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Last Updated on August 7, 2019

World’s 30 Coolest And Most Unusual Hostels You Definitely Need To Visit

World’s 30 Coolest And Most Unusual Hostels You Definitely Need To Visit

This list of hostels is sure to blow your mind and amaze you. From castles to tree forts, this list has it all. If you’re interested in booking one of these crazy awesome pads, just click the subheading and you’ll be directed to their website.

1. Asahi Plaza, Osaka, Japan

Asahi Plaza

    Asahi Plaza is a totally unique living experience that you probably won’t see anywhere else. They offer you a “block” to sleep in that is 2 meters by 1 meter and it comes with a range of facilities and entertainment for your stay. This type of boarding has become popular in Japan, this particular one has 441 beds (making it the biggest in Osaka), but it has yet to catch on to the rest of the world.

    2. Gyreum Ecolodge, Sligo, Ireland

    Gyreum Ecolodge

      The gorgeous Gyreum Ecolodge has a goal to be invisible, by having a specially sloped roof that blends into the plateau of Moytura and the vale of Lough Arrow, which it sits between. Also known as the , “round wooden fortress,” (How sweet is that?) it overlooks five different counties. Included are Irish language workshops and residences for artists.

      3. Hotel Costa Verde, Costa Rica

        Situated in the Manuel Antonio National Park, the area was established in 1972 and covers over 4,000 acres. Spotted within the park are four different beaches to spend time hanging out in the surf and sunbathing. It’s going to be a challenge to become bored on this vacation since you can go dolphin watching, take surfing lessons, fish, rappel down waterfalls, go rafting and so much more.

        4. The Beehive Hostel, Rome, Italy

        The Beehive Hostel

          In 1999 the couple who started this hostel packed up all their belongings and move from LA to Rome to begin The Beehive Hotel & Hostel. Their stylish and colorful building is in a great location and has many different room types, for many different budget levels. You can grab a dorm bed for 25 Euros, or go a little more luxurious with a suite at 80 Euros.

          5. The Monastery Hostel, Milan, Italy

          Monastery Hostel

            Set in a prime location in the center of Milan, the hostel is newly renovated and is located in a wing of the Franciscan Convent. The hostel is very uniquely designed to give it a modern feeling. Inside, there is a kitchen, a laundry area (yay!), a leisure area,  as well as a TV room.

            6. Pop Art Hostel, Belgrade, Serbia

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            Pop Art Hostel

              The Pop Art Hostel is the only “designed” hostel in all of Serbia and boasts it’s modern, retro, and unique hostel. What may be the coolest thing about this hostel, and of course how it got it’s name, is that it works as a museum, having art done by local artists. Some of these paintings include Jimi Hendrix and Jessica Lang. Each bedroom is dedicated to a different large figure of pop culture.

              7. Lub D Hostels, Bangkok, Thailand

              Lub D

                Bangkok has two different Lub D hostels, the first is in Silom and the second is in Siam Square and it was recently voted “one of the 17 coolest hangout hostels in the world,” by The Observer. The hostels come with bars, free WiFi, luggage storage, laundry areas, and an awesome design. You can check out that design here.

                8. The Aydinli Cave Hotel, Goreme, Turkey

                Aydinli Cave House

                  The Cave House is a family-run guest house that overlooks the gorgeous old town of Goreme. The hostel has been carved from the Cappadocia rock and it has individually-styled rooms that come with locally made furniture. They are highly recommended from Fodor’s to Trip Advisor.

                  9. Railway Square YHA, Sydney, Australia

                  Railway

                    Claiming to be “Sydney’s most laid back backpacker hostel”, you can rent out a railway carriage room in the middle of Sydney. Included in the accommodation is a swimming pool, a cafe/restaurant, and air conditioning, but who needs much more when you’re surrounded by such a vibrant city?

                    10. Radeka Downunder, Coober Pedly, Australia

                    Radeka

                      This underground hostel is set in a Desert Cave and has budget rooms, dorm beds and private suites. If you stay there, you’ll be centrally located to restaurants, shops, and many local attractions like tours. The family who runs this hostel also gives half day tours of Coober Pedly, opal fields, and nearby scenic areas.

                      11. The Beagle Houseboat, Amsterdam, Netherlands

                      Beagle Houseboat

                        It may be hard to get a spot at this hostel, because what you see above is nearly all they offer for beds. Holding a maximum of four people, this rusty old houseboat is a unique and fun way to spend your night. The top of the two-story houseboat is used as a saloon with a stunning overlook. Smoking is allowed on the boat and it comes with WiFi, free coffee/tea, a hot shower, guide books and more.

