You don’t need a travel buddy to explore everything Madrid has to offer.
Solo travel is no longer out of the ordinary. It’s a growing trend that can be witnessed all over the world, and Madrid is no exception. In addition to the usual vacationing families, tour groups and school excursions, this city is full of solo travelers with nothing but a backpack and a healthy dose of wanderlust. Its inviting streets and laid-back lifestyle make it the perfect place to explore by yourself.
If you’re visiting Madrid on your own, we have some tips to help you get the most out of your trip. Sometimes the best way to discover a place is to wander without a plan—but it’s always nice to know where to start. From places to stay to the best ways to experience Spanish culture and cuisine, we’ve got you covered with this complete guide to solo travel in Madrid!
The Best Hostels in Madrid for Solo Travelers
If you’re in Madrid by yourself, the most logical place to stay is one of the city’s many hostels. They’re designed specifically for solo travelers, with plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers and activities to help you discover the city.
Some of our favorites for the classic hostel experience are OK Hostel Madrid, Mola! Hostel and Sungate One. All of these have awesome facilities, central locations and the option to stay in a single-sex dorm—something that many solo female travelers appreciate.
Madrid Hostels with Extra Upgrades
If you’re looking for something slightly more upscale, try The Hat, located right by Plaza Mayor with an awesome rooftop terrace offering beautiful views. Or check out 2060 The Newton Hostel, a modern and minimalist space complete with a spa and its own rooftop bar.
At either of these spots, you can choose from a shared dorm or a private room in case you want the social vibes of a hostel without compromising your personal space.
Things to Do in Madrid for Solo Travelers
Once you’ve got accomodation figured out, it’s time to plan your itinerary. There’s an infinite number of things to see and do in Madrid—so how do you choose? To help you narrow it down, you might want to consider which activities are best suited to solo travelers.
Learn Something New at a Museum
We highly recommend a visit to one of Madrid’s many museums. Here you can wander for hours and get lost among world-renowned masterpieces. Stay as long (or as short) as you want, without worrying about anyone else’s schedule.
Discover Madrid’s Neighborhoods
After spending some time indoors, head outside and explore Madrid on foot. It’s a highly walkable city; you can stroll between neighborhoods and traverse the whole center in a matter of hours. Make sure you walk through Lavapiés, La Latina and Huertas before heading north to Sol, Gran Vía and Malasaña. One thing is for sure: you won’t feel alone on these bustling streets, which are always alive with the vibrant local culture.
Relax in the Park
When you need a break, Madrid’s gorgeous green spaces offer the perfect place to relax. Chill out in Retiro or watch the sun set at Parque del Oeste. If you want to get some exercise, head to Madrid Río or Casa de Campo for miles of jogging and bike paths. Bring a book or some picnic supplies and enjoy the Spanish sunshine before continuing your self-guided tour of the city.
Start planning your trip: 48 Hours in Madrid Itinerary
How to Enjoy Spanish Cuisine Solo
You may not have a big Spanish family to dine with, but even on your own you can enjoy tapas culture. At any traditional bar in Madrid, it’s entirely acceptable to walk inside, order a drink and a bite to eat, and stand at the bar to enjoy it. Chances are someone will strike up a conversation—but even if they don’t, you’ll be fully occupied by the impossible decision of what to order.
Another of the best ways to experience Spanish culinary culture is to explore Madrid’s markets. From the extravagant Mercado de San Miguel to local favorites like Mercado de la Cebada and Mercado de San Fernando, these places offer a little bit of everything. Go during the day to see the market culture in full swing, or stop by at night for dinner and drinks. You can easily create your own tapas tour by visiting several different stalls.
The Quickest Route to Madrid’s Best Bites
Maybe you’d rather enjoy the local cuisine in the company of others—and experts. In that case, book one of our food tours in Madrid to get an inside look at the city’s top cuisine.
We’ll take you straight to the source, where each and every tapa is truly world-class, and you’ll leave with a whole group of new friends who love Spanish cuisine just as much as you do. After all, every solo traveler knows that on any adventure, you’re never really alone for long.
Melissa first moved to Madrid to explore her interests in linguistics and communication, and quickly fell in love with the city’s culture and cuisine. She’s particularly passionate about Spanish vermouth and canned seafood, and makes it a point to drench absolutely everything in olive oil.