For my first four nights in Madrid, I stayed in a hostel in the city and I can’t recommend it enough. Have you heard of hostels? Maybe you have, but I’ll give a quick overview for those who haven’t: hostels are overnight accommodations where people (generally young adults) stay in rooms that are shared with other savvy travelers. Here are the six best things about staying in a hostel when you're traveling:
1. They’re perfect for people ballin’ on a budget.
If you’re a bargain hunter, like myself, you’ll love hostels. You can stay in a quality hostel for less than $15 a night in most large cities. You may not get a private room (although you can if you pay a bit extra), but you get a bed for the night, a bathroom with a shower, and a kitchen.
2. With that, they often offer many freebies and great deals.
My most recent hostel stay included free breakfast, free WiFi, and free beverages every night. I also had a free dinner of paella, a Spanish dish that I got to experience for the first time. I was also given information about times when museums and other touristy sites have free entry.
3. They are the best place to meet people from all over the globe.
Over the course of my five days there, I met and talked with people from 19 countries across 6 continents. In no particular order, I met people from: Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Turkey, Libya, China, Korea, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Canada, and the US. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone from Antarctica, but I bet I would have if I’d stayed another night.
4. You can also meet locals who can help you find the best places to go.
Locals have the best knowledge about their city, and it’s easy to talk to people in a hostel’s easy-going environment. I met people who brought me to a beautiful park and showed me around all of the cool places in Madrid. Most importantly, I was shown what and where to eat like a local.
5. They have communal spaces and many offer social events for guests.
You can chat with the other people staying in your room or venture out to a living room or kitchen space. Sharing food is one of the best ways to make friends. Chill in a living room and make conversation with fellow travelers. Listen to their stories, share your own, and open your mind to new experiences with your new friends.
6. They’re usually very well-located and safe.
My hostel was less than a five minute walk from the heart of the city and there were tons of bars, cafes, markets, and stores right on the street. I was given a key which provided me access to the building, my room, and a locker where I kept my belongings. They also had a secured storage room for luggage and I felt completely comfortable leaving my belongings there.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Mariah is a free-spirited adventurer from the University of Rochester. She spends much of her free time either planning her travels around the world or travelling. Wherever she is Mariah enjoys trying new foods, singing the wrong words to music, and exploring with friends. Her favorite part of the week is when she faces the crowds for fresh food and great deals from open air markets; in her opinion, bargaining is a universal language.</p>