I’ve stayed at a lot of hostels during my travels over the years. Every once in a while, one comes along that you just absolutely love. A hostel so great you just want to keep it to yourself, and you find yourself planning trips just to stay there again. Naughty Squirrel Backpackers Hostel in Riga is one of those hostels. In fact, it’s one of my favorite hostels in Europe!
Location: Naughty Squirrel has an excellent location in the Old Town. It’s close to stops for the airport bus and other public transportation systems, and not far from the bus and train stations. The hostel is less than a 5-minute walk to Blackheads House and the heart of the Old Town. It’s close to restaurants, bars, and pretty much everything you need. You couldn’t ask for a better location!
Room: On my first visit to Riga, I stayed in an 8-bed dorm room. The dorms are fairly large, with cage lockers under bed. For my most recent visit, I stayed in a private room. The room was quite nice, maybe a bit small, but had comfy double bed. It wasn’t anything special, but I don’t have any complaints at all.
Price: It’s getting pricier and pricier to stay in Riga, as city becomes a more popular tourist destination (especially for partying, which the Naughty Squirrel excels at). Dorm rooms are still well priced and a good value for what you get, as the hostel is great. For a city as hot on the radar as Riga, I paid 50€ (~£46 // $59) for my private room. Dorms are much more affordable, starting at 13€ (~£12 // $15.30).
Bathrooms: I always review the bathrooms (usually with photos), since they can make or break a hostel! The bathrooms at Naughty Squirrel on my floor were in one long hallway, with a few sinks and mirrors at the end (which was great for just brushing teeth). The bathrooms were small, but were separate rooms with either a toilet or a shower for privacy. I never noticed anything wrong with them during my stay.
Staff: All the staff I encountered at Naughty Squirrel were honestly just awesome and always happy to help. One of them gave me some free cake she had made when I was massively hungover at breakfast during my first stay! The staff members clearly know the city well, and just generally seemed to be nice and easygoing people.
Common Areas: There’s a large common room and smaller game room (with a foosball table) at the hostel. There’s also a bar (with cheap happy hour special!), and a small kitchen if you want to do your own cooking. There’s a great social atmosphere and it’s really easy to meet other travelers. I had a blast traveling solo here—you’ll leave with countless new friends!
Amenities: The wifi works well throughout Naughty Squirrel. There are computers for guests in the common room, and staff are happy to print boarding passes for free. You also get a free shot of the Latvian spirit black balsam at check-in! That should be reason enough to convince you to visit! The hostel also runs a lot of tours/events (like bar crawls, AK-47 shooting, etc.) for guests.
Security: There’s keycard security for all the rooms. Reception is open 24/7, so there’s always a member of staff if you need anything. There are cage lockers under the bed in the dorm rooms, just make sure to bring your own lock. I felt super safe here all the time, and also felt safe walking in the neighborhood.
Verdict: Would I return? In a heartbeat—I’ve already stayed here twice! Naughty Squirrel is one of the best hostels I’ve stayed at for good reason: there’s a great social atmosphere, it’s really easy to meet people so it’s excellent for solo travelers, it’s great for people looking to party, and more. Since my first trip in the winter of 2013, I’ve recommended it to two other friends, both of whom had exceptional nights out. The Naughty Squirrel is definitely one of my favorite hostels in Europe! You can find their website here.
What’s the best hostel you’ve ever stayed at? What did you like about it?
I was not compensated in any way by this hostel—my opinions are always my own.