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Visit Madrid and maybe add a long layover to check out another city for $400 or less

July 24, 2022
6 min read
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Is Spain on your radar next year? You might want to check out these deals for travel to Madrid in early 2023.

Between January and April 2023, airfare to the Spanish capital city is priced at around $400 round trip. The deal includes flights out of several eastern U.S. cities.

Haven’t quite decided where you might go for next spring’s vacation? From the Spanish capital city’s incredible food, culture and places to stay, not to mention its role as a gateway to other parts of Spain, Madrid could be a great destination or jumping-off point for a spring getaway.

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While there are plenty of itineraries with just a brief layover, there are also options for itineraries that extend your time in another city, giving you an opportunity to explore two cities for the price of one – namely, Keflavik, Iceland, or Lisbon, Portugal.

Many of us are still in summer travel mode, either gearing up for or recovering from a summer vacation, but as always, when you can think a season or two ahead, you can really save some money.

Madrid at night. (Photo by Liz Ender for The Points Guy)

Related: Quick points: see two cities for the price of one with stopovers

Deal Basics

Airlines: TAP, Play.

Routes: Boston, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C., to Madrid

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Travel dates: January through April 2023.

How to book: Directly with the airlines or through Google Flights.

We took note of flights to Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) during the first few months of 2023 coming in at around $400 for the round trip. That's a nice savings compared to what you would ordinarily pay for the round trip to Europe.

The discounted flights are mainly aboard Portuguese carrier TAP, which means you’ll be making a stop on the outbound and return trip in Lisbon. That being said, depending on your travel dates, you should have flexibility as you book to decide whether you want a short, medium or much longer layover in Lisbon, including a day or two in the city. Itineraries are available for each scenario.

You also may be able to find some options aboard low-cost carrier Play, from Iceland. The carrier has flights between the U.S. and Keflavik Airport (KEF) as well as Keflavik to Madrid, so there are some opportunities to spend some time – potentially a good chunk of time – in Iceland on your trip to Spain at no additional cost.

Here are a few of the itineraries and prices we found:

  • Newark to Madrid for $397 on TAP.
  • Washington to Madrid for $391 on TAP.
  • Miami to Madrid for $407 on TAP.
  • Boston to Madrid for $392 on Play, with a two-day stay in Keflavik.

Related: Your points and miles guide to Madrid

Let’s start by taking a look at an itinerary out of the New York area. You’ll be departing from Newark/Liberty International Airport (EWR) on TAP. While again, there are plenty of options that put you in Lisbon for a day or so, I looked at an option here that gets you there and back the quickest.

You’ll fly overnight to Lisbon, and then continue on to Madrid after a nearly 2-hour stop in Lisbon to connect. On the return trip, you’ll leave Madrid mid-afternoon, and after a three-and-a-half hour layover in Lisbon, your flight back over the Atlantic gets you into Newark just after 11 p.m. local time.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Out of the Washington, D.C., area, I found pretty short Lisbon layovers in both directions between Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Madrid. The round trip goes for $391. You’ll fly overnight to Europe, and then return to Dulles pretty late in the evening — about 9 p.m.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Departing from Miami, it’s a bit longer flight to Europe. You’ll leave earlier in the afternoon for the overnight trip over the Atlantic — it’s a 4:25 p.m. departure for the flight just over eight hours. After the 90-plus minute stop in Lisbon, you get to Madrid mid-morning. Your Lisbon stop is around three hours on the return trip.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Here’s an exciting option if you’re up for a more ambitious itinerary. Departing on a Friday evening in March aboard Play out of Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), you’ll fly overnight to Keflavik in Iceland, arriving in the very early hours of the morning Saturday. You’ll then get just over 58 hours in Iceland, until Monday afternoon. Then, you’ll head back to the airport to continue on to Madrid.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

While you may be inclined to avoid another such stop on the back end of your trip, the itinerary does require you to make another – shorter – stop in Iceland on the way home. This won’t allow you to do the same type of sightseeing as the outbound trip. You get into Keflavik at 1:10 a.m. local time and have until late afternoon before your flight back to Logan.

Still, for a round-trip, $392 base fare, it’s definitely a good option for seeing multiple cities for the price of one. Just be strategic in how you pack your bags – checked bags may be difficult to retrieve during your stops in Iceland since you’re technically in the middle of an outbound trip.

Maximize your purchase

Pay with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Use The Platinum Card® from American Express to earn 5 points per dollar on flights purchased directly through the airline or through American Express Travel, up to $500,000 per calendar year. You’ll earn 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel when you pay with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

(Photo by Howard Kingsnorth/Stone Collection/Getty Images)

Bottom line

Whether you’re looking to just explore Spain and all it has to offer or see another city on the way there, plenty of options are available right now for early 2023 travel to Madrid. Considering domestic airfare in 2022 has often cost well over $300 round trip, getting a flight to Europe for less than $400 sure feels like an opportunity to seize.

Featured image by (Photo by Lori Zaino/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees