Constantly travelling with itineraries packed with to-do lists, a backpacker requires someplace to cool off at the end of the day. While the number of budget-friendly hotels, Airbnbs and OYOs keep escalating every year, nothing speaks community like a backpacker hostel. The watering holes of travellers, hostels not only provide a chance to interact with new people and undergo novel experiences, but also offer comfortable accommodation at pocket-friendly prices. For those looking to test out some themselves, we suggest upgrading from drab, simple hostels to these offbeat locations that provide easy living, with a side of quirky.
Horn Ok Please, Bandra
Vibrant, Loud, Ornate. Nestled in the ever-bustling area of Bandra in Mumbai, Horn OK please is one of the most energetic hostels travellers might come across. A 100-year old heritage building redone in vivid colours, the hostel gives off a very ethnic yet rustic vibe. All common rooms and hallways have been tastefully decorated with bright coloured knick-knacks, painting and wall hangings. Nothing about this place spells sobriety. Travellers can seek accommodation at their dorms or even get private rooms for themselves. In addition to the snug beds, the hostel also provides other facilities such as air conditioning, 24/7 warm water supply, hairdryers and individual lockers. Find them here.
The hostel is only a 10-minute ride from the Bandra station and a 20 minute travel to the international and domestic airports.
Prison Hostel, Goa
Quirky hostels are always fun to experience, but an added touch of a theme makes the experience altogether better. A part of the Hostel Crowd chain of hostels, Prison Hostel may be the coolest jail you have ever seen. The hostels exteriors are constructed keeping in mind the prison theme. In close proximity to Anjuna Beach, travellers can also access multiple restaurants in the vicinity. For those looking to engage with the crowd at the hostel, there are barbeque and yoga sessions conducted periodically. And for the others who wish to leave home and explore Goa, can rent out the scooters at the hostel for a wallet-friendly price. Don&rsquot forget to fetch your free breakfast everyday. Book here.
The hostel is just a cab ride away from Dabolim Airport.
The Mudhouse Experiential Hostel, Tirthan Valley
Amidst the scenic mountains of Himachal Pradesh, in Jibhi,  is a traditional mud house. This mud house has been turned into a hostel for the creative minds that wish to work on their skills amidst the peaceful nature. The hostel is situated on the banks of Tirthan valley and just a stone&rsquos throw away from a waterfall. There are also various trails to trek in the mountains. Foodies can check out their on-property cafe for a wholesome meal. The owner Rahul Kumar, wishes for the place to be a space where honest people genuinely work on their craft and spend their days gaining inspiration. For this reason, the owner likes to go through profiles and have conversations with the guests before offering the room. Check them out here.
The closest airports to the hostel are the Kullu-Manali airport or the Shimla airport.
The thought of shipping containers generally evoke the most bland emotions, if any at all. Well, all that night change once you live inside of one. A hostel with dorms literally carved into shipping containers, Zostel is a great option for accommodation when you visit Panchgani. The hills and the trees engulf the hostel and provide a fantastic view to which you wake up. In addition to the common dorms and private rooms, the hostel also has a common room with games, foosball, books and a dining table. People from nearing cities often come here for a getaway or even some who are on an elaborate travel plan. You can trek or bike here and even go upto Mahabaleshwar and Mapro garden for a delicious strawberry cream in about 20 minutes. See if it fits your requirements here.
The closest station to the hostel is Satara but a bus or taxi can availed from Pune Station to the property.
Bunkyard Hostel, Udaipur
Royal, yet quaint. Colourful, yet classy. The Bunkyard hostel in Udaipur embodies the spirit of the city in its construction. Bright colours dominate the rooms and hallways, along with opulent arched windows and majestic pillars. The hostel also provides facilities for a barbeque and a large terrace flaunting a magnificent view of the lake. Do not miss the free chai at the terrace as you see the sun dip into the cool blue water. There are provisions of meals at their on-site restaurant. For those who wish to explore the city&rsquos culture, the city centre is only under 300 metres from the hostel.
The Maharana Pratap Airport is the closest airport to the property at 22 km.
The Lost Tribe Hostel, Manali
If you are a fan of Japanese culture, you probably have spent endless hours obsessing over the capsule hotels they have in handfuls. Who knew that you can experience the same with an Indian twist at The Lost Tribe Hostel Amidst the frosty cityscape of Manali, the hostel stands with Buddhist-inspired ethnic and laid-back décor. The most interesting feature of it are the provision of the capsule beds for those looking for a quick nap you also get a locker to store your items. For those who wish to be comfy in a dorm, The Lost tribe has got you covered too. Additionally, all basic necessities are provided including washrooms, kitchens, common rooms and an unbeatable view of the town.
The nearest airport is Bhuntar. One can then avail the local bus transport to get to the hostel.