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Leo Hostel Reviews

Great experience, friendly staff

Stayed for 11 days in two stints. Didn't know a lick of Chinese, but the friendly staff helped me learn. The rooms and bathrooms are a bit dirty with minimal hot water, but the location is fantastic. The common-room area is a great place to meet people and eat good food. If I return to Beijing, I would stay at Leo Hostel.

Age 23 | USA

Beijing Leo Hostel could definitely be a contender for the best hostel in Beijing -- its location is perfect, the vibe is great, and there are a bunch of facilities on offer. The hostel's cafe serves some great food too and it serves as a nice bar to have a drink in the evening.

The Location

First head to Qianmen metro station and take exit C when you leave. You will exit onto a small pedestrian area with a busy, three-lane road on your right. Look ahead and slightly to the left and you will see some steps leading down to an underpass that goes under the smaller road that turns off the busy road mentioned -- take this underpass. Once you get to the top of the steps on the other side, you need to turn left immediately and head away from the busy road. Head down this road for two hundred meteres until you reach a McDonald's on your left. At this point you need to turn right, away from the McDonald's down the small pedestrian lane. Follow this down for a hundred meters until you see the hostel's very large, vertical "LEO" sign on your left.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Rooms are furnished to a high standard with soft, comfy beds and small lockers. Theyre spacious and theres twenty-four/seven air conditioning. Wi-Fi reaches most of the building, but just to be on the safe side, try asking for a room near the courtyard so you can pick it up in your room.

Bathrooms are a bit of a letdown -- theyre really small and you may have to wait your turn. They do have Western toilets and twenty-four/seven hot water, though. A daily cleaning service comes around, so the place is spotless and the walls are artistically decorated with pictures and Asian cartoons. It really is a well-looked-after place.

Common Spaces

There are four common areas to choose from. One is the main cafe/bar with loads of tables, a computer, book exchange, and a TV. The food is great and they serve beer here too. Next to this, there is a small room with one large table, where youll often find backpackers eating noodles and things that theyve bought themselves to save some cash. Upstairs theres a pool table with some more computers and out the back theres a chilled-out garden courtyard with some seating.


This is a friendly hostel, which should be sociable enough to meet people, yet it's chilled enough if you want to avoid any kind of of party scene. Tiananmen Square is just a short walk away and theres a host of cheap food options if you carry on further down the road outside.


Perfect location!

We stayed in a double room for almost 10 days, the location is really perfect, just few mins walk to the Forbidden city, many shops and restaurants around the hostel. There s a very good and quite cheap restaurant in the hostel and a relaxing room with a big TV, perfect for relaxing. Guide books available for lending. I recommend to go with Leo Hostel to the Great Wall, because they bring you to a part of the Wall, where u wont meet any tourists! Moreover you can book by email and they dont ask any deposit. Dislike -- maybe they could clean a little bit more the toilets and provide more than half roll of toilet paper per week.


Beijing Leo Hostel is a great place for hanging out with other travelers. It's a really big hostel with its own bar and restaurant.

The Location

Located on a quite crowded hutong area, it's a perfect place for party people. It's just a five-minute walk to the Tian'anmen Square and the center of Beijing. There is a Metro and Bus station close by. You can't miss the Hostel -- just walk down the Da Zha Lan Xie Jie until you see the big Leo Hostel sign.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are many types of dorms and private rooms. We took the cheapest option available, a ten-person dorm. It was clean and tidy but a bit smoky because of people smoking in the hallway. The dorm rooms have in-room lockers that are free of charge. In the lockers there are electric sockets where you can recharge your cell phones and iPods over night without being afraid of them getting stolen. The bathrooms have western-style toilets, which are both clean and tidy. The showers works like a charm but there isn't really any place to change though. There are hooks in the shower booth where you can hang your clothes while showering.

Common Spaces

The hostel is quite big and there are lots of places where you can hang out. On the ground floor there is a big bar and restaurant area where you can watch movies and play games. There are hundreds of DVD movies to choose from and lots of different games you can borrow for a small deposit. There is also a video game corner hocked up with a Playstation 2 and a big variety of games. Upstairs there is a free pool table and computer with internet. For more computers there is a room next to the bar. There is so much to do at this hostel that you almost don't want to go out.

The Staff

The friendly staff in the reception can book your train/bus/flight tickets for a small service fee or even hook you up with different tours. Leo Hostel is well known for its friendly staff and we can confirm that. But it feels like that stops if something goes wrong or if you are not happy with something. They don't really like to compensate you.


