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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 July 28, 2020

                                                              14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                                                              14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                                                              Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

                                                              What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

                                                              The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

                                                              Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

                                                              It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

                                                              Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

                                                              In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

                                                              Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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                                                              Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

                                                              1. Quinoa

                                                              GI: 53

                                                              Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

                                                              2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

                                                              GI: 50

                                                              Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

                                                              3. Corn on the Cob

                                                              GI: 48

                                                              Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

                                                              4. Bananas

                                                              GI: 47

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                                                              Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

                                                              They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

                                                              5. Bran Cereal

                                                              GI: 43

                                                              Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

                                                              6. Natural Muesli

                                                              GI: 40

                                                              Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

                                                              7. Apples

                                                              GI: 40

                                                              Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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                                                              8. Apricots

                                                              GI: 30

                                                              Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

                                                              Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

                                                              9. Kidney Beans

                                                              GI: 29

                                                              Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

                                                              10. Barley

                                                              GI: 22

                                                              Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

                                                              Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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                                                              11. Raw Nuts

                                                              GI: 20

                                                              Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

                                                              12. Carrots

                                                              GI: 16

                                                              Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

                                                              13. Greek Yogurt

                                                              GI: 12

                                                              Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

                                                              14. Hummus

                                                              GI: 6

                                                              When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

                                                              Bottom Line

                                                              If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

                                                              More Tips on Eating Healthy

                                                              Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

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