Hostels are a fantastic and often overlooked potential choice for people traveling on more limited budgets - and they usually provide a more authentic, local experience than big hotels. You also get to meet and interact with other travelers from all over the world, often resulting in some of the best insider's travel tips you might ever get.
For those who might cringe at the thought of staying at a hostel, please realize that the definition of a hostel has been broadened dramatically in recent years. It used to solely mean dormitory room accommodations with shared bathrooms, meant for young backpackers and college students. Now most hostels are open to people of all ages, including seniors and those with children, and accommodations range from stereotypical dorm rooms with basic amenities to private single and double rooms with their own bathrooms. Many are actually budget hotels that have rebranded themselves as hostels in order to broaden their marketing appeal.Some can be found in historical buildings with amazing architecture; others revolve around themes such as art or music. Here is a list of some stand-out hostels around the world:
China: Zhangzhou Wei Qun Lou Inn. This amazing building is listed on the World Heritage Sites, and is a miracle in the history of world architecture. It is the symbol of wisdom and diligence of Hakka people who moved built it.
Mongolia: Anak Ranch. To experience an ancient, little known way of life, stay in these traditional nomad homes called gers, where you can also learn
how to work a ranch, Mongolian-style.
Sweden: Jumbo Jet Hostel. Located at the Stockholm Airport, this upscale hostel created out of a Boeing 747 is maybe one of the most unique accommodations in the world. And only a 10-minute walk from the ticket counters!
Australia: Radecka Underground Mine Hostel. This is actually an old working opal mine from the 1960s, no joke, that has been turned into an underground hostel in the Australian Outback. Really.
Seattle: City Hostel. This is the only art hostel of its kind in the U.S. Each room was painted by a local artist, and incredible murals are found throughout the hotel. They also support area arts with live music, art exhibits, and indie films shown at their own 20-seat theater.