Two hostels on Yatzer within two weeks of one another? It seems we may be in the midst of a trend. So has the hostel finally shaken its reputation for its gloomy 'musty' atmosphere and institutional design? Once known more for accommodating rowdy, alcohol loving students on holiday, the hostel is stepping up its game and going after an entirely different clientele.
It would make sense, one would hope, that given the economy the option would now exist for travel without breaking the bank. There has to be an in between for a more adventurous traveler who still enjoys the basic comforts of hotel living. So, if we have to forego the Tcherassi’s of the world for a few trips, why not check out a hip hostel? Let’s see what City Circus is all about.
Inside the pale yellow exterior, the four-story twenty-five room hostel was built in a newly restored and over one hundred year old mansion. Original details were kept where possible; the frescoed ceilings were restored in the lounge and dining areas (and they really are quite stunning), iron balconies peek out onto the streets, and baroque tiles add an aged and wise beauty to the building. Think boutique hotel but pared down to bare bones. Sure, you’re not going to find 400 thread count sheets on these beds but attention has been paid to detail, and it is clear from the thoughtful design and vibrant art work that this is not the hostel of our college years. The small details let you know that your comfort has been considered and this adds to the overall experience; an overall minimalist design, bright green blankets, small baroque framed mirrors in the bathrooms, night lights on either side of a double bed, reclaimed and vintage furniture sprinkled throughout the hostel bring character and depth to the rooms. Art work sourced from local artists line the walls. There are two bars with similar “mismatched” flea market chairs and décor which definitely works too. The bar experience on the roof is elevated by the sheer proximity to the magical Acropolis which literally stares down at you as you take in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood below.
And an excellent neighborhood it is. Psirri is located in central Athens, Greece and it is the hip place to be. Lively bars and cafes line the busy streets, the market square by Monastiraki is perfect for people watching, and many local street artists come here to sell their wares. In fact, there is plenty of local flavor to be shared with people from all over the world. And the setting is down to earth, a nice rest even, from the upscale boutique hotels and white tablecloth brunches one may be accustomed to. Here, you are immersed in culture, YOU are the experience, and it feels as though you are amongst friends. There is an overall youthful energy to Psirri, and come to think of it, to City Circus as well.
City Circus embraces what has come to be known as the 'adventurer', 'explorer' way of life. Inviting the 'Acrobats' of the world (literally translating to a 'person that lives on the edge') to 'dwell in the surreal, to embrace the weird, to explore with freedom'. And to be honest, letting loose and 'getting weird' sounds good right about now. Amidst all of the economic turmoil and the worries that have plagued Greece in recent years, it is refreshing to find a place that does not take itself so seriously. This is a place that offers comfort and shelter to the traveler that chooses their own path, explorers looking for something inside themselves or hidden amidst the ruins of Athens. The energy surrounding City Circus and the ethos at the core of their operation is pure and good, and for this they are doing something wonderful in the ancient city that has gone through too many troubles in recent years.