Leo Hostel is a perfect place for people who like to party and meet people. The bar area is just great for hanging out and making new friends. It's not really the place for people who want it quiet at night -- the area is quite noisy with lots of people partying at close-by bars. The staff is friendly and the service is good as long as nothing goes wrong. If it does it's never their fault, so don't even think about refund.

Matias Lindblom

It was easy to locate with the map we printed out and with in walking distance of the nearest Subway station. The market in the same street as the hostel has everything (food, clothing, drinks, souvenirs) and you can bargain on everything and get the best prices! Don't bother going to the other markets. Next to the hostel is a Supermarket with the basics. The hostels service was friendly and helpful. We stayed in a Double en-suite where everything was clean. Remember this is Asia and it is not a five-star hotel. The water pressure could be better but it did not bother us that much. The food in and around the hostel is great and at good prices! The bed was comfortable and warm also air-con and TV in room. No street noise! Great atmosphere in the bar/restaurant area. Trip to the wall with the hostel is worth it -- no problems!

South African

We've been there for 4 days and a half and stayed in a 12-persons dorm room. Talk about the bed first. It was nice, clean and smooth so I sleep well ... Roommates are extremely nice who come from many different parts of the world, so we had chances knowing a lot of cool guys. Great time of making new friends. But the toilet and shower room was dirty and nasty. I could not stop feeling unsafe when taking a shower. Internet was not available either. It was hard to catch your turn because there was only one computer. From the hostel to Tianmen square needs a lot of walking too. Staff is not so friendly. And the most important thing, it was really dangerous there. We lost our guidebook there in the internet room when we were not there for just probably a couple of minutes. Therefore, for me there was nothing so nice, just the friends I've made. Think about it properly.


Leo's is excellent! Hey, the old adage, you get what you pay for -- people it applies. I had a private room for nearly three weeks. A hostel is noisy. it is the nature of the beast. Leo's is a great place. Excellent, in fact. If you are a dumb traveler and you wish for all the creepy comforts of home while in a foreign country, the Beijing Grand is a couple kilometers away. By the way, it costs $250 for one bloody night. If you are wondering whether or not Leo's is good for you, or not, I am telling you just now. Leo's is great. Simon, Mike -- everyone there are so gracious, so helpful, so interested in you, it makes my blood boil to hear anything negative about these guys. They have a damn fine place and will make anything happen that you desire. These people are great. Stay at Leo's. You will not regret it. I couldn't think of another place I'd rather stay in Beijing, and I have stayed at Grand Beijing Hotel. I'd rather be at Leo's! Happy travels, folks.

p.s. simon: thanks again for everything. you are in our local newspaper here in the virgin islands. thanks for your hospitality during my time there. you're a star, dude. :)

kenny from the virgin islands!


Email to make booking:

Please note: We are almost full everyday now. If you would like to make a booking, you will need to book 2 days in advance. Alternatively, you can visit our website and contact us to find out the latest room availability. If we do not have space at Leo 1, we should have space at our second hostel, just 5 minutes walk away...

Full quote from the Lonely Planet China 2007 Edition (released in May 2007):

'Leo Hostel. Popular and crowded, it's best to phone ahead to book a room at this bargain hostel tucked away down Dazhalan Xijie. It has an attractive interior courtyard decked out with plastic plants, OK dorm rooms (pricier dorms with toilet), simple but passable doubles, a small but busy bar and a great location. Staff at reception make solid efforts at wooing international backpackers.'

Welcome to the Leo Hostel, Beijing's best choice for budget accommodation, as recommended by the Lonely Planet and many of China's top rated hostels...

We are one of Beijing's most popular hostels, with a reputation of friendliness and fun. Please read below to find out more... :)

Best location: We are one of the most central hostels in Beijing, only 5-10 minutes walk from Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Qianmen bus & subway center. There is no problem taking transportation to anywhere you want to go in Beijing. We can provide you with a free bus and subway map when you arrive. Please see our map (picture 4) and compare our location carefully with the other hostels.

Budget beds: We are a large hostel that can accommodate up to 100 guests. We have a wide range of accommodation types to suit all levels of budget, and further discounts can also be offered to long-term guests and tour groups.

Great tours: We have a wide selection of great tours, including the Great Wall, Acrobatics, Kung Fu, & Beijing Opera. We also have some special Leo Hostel tours, like our very popular Secret Great Wall tour, where you will be the only ones on the wall.