                        12. Pak-up Hostel, Krabi Town, Thailand

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                        Pak-up

                          Once a school, it has since been converted and is now one of the chillest places to be on the Andaman coast. It’s ranked as one of Asia’s three best hostels and has two on-site bars with live music, 8 and 10-bed dorms, with shared bathrooms as pictured above. One of their goals is to have massive rooms for maximum “chill out space.”

                          13. DJH Youth Hostel (Castle Hostel), Nuremberg, Germany

                          DJH

                            Have you ever slept in a real castle before? Well now you can, but with a twist! The castle features 93 “ultra-modern” rooms with an en-suite shower, bar, bistro, and open common areas. The castle dates back over 500 years and is in the heart of Nuremberg, perfect for enjoying the city. The city has a planetarium, zoo, parks, theaters, and much more.

                            14. ZicZac Rock-Hotel, Zurich, Switzerland

                            ZicZac

                              In the very heart of Zurich’s nightlife sits the ZicZac Rock Hotel, offering a restaurant, bar/lounge, nightclub, 24-hour service, multilingual staff, and even a limo if you would like to rent one. Although i’m not sure why budget travelers are looking to cruise around in a limo. While the hotel/hostel sounds amazing, it seems that it’s has had it’s fair share of bad reviews.

                              15. Ming Palace International Hostel

                              Ming

                                The hostel was named after its location near the Jingjang Ming Palace Scenic Area and was built around it. The hostel is brand new and has many unique local characteristics. It comes with free tea, hot showers, towels, TV, and more. It’s the perfect place to get some peace and quiet after a long streak of traveling and may even have the occasional musician.

                                16. Castle Rock, Edinburgh, Scotland

                                Castle

                                  Castle Rock Hostel is located right beside the famous Edinburgh Castle, and it has a mix of grandeur and backpacker style. Feel at home staying on a quiet street, but you’ll only be a short walk from the main attractions the city has to offer for day and nighttime fun. The hostel was originally built in 1846, but only became one in 1997, because of that it feels like you are staying at a museum or an art gallery rather than a hostel.

                                  17. Jumbo Stay, Stockholm, Sweden

                                  Jumbo

                                    This renovated jet is a great place to spread out and relax or grab a drink. They have accommodation that can house anywhere between one to four people, depending on what room option you pick and they have hot showers. They are also one of the few hostels that has their own line of merchandise such as mugs, slippers, and beanies.

                                    18. Traveller’s Cave Pension, Cappadocia, Turkey

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                                    Travellers

                                      This is definitely one of the coolest places on this list, if you want proof just take this awesome 360 tour. Not only does it come with the vibe of living in a past civilization, it has hot-air balloon flights, multiple tours from walks to hikes, safari’s, and a Turkish night show! This is only one of the many great hostels by this company, to check out the rest you can visit this link.

                                      19. The Drop Bear Hostel, Santa Marta, Colombia

                                        The Drop Bear Hostel comes with a nice kitchen, big pool, a common room, and comfy dorms along with other things, like a crazy history. Back in the 1980’s it was used and owned by a major Colombian cartel, who left behind a dozen secret hiding-places for money, escape tunnels, a secret basement for keeping contraband whiskey, and it even has cryptic codes on some tiles. This definitely won’t be a place you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

                                        20. Gallery Hostel Porto, Porto, Portugal

                                        Gallery

                                          The Gallery Hostel is a renovated building from 1906 and the owners sought to keep the building as original as possible. This hostel “characterizes the new concept of a luxury hostel,” and prides itself with having the best service, cleanliness, and facilities possible. Bi-monthly the hostel will change the art that they exhibit, along with having frequent concerts and other cultural activities.

                                          21. Home Lisbon Hostel, Lisbon, Portgual

                                          Lisbon Hostel

                                            The goal of this hostel is to be a warm and relaxing “Home” away from home. It’s one of the first and oldest hostels in all of Lisbon and keeps to old traditions like making home cooked meals by the owner’s mother and movie nights with the guests. It also comes with a great location and hot showers.

                                            22. Fauzi Azar Inn, Nazareth, Israel

                                            Fauzi

                                              This gorgeous Inn is a 200-year-old Arab mansion and it sits in a prime location in the middle of Nazareth. In 2014, it was chosen by Lonely Planet as the #7 hostel in the world for it’s old-world vibes among other things. The hostel comes with a free tour, free breakfast, cake (How awesome is that?), wifi, and more.

