Have you ever felt like you’re too plugged in these days? With all of the social media sites and dating apps out there, it kind of feels like we’re always online -- even when we don’t want to be. Backpacking is a great way to disconnect from the internet and reconnect with nature. It’s just you, your camping gear, any friends or pets that come along for the trip, and the great outdoors.
It’s best to go backpacking in a place with beautiful scenery and plenty of open space. We’re talking parks, forests, sprawling streets, hiking trails -- the works. Madrid is a city that has all of those features and more. It's the capital of Spain and one of the most gorgeous cities in Europe. If you’ve never gone backpacking before, Madrid is a great place to start.
Still not sure how to properly hit the road? No sweat! Today, we’re going to show you how to go backpacking through Madrid. The landmarks, monuments, parks, and venues featured in this article are scattered all around the city. A core tenet of backpacking is only carrying the essentials with you during a trip. For everything else, you might want to find a reliable luggage storage service.
Hostel One Madrid
Let’s figure out where you’ll be sleeping before we get to sightseeing. Madrid has plenty of affordable hostels that you can stay at for a night or two. In fact, there are so many that finding the best one might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Enter Hostel One Madrid, one of the highest-rated and most affordable hostels in the city. They’ve got warm beds, a welcoming atmosphere, and free wifi for anyone who might need it. This place is also smack dab in the Madrid City Center!
Davanti Food & Market
Next up, we gotta talk about food. You can’t go backpacking through Madrid on an empty stomach after all. Davanti Food & Market is the perfect place to grab some grub. This establishment specializes in serving all your favorite Italian dishes. Pizza, spaghetti, mozzarella, ziti -- if you want, they've got it. And if they don’t have it, you don’t want it. The ambiance at this restaurant is very classy and calm. That being said, Davanti also lets patrons order their food to go.
El Retiro Park
El Retiro Park is one of Madrid’s most popular green spaces. At 125 hectares wide, it’s also one of the largest. Camping, hiking, jogging -- you do all sorts of outdoor activities here. You can even go kayaking at El Retiro Lake, which is located next to the ever-popular Monument of Alfonso XII! Backpacking is all about taking in the scenery. Well, there’s quite a bit to take in at this park.
Temple of Debod
The Temple of Debod is the ultimate retro landmark. This masterwork of Ancient Egyptian architecture was built in the early 2nd Century. Some of you might be thinking “wait a sec faceless writer, how’d this Egyptian monument end up in Spain?!” Well, we could give you the long version of that story… or we would highly encourage you to stop by the Temple of Debod and learn for yourself. Okay, fine. You can also read about the Temple on its official website. Yes, this building from the 2nd Century has its own website.
El Capricho Park
“Capricho” is the Spanish word for folly. El Capricho Park takes its name from the gorgeous monuments that are scattered throughout the park grounds. There’s the famous hermit’s house attraction, a hedge maze, and a small temple that’s tucked away deep inside the park. You could honestly spend hours exploring this place. There’s just something so mystifying and enchanting about it.
Alright, it’s time to refuel. At this point in our trip, you’ve probably walked off whatever you ate at Davanti. You also might not be in the mood for another full course meal, come to think of it. Have no fear, Frutal is here! Frutal is one of the best juice bars in Madrid. They’ve got plenty of smoothies, teas, and organic drinks to re-energize you. Their menu is truly creative and very affordable to boot. We’re all done backpacking through Madrid, and Frutal can help you reach the finish line.
Parque del Oeste
Parque del Oeste looks like it popped right out of a fairy tale. This massive park is located in the heart of the city. Parque del Oeste has rolling hills, beautiful ponds, and trees galore. We think it's awesome that such a serene place is so local. If city life in Madrid ever feels too hectic, Parque del Oeste is just a short walk away. This place is also ideal for backpackers who want to stay close to the city.
On the flip side, we have Sabatini Gardens. No seriously, Sabatini Gardens are on the opposite side of the street from Parque del Oeste. This venue is kind of like a “greatest hits” version of the city’s parks; there’s a maze, trees all over the place, and a gorgeous pool. However, Sabatini Gardens’ close proximity to the Royal Palace of Madrid is a major standout. We’ve stopped by some amazing places on our walking tour through Madrid. But the Sabatini Gardens lets you get up close and personal with one of the oldest and most prestigious buildings in the city.
Article was written by Gillian Whitman from Bounce (a luggage storage company)