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“Heaven for "laowai" backpackers in Beijing!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Beijing Downtown Backpacker Hostel

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Beijing Downtown Backpacker Hostel
No. 85 Nanluogu Alley, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009, China (Houhai)   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 589 Specialty Lodging in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Tortosa, Catalonia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Heaven for "laowai" backpackers in Beijing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

We have stayed in 6 different hostels in our China trip in late august 2012, both in Central and Coastal China. I can say this is the best one by far. All the staff speaks excellent English, they help you to book train tickets for a small commission so you can avoid loosing time fighting in train stations if your skills in mandarin are limited, rooms are really cheap and clean compared to what we have paid for in cities like Hangzhou and Shanghai, free wifi available, the hostel is centrally located in a lively and fashionable street called nanluogu xiang and...oh my god! There's free western breakfast included with what you pay, a real oddity in China hostels. What can else be said? Oh yes, their tour to the great wall is highly recommended, so if you go to Beijing in a tight budget, make yourself a favour and go there! They do not even ask you to write a nice repport about them when you leave as the other chinese hostels do :)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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235 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
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Chiang Mai
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Firstly the location of the hostel is in one of the old Hutongs(are a type of narrow streets or alleys, most commonly associated with Beijing) full of nice bars, little shops and delicious food stands. It’s very close to a metro station and major bus stops. We stayed in 6 and 4 beds dorm rooms. The beds were comfortable and spotless. There were bathrooms in every room and cleaned, filled up with shower gel, shampoo etc. on a daily basis. Sophisticated electronic lockers were available outside of the room free of charge. The breakfast was included in the price and the coffee was excellent. There was a small common room with TV, books, and Wi-Fi facilities where travellers can hang out, drink beer and have a lot of fun. The staff was very friendly, helpful and extremely efficient. Everything was working like a clock in this hostel. They also arrange tours to the Great Wall and various shows in town. Although we did not do any of it, people who did the tours had very good comments.

Room Tip: It's worth paying a bit more and stay in a 4 bed dorm, they are more spacious!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lund, Sweden
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

The hostel is located Nanlougu Alley which is a touristy but nice neighbourhood. The downside is that the nearest metro station is a good 15 minutes walk away. It is however possible to walk all the way to the forbidden city, which is a nice walk through central Beijing.
The hostel is clean and well kept. We stayed in a private double, that was really nice with a clean and normalsized bathroom.
The staff is friendly, helpful and speaks ok english.
The hostel also arranges trips to the great wall which I higly recommend. We took the trip to Jinshaling and that was a great experience.
The hostel offers airport pickup and luggage service.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Hartford, ct
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

It is a full day trip. Badaling you can do in the morning and be back md-afternoon. But what a different experience. A really great hike over sections in different states of repair. Spectacular. I can imagine it is a bit grueling in the summer heat. Otherwise fine for kids 8+ who can hike 3 miles.

One negative: the road is narrow and the Chinese drivers, including our bus driver, do not seem to understand the concept of slowing down to avoid collisions.

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

While we did not stay at this hostel during our visit to Beijing, we did go on one of their day trips to The Great Wall. We chose the day trip hiking between Jinshanling and Simatai (East Gate). We could not have been more pleased with our tour choice. The group included about 20 people, but the wall is so enormous that you honestly forget about everyone else. We highly recommend using their tour services even if you are staying somewhere else. The organizer of the tours was friendly, informative and quick to respond to inquiries as was the guide on the day of the tour.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

We stayed in a private ensuite room. It is a nice room with a spacious and relatively new bathroom. It has a separate TV viewing area from the bedroom. The hostel is conveniently located in Nanluoguxiang, a very vibrant hutong lined with little shops and restaurants. It is 15 minute-walk to the subway and will be even more convenient when the new subway station (currently under construction) is built.
There are 2 big supermarkets not too far from the hostel if you want more variety than things you can get at convenient stores. We use the self-service locker which is a nice facility they provide.
Free breakfast is provided in the cafe next to the hostel, although no free coffee. They provide free pick up at the airport which is always a welcoming service for new and tired travelers to the area. We enjoyed our stay here, and definitely recommend this hostel.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

This is an excellent hostel that is very well run and well maintained. Their staff is helpful and speaks very good English. This hostel provides all that a backpacker would need to enjoy Beijing, including excellent tours of the Great Wall and shows.

Location:

Some complains that the hostel is not close to a subway station. It is also true that taxi would not go into the alley. But it adds to the charm of this place. It's a short 10 min walk to the main street and lots of exciting shops and food along the way! I highly recommend that you avoid the subways anyway because they are way too crowded ALL THE TIME. Everything is a very short bus ride away from the hostel. If you are not well versed in Chinese and therefore not comfortable riding buses, taxi rides are very reasonable and the hostel will give you cards with your desired destination in Chinese to help you communicate with the taxi driver.

The hostel also rents out good bikes with good prices. I highly suggest you rent a bike from them and ride around the interesting alleyways of Old Beijing.

Another reason why the location is superb: it is situated in the most chic alley in Beijing. You'll find all the coolest cafes and sought after street food and delicacies. It does get really crowded during mid day because even locals flock to this narrow alley for good food and good shopping. I look forward to go back to the hostel every night because the alley is still full of life and the shops are open till quite late. Despite all that, the hostel has no noise problems. I slept very well even in dorms.

The property:

The facility is relatively clean. The bathrooms are very new looking, with toilet paper, shampoo and liquid soap provided (Not a given for other hostels I've stayed in). I stayed in two different dorm rooms and one private Twin room during my stay due to availability issue during booking. But I'm glad I tried different rooms. Towels are available for rental. A great feature, which many travellers didn't seem to take advantage of, is their electronic bar-code based lockers in the basement. Very convenient and safe to use.

If you stay on the ground floor, your room will likely have wifi. The wifi lounge is a bit small, but there is another computer room in the basement where wifi is available.

The cafe is very tastefully decorated and serves free breakfast daily to hostel guests. It's very basic but tasty nonetheless.

For what you get and the unbeatable location, it's a good budget choice indeed! Will definitely go back!

Room Tip: Ground floor rooms have wifi.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Beijing Downtown Backpacker Hostel

Address: No. 85 Nanluogu Alley, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Beijing Region > Beijing > Houhai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 589 Specialty Lodging in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beijing Downtown Backpackers Accommodation is the original Nan Luo Gu Xiang Youth Hostel. Located in the traditiona Hutong location - Nan Luo Gu Xiang Alley, Beijing Downtown Backpackers Accommodation is much more economical than similarly placed competitors. As a well established value provider we are well attuned to the essentials. Rooms are basic, but well priced, clean and tidy. Our staff are well aware of western traveler needs and cater for various Great Wall tours and Hutong Bike tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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