The Hat epitomizes the fast-growing category of "designer hostels:" affordable properties geared toward the millennial set that boast sleek multi-person rooms, bumping weekend events, and unexpectedly generous breakfasts. Though you can find cheaper beds in the city, The Hat remains a steal considering its location—steps from the Plaza Mayor—and chic rooftop bar, which attracts a regular local crowd on the weekends.
All bright whites and blond woods, rooms at The Hat eschew the creaky metal bunks and uncozy atmosphere of most run-of-the-mill hostels. And they come in many sizes, catering to families, solo travelers, groups, and couples.
Female travelers may wish to opt for the "chicas"-only dormitory.
Whether shared or individual, the tidy and well-outfitted bathrooms at The Hat make you forget you’re in a hostel—and that’s a good thing. Environmentally conscious guests will appreciate the water-heating system fueled by biomass (olive pits, almond shells, and organic pellets).
Doubling as an event space, the lobby at The Hat is a buzzy bar and lounge whose layout is ideal for relaxing and mingling alike.
Debatably the best hostel breakfast in town, The Hat’s buffet features fresh-squeezed OJ and a wide variety of fruit and breads. Weather permitting, savor your morning meal on the rooftop terrace.
The Hat’s rooftop bar is one of the city’s hidden hotspots—a place where international visitors rub shoulders with Madrid trendsters over cocktails and cañas (Madrid slang for a half-pint).
YOU SHOULD KNOW A popular bar means noisy nights for guests, especially those staying on the fourth floor. Pack your earplugs.
You’re in the thick of things at The Hat, whose entrance is steps from the Plaza Mayor, the main square in Madrid’s historic center. The city sites outside the immediate vicinity are easily accessible via metro at Tirso de Molina (Line 1) and La Latina (Line 5).
The Hat is located a few hundred yards from the posh Mercado de San Miguel, a renovated turn-of-the-century market whose bustling tapas stalls sit beneath a glass dome. After an aperitivo there, meander down to stalwart restaurants Casa Lucio and Casa Lucas on Cava Baja, Madrid’s most archetypal, if slightly touristy, tapas street.
The best way to wile away an evening in Madrid is on an outdoor terraza, and the adjacent neighborhood of La Latina is home to some of the most desirable al fresco spots. Start your evening at Bahiana, whose cocktails, tapas, and beachy vibes lure local celebrities. Then make your way to the newly opened Federal Café Conde de Barajas for a couple of ice-cold beers, and round out the night at Leka Leka, a gastrobar with irresistible finger food.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Hat hits the sweet spot when it comes to value, particularly for younger travelers who can’t afford to splurge on a traditional hotel room but don’t want to slum it in a traditional hostel, either. The multi-person room setups are also perfect for families with children. The rooftop bar, lively lobby, and inviting interiors make The Hat the city’s best and most vibrant low-budget option.