Hostel Focus: Celica Art Hostel

In the latest post in our Hostel Focus series, we put the spotlight on the Celica Art Hostel, which is based in the beautiful Slovenian city of Ljubljana. And if you think you have seen or heard it all when it comes to hostels, then you may well want to take another look at the Celica Art. Boasting a multi colour exterior, this intriguing and eye catching hostel was once a military prison used to divide and categorise people according to different opinions and beliefs.

However, the building’s fortunes took a turn when, following the departure of the Yugoslav National Army in 1991, it was proposed that the building be transformed into a multicultural centre. However, bureaucratic red tape held the plans up and it began to look as if the building would be demolished instead. Several artists and supporters gathered to show their support for the multicultural centre plans by illegally occupying the abandoned barracks.

After almost 10 years of creative planning, transformation and restoration of the old military prison into a youth hostel, the City of Ljubljana and the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana finally gave their approval.

The transformation process saw more than 80 local and international artists involved and in 2003, the Hostel Celica was born with the first guests welcomed in July of that year. Since then the hostel has thrown off the shadows of its past and become a bright, fun and welcoming home from home for travellers from across the world.

We, at Interrailing Packages, are delighted to have partnered with such an interesting and funky hostel, which offers first class accommodation in 20 former prison cells now transformed into unique artistic hostel rooms. We spoke to Tanja Lipovec, Marketing Manager at the hostel, to find out a little more about what our Interrailers might expect.

Accommodation offer?

Lots! The former 2 and 3 bed “cells” have been transformed and each is a unique work of art with one essential feature in common – prison bars on the windows and doors. We also offer 4 and 5 bed rooms and 7 bed dorms.

What additional facilities or services are on offer?

Bar and restaurant, luggage storage, 24/7 reception, free safe box storage, free WiFi, common kitchen, tours information and  sales desk, common areas, social hostel events, airport shuttle, rent-a-car, rent-a-bike and discounts for guests to some city attractions and museums.

Busiest time of year?

June – September.

Nearby sights?

Metelkova area – the bohemian & alternative zone of Ljubljana, as well as numerous historical sites and we are just 700 metres from the city centre area

Nearby transport links?

Ljubljana public bus lines (No. 2, 7). The main bus and train station is just 500 metres away,

What makes your hostel special/unique?

Sleeping in former prison cells, one-of-a-kind artistic rooms with prison bars on windows and doors, certainly makes us unique.

Thanks to its unusual concept and history, the hostel has also been awarded several times by the biggest professionals in the tourism business, including Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, In Your Pocket Travel Guides and Hostelworld etc.

Since 2016 it has become the world’s first eco-certified hostel for its sustainable orientation and promoting sustainability in tourism in Slovenia and worldwide.

Do you cater for children?

There are families staying at the property as well as guests from different age groups, not just young people or solo travellers.

Do you cater for pets?

No, we don’t.

Does your hostel attract any particular demographic?

Thanks to its unusual and unique concept the hostel attracts various age groups – from young travellers, couples, groups of friends, students, to families and older travellers of 60 years and more.

Have you ever had a famous or particularly notable guest?

Sometimes musicians performing at the concerts here or at events in Ljubljana, but none of the “mainstream” celebrities so far.

Find out more

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