I love staying somewhere a little bit different and quirky when I travel and Hostel Celica certainly provided that!
Located in the incredibly cool Metelkova area of the city, it was the perfect base for exploring Ljubljana.
History of Hostel Celica
For over 100 years this unique building was originally a prison in an Austro-Hungary army barracks.
In 1991, when Slovenia achieved independence, the Yugoslav army left the area and there was then a tussle about the ownership of the building. Local artists tried to sort out the paperwork to move it, but the city were determined to demolish the building. Illegal squatters moved in to try and prevent it being torn down.
Eventually the building was resorted and in 2003 Hostel Celica welcomed their first guests.
You can immediately spot part of the history of this building from the outside. During the attempt to demolish the building, the bulldozers did actually take a swing at the walls. There is a framed hole made on the side, as well as a circular window, both remnants from the damage.
I arrived late afternoon and was treated to a super smooth check in. Incredibly friendly staff and very helpful when I realised I had lost all my liquids and needed to find the local supermarket. Towels and bed linen are both provided and waiting for you in your room.
The first thing to notice is the downstairs corridor. It has been designed to be convex, so as you walk down you are walk through the whole of the corridor. This represents the inclusivity of the hostel, in a juxtaposition to the history of the building.
It is tiny and important details like this that Hostel Celica is full of and that make it so special
On the first floor of Hostel Celica are the private rooms. This corridor has a concave floor, so that you walk down the centre, giving privacy to the rooms on each side.
On the second floor are the shared dorms. Either 4 or 5 bed rooms, or 7 to 12 bed dorms. All clean, well proportioned and have en suites. They can get a little warm in the evening, as they have windows in the ceilings.
But it is the private rooms that are the most interesting. These are all the former cells of the prison. Some come complete with the original bars. Don’t worry though, there is also a door for your privacy!
Each ‘cell’ has been individually designed by a local artist, so they are all unique and each has a story. I was lucky to be able to see quite a few.
The common Spaces
The Oriental cafe located on the ground floor, is a fab space to sit and chill. With a shoes off policy, its perfect for relaxing. Full of low seating and rattan furniture, very zen.
The bar area, and the glass room, are were I had breakfast. In the summer there is a outdoor courtyard, which looked perfect for catching some rays. The breakfast itself was simple, eggs, toast, fruit and some cold meats but exactly what I needed to start my day.
One of the original features can be found downstairs. Two of the original solitary cells have been preserved in the basement. Steps leading down are lined with information and the history of the prison. It’s incredibly dark and gloomy down there, but definitely worth checking out.
Hostel Celica is located int he super cool area of Metelkova. This alternative area of the city has been completely covered in graffiti and somewhat unusual art installations. A hub for art gallery, artists studios, LGTB spaces, cultural organisations and several clubs featuring different types of alternative music.
In the evening it really comes alive with nightlife. You can hear some of the music from the dorms, but its definitely not too loud and nothing a pair of earplugs won’t cure.
Metelkova is a 10 -15 minute walk from the river and old town, so perfect for exploring the city by foot.
I really enjoyed by stay at Hostel Celica. Despite it being so close the nightlife of Metelkova, it was super chilled and calm and relaxing stay.
Next time, I definitely want to give one of the cells a go!
If you are interested in booking a stay please click on one of the links below:
My stay at Hostel Celica was complimentary, but all thoughts, views and opinions are absolutely totally my own!
This post contains affiliate links, which earn me a small commission but at no cost to yourself.