Europe

The World’s Best Hostels 2011 (Part II)

This is the second of our two-part look at the world’s best hostels, budget hotels and inexpensive guest houses as chosen by the users of the Hostelbookers website. Scroll down or click on the region you are interested in:

Part I Part II
Africa Europe
Asia Oceania
Canada South America
Caribbean/Mexico United States

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The Museum of Hair

Albert Einstein, Troy Polamalu, Gwen Stefani and Donald Trump would love it. Those with chaetophobia (a fear of hair) would consider it hell. Our readers inclined towards Spot Cool Stuff’s odd travel attractions would find it so bad that it’s good.

It’s the Museum of Hair in Avanos, Turkey.

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The All-Suite, All-Cat Hotel

The Longcroft Hotel, north of London, features fine gourmet dining. Its staff provides five-star service. Every room in the hotel is suite—rates are as low as £15 per night! And if you are reading this you are absolutely not allowed to stay there.

That’s because the Longcroft Hotel is for cats only.

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The Invisible Treehouse Hotel

Imagine the fun you can having suddenly appearing to the people walking below à la Harry Potter throwing off his cloak of invisibility.

Dude, where’s my treehouse hotel?

That’s not the title of a bad sequel to an Ashton Kutcher movie of a similar name. It’s what you might be saying to your room mate were you and he guests at The Treehotel in Harads, Sweden. That’s because one of the accommodations options there, the Mirrorcube, is invisible!

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Tour Europe in a Retro, Affordable Camper Van

One way to save money on hotels and a rental car while traveling western Europe is to get your accommodations and transportation together. You could rent your typical mobile home. But the cheaper and cooler option—to say nothing of the more stylishly retro—choice is the Tonke Camper.

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Experience Istanbul Like an Ottoman

The Ottoman Empire may conjure up images of elaborately mustached men decked out in fez hats while women recline seductively behind floaty veils in the sultan’s harem, but there is much more to this exotic empire than first meets the eye. At the height of its might, Ottoman territories expanded across the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Istanbul, known then as Constantinople, was wrestled from the hands of the Byzantines in 1453 and remained the capital of the Empire until its end in 1923. Situated on three bodies of water with a literal treasure chest of historical gems, the Ottomans further capitalized on Istanbul’s breathtaking beauty to ensure it maintained its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Although Istanbul has modernized at a startlingly rapid pace, some of the most glorious remnants of its past are everywhere to be seen. From centuries-old wooden mansion hotels to ancient shopping malls, mosques, palaces, bathhouses and much, much more, it’s possible to spend some time in Istanbul shopping, eating, praying, relaxing and sleeping much like the Ottomans did!

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Dr. Sketchy’s School of Anti-Art

Imagine a drawing class and you probably conjure an image of a studious group of experienced artists silently sketching a bowl of fruit whilst a demanding teacher paces back and forth whispering criticism to students.

If you were to take that image and replace the studious group of experienced artists with a fun gaggle of drinkers who might not have drawn anything since kindergarten, and then were to substitute the whispering teacher with an gregerous social director, and then were to swap out the bowl of fruit for a corseted madam doing a dance routine inside a steel cage, then you’d have a vague picture of what it’s like taking a class at Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School.

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The World’s Best Candy Stores

This store is as close as you can get to a real-life Willy Wonka experience without wrangling some umpa lumpas and opening a shop yourself

Travelers with a sweet tooth weakness, do not proceed any further in this post. What follows is Spot Cool Stuff’s selection of the 6 most interesting-looking, diabetes-inducing candy stores. A trip to any one for these shops (well, except for the last one) is likely to result in a sugar overdose. Ye be warned.

Note: These are all primarily candy stores. We’ve reviewed our favorite chocolate stores in a separate post.

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