This awesome hostel made me realize, that Madrid is the New York of Spain because it never sleeps!
Madrid really took me by surprise. When I visited a year and a half ago, I felt that it was so vast I might never see it all! Mind you, the fact that I stayed in an outskirt town called Arroyomolinos which took a half hour to drive into the city might explain that sentiment. This time around, I stayed in Madrid’s Famous Hostel, known as Cat’s Hostel, which was central to everything I needed, and allowed me to see everything and more.
The 17th century Arab-Andalusian style courtyard patio was so relaxing, everyone came to sit and unwind here!
I arrived around 3:30 P.M. to a line-up of people ready to check-in and I immediately knew that the hostel would be very lively! The line-up consisted of an amalgamation of people from nations and cultures around the world, which once again reminded me of why I love hostels. Once I checked in, I was told there was a Tapas Tour at 5 P.M. so I got to my room, sorted my clothes out and hopped into the shower to get ready for the evening. As I waited for the Tapas Tour to begin, I stopped to admire the beautiful stained glass ceiling from the comfy cushion right next to the flowing water fountain.
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 the various savoury dishes that Spain had to offer, accompanied with our choice of sangria or ‘cerveza’ of course. We tried: croquetas, green hummus with fried pita chips (my personal favourite), 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 such a great time with my new international friends, that 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 wanted to have an amazing time in Madrid!
After having those drinks with my new international friends, we continued to do our activities together over the following three days. Ash, Angela, and Lorenza were our amazing leaders for the evening activities. They organized 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!
(Unfortunately, I was unable participate in the Craft Beer Tour so please check it out and let me know how it is!) I attended the Free Walking Tour and the Alternative Tour, led by Carmen, which was awesome because she knew Madrid like the back of her hand! She was so passionate about the history of Madrid that it gave us an understanding of how it was shaped over time.
While I was there Cat’s Hostel provided a daily breakfast spread that could be accessed by purchasing a meal ticket at the reception desk. Personally, I found that breakfast and laundry services are the most convenient amenities a hostel could have! The last thing I wanted to do on the morning after a pub crawl was walk around the city and guess which breakfast place was good. Also, having a laundry machine a few steps from where I slept was just luxurious!
Cat’s also hosted a free pasta dinner night on the Sunday I was there. It was adorable because we ate like one big family. Free dinner nights are Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays. 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 in Madrid is the place for you!
Cat’s Hostel was an amazing product of the city it inhabited and was a reflection of Madrid’s rich culture. The abundance of things to do and explore did not stop at Madrid’s architecture, monuments, museums, bike rides in El Retiro, Sunday flea market–El Rastro or free concerts in one of the many plazas. Madrid truly had something for everyone. 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
Stay at Cat’s Hostel
Do a Pub Crawl
Do the Free Walking Tour, Alternative Tour, Craft Beer Tour, and Tapas Tour
Check out MAD Hostel’s Solarium (if you are a guest at Cat’s Hostel or MAD Hostel)
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
Enjoy the free dinner nights at Cat’s Hostel Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays
Treat yourself to 1 EUR tacos at Takos Al Pastor