Reception at Cantagua Hostel

8 Best Hostels I Stayed at in Spain

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When choosing a hostel, I look for ones that are social (but not party hostels), are clean, have a decently-equipped kitchen, and are close to the city center or where most attractions are. I spent over a month solo traveling throughout Spain (not including the time I spent walking the Camino de Santiago) and slept in hostels for almost the entire trip. Out of those, here are the eight hostels that I would happily stay at again and what you can expect.

Cantagua Hostel (Valencia)

Dorm room at Cantagua Hostel
Image via Cantagua Hostel

Cantagua Hostel is my favorite hostel that I stayed at in Spain – no question. It’s also the smallest hostel that I stayed at, with only four rooms, which created more of a community feeling. I stayed in the largest dorm, which had 10 beds and an ensuite bathroom with two toilets and two showers. Cantagua is run by staff and volunteers. The volunteers really contributed to creating a welcoming, social atmosphere. They hung out in the common areas with everyone and organized activities, like trivia, games, and movie night. If I ever volunteer at a hostel, this is the type of hostel that I’d want to be at.

Although Valencia didn’t end up being one of my favorite places in Spain, some of my fondest memories are here because of the people who I met at Cantagua.


  • Bed and bath were both extremely clean.
  • Bathroom was spacious, especially the showers.
  • There’s a small sitting area in the 10-bed dorm room.
  • Beautiful and cozy common area where it’s easy to meet people.
  • They organize activities almost every night. They also have a WhatsApp group where they share things to do and events every day.


  • The bathroom gets humid because there’s no ventilation.
  • The kitchen is small, but it’s doable since it’s mostly the volunteers that cook.
  • Sinks are in the bedroom, so you might get woken up.

2060 The Newton Hostel (Madrid)

I actually stayed at 2060 The Newton twice, for a total of five nights. I considered trying out a different hostel on my second time to Madrid, but decided to go back to a familiar place where I knew I’d have a comfortable stay.

2060 is one of those hostels where you can have two completely different experiences. You can easily keep to yourself and have a good night’s rest. But if you want to meet people and go out, just head up to their rooftop for happy hour. That’s the best place for socializing, since I didn’t find the dorm room (I stayed in the 12-bed dorm room) or kitchen to be particularly sociable.


  • Has a lively rooftop with happy hour.
  • Has a bar crawl every night.
  • Free tea, coffee, and churros.
  • Lots of space for working, with a common area on the first floor that’s particularly quiet.
  • Is around the corner from a metro station (Tirso de Molina) and near a few grocery stores.
  • Located on a quiet side street.
  • Within walking distance of all major attractions.
  • For how busy the kitchen gets, it is extremely clean.
  • Lots of hooks in the dorm room for hanging up towels and jackets.
  • Incredibly comfy beds.


  • The kitchen is small for a fairly large hostel, so it gets busy around meal times.
  • If you’re in a 12-bed dorm room and you get a bed by the door, your locker might be right in front of the door. It’s a bit annoying moving out of the way when people leave and go into the room.
  • The toilet stalls are cramped. When you sit down, your knees can almost touch the stall door.

Black Swan Hostel (Sevilla)

Black Swan Hostel is the first hostel I’ve ever stayed at that has free dinner. It’s not offered every night, but regardless, it’s incredibly generous and appreciated. Just be sure to sign up early since there is a max capacity. I joined the first night I was there. They served these small sandwiches that are similar to arepas, which were delicious. Because they’re feeding so many people, you can only go up for more once everyone gets their first serving. Don’t expect to fill up. Think of it as more of an appetizer or the first half of your dinner.

Aside from the organized activities, the staff and volunteers were friendly and the facilities were pretty nice. The 6-bed dorm room had lots of space and hooks for towels. The bathroom was also quite large, with some of the best showers I experienced in Spain. Good water pressure, a shelf for your toiletries, enough hooks, and they were clean.

The staff are also very responsive. I heard from a friend that someone puked in the male bathroom. When they told the staff, it was immediately cleaned up.


  • Spacious dorm rooms with hooks, although no privacy curtains.
  • Large bathroom with plenty of toilets, sinks, and showers. The showers were some of the best I experienced in Spain. There was plenty of room in them, with enough hooks to hang all your stuff and a shelf for your toiletries.
  • They have lots of activities happening, like pub crawls, flamenco shows, and free dinner nights.


