The World’s 5 Most Unusual Hostels

in Ecotourism, Green Travel, Trip Planning

Taking a frugal vacation doesn’t mean you need to face another boring, bland hostel. Read on to discover some of the weirdest and most wonderful backpackers’ stays on the planet.

ArkaBarka Floating Hostel in Belgrade, Serbia

Backpackers can’t ask for better water views than those offered by the ArkaBarka Floating Hotel in Belgrade. This unusual hostel actually floats on the Danube River! All the rooms offer those enviable river views, but the balcony is also a great place to soak up the scenery.

The ArkaBarka Floating Hostel is far enough away from the action to offer peace and quiet, but it takes just 20 minutes to walk to the city center. It’s also close to Usce Park, which is a popular spot for cycling and roller blading. Rates start at 15 euros for a bed in a shared room and breakfast.

Kadir’s Tree House in Olympos, Turkey

Relive your childhood at Kadir’s Tree House in the Turkish coastal city of Olympos. This striking hostel sees guests bunkering down in a real tree house! It’s far more sophisticated than the one you played in as a kid though; Kadir’s has three bars and a nightclub on site! Its staff members also organize plenty of outings to help you make the most of your stay, including treks through the Lost City, sea kayaking excursions, and fishing expeditions.

Dorm rooms are very reasonable, with prices starting from $16, but they jump up to $29 a night if you want your own room.

Carbisdale Castle Youth Hostel in Culrain, Scotland

If you thought staying in a real castle was out of your price range, think again. Scotland’s Carbisdale Castle is a real historic castle that was originally built for the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland! It might be a hostel now, but it hasn’t let itself go. It boasts a large art collection and an array of Italian marble statues. It’s also set in immaculate grounds overlooking the nearby River Kyle.

It’s not the place to stay if you’re at all superstitious though, as several ghosts are said to haunt the manner. Look out for a lady in white, fallen soldiers, and the former gardener roaming the grounds hunting for his long lost daughter. If you don’t mind the spectres, you can enjoy a dorm room from $20 or a private space from $25.

Hostel Celica in Ljubljana, Slovenia

It looks like any other hostel from the outside, but there’s more to Hostel Celica than meets the eye. This hostel proudly bears the tell-tale signs of its heritage as a military prison. Cell bars on the doors and windows of all guest bedrooms remind visitors what it must have been like to be locked up.

Thankfully Hostel Celica is a much more entertaining place now than it was then. There’s an art gallery on site, and the hostel also hosts concerts, workshops, and poetry readings. It’s also conveniently located right next to the Metelkova party district, and a ten-minute walk to the city center. Expect to get a dorm room for a little as $18, and a private one for $24.

Hedonisia Eco-Hostel in Hawaii, United States

Kadir's Tree House in Olympos, Turkey

Kadir’s Tree House in Olympos, Turkey

You’ll feel a little like Tarzan when you stay at Hedonisia Eco-Hostel, a sustainable backpackers’ stay nestled in the tropical rainforests of Hawaii’s Puna region. This area is far quieter than tourist traps like Honolulu and Waikiki, so it’s well worth exploring. And few other hostels boast a giant volcano crater, a guava hut, and a remodeled schoolbus all on site! This hostel is also perfect for eco-conscious travelers, as everything you’ll find at Hedonisia is made from recycled or locally-sourced materials.

As with so many green travel options though, Hedonisia is a bit pricier than your average hostel. You can stay in one of the shared indoor tents in The Barn for around $34, or upgrade to a private room for around $62.

So why stay at another forgettable hostel? This is just a taste of the affordable establishments that have upped the ante.

[Image Source: Elena Pleskevich/Flickr]

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