You might think hostels are just cheap dorms with a bar, but there's some pretty cool hostels out there for the adventurous backpacker. Why stay in a regular hostel when you could spend a few nights crashing in a treehouse, or hanging with the nomads in a desert?
There are so many different and bizarre types of hostels, we put together a quick roundup of these wonderfully weird places to stay:
Indulge the 11-year-old in you with a night in the trees!
Sleeping in a tree appeals to the inner-child in all of us. But Bayrams isn’t your average back-garden style treehouse. Nor is it just any old hostel. Sure, they’ve got all the normal hostel facilities you’d need, and yet… you get to spend the night in a tree!
The hostel is also set in a beautiful, secluded spot, near the National Park of Olympos. It makes a great base from which to explore the nearby ruins of the ancient Lycian city of Olympos.
This place was inspired, so the owner tells us, by UFOs. And there’s definitely something of the ‘Close Encounters’ about its unusual, circular layout.
But that’s really where the oddness stops. Everything else about this place, from its gorgeous balconies illuminated by traditional Chinese lanterns, to its lavishly decorated bedrooms, is absolutely stunning.
Dotted around the globe there are quite a number of converted prison hostels. Few, though, are as sleek as Långholmen Hostel in Stockholm. The whole setup is impressively modern, clean and inviting.
But the real draw is, of course, the experience of spending the night in a prison (something that few of us decent, law-abiding types can claim to have done…). Unlike the building’s former residents, though, you get a key!
Become a lady of the manor at this real highland castle in Scotland. Built for a Duchess, Carbisdale Castle now sleeps the rather less grand backpacker, but the art collection, Italian marble statues and even the castle ghost will help you indulge your Lady Macbeth fantasies.
Ahoy there! This party boat in Berlin has all you need for smooth sailing on the River Spree. Moored close to Alexander Platz in the center of town, you can hop aboard to crash in the comfy cabins, or spend the day exploring the city if you get sea legs.
If you've ever wanted to join the Mile High club, the Jumbo Hostel in Stockholm could be just for you. Next door to Arlanda airport, this former Jumbo Jet has been converted into a rather upmarket hostel, with a special private 'cockpit suite' if you really want to join the jet set!
Find your own 'home on the range' at Lakene Farm, a hostel built on a traditional farm in Sweden! Country bumpkins can check in at the cow shed, sleep in the hay loft, and prepare meals in the old stables.
Radeka Downunder Underground Backpackers Inn and Underground Motel
Taking going 'down under' to whole new extremes, this hostel in the Australian Outback is actually an Opal Mine, buried 6.5m deep underground! Bizarrely, these cave-like chambers are perfect for the Outback's harsh climate, providing an escape from the summer heat and winter cold!
This boutique boat hostel will banish all memories of cheesy cruise ships, floating serenely by the banks of Stockholm's trendy Sodermalm district. In winter, wake up to a frozen lake from your cozy cabin window. In summer, sip a cocktail in the chic maritime lounge, or board the top deck for a Swedish beer.
School's out for summer, but you can still relive the 'best days of your life' at this boutique hostel and former Victorian schoolhouse. But this time, the beautiful Cairngorm National Park is your playground, and forget dreary school dinners, you'll be served freshly cooked comfort food. If you're really good, you'll even get a bedtime story from the friendly owner!
We don't quite know where the current trend for converting schoolhouses into hostels came from, but as long as they don't remind us of our own school days, we're not complaining! There's not a teacher in sight at this clapboard school house in New Zealand, just acres of bushland, a sheltered estuary and views of the ocean. The only lesson you'll need here are in canoeing, fishing and beach swimming!