Madrid really took me by surprise. When I visited a year and a half ago, I felt it was so vast I could never see it all! Mind you, I stayed in an outskirt town called Arroyomolinos at the time, which might explain that sentiment. This time around, I stayed in Cat’s Hostel, which was central to everything I needed, and allowed me to see everything and more. Cats Hostel made me realise Madrid is the New York of Spain! It never sleeps!
I arrived around 3:30 p.m. to a line-up of people ready to check-in. This told me the hostel would be very lively and I was down! The check ins were all quite international, which served to remind me why I love hostels so much!
After check in, I joined the Tapas Tour at 5 P.M. As I waited for it to begin, I admired the beautiful stained glass ceiling, and the comfy cushions next to the water fountain. IN A HOSTEL!
On the Tapas Tour, we had people from Australia, Canada, Italy, Lebanon, Norway, and the United States!
Our lovely guide, Angela took us to two restaurants to try various savoury dishes, accompanied with our choice of sangria or ‘cerveza’. We tried: croquetas, green hummus with fried pita chips (a personal fav), Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish omelette), gazpacho, eggs with Iberian ham and potatoes, and patatas bravas! It was the perfect assortment of dishes as they were all very different from one another! I had a great time with my new, international friends.
After Tapas, we made our way over to Cat’s sister hostel, MAD Hostel, for drinks on their rooftop patio!
I am going to be completely honest and tell you that when I arrived to Cat’s Hostel I had no idea that it was THE party hostel to stay in if you want to have an amazing time in Madrid!
After drinks, we participated in activities together over the following three days. Ash, Angela, and Lorenza were our amazing leaders for the evening activities. They organised drinking games played at the bar like, Beer Pong and Flip Cup every night we were there. They also guided the way through the Pub Crawls and ensured we enjoyed our nights! Muchisimas gracias Ash, Angela and Lorenza!
During the day Cat’s Hostel also ran Free Walking Tours, an Alternative Tour and a Craft Beer Tour!
I attended the Free Walking Tour and the Alternative Tour. Carmen was our awesome guide and she knew Madrid like the back of her hand! Her passion about the history of Madrid gave us a thorough understanding of how it’s been shaped over time.
Cat’s Hostel provide a daily breakfast spread. You can purchase a meal ticket at reception. Personally, I found that breakfast and laundry services are the most convenient amenities a hostel can have! The last thing I want to do the morning after a pub crawl is to walk around the city for a breakfast spot. Also, having a laundry machine a few steps from where I sleep is luxurious!
Cat’s also hosts a free pasta dinner on the Sundays. It was adorable because we ate like one big family. The other free dinner nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lastly, as “Cats”, we had access to MAD Hostel’s Solarium (rooftop patio) to play cards with friends, have a sangria, or watch the beautiful sunset from the rooftop!
If you want to visit a Hostel and a city that strikes the perfect balance between urban exploration and exciting activities, then Cat’s Hostelマドリード is the place for you! The hostel’s central location allowed me to experience as much of the city as I possibly could in my three day visit and I enjoyed every second of it.
Recommendations for Madrid
The abundance of things to do and explore did not stop at Madrid’s architecture, monuments, museums, bike rides in the parks. Madrid truly had something for everyone.
Do the Free Walking Tour, Alternative Tour, Craft Beer Tour, and Tapas Tour
Visit the Sunday flea market– El Rastro
Go on a day trip to Toledo
Rent a bike and ride around El Retiro Park
Check out the graffitis in Lavapies and La Latina
Visit Temple of Debod to watch a sunset
Food + Drinks:
Try the Chocolate and Churros at San Ginés
Get stuffed at Malacatin, with traditional ‘cocido’
Try Bocadillos de Calamares
Treat yourself to 1 EUR tacos at Takos Al Pastor