Anyone who has backpacked for a while can tell you – hostels are weird. From funky smells in the showers to that one dude who has lived in the dorm since opening day, there is no shortage of “unique” encounters to experience in hostels. To top it off, most backpacker accommodation seems to have been designed by soviet Russian architects. Practical, yes. Aesthetically pleasing, not so much.
Here are a couple of hostels that will provide you some special stories and one of a kind profile pics, without breaking your travel budget.
1. Jumbo Stay – Stockholm, Sweden
Let’s be honest, with modern airline security regulations this is probably as close as you’re going to get to joining the mile high club. This decommissioned 747-200 jetliner used to fly for the legendary Pan Am airlines, but today it is a fully functioning hostel parked close to Arlanda airport. If you’re feeling fancy, splurge on the cockpit suite and for those looking for a more budget friendly option, there are dorm rooms available. After a turbulence free sleep, refuel at the onsite café conveniently located on one of the jetliners wings.
2. HI-Ottawa Jail – Ottawa, Canada
Spend a night in jail without the subsequent criminal record. The HI- Ottawa jail is over 150 years old and despite renovations in the 1970s, it still retains its morbid charm. The original inmate cells have been turned into rooms and staff claim that the spirits of executed inmates still haunt the halls. Take a free ghost tour of death row and after you’ve seen the original hanging gallows, head downstairs to an underground pub with local bands and open mic nights.
3. Kadir’s Tree House – Olympos, Turkey
Welcome to most epic treehouse you’ve ever seen. Tarzan would have been lucky to have had it this good. Close to the beach but still hidden in the Turkish forest, Kadir’s Tree Houses have that hippie 70s commune vibe that you would expect while living in a tree. Spend your afternoons staring at a kaleidoscope of murals, listening to a travellers drum circle and chowing down on vegetarian feasts. Groovy baby.
4 . Radeka Down Under – Coober Pedy, Australia
This is literally the coolest hostel down under. When temperatures are soaring outside in the Australian outback, chill out 6.5 metres underground in this former mine located in the Opal Capital of the World. Sure you can enjoy one of Coober Pedy’s many fine outdoor attractions, such as its infamous grassless golf course, but hiding out from the scorching sun in a cavern is also a fun local pastime.
5. Stahleck Castle – Bacharach, Germany
I don’t know about you, but I have always wanted my own moat. Lug your heavy backpack up a steep mountain road and you will be rewarded with your very own 12th century castle at this absolutely incredible German hostel. Book a tower room and gaze out over the picturesque Rhine Valley while daydreaming of your royal reign, or mingle with the commoners in the medieval town. For only €27 you can be a European king or queen for the night.