Great service: We are a very friendly, family-run hostel, with helpful, English-speaking staff that care. The management and staff have many years experience catering towards foreign customers, so our guests are sure to feel right at home :)

FREE services:

- FREE Internet computer. There is a free internet computer for guests to check their emails quickly. If you want to use the computer for longer, more paid internet computers are available, all with cameras and headsets (Skype available here ;). You can also burn your pictures on to a CD. Got a lap-top? We also offer a free connection wire for lap-tops.
- FREE luggage storage
- FREE security lockers for dorm rooms (our hostel also has 24 hour CCTV camera security)
- FREE local area map, showing banks, post offices, supermarkets, bus stops, subways, and everything else you need to know
- FREE Beijing information magazines - letting you know what's happening around Beijing right now
- FREE Chinese language guide - made by us to help you speak a little Chinese during your stay, and our staff can help you practice.
- FREE bar street map, made by us to help you find Beijing's cheaper/alternative bar scene, hidden off the main bar street.
- FREE pool / billiards table, darts board, guitar, & many other fun bar games

Facilities & Services...

- Large, friendly bar & restaurant, with western & Chinese food menu (vegetarians welcome!)
- DVD room with a wide selection of good quality movies (all with subtitles and no skipping ;)
- Laundry service
- Bike hire service
- CD burning
- Book exchange/sale, some *new edition* Lonely Planet China books available.
- Playstation 2 with latest games (Pro Evo ;)
- Plane, train ticket-booking & tibet permit service, and advice on getting to international destinations, such as Mongolia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
- International telephone call facilities
- Forward hostel booking service for other popular hostels in China (and we also can arrange for them to pick you up direct fom the station)
- Airport pick up and transfer

More Details...

We have a prized location inside the famous Da Zha Lan hutong market streets, with over 600 years of history. The Da Zha Lan hutong markets are filled with bustling character, with interesting shops, restaurants and stalls, leading right up to Tiananmen Square itself.

The Leo Hostel is a traditional Chinese hutong hostel, beautifully decorated with traditional furniture and fittings. As an escape from the busy market streets outside, inside the hostel are several peaceful, green seating areas, where you can relax with a good book or quietly socialise with friends. Art and calligraphy exhibitions are placed throughout the hostel, and you can watch our in-house artist paint new works every day, or even take one of his kung fu / tai qi classes!

We are the most convenient hostel for transportation links. As we are so close to Tiananmen Square and the Qianmen subway & bus center, there is no problem taking transportation to anywhere you want to go, including the train station and airport shuttle bus terminals. We can provide you with our free Leo Hostel bus and subway map when you arrive. Many tourist sites are also within walking distance, such as Tiananemen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Mao Mausaleum, Bei Hai Park, Liulichang Art/Culture Street, and many more...

Along with the normal Beijing tours, we also have some special Leo Hostel tours. Our 'Secret Wall' tour is very popular. You will be the only ones there and you will see the Wall in its most natural form, without cable-cars or people selling T-shirts! You'll also have the chance to meet a local village family for a delicious home-cooked meal. We also offer special Leo Hostel tours to Beijing beauty spots, where you can climb mountains, drift through natural gorges, go horse-riding, and try bungee jumping. And if you want to make your own private tour, we can arrange transportation for you.

Customer Comments...

Please read the ratings section to see what our satisfied guests have said about our hostel! You can also check the ratings on ( associates).


Leo (Liu Yue Lai) has worked for over 10 years in Tourist Information & hostel management. He is now very proud to welcome his old friends and new guests to his very own, family-run hostel.

For LOTS more information, please contact us or visit our web-site.

We look forward to seeing you very soon!

Location and Contact




Address: 52 Da Zha Lan Xi Jie, Qianmen Gateway Area, Beijing (Peking), Beijing Municipality, China

Leo Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website Leo Hostel Beijing
Phone Number: +86 (010) 86608923 / 63031595 / 63033318
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller


Luggage Storage


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Airport Pickup

City Tours

Lockers in Lobby

24 Hour Security

Air Conditioning


Book Collection/Exchange

Concierge/Info Desk

Currency Exchange



Hair Dryers

Hot Showers


Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Pool Table

Swimming Pool


Wheelchair Accessible

Credit Card Payments

Service Animals

Checkout: 12:00 (12 Noon)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 24 hours check in/out

Size: Very Large (100+ beds)


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