“Run away and join the circus” is the tagline of City Circus Hostel, a new establishment in Athens, Greece that opened its doors to wandering travelers a little over a month ago. Do not be fooled by the hostel’s demure exterior, for the beige walls and wrought-iron gate guard a fanciful surprise. Visitors are immediately greeted by a whimsical mural, a Dada-inspired collage of old photographs and graphics designed by artists at Nevertheless Design Studio. Located in the neighborhood of Psirri, the hostel is actually a renovation project of a four-story mansion, which has 25 rooms to accommodate its guests. Baroque tiles, patterned wallpaper, frescoed ceilings, and Grecian mosaic borders transform the hostel into a 19th-century circus, allowing visitors to time travel without having to move a muscle. Just in case the circus life becomes a little too overwhelming, individual quarters are completed with simple, wooden furnishings, and bathrooms are almost entirely done in white. Downstairs in the common living space, a collection of mismatched furniture provides a fun and relaxed setting, painting the canvas of the room in lime-greens, brilliant turquoises, and rouge reds. The City Circus Hostel makes acrobats out of its guests, encouraging them to live on the edge with adventure, jollity, and a little audacity.

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