Traveling the world gets expensive. Hostels can help cut back some of that cost and lets you meet people and experience things that you likely wouldn’t see if you took the more conventional vacation approach. But a cheap hostel doesn’t have to be a dingy room you share with everybody else in the country. To get all of the benefits of hostel hopping while still experiencing quality digs, check out these truly unique hostels.
1. Jumbo Stay, Stockholm, Sweden
If you’re in the middle of a long tour around the globe, climbing into a plane to spend the night is probably the last thing that you want to do. But this hostel will change your mind. This Boeing 747-200 Jumbo Jet has been converted into 26 rooms that give your plenty of room to stretch out and great views. The luxury suite up in the cockpit has an ensuite bathroom and the best view of all the planes coming and going out of Arlanda Airport, which is just a ten minute walk away. All of the rooms come with flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi. The on-board big screen displays all the arrivals and departures at the airport, perfect if you’re catching a flight the next day.
For more information, check out this site:
2. Anak Ranch, Mongolia, Mongolia
As a world traveler, you should appreciate the nomadic lifestyle of the Mongolian tribes who lived in yurts or gers. And at Anak Ranch, you can imitate them. You’ll find yourself in the middle of the Mongolian wilderness, which is desolate and yet somehow beautiful. The price of a room includes a tour by horseback, so mount up and see the country the way it was meant to be seen. Then head back for the night and enjoy some of the authentic, homegrown food they’ll serve up to you. And while your yurt was designed to break down and move pretty easily, it’s more than sturdy enough to withstand anything nature throws at it while you get a good night’s sleep to prep for tomorrow’s adventure. For more information, check out this site:
3. Zhangzhou Wei Qun Lou Inn, Zhangzhou, China
Once you get up into the mountains of China, everything is worth seeing, and this hostel is no exception. It is such a perfect representation of the local Hakka culture it’s been given UNESCO World Heritage status. The crazy layout, four circles around a square, was carefully planned to form the Hakka symbol for wisdom and diligence. The views from each of the rooms is amazing, complete with balcony. The interiors are decorated in traditional style and there is a washroom on each floor. for more information, check out their site
4. Carbisdale Castle, Curlain, Scotland
Castles are easy to find in Scotland, but finding one where you can spend the night is a little trickier. Finding one you can spend the night in without completely blowing your budget is almost impossible. But Carbisdale Castle is there to make you feel like royalty even if you’re traveling like a pauper. The castle has a very impressive art collection, a fun clock tower, and even some secret passageways to explore. It’s in the Highlands, so you don’t have to go far for a breathtaking view. Plus, it’s rumored to be haunted.
You can book here.
5. Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, California, USA
If you’re looking for oceanfront rooms, it doesn’t get any better than staying in this lighthouse. It is still in operation, so you can kind of be part of safely guiding ships up the foggy coast. Just sitting and looking at the ocean is the perfect way to relax, though it you’re looking for more excitement you can get out into the ocean for some kayaking or surfing. If you time your visit right, you’ll get to see the whale migration or catch sight of some elephant seals. For more information:
6. Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, Canada
It turns out that it’s easier to spend a night in jail without getting a record than you might think. There’s actually a fairly large number of jails-turned-hostels around the world. If you’re looking for the spookiest of the bunch, however, we recommend Ottawa Jail Hostel. It was an operational jail for over 100 years and the locals know it as the most haunted building in Ottawa. This is because of the three criminals who were hanged there and who are still supposed to hang around the place. You can take the tour of the gallows and decide for yourself if you feel any lingering spirits.
You can find out more and also book here:
7. Santos Express Train Lodge, Santos Beach, South Africa
Santos Beach is absolutely gorgeous and the Santos Express Train Lodge is the perfect place to stay while you take it in. There are 25 compartments on the train, which is right on top of the ocean. At the right time of year, you can see whales and dolphins without stepping off the train. And no matter when you visit, they have the best seafood pulled fresh from the ocean.
Find out more and book here:
8. Kadir’s Treehouses, Olympos, Turkey
The Mediterranean coast of Turkey offers lots of fun outdoor activities like rock climbing, which is good since you’ll be scaling a rope ladder to get to bed at night. If that doesn’t suit you, some of the treehouses at this super cool hostel do have stairways, and there are also a few bungalows on ground level. There’s a night club on site to help you meet and mingle with your fellow travelers, plus some ancient ruins nearby that are just begging to be explored. Go to the official website for more information.