Cheap accommodation in Alcalá de Henares | University Rooms
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  • Availability is mainly in the summer vacation period (June, July, August, September), when students are asked to clear their rooms
  • Rooms typically become available two to three months in advance, so please revisit the website within that period if nothing is available now

Cheap accommodation in Alcalá's student residences

Not just for students - anyone can book!

  • Staying in Alcalá de Henares’ university residences is the best cheap place to stay in this historic city near Madrid
  • These rooms offer a comfortable and well equipped alternative to a cheap hotel, B&B or hostel in Alcalá
  • The residences are located close to the centre of Alcalá, and the centre of Madrid is just half an hour away by train


Alcalá de Henares Visitor information

Alcalá de Henares is a Spanish city, which belongs to the Community of Madrid. It is located in the basin of the river Henares, around 31km (20 miles) northwest of Madrid. The name itself means “Castle on the Henares", and for this reason the city’s coat of arms shows a castle surrounded by water, which represents the river. The city was named a World Heritage Site in 1998.

Among the popular historic and artistic attractions are the University of Alcalá, the Puerta de Madrid monument from the 18th century, the birth house of Miguel de Cervantes, the Corral de Comedias de Alcalá (dating from 1601), the Hospital de Antezana (1483), Castillo de Alcalá La Vieja, the Casa de Hippolytus archaeological site and the the ruins of Complutum and the Plaza de Toros.

Due to all the activities and events organised by the city council and the Community of Madrid as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first publishing of Don Quixote, the city has featured prominently in the media, which has made the city into one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. One of the main symbols associated with the city are the storks, in particular the white stork, which have settled in the city thanks to the numerous church towers, where they could roost. On 23rd April every year the city celebrates the death of Cervantes with the presentation of the Miguel de Cervantes literature prize. The 9th October on the other hand, is Cervantes Day, commemorating the writer’s birth with various cultural events and a Medieval Market.

Accommodation in Alcalá’s student residences

Alcalá is well known academically for its university, founded in 1499, but then subsequently moved to Madrid in 1836. In 1975 the city became home to various faculties of the Complutense University of Madrid, which eventually lead to the reestablishment of the University of Alcalá. Certain student residences provide accommodation to visitors during the summer months. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.

Getting around Alcalá

The city is lined with Madrid via the 223, 227 and 229 bus routes. It is also well connected by train with places such as Zaragoza, Barcelona and Valencia. The main train lines towards Madrid are the C-1, C-2 and C-7.

History of Alcalá de Henares

The city boundaries have been inhabited since the Calcolithic. Romans conquered the area in the 1st century BC, and built the town of Complutum near a previous Celtiberian settlement, called Iplacea, which made it the only Roman town in the Madrid region. It soon reached the status of Municipium and had its own governing institutions. After the falling apart of the Roman Empire, under the Visigoths, it declined.

When in 711 the Moors arrived, they required a fortified location on the route from Zaragoza to Toledo, so they subdued the Visigothic city and founded another site, building an a "citadel", or al-qal’a, on a nearby hill, today known as Alcalá la Vieja (Old Alcalá). In 1118 it was reconquered by the Archbishop of Toledo Bernardo de Sedirac in the name of Castile. The Christians preferred the original Roman site and the Arab one was eventually abandoned. The city was then ceded to the Bishopric of Toledo, which granted it ferial rights. Under Christian rule until the end of the Reconquista, the city sported both a Jewish and a Moorish quarter and had a renowned marketplace. Its central position made it a frequent residence of the Kings of Castile, when they were travelling south.

At some time in the 1480s Christopher Columbus had his first meeting at the "Casa de la Entrevista" with the Reyes Católicos, Ferdinand and Isabella, who financed the travel for the Discovery of America. The author Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares, and baptized in the Church of Santa Maria in 1547, although his family moved from the city when he was still young. It was, however, only at the end of the 15th century that the city truly began to flourish: the univeristy opened in 1508 and soon provided heavy competition to the most prestigious university at the time in Salamanca. The university produced such important figures as Calderón de la Barca and Lope de Vega, who were Shakespeare’s Spanish contemporaries.

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