Alternative Hostels: Get Inspired with Accommodation for the Artist/ Aesthete

Art Design Hostel in SofiaWhile hostels always attract the young, the short-on-cash, and the restless, they also have a long history of being the hot spot for hipsters, beatniks, bohemians, and both painters and poets alike. The communal environment, the creative mosaic of characters and their respective cultures, and the raw energy from being surrounded by young adventure-seekers and weather-beaten storytellers is enough to inspire any artisan. However, the following hostels have really put the “alternative” in this alternative form of accommodation, and have turned their hostels into their own creative expression for backpackers to experience.

1. Art Hostel in Sofia – Usually We Spend Our Time in the Garden

Art Hostel - Usually We Spend Our Time in the Garden in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Even the name of this hostel is unconventional for its unusual length. The “garden” in the Art Hostel – Usually We Spend Our Time in the Garden in Sofia, Bulgaria is both a literal backyard garden that offers a green haven to relax and socialize with interesting travelers, as well as a symbol for the hostel being an inspirational oasis where artists can meet and retreat.

Being both a hostel and venue location for concerts, theater, dance performances, seminars, public debates, parties, and art exhibitions, guests don’t have to travel far, or spend any money, to attend a cultural event or share a hobby with a like-minded traveler at the hostel’s bar-gallery or theater basement.  Since the venues are not exclusive to hostel guests, it has also become a hip hangout for Bulgarians in the neighborhood, thus offering backpackers the opportunity to mingle with the locals each night over a few beers.

The vibrant colors, rampant graffiti, tapestry rugs, and other wall murals and creative collections give the hostel an eccentric, folksy, and underground edge.  Moreover, all of the bar-gallery paintings are original creations from the staff, their friends, and hostel guests themselves, and thus showcase local imagination, upcoming, international talent, and present an avenue for open communication and freedom of expression in which all that are inclined may participate.

2. Cinema Hostel – Krakow, Poland

Appreciate the art of cinematography at the Cinema Hostel in Krakow, Poland!

Nestled near the enchanting castle of Wawel Hill, and a two minute walk between the Main Market Square and the Jewish Quarter, and heart of Bohemia, Kazimierz, the Cinema Hostel is the perfect location to draw in the strays of wandering painters, performers, and poets for the night.

Equipped with its own cinema room (and movie projector of course!) guests can appreciate the art of cinematography on the big screen for free. The hostel pays homage to the Lumiere Brothers with film thematic-painted rooms including classics Rio Bravo, The Godfather, Sin City, Casablanca, and Moulin Rouge. Feeling a bit out of your mind? Stay in the Matrix room. Feeling alive with the heat of the night?  Stay in the Dirty Dancing room. For guests that are multi-talented singers and musicians, there is also free karaoke to warm up your vocal chords.

3. Oki Doki – Warsaw, Poland

Oki Doki Hostel Warsaw, each room has been personally designed by its own unique and local artist!

The first art hostel opened in Warsaw, Oki Doki is symbolic of the individualistic, imaginative spirit in art, and they aren’t afraid to take creative risks and bounds.

At the Oki Doki Hostel, no two rooms will look the same, as each one was divvied out to its own artist as a separate interior design project. From the House of 1001 Hands, to the dreamy Narnia Realm, backpackers will feel as if they’re sleeping in a museum rather than a hostel.  Moreover, Beatles enthusiasts will appreciate being surrounded by their posters and albums in the House of Fans, journalists will feel at home in The Newspaper Room, and artists will feel as if they’ve slipped into a Van Gogh painting in The House of Vincent. It will be difficult to choose from the plethora of styles when each room offers its own, authentic flair.

With the European Football Championship 2012 fast-approaching, Oki Doki is a hostel worth considering for a stay. Besides being a center of display for local artist talent, they also have their own art gallery and are located in the very city center of Poland’s capital. Meet other alternative travelers at the hostel’s bar for the cheapest beer in the city center, or participate in their current film competition for a chance to win a free stay at their hostel or a traditional selection of Polish liquors and vodkas!

4. Le Vintage Hostel – Paris, France

Best Hostel Location in Paris, and stunning art: Le Vintage Hostel in Paris, France.

Walking along the metro, you’ll hear everything from the saxophone, guitar, to the accordion in Paris, France, one of the cultural capitals of the world, from musicians who have rambled there hoping to find some inspiration in “The City of Light.” Here you can find all Top Hostels in Paris.

Recently opened in 2009, Le Vintage Hostel in Paris is the sleek sanctuary for the street artist, with its modern themed interior design Art Vinyl.  At different moments of the day, you can listen to your own playlists, while songs are broadcast in the hostel to keep the Parisian saunter in your step.  Make sure to stay for the yearly Music Day to experience free live music.  Last year, Le Vintage Hostel hosted the group Twem.

Some other advantages for artists include the free baggage storage if you arrive before check-in time, as well as after check out, so you won’t be weighed down as you roam the winding streets and alleys in search of your muse.  Can’t find your muse in the streets? Then look for him in one of the nearby pubs, cafes, or bistros.  If you do find your voice, use the hostel’s shared computers to write down your lyrics and use their print services before you forget!

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