Receiving almost 2,800 hours of sunshine every year, Madrid is one of Europe’s sunniest cities – you’re almost guaranteed blue skies whenever you visit. But what if you want to see it affordably? From city centre hostels in restored mansions, to student-style digs in the suburbs and activity-orientated bases in which to make new friends, here’s our pick of where to stay if you’re travelling to the Spanish capital on a budget – bookable on Culture Trip.
Blurring the line between backpacker’s base and boutique hotel, the Hat offers private and shared accommodation in whitewashed rooms with pine furniture, black columns and vintage travellers’ chests. Meet other guests in a ground-floor bar with brick walls and hanging bulbs, or on the eclectically decorated roof terrace with a disused watermill. The hostel’s situated just off Plaza Mayor – one of Madrid’s oldest squares – a three-minute walk from Gran Vía and Sol.
TOC Hostel occupies a 19th-century townhouse that was once an aristocratic residence, in which ceiling frescos and a creaking wooden staircase have been preserved. Situated a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Palace, the private doubles and mixed or female-only dorms feature a light, cheerful aesthetic, and some have juliet balconies. Breakfast, snacks and cocktails are served in a bar with a pool table, and a free walking tour is available on request.
Safestay offers group activities and a speakeasy bar with a rooftop terrace in Salamanca, Madrid’s most exclusive neighbourhood. Get involved in pizza and games nights and communal dinners before exploring the Spanish capital with free walking tours. Pristine white rooms feature double beds or bunks with lights and sockets, and many have small balconies with views over the square opposite. Breakfast is available for a fee, while the bar offers affordable burgers, salads and pasta dishes.
The back wall of this hostel’s low-lit lounge bears an enormous mural depicting everything from former Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo, to can-canning pigs with legs of cured jamon. Ideally placed for exploring the bohemian barrio La Latina, other social spaces include a kitchen and a lounge with retro leather sofas, a flatscreen TV and a pool table. Stay in double rooms or dorms – mixed and female-only – featuring custom-made bunks with privacy curtains. El Rastro, Madrid’s largest open-air flea market, is just a five-minute walk away.
Offering everything from day trips to Toledo and Segovia to tours of the Real Madrid stadium, Mola’s concierge service wouldn’t be out of place in a four-star hotel. Compact dorms sleep between four and 10 travellers, and all have their own bathrooms. Amenities include a breakfast of cold cuts, fruit, pastries and tortilla, while the cavernous bar – with mismatched metal chairs, graffiti-style wall art and a ceiling of exposed silver and black pipes – is a great place to spend an evening.
Looking for more great places to stay in Madrid? Check out our rundown of the best hostels in the Malasaña and Chueca neighbourhoods or the top cheap hotels in the capital – now all bookable with Culture Trip. Start building your itinerary by taking a look at the trendiest bars in town and the best historic restaurants, before discovering the best places to go swimming in Madrid.
This is a rewrite of an article originally by Jessica Jones.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.