Buses are a convenient transportation option between Salamanca and Madrid. While not as fast as trains, they provide a travel option that won’t break your bank account. Plus, buses can be more convenient if you’re travelling to Madrid-Barajas Airport from out of Madrid proper as the bus drops you directly at the terminal itself. On the other hand, going by train requires changing to a Metro or Cercanias service for the final leg to the airport as there is no direct mainline railway service to the airport.
Avanzabus is one of the most popular bus companies in Spain. I had a flight back to the UK to catch from Madrid, but I wasn’t very familiar with buses in Spain at the time. So I deferred to the experience of a friend of mine who was studying in Salamanca and let her pick the best travel option.
First posted 31 December 2017. Updated 25 September 2023.
Buying my tickets
My bus ticket was purchased for me by my friend in Salamanca, who was also headed to the airport for a flight. The ticket is a simple receipt that contains the details of the bus ride, much like AirAsia’s old receipt style boarding passes.
This one way trip on a “Multimedia” bus cost me €23.45 in June 2017, but a check on Avanzabus’s website reveals that the cost of a single ticket now starts from €32.53 in 2023.
Departure from Salamanca Bus Station
The Salamanca bus station was conveniently located right next to my friend’s place, so that was another point for convenience as the Salamanca train station was a 10 minute walk away.
As we had already purchased our tickets it was simply a matter of walking up to our bus. If you so wish, you could also buy something to munch on from one of the shops within the station, or from one of the many stalls in the market attached to the bus station.
This service was operated by a “Multimedia” bus and true to its name, Avanzabus fitted out every seat with an entertainment system featuring some movies, music, and even a moving map. The system looked to be Android based at first glance, and the touchscreen was decently responsive to the touch.
The seats themselves were also fairly comfortable, but I personally think Malaysian buses score higher on the comfort scale due to the plushy seats prevalent on Malaysian buses.
The view outside
The ride takes approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes via the Spanish highway network. Along the way you get nice views of the Spanish countryside and very old towns. You might get lucky and spot a few old fortifications as you past by some old towns. So it pays to have a window seat and to keep your eye out.
Arrival at Madrid-Barajas Airport (Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4)
The Avanzabus service stops at all terminals, beginning with the impressive Terminal 4 at the north side of the airfield, before heading south to the Terminals 1, 2, 3 complex.
The bus service terminates at a bus hub located right across from Terminal 1, which is accessible via pedestrian crossings leading from the bus hub directly to the terminal building. Just beware of passing cars, and you’ll be fine.
Ultimately this was a regular express bus service. It worked flawlessly, and I would consider Avanzabus in the future if I ever need a bus ride to Madrid-Barajas Airport.