  • The common area could be bigger, since it gets crowded and difficult to find a seat on the nights when there’s free dinner.
  • The free dinner is yummy, but the portion size is small so you’ll need more food afterward.

The Urban Jungle Hostel (Málaga)

I only spent two nights in Málaga, but enjoyed every minute of it – mostly due to my stay at The Urban Jungle Hostel. On my way to Málaga, I met a few travelers who had stayed here and highly recommended it. So I had high expectations, and it didn’t disappoint. The Urban Jungle Hostel is the perfect balance between a highly social hostel and a party hostel. They host dinner every night, which makes it easy to meet people. And if you want to party after, you can join the bar crawl or go to one of the many bars or clubs that are a short walk away. If you want to sleep though, the hostel is pretty quiet at night since they close off the rooftop.


  • They host events and dinner every day, which is a great opportunity to meet other people.
  • 24/7 reception, and the staff are really nice.
  • Lovely rooftop with lots of seating and a kitchen. Plus, they close the rooftop at night so you can still sleep well.
  • The hostel isn’t large, which makes it easier to form connections.


  • If you arrive to Málaga by bus, it’s about a 30 minute walk to the hostel. Of course, you can take a taxi.
  • When I stayed there in November 2022, there was some construction nearby that made for noisy mornings.
  • The shared bathroom is very small. There’s one sink, and the showers are cramped with only hooks on the outside of the stall. Pro tip: the bathrooms on the ground floor are much better since they’re private bathrooms with a toilet, sink, and shower in one room.
  • The kitchen is very small, and the fridge was packed full when I was there. Since the hostel makes dinner every night, it’s hard to use the kitchen during that time.
  • If you need to work, there’s not a lot of good seating areas to do so. It’s either the rooftop or there’s a small seating area in the lobby.
  • It’s difficult to get up to the top bunk because there’s a lot of space between the rungs.

ECO Hostel (Granada)

14 bed dorm room at ECO Hostel in Granada
Image via ECO Hostel

ECO Hostel does a really great job of getting people together, starting with free sangria every night. Unfortunately, only your first glass is free. But just show up, and you’re guaranteed to meet others. If you don’t drink, there are so many opportunities to meet people every day at ECO. For me, it started with joining the free walking tour the day I arrived. I also signed up for their paella night. It was delicious and there was so much food!

If my dorm room had been cleaner, ECO would’ve been higher on this list. It seemed like they rarely swept the room as there were dust bunnies underneath my bed. I’m also not sure why you’re given a medium and a small locker when it seems like there’s enough room underneath the beds to just give everyone a large locker that your bag would fit in. Aside from those minor complaints, I had a great time at ECO and fell in love with Granada.


  • They host lots of events, like group dinners, hikes, and free walking tours. There’s also free sangria every night.
  • The kitchen has a few small balconies that most people use to smoke, but it’s also a great spot to have lunch and people watch.
  • There’s a back area on the ground floor that’s quiet and good for working.
  • Before I left, they upgraded the fridge in their kitchen. Instead of one fridge, they now have two, so there should be plenty of room to store your food now.


  • Depending on how large your bag is, it may not fit in the large locker. However, there’s a small locker for your valuables.
  • The dorm room wasn’t very clean (I stayed in a 14-bed room). There was so much dust underneath my bed.
  • Because they use the kitchen for the group dinner every night, you can’t use it during that time.
  • Although there are blackout curtains, the room can get really hot during the day if it faces the main street.

Latroupe La Granja (Bilbao)

I can see Latroupe La Granja as a highly social hostel, but my experience fell somewhere in the middle. Part of it was because I only stayed for two nights. I visited Bilbao during Halloween weekend and booked late, so it was very expensive (almost 50€ a night!). Bilbao was one of my favorite cities in Spain though, so I would’ve loved to stay longer if I could.

