A 50+ Solo Female Traveller Spends 6 Nights in a Fabulous Madrid Hostel, Mixed Dorm

Karen Espig
7 min readJun 19

Success or Disaster? It is a matter of perspective.

Parque del Retiro — Photo by the author, June 2023

I recently took a two-week vacation to Madrid and Sicily; the first 6 nights being in a hostel in Madrid. Originally, I had booked an apartment there, but I (thankfully) did a quick review of my accommodation choice a few weeks prior.

The reviews by other travelers that had posted since the time of my booking were terrible…. ratings of 2 out of ten terrible. I cancelled it and looked for a new arrangement.

I’m a budget traveler, and typically reserve via Booking.com or Airbnb.com. I tend to choose options with a refrigerator at the very least, if not a full kitchen set up so that I can eat in much of the time.

In Madrid the accommodation is on the pricey side, and the affordable offerings in and near the city centre narrowed down to just hostels; however, there were many to choose from. The price of the hostel was going to be half that of my original booking and included breakfast everyday! This was very appealing.

What I looked for in a hostel

First, since this was a compromise in terms of comfort, I insisted on being smack-dab in the centre of town and having breakfast included (I bought a package which included 6 breakfasts-two I didn’t end up needing so I donated them to other travellers).

I also wanted to have a bed with a privacy curtain (encloses you in your bunk) and a secure storage area for personal belongings. I narrowed it down to two locations and finally booked my stay at Latroupe Prado Hostel.

The hostel is located very near the Prado Museum, as well as Parque del Retiro, which turned out to be my favourite spot in the city. I went there four times in 6 days!

The bunk had a curtain, as I said, as well as a light, USB, and electrical outlet. It was nice and cozy. I was on the second of seven floors of rooms, and there was an elevator in addition to the…

Karen Espig

I am a contemporary figure painter, working primarily in oils. I am also a Canadian Expat currently in Albania. Follow my art and travel journey. karenespig.art