your pack under the bus. Fingers crossed you will be fine (though I understand if you don't want to take the chance). Buen Camino!
Thank you so much for that encouragement and great directions on where to go once I go through passport control.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
@Abigail Kelly Hope it helps, but please note I have edited to 'keep exit doors to your left following the T4 transit bus signs' ... To be fair you have no other choice unless you exit the building but still :eek:
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
walked half-way to Erewhon
My apologies for diverting from the thrust of this thread.

Knowing where Butler was when he put pen to paper and to what he referred, I think you are leading us astray in two respects.

Firstly, there is no ALSA bus stop at any point halfway from Madrid Airport to Erewhon, no matter the route you might take.

Secondly, all of those routes involve walking considerable distances over water ...

So, @Tincatinker , kia kaha (do take care and be strong as you get going)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@AlwynWellington, I know Butler is supposed to have based, or at least drawn on, his experiences in New Zealand for his book. My confabulation of Erewhon and Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport was intended both as an homage and a provocation. There'll be a few more people trying to track down a copy tonight. Not that the sales will do much for Butler ;)
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
Hope it helps, but please note I have edited to 'keep exit doors to your left following the T4 transit bus signs' ... To be fair you have no other choice unless you exit the building but still :eek:
I changed my seating with Ryanair so I can exit first like a bat out of hell 😅
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
I changed my seating with Ryanair so I can exit first like a bat out of hell 😅
Be sure to let us know if you make it or miss it, and by how many minutes. We're starting a betting pool with 5 euro buy-ins . . . If it takes off, winner will have a mostly funded camino because of your question.

My money is on "Makes it with 2 minutes to spare, but gets a sour look from the driver as you dash up just before he closes the storage."
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
Be sure to let us know if you make it or miss it, and by how many minutes. We're starting a betting pool with 5 euro buy-ins . . . If it takes off, winner will have a mostly funded camino because of your question.

My money is on "Makes it with 2 minutes to spare, but gets a sour look from the driver as you dash up just before he closes the storage."
I am glad that I am entertaining yea 🤣 I want in on that pool if I can get the driver to "stop for me" just after he/she takes off. I can visualise it now me jumping in front of bus shouting "Stop"😅
 

maraja

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Los Arcos (2015)
Los Arcos to Burgos (2016)
Hi guy's, quick question. My flight with Ryanair lands (if not delayed) at Madrid airport at 1010 am. Bus from there to Leon is 1115. Is it realistic to think that I may make this bus? I was going to book it online but thought I better throw this out there first. The next bus is 130 or something and takes for ever to get to Leon with lots of stops. I won't have any bags to pick up. Thanks ahead of time :)
hi Abigail
you will need to get a shuttle from T1 to T4 which is 10mins. The passport control in T1 is pretty fast & shuttle buses are very frequent.There Is the option of getting a taxi into the main bus station in Madrid where you would most likely connect with the 11.15 from the airport ( I actually had this trip last year & I had plenty of time to get the Alsa bus at T1 which then stooped in the main bus station for 20mins)
 

Levi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
@AlwynWellington, I know Butler is supposed to have based, or at least drawn on, his experiences in New Zealand for his book. My confabulation of Erewhon and Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport was intended both as an homage and a provocation. There'll be a few more people trying to track down a copy tonight. Not that the sales will do much for Butler ;)
Some years ago I stayed at a small motel called Erewhon somewhere way, way down the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. Very lovely. (But of no use at all in finding the way from Madrid to Leon :) )
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@Levi , hope you were not walking from one town to the next.

While the scenery may be wonderful, terrific etc there are no tracks between localities and the roads are often not very inviting for walkers.

Erewhon Motel, Haast and Mesopotamia (Sheep) Station (where author Samuel Butler lived for a short time) are less than 200 km apart as the crow flies and the shortest road connection being around 500 not so easy km.

The sheep station gets its name as it sits between two rivers that both feed into the mighty Rangitata. Similar in kind to the region in Iraq between two rivers : the Tigris flowing through Baghdad and the Euphrates flowing a little to the west.

The motel gets its name as being (almost) at the back of beyond, if not a little further on. As you would have been aware.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
I would never stress myself trying to get a bus from a different terminal within an hour of scheduled landing. Assuming you have somewhere booked to stay in Leon, just chill, have a beer and catch whatever bus.
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
I would never stress myself trying to get a bus from a different terminal within an hour of scheduled landing. Assuming you have somewhere booked to stay in Leon, just chill, have a beer and catch whatever bus.
I know hate the stress but after that I will chill a lot more. I want to get to Leon early enough in the day so I can have time to see some of Leon before starting out early next morning. ALSA was the only bus that I could find that didn't have a lot of stops en-route and its direct from the airport without having to go into Madrid city.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
We'll attempt this same dash for T4 in a week, I will report back on how we did and how long it took. My UK husband shouldn't have any problems going through the EU passport queue yet (I am EEA, not UK/EU) but I know some airports have started preparing their passport lines for the changes that come into force at the end of the year, so if there are any at Madrid I will let you know.
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
We'll attempt this same dash for T4 in a week, I will report back on how we did and how long it took. My UK husband shouldn't have any problems going through the EU passport queue yet (I am EEA, not UK/EU) but I know some airports have started preparing their passport lines for the changes that come into force at the end of the year, so if there are any at Madrid I will let you know.
Oh brilliant please let me know how yea get on. Thank you so much. 😊 I haven't booked my bus ticket yet was going to do it today, I will wait now and see how you both get on :)
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
You can download the Alsa app to your phone before you leave home, and then use the app to buy your ticket on the airport shuttle bus as you approach T4 where the buses leave from. I have done this, it's dead easy. You pay for the ticket using a credit card on the phone, and then show your phone to the bus driver, all he wants is the ticket reference number to tick you off the list. The bus will definitely have a toilet.
Alsa buses are fast, frequent, clean, professional, reliable and go everywhere. Recommended.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Update: We have now successfully completed the Madrid T4 dash and I am happy to announce that it took us only 30 minutes from the plane touched down until we were at terminal 4, planta 0, where the ALSA desk and buses are. So we had 30 minutes to spare, *but* ALSA request you arrive at the bus ten minutes before, and we had no queues at passport control or anywhere else. Just go past luggage carousels, follow transit bus sign through exit and up one level, then out and the transit bus will be waiting. See pics!
 

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Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
Update: We have now successfully completed the Madrid T4 dash and I am happy to announce that it took us only 30 minutes from the plane touched down until we were at terminal 4, planta 0, where the ALSA desk and buses are. So we had 30 minutes to spare, *but* ALSA request you arrive at the bus ten minutes before, and we had no queues at passport control or anywhere else. Just go past luggage carousels, follow transit bus sign through exit and up one level, then out and the transit bus will be waiting. See pics!
I was just thinking of yea early today lol. Thank you so much for that information, it is a big help. Have a brilliant trip and Buen Camino 👣👣👣
 

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