While I did get to meet a few travelers during my stay, the highlight of Latroupe for me was how nice the hostel is. It was the most modern hostel I stayed at in Spain and really well maintained. One thing that surprised me was how quiet the hostel was when I was there, which I’d guess is due to Latroupe being a hostel-hotel that attracts backpackers, families, and large groups. The kitchen was practically empty every time I went up there. So maybe don’t go Halloween weekend? 🤷


  • They organize activities, like walking tours and movie nights.
  • The facilities are really nice. Everything, from the common area to the dorm rooms, is modern and new.
  • It’s a great place to work from. There’s a large café/common area in the basement where reception is. If you’re looking for somewhere quieter, the kitchen on the top floor has plenty of tables and there was barely anyone there when I went.


  • It’s very large and more of a hostel-hotel combo. You might run into some large groups checking in.
  • It was a bit unorganized when I stayed there during Halloween weekend. The English walking tour got canceled for two days in a row. They didn’t know it had been canceled the first time, so I showed up to the meeting point and didn’t see the tour guide.
  • Although they have a full-service kitchen, it’s mostly used by the staff for serving breakfast. For guests, there was only a microwave to cook with.
  • The sink is in the bedroom, so you might get woken up by people who are leaving early or coming back late.

A Room in the City Hostel (San Sebastián)

Dorm room in A Room in the City Hostel in San Sebastian
Image via Hostelworld

A Room in the City Hostel is on the quieter side, compared to the other hostels listed above. While they have a lot of activities listed on their website, I visited in November and I think that’s why they didn’t have anything going on. I’d love to revisit the hostel in the summer to see if it’s more lively.

The hostel was solid overall. It’s not a standout, which is why it’s lower on this list. But I also don’t really have any gripes with it.


  • They give you a bracelet that unlocks the front gate, your room, and your locker – makes it difficult to lose!
  • They have so many common areas. There’s a courtyard in the front, two seating areas in the basement, and a large rooftop.
  • The 8-bed dorm room has lots of space to move around and for luggage. There’s also some hooks for jackets and towels.
  • There’s a private handicap bathroom, with a toilet, sink, and shower, that’s huge.


  • They didn’t have any activities when I stayed in November, but I think they do a lot more during the high season (summer).
  • Without any planned activities, the hostel seemed quiet. There were a few people hanging out in the common areas, but not many.
  • Pilgrims who do the Camino de Santiago stay here. Because they usually go to sleep early (like 9 PM), you’ll need to be mindful or risk being shushed.

Jacobs Inn Barcelona (Barcelona)

Dorm room in Zero Barcelona hostel in Barcelona
Image via

If you’re set on staying in the city center, Jacobs Inn Barcelona is not for you. But if you’re open to staying in a quieter area, being minutes away from the beach, and taking a short metro ride from the city center, then you’ll love Jacobs Inn Barcelona. It’s a hostel that’s catered more toward digital nomads, but it’s also a great choice if you’re looking for a more chill time in Barcelona.

I was at Jacobs Inn Barcelona for six nights, making it my longest continuous stay at a hostel in Spain. There’s a large common area, with some additional seating in their attached café, which is often taken up by people working (I was one of those people for a few days). But if you’re looking to meet people, you can still find it here. The kitchen is the best place to do that since a lot of people cook here, especially for dinner. Jacobs Inn also had the largest kitchen of the hostels I stayed at in Spain, with four stovetops and two sinks.

While all the other hostels are on this list mostly for their social vibes, Jacobs Inn Barcelona made the cut because I enjoyed its chill atmosphere, how easy it was to cook during a longer stay, and the travelers I did meet. It felt very livable. And one of my favorite things was being able to walk to a café in the morning, grab a coffee and pastry, and have breakfast on the beach.


  • Less than 10 minutes away from the (non-touristy) beach, which is a great place to hang out or go for a run.
  • Lots of space for working and fast wifi.
  • Has a large kitchen that gets busy but not crowded during dinnertime.
  • More than enough toilets and showers.
  • A six-minute walk to the nearest metro station (Poblenou), with lots of grocery stores along the way.
  • For how many people used the kitchen, it was always surprisingly clean.


  • The 12-bed dorm room is cramped. There’s not much walking space. You have to keep your bags in the lockers. Otherwise, you’d block the aisle.
  • Not really a social hostel, since there’s a lot of people who work from the hostel. Although not impossible to meet people.
  • They don’t organize any activities.

More resources for traveling Spain

Best hostels in Spain