Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm

Oliver Gee
Oliver Gee - [email protected]
Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
A room in Stockholm's Långholmen prison. Photo: Långholmen prison

From prisons and boats to renovated jumbo jets, Stockholm has some unusual backpacker joints. The Local's Oliver Gee - himself a seasoned traveller - spent a night at five of the top rated locations on review sites, to see if the hostels in his adopted home city lived up to the hype.


Night 1: Långholmen prison
This was an excellent hostel. It's the ultimate gimmick - they've quite literally renovated what was once Sweden's biggest prison and turned the cells in hotel and hostel rooms. And the lovely staff members have spared no detail in reminding the inmates - I mean guests - about it. They serve sweets with black and white stripes at the reception, they've left the bars on the room doors, and there are signs pointing "to the cells" rather than to the rooms. Ole, the marketing manager, was even wearing a black and white pin-striped top when he took me on the fascinating tour. He told me the stripes were just a coincidence, but who knows. 
Best part: The concept. You'll be quick to tell people you've spent a night in prison, believe me. And the island of Långholmen is spectacular for a walk in any season.
Worst part: There weren't many cons, if you'll excuse the pun, but beware of accidentally touching the cold cement walls during the middle of the night. And be prepared for a ten minute walk to the nearest metro. 
Price: Beds from 220 kronor ($30). Find out more
The Local's score: 10/10
Night 2. City Backpackers
If want to meet people and have fun, this is the place for you. While the guests are treated a bit like sheep ("leave your shoes here, your sheets here"), the rooms were comfortable and there were plenty of common rooms to meet people if that's your thing. This place is fun - and if you're looking for a good time with other international backpackers then you'll surely find it. This is the kind of hostel where you'll spot plenty of Australians reeling off the number of European countries they've visited.
Best part: This hostel is incredibly social, probably perfect if you're travelling alone or even with a gang of mates. The location is unbeatable (a short walk from the central station), there's free pasta in the kitchen, and a table football in the lobby.
Worst part: The personality of the hostel is most certainly in the other guests. So if you're in Stockholm to sleep, you might have chosen the wrong place. 
Price: Beds from 190 kronor. Find out more
The Local's score: 8/10Don't forget your disco shoes. 
Night 3. af Chapman boat
I don't know how many times I've pointed to the af Chapman boat, which is docked permanently on the island of Skeppsholmen, and told visitors that it's actually a youth hostel. But I'd never stayed there before. Another cool idea like the prison, this boat has been transformed with tourists in mind. The history is fascinating too - this 88-metre ship has travelled as far as Australia. The evening staff members were friendly and the location is brilliant. I took an evening stroll on the deck of the ship, looking over the harbour and the Royal Palace. This was by far the hostel with the best view. 
Best part: Excellent location, just a few minutes' walk and you're in the centre of the city. Very cute rooms, and cool porthole views. 
Worst part: If you've been on a cruise overnight, then you've stayed on a boat already. But probably not in central Stockholm. 
Price: Beds from 260 kronor. Find out more
The Local's score: 9/10 
Night 4. Castanea Hostel
Gamla Stan is charming, quaint and expensive, so this could be the only night in your life you can say you've lived in Stockholm's Old Town. And the hostel is lovely, it reminded me of the area itself - lots of winding staircases, hidden corners, pokey little surprises, and plenty of tourists. The staff members were friendly too, it's owned by two sisters who threw their hats in from the business world to try something new. 
Best part: Location, location, location. A nighttime stroll in Gamla Stan is always a win, and you're just around the corner from the Royal Palace.
Worst part: No breakfast. 
Price: Beds from 205 kronor. Find out more
The Local's score: 9/10
Night 5: Jumbo Stay
This is a Boeing that's been transformed into a hostel. Though it's kind of less like a hostel and more like a hotel now - at least that's what the team says. And as far as gimmicks go - it's pretty cool. I mean, how many times have you ever slept (comfortably) on a plane? You can take a stroll on the wing, and if you're lucky they'll let you check out the cockpit suite, which was by far the most unique tourist attraction I've seen in Stockholm. 
Best part: If you're travelling from Arlanda airport, this is the perfect place to spend the night. And why wouldn't you want to try a night in a plane that's been transformed into a hostel? 
Worst part: Expensive compared to other hostels and a train or bus ride from the city centre.
Price: Beds from 450 kronor. Find out more
The Local's score: 8/10. You'll enjoy this once but it might not take off as your go-to backpackers in Stockholm.


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