                                              23. Kex Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland

                                              Kex

                                                Once an old biscuit factory in downtown Reykjavik, it now serves as a full-time hostel, hence where the word “Kex” comes from (it means biscuit in Icelandic). All of the furniture inside is reused materials that have been found around from various places, giving the hostel a unique feeling. Kex can house 142 guests and has a cafe, bar, lounge, heated patio, laundry, old school gym, kitchens, and more.

                                                24. Kadir’s Tree House, Kumluca, Turkey

                                                Kadir

                                                  Along part of the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, this spot in the world has remained relatively untouched by human’s destructive habits and is rich with Lycian history. You have two awesome sleeping options here: a real tree house or a bungalow! Kadir’s has two bars, a large seafood restaurant, snack bar, laundry, and outdoor as well and leisure activities like hiking and ping pong.

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                                                  25. Bayram’s Tree Houses, Olympos, Turkey

                                                  Bayram

                                                    Similar to the hostel above, Bayrams is rich in Lycian history because Olympos was once a main city in the ancient region of Lycia, their history dates as far back as 300 BCE. If you come here you can relax on the beach, view natural gas flames on a flame tour, hike, and go kayaking. It also comes with Bayrams Bar and Restaurant, travel planning, a library, laundry, and more. Since Olympos is a small village and therefore has no banks, be sure to have enough cash on you to pay for your entire trip there, unless you have a travelers check or credit card.

                                                    26. The Adventure Brew Hostel, La Paz, Bolivia

                                                      Do you enjoy partying and meeting new people? I hope so! This newly renovated hostel’s goal is to give backpackers a friendly and fun base to explore Bolivia. Over the years they have taken in suggestions from backpackers and have since modeled their hostel after them. They now have a free “All-U-Can-Eat” pancake breakfast, a ground-floor bar called “Venture Underground Bar,” hot tubs, city and brewery tours, and girl only dorm rooms.

                                                      27. Caveland Hostel, Karterados, Santorini

                                                      Caveland

                                                        Starting in the late 18th century, this hostel was once a winery. That lasted until 1984 when a local entrepreneur wanted to turn it into a hotel. Now, Caveland offers dorms and private rooms, each one is different and has it’s own story behind it’s creation. The furniture is hand-made and much of the walls and bathrooms are designed using traditional techniques. They have free breakfast, laundry, yoga classes, tennis courts, a pool, kitchen, and they also have many activities going on throughout the year to keep guests entertained.

                                                        28. St. Briavels Castle, Gloucestershire, UK

                                                        Briavels

                                                          This Norman Castle dates back 800 years and was originally a hunting lodge for King John in 1205. The hostel is in the middle of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, which is perfect for hikes or walks. Also, and ancient border between England and Wales is right next to the hostel. The best part about your entire trip may be the 45 minute guided tour to learn about the rich history of where you will be spending your night(s).

                                                          29. Generator Venice, Venice, Italy

                                                          Generator

                                                            This stylin’ hostel is a converted grain house that sits on the waterfront of the Giudecca. It’s home to many architectural designs such as Rubelli textile curtains, Fantaini mosaci flooring, and a 16th century style stone fireplace. The hostel also has an event calendar so you know what fun things will be going on when you arrive.

                                                            30. RE B&B, Guayaquil, Ecuador

                                                            RE

                                                              Run by Ana and Frederico, who are young entrepreneurs that love talking to travelers, music, art, and design, RE B&B is a warm and friendly place. Much of their furniture is recycled and has colorful patterns and geometric styles on them. They have a kitchen, free breakfast, towels, book exchange and more.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Abigail Lynn via unsplash.com

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                                                              Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                                                              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                                              12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                                                              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                                              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                                              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                                              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                                                              1. Nuts

                                                              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                                              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                                              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                                              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                                              2. Blueberries

                                                              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                                              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                                              3. Tomatoes

                                                              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                                              4. Broccoli

                                                              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                                              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                                              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                                              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                                              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                                              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                                              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                                              6. Soy

                                                              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                                              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                                              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                                              7. Dark Chocolate

                                                              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                                              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                                              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                                              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                                                              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                                                              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                                              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                                              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                                              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                                              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                                              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                                              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                                              10. Gingko Biloba

                                                              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                                                              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                                                              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                                              11. Green and Black Tea

                                                              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                                              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                                              Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                                              12. Sage and Rosemary

                                                              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                                              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                                              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                                              More About Boosting Brain Power

                                                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                              Reference

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