Generally catering to budget travelers and backpackers, hostels represent a good idea if you want to save some money when planning your vacation in Spain. Hostels might not be for everyone, but with careful planning you can find something to suit your taste and budget.
In comparison to the other parts of Europe, hostels in Spain are relatively cheap and affordable. A standard dorm bed in Madrid costs around €15 to €25, and a private room in a hostel can cost around €50 to €70. If you are traveling in a group or a couple, it might be wiser to book a hotel room as prices will be about the same. The quality of hostels in Spain are however not very high, considering how old and uncared for some properties can be. But if you spend enough time researching and speaking to fellow travelers, you should be able to find one offering clean and cheap accommodation and a friendly atmosphere.
Things to consider
Besides prices, there are several factors that you should look into before deciding on which hostel in Spain to boo. Before making your reservations online, you should take into account the following:
- In Spanish, hostels are spelt as “hostal”.
- Not all hostels are equal in standards. Some might have only the basic facilities, while others might resemble a good budget hotel. And based on that, prices can vary; so depending on what standard of comfort you’re looking for, you can then make a wise decision.
- You might need to share your room with someone you have never met. Hostels offer both private rooms –perfect for couples or small groups of friends – but also dorm rooms that accommodation up to 20 people. The cheapest rooms are in the larger dorms but that means you will have to withstand everyone else’s nocturnal habits.
- Location determines the prices. Just like in the case of hotels, the closer the hostel is to the major tourist locations, the higher the prices will be. If you don’t mind walking or commuting, you can save some pennies by booking a hostel outside of the city.
- Read reviews or talk to fellow travelers before you decide where to stay. You sure don’t want to end up in a party hostel if you are looking to actually sleep during the night. At the same time, if you’re looking to meet people along the way, you probably wouldn’t want to stay at a quiet, unfriendly hostel.
- Book the bed in advance. The better rated the hostel, the less chances to find available room as the summer season draws near. Also, high season in Spain means alot of hostels are fully booked way in advance, you’d want to make sure you have somewhere to sleep for the night.
There is no shortage of hostels in Madrid, with most of them housed in traditional, old buildings.If you don’t want to miss out on all the latest happenings in town, your best bet would be to stay in the historical center of Madrid. There is no shortage of cheap hostels near Gran Via, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor (Madrid’s main squares). But thanks to the efficient transport network, it does not really matter if you stay in the heart of the city or further away as long as you are near a metro or bus station.
International Hostel Posada de Huerta is located in the heart of the old city. The rooms are equipped with AC and you can use the kitchen to cook. The hostel is considered good by travelers. A bed in a 4 beds dorm costs about €20/night during the high season (July/August).
Barcelona is a massive metropolis, with most of its attractions spread out all over the city. There are a few districts you might like to check out when looking for accommodation. Barri Gotic (the old quarters) has the largest concentration of hostels, followed by la Rambla, Barcelona’s main street and Barceloneta, a wide boulevard running along the city beach.
Barcelona Dream – Be Hostels is one of the best rated hotels in the city. Expect to pay about €35 per person per night for a bed in double private room during the high season. A bed in a 4 beds dorm costs about €25 per person per night.
Known as the best party destinations in Spain, these islands provide some cheap and affordable accommodation, usually in the party district.
If you’re a party animal visiting Ibiza, then staying in San Antonio town would be the best choice. Packed with the island’s hippest clubs and bars, the town is a nocturnal animal’s dream come true. Neon lights and thumping music go on all night long, be sure to check that your hostel room has soundproof walls.
In Mallorca, the best place to find cheap hostels is in Palma de Mallorca. At Hostal La Mimosa, a bed in a double room costs about €30 per person per night during the high season, while a bed in a 6 beds mixed dorm costs about €20 per person per night.
Most accommodation on the Canary Islands are in the form of expensive resorts, but you can still find several hostels if you look hard enough.
Probably the most interesting place, if you want to practice water sports, is Centro Internacional de Windsurfing located on Gran Canaria. Accommodation is cheap. A bed in a 8 beds dorm costs about €17 per person per night during the high season.
If you are looking for cheap accommodation in Tenerife, head to Pension Cassandra. A bed in a double room costs about €20 per person per night during the high season.
Here is a full list of cheap hostels in various parts of Spain: