The world’s top five quirky hostels…
Kadir’s Yörük Top Tree House, Olympos, Turkey
Indulge your childhood fantasies with a stay in this tree-top hostel, gloriously located on a hill above a sandy beach. Built on stilts and made of wood, the five-bed venue fits comfortably into the wilderness-like landscape. If you’re scared of heights, you can opt to stay in a bungalow. The surrounding area offers endless hiking and climbing opportunities, as well as a raft of ruins to explore. It is also a 1km hike to the Olympos beach, known as one of the world’s only breeding grounds for the loggerhead turtles.
How much: From 10 euros (£8.59) per night per bed.
Get more info: kadirstreehouses.com
Langholmen, Stockholm, Sweden
Set in a former jail in central Stockholm on its own island, this hostel offers guest the chance to sleep in its recently spruced-up two- to four-bed cells where inmates used to sleep (the beds have, thankfully, been replaced). Built in the 1840s, Crown Prison served as a lock-up until 1975 when the last convict left the island. Inside the hostel is a museum, outlining the clink’s 250 years of history.
How much: 240 SEK (£23.23) per night, per bed.
Get more info: langholmen.com
The jumbo jet
Jumbo Stay Hostel, Stockholm, Sweden
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Er, yes, but it’s also a hostel. Quite possibly one of the world’s coolest crashpads, this worn-out – and grounded – jumbo jet has been recycled into a stylish hostel. Stay in quad dorms or upgrade to the luxury suite, situated in the converted cockpit with a view of Arlanda Airport. It’s the perfect place to stay if you have an early flight the next day.
How much: From 400 SEK (£38.72) per night per bed.
Get more info: jumbostay.com
Carbisdale Castle, SYHA Hostel, Sutherland, Scotland
Make like a king or queen and spend a right royal night in an enchanting castle. Built for the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland in 1906, this building has seen many rich and esteemed folk step through their doors. Set in woodlands an hour’s drive north of Inverness, this castle hostel is great for groups, families and weddings. Walls are adorned with art and Italian marble statues stand on display in the main gallery. Easily spooked types should note that the castle even has its own ghost. Nearby attractions include distilleries, nature walks and mountain biking routes.
How much: £20.50 per night, per bed.
Get more info: syha.org.uk
Point Montara Lighthouse, Montara, California, US
Sited 25 miles south of San Francisco on the rugged Californian coast, this historic 1875 fog signal station and lighthouse has been restored and transformed into a hostel. Sleep in the former Coast Guard quarters or the fog signal building itself in either shared or private rooms. Even today, the lighthouse is an operating aid-to-navigation maintained by the US Coast Guard. In the summer, surf, swim, kayak, horse ride, windsurf or cycle along the shore. From Nov until April, watch the annual gray whale migration.
How much: $25 (£15.32) per night, per bed.
Get more info: norcalhostels.org
Boatel Fortuna, Budapest, Hungary
Fall asleep on the waves of the Danube by staying in this converted boat. Set in front of the stunning Margit Island at the Pest side next to Margit bridge, the city’s major attractions are within spitting distance. The boat’s restaurant serves up Hungarian specialities. During the summer months, expect a BBQ and cocktails on the terrace. It’s impossible not to get into the maritime spirit, especially as every room is named after a famous pirate. Aye aye Captain!
How much: 26 EUR (£22.33) per night, per bed.
Get more info: fortunahajo.hu
» All of these hostels can be booked through Hostelling International – hihostels.com
– Janine Kelso