Madrid’s most famous party hostel, Cat’s, has been drawing in backpackers for years and the cheap drinks deals in its cave bar are certainly hard to beat. The hostel is set in a 17th-century palace built around an Andalusian-style courtyard. Rooms are no-frills but clean and functional and the location is central. It sells itself as Madrid’s best party hostel and offers a range of free activities, from pub crawls and free walking tours to tapas and flamenco tours; or you can just chill in its popular bar and meet fellow travellers. Dorm beds start at €15.
If you’re looking for a more stylish hostel option, The Hat, just off Plaza Mayor, looks more like a boutique hotel than a rough and ready hostel. Its dorms are stylish and minimalist, while its rooftop bar is the place to mingle with fellow travellers, and you get a free beer on arrival. There is a range of activities available, such as bar crawls and city tours. Dorm beds start at €18.95.
Living Mad Hostel
This cool hostel is located close to Lavapiés, a diverse neighbourhood that is the place to party in Madrid right now. It has a rooftop bar, which is, as the hostel says, the ideal place to ‘relax, sunbathe and dance under the moon’. There are lots of different activities that will allow you to mingle with other travellers, from bar crawls to paella-making classes. Dorm beds start at €15.
La Posada de Huertas
This international youth hostel might be pretty no-frills, but it attracts backpackers from all over the world thanks to its low prices and central location on one of Madrid’s most buzzing streets, Calle de las Huertas. The hostel has a good range of activities: free tours, tapas crawls and bar crawls are available throughout the week. Enjoy some free local tipple at its sangria parties, held at 9pm every Monday and Thursday, and learn how to make paella at its Saturday paella party. Dorm beds start at €11.
This hip young chain, which also has hostels in Barcelona and Seville, is located right in the centre of Madrid, close to the Puerta del Sol. Its laid-back bar, with comfy sofas and good music, is a great place to start the night and meet other travellers, while its well-stocked games selection is ideal if you need a night in after all that partying. Dorm beds start at €22.
It’s the little details that make Sungate One one of the best hotels in the world – it was voted the third-best small hostel in the world by Hostelworld – like the free ear plugs, which can be a godsend if you’ve got a roommate who snores. The hostel provides a free dinner every evening and chocolate and churros for breakfast, as well as €1 beers at reception. If you’re eager to explore Madrid’s famous nightlife, you can head out with the in-the-know hostel staff at 11.30pm every night. Dorm beds start at €21.
Located in Malasaña, Mad4You is a great base from which to explore one of Madrid’s most popular neighbourhoods. Malasaña is full of quirky bars, restaurants and shops and is a firm favourite with students and travellers in Madrid. Mad4You has a bar where you can chill with a cold beer, and a relaxing terrace area where you can get chatting with fellow travellers. Dorm beds start at €14.
This stylish hostel is set in the grand surroundings of a 19th-century palace and is close to the buzzing district of Malasaña, one of Madrid’s top nightlife hubs. Billed as Madrid’s first luxury youth hostel, this is a great option if you want a more refined hostel experience. There are still plenty of fun activities on offer, as well as a bar and lounge area. Dorm beds start at €14.
Set in an historic building in the neighbourhood of La Latina, OK Hostel is on the doorstep of Madrid’s best tapas scene and the famous Sunday street market, the Rastro. It offers walking tours and tapas crawls as well as regular social dinners, which are good opportunities to mingle with fellow guests. Dorm beds start at €15.