GUEST REVIEW// The Hat, Madrid
By Smaran Jworchan
A dream come true - football, tasty Jamon rolls and Madrid’s coolest hostel
As a football tragic, my first stop on my recent European escape was the ethereal Santiago Bernabeu, home of Real Madrid and at that time, Cristiano Ronaldo. Unfortunately, La Liga shuts up shop during the Christmas break so I had to settle for a stadium tour.
Travelling alone, I decided to stay at The Hat, a hostel centrally located just a stones throw from Puerta Del Sol. It came highly recommended by mates back in Australia, and it didn’t disappoint. For a start, it was close to a huge choice of bars and restaurant and only a few minutes walk into the city centre.
The rooms are comfortable and one of the nicest interior design I’ve ever seen in a hostel. The rooftop terrace is really cool with a great view and breakfast was tasty.
The staff were excellent and really laid back. One example that springs to mind is that they were happy to sell you a drink at the bar, but if you had your own wine they would open it for you and even provide glasses. Many other hostels are really uptight about this for some reason!
If you’re a foodie like me, make sure you check out Botin, the oldest continuously opening restaurant in the world which first opened its door in 1725; San Miguel food market, a food lovers paradise and one of the many Museo Del Jamon, where I kid you not, you can get a beer, a jamon roll and some chorizo for under 2 euros. Other highlights include The Prado and Reina Sofia which is divided by a lovely stroll through the Botanical Gardens and also recommended is a day trip to Toledo, Spain’s first capital.