Say the word hostel, and you can guarantee that 95% of people will think of a bunch of hippies sharing a room, terribly unhygienic showers and living in constant fear of your wallet being nicked. We were out this summer to dispel this myth, and stayed in 3 fantastic and unique hostels that we would fully recommend to anyone staying in Berlin, Ljubljana or Brussels.
First up was Huttenpalast, located in Hermanpalatz of Berlin. The hostel’s concept is based on indoor camping, although the term ‘glamping’ would definitely be more appropriate here. There are two halls of six caravans, all unique with its own shape, size and look. There are shared common indoor and outdoor gardens which encourage you to socialise with your fellow campers, and the shared bathrooms had some of the best showers we had for our entire trip! We only had one night here and made the most of it by spending the evening in, making full use of the facilities and comfort.
Ljubljana’s Hostel Celica is literally one of it’s kind, as it is actually a former prison. It has been transformed and modernised, yet retains many of the former features including bars on the windows, all of the rooms are former cells, and the cellar displaying the history of the building is eerie to say the least.
Each of the rooms, or cells is completely different from the other, and has the artist to whom the work is accredited to by the room number sign on the door. Our cell was named ‘the eye,’ as the lifted bed is circular and represents the room’s iris and pupil. The lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Tower Song’ was etched on to one of the walls, and overall we found it pretty incredible, fascinating and a little creepy.
Our final destination of our Interrail journey was Brussels, and we couldn’t find a more fitting way to end than to stay in the Train Hostel. Here is a mix of the traditional dorms, cabin like sharing rooms, and private cabins, which is what we had the pleasure of having. Having taken the night train from Ljubljana to Zurich previously in the trip, we could see how accurate the representation was, although this was not surprising. Authentic railway cars don the roof of the building and all of the parts used have had a previous life in industrial and commercial rail.
Although you could say we haven’t had the traditional hostel experience this time around, we hope we’ve proved that it doesn’t have to be how most people assume hostels would be like. All of these places were still so much cheaper than your typical hotel, and each stay was a unique memory and experience for us. During the course of the trip we stayed in hotels, hostels, a night train and plenty of Air Bnb’s. If you’d like to read about our Air Bnb experiences, then check out our post here!