I will be going to Madrid for a few days to visit my Step Sis who is staying near the 'Columbia' metro stop (8 line). I will be mostly by myself until she is out of class, so Id like to stay in a decent area, convenient for me to walk to shops and food, markets, etc.... BUT, also be easy for her to get to me, or me to her.... Id love to be in a charming area, easy to get around....

I am very UNfamilar with Madrid, however, its a city and the Metro is like the NYC subway -- how hard could it be!?! But, I am alone, and I know to be cautious (I was there years ago with family).

Any help or suggestions for an area - and a hostal under $50 is best for my budget (Afterwards I am off to the canary islands, where I might have to post another question or two!!!) rolleyes

Thanks in advance!!! (and thanks MadridMan for such an informative site!)