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Sleep In A Palace, A Shipping Container Or An Ex-Prison At These Amazing Converted Hostels

Sleep In A Palace, A Shipping Container Or An Ex-Prison At These Amazing Converted Hostels

converted hostels

Bedrooms are so 2000 and late. Why sleep in a hotel room when you could spend the night in a converted prison or hundred-year-old boat? Add a bit of glam to your accommodation with a stay in some of the most amazing converted hostels in the world.

Hostelworld has released its list of the most amazing converted hostels around the world, and some of them are pretty wild, to say the least. Sleep in an Arabian mansion, an ex-brothel or a shipping crate container, among others.


Every entry on the list has been designed to give travellers a unique experience and turn accommodation into an unforgettable party of their journey. Oh, and they look damn fine on Instagram.

#1 Barabas Hotel Luzern


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This is billed as Switzerland’s first jailhouse hostel, which begs the question: how many other jailhouse hostels are there around the world that Barabas Luzern felt the need to stake its claim as Switzerland’s first? Regardless, the rooms are the old prison cells (after a much-needed glow-up) and the library has an appropriate number of crime novels.

The hostel is less than ten minutes walk from Lucerne, a cute little city with plenty of old sights to see, like the picturesque Chapel Bridge, Reuss River, and the famous Lion Monument that commemorates the members of the Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution.

Hostelworld promises that a stay here will plunge you “into the ancient times of bad boys. But with a restful sleep.” Yes please.

Where: Lucerne, Switzerland

#2 Cocomama


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In an oddly appropriate vibe for a hostel that sits on the site of a former brothel, Cocomama has all the style of a hotel mixed with the home-style coziness of a hostel. Cook up a storm in the open kitchen, relax in the garden, catch a movie in the private cinema, or play with the resident cat Joop — the team at Cocomama work hard to give you a home away from home, while giving you lots of local tips for when you’re out and about exploring Amsterdam.

The dining table has seen travellers from all across the world share their stories, and a bustling social calendar keeps everyone entertained during their stay. The rooms are simple but finished with thoughtful touches, and you can choose to live it up in a private room or share a dorm.

Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands


converted hostels
Image: YUST / Facebook

YUST is what happens when you have a factory, but make it fashion.

This hostel and former factory site kept all of its industrial charm when it flexed its modern style chops to transform into a short-term accomodation and co-living space. Now you can shack up here and enjoy a cosy fire pit, massive plant wall, shared kitchen and garden patio. There are double rooms, suites and dorms available for whatever kind of stay you’re after, and you’re encouraged to join in on parties, workshops and exhibitions.

Beer lovers are probably already over the moon to be in Belgium, but YUST is right next to Antwerp’s famous brewery, De Koninck.

Where: Antwerp, Belgium

#4 The Independente Hostel and Suites

This place is way more stylish than your usual hostel, which makes sense when you realise the building was originally built for the Swiss ambassador to Portugal in the 19th century and it’s basically a palace. Big mood.

The Independente is nestled between two of Lisbon’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Chiado and Príncipe Real, so there’s always lots going on — on the radar and off. The staff are fans of local haunts and events that happen off the beaten track, and will happily point you in the direction of the best things going on in the city during your stay. When you’re at the hostel you’ll have free range of the restaurant, bar, guest lounge and even a secluded beer garden. Perfection.

The rooms here are all shared, including a women’s only-dorm.

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

#5 Dock Inn Hostel

converted hostels
Image: Supplied

A shipyard on the Baltic Sea is home to some chic shipping containers that hide luxe hostel rooms on the inside. At Dock Inn Hostel, overseas containers have become double rooms and the larger crates are now stylish suites or dorm rooms. The rooms are still surrounded by shipyard cranes and fishing vessels, giving the site an industrial glam look that we never knew we needed until now.

Long beach days and water activities are the name of the game here, and the nearby Warnemünde Beach has them both — try your luck at standup paddleboarding and surfing, or stay on the sand for a round of soccer or volleyball.

Where: Rostock, Germany

While you have hostels on the brain, check out our tips on getting the most out of your hostel booking.

(Lead image: The Independente Collective)

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