Travelling to Madrid on a budget has never been easier. There is no shortage of reasonably priced accommodation options, from former warehouse spaces to rooms near the city’s Golden Triangle of Art.
For decades, Madrid has been known as one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, with each of its neighbourhoods having something unique to offer. For those of us on a budget, however, choosing a place to stay can seem an arduous task. Madrid has plenty of affordable accommodation options that won’t obliterate your bank balance, though, if you know where to look.
Hostal Carmen | Courtesy of Hostal Carmen / Booking.com
When booking accommodation in Spain, the first rule of thumb is not to confuse an hostal with a hostel – the Spanish term hostal refers to cheap hotels or guest houses. Hostal El Carmen is ideal for those who want to stay right in the city centre. It’s situated on Madrid’s renowned Gran Vía, right in front of Callao, one of Madrid’s main squares (and only a short walk away from the busy shopping area of Calle Princesa), so you will quickly find yourself immersed in the heart of the city. There are single, double and triple rooms, which are minimalist and modern, with sleek private bathrooms and flat-screen televisions. The hostal also boasts a rooftop bar, so you can enjoy breakfast or drinks overlooking the city.
Located in a former textile warehouse, Hotel Mayerling has been transformed into a stylish, 22-bedroom hotel in the centre of the city. Only a stone’s throw away you can find Plaza del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Gran Vía. The chic, industrial-style interiors alone are reason enough to stay here. Every single, double and triple room offers a private, modern en-suite bathroom and air-conditioning for the hot summer months. For a small extra fee, you can enjoy a breakfast buffet in the canteen-style dining room. If you are looking for a bar popular with young Madrileños, try Sala X, a converted adult cinema only a two-minute walk from the hotel.
With super-stylish and super-cheap rooms, Hostal Gala feels more like an upmarket boutique hotel with an affordable price tag than a traditional hostal. Each room is elegantly furnished with geometrically patterned wallpaper and sophisticated decor. Hostal Gala is ideally located for visits to the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and other historic sites. What’s more, being so close to all the major shopping streets and transport hubs, it’s the perfect place to soak up the hustle and bustle of the city.
This boutique hotel is housed in a former antique shop in Barrio de las Letras, Madrid’s famous literary neighbourhood. You will find art installations in the foyer and graffitied walls in the underground car park. The rooms are sophisticatedly decorated, with minimal decor, hardwood floors and subtle pops of colour throughout the hotel. Soak up Madrid’s history by wandering through the grid of nearby streets – be sure to visit the home of Miguel de Cervantes, adjacent to the hotel.
Having recently celebrated its 40-year anniversary, Hostal Greco is perfect for those looking for a traditional hostal in the city centre. The chandelier in the foyer and the marble decor hark back to times gone by, while the largely austere bedrooms with wooden furnishings are reminiscent of the classic no-frills Spanish hostal. And yet, in a nice juxtaposition, the traditional Hostal Greco is located in one of the most liberal, lively neighbourhoods in Madrid – Chueca, Madrid’s LGBTQ village.
This hotel is part of the Room Mate hotel chain, which over the past couple of decades has established itself as a leading brand in affordable boutique hotels around the world; the Madrid site was the chain’s very first. The hotel is just off Madrid’s famous Opera Square, so it’s ideal for those who want to stay in the heart of the city. Each room is exquisitely decorated with colourful murals, chessboard-style tiles in the bathrooms and Philippe Starck lamps. Night owls or revellers won’t miss out on the extensive breakfast buffet, as it is served until noon each day.
Hotel Freedom’s bold, brightly coloured decor sets it apart from other budget stays in Madrid. With 21 rooms, typically featuring a striking and artful blend of daring single-tone pop colours and black, it is ideal for guests who want to stay in the Centro district of town. Hotel Freedom is also a must for film buffs, as it is just a 30-second walk away from Madrid’s century-old picture house, Cine Doré. The landmark theatre still screens contemporary and classic movies in their original language.