Tallinn Backpackers Hostel is a very friendly and fun place to be; it is a wonderful middle ground between a relaxing hostel and a party hostel -- once you arrive, you will not want to leave!
The hostel is located within the Old Town of Tallinn, a little further north than the Town Square. This is a great location as it benefits from being within short walking distances of the main tourist attractions, nice bars, and a range of restaurants to suit every budget, and yet is within a quiet residential area, allowing you to sleep at night (assuming that you wish to!). The location is easy to find. From the airport, you can take a reasonably-priced taxi, which takes about fifteen minutes, or the No. 2 bus for about ten minutes to the stop "A. Laikmaa," and walk about fifteen minutes. The buses have electronic read-outs of each stop, so it is simple to request the stop that you need (plus, youll spot all the other tourists/travelers from the airport getting off at this stop, as its the closest one to the Old Town!). Whilst having a map already would be useful in navigating the walk to the hostel, there are maps dotted about the Old Town, which will guide you, especially as Tallinn displays its street signs very prominently.
Although the location is easy to find, the hostel itself requires you to be a little more eagle-eyed ... there is a very small sign in the window of the door; miss that, and it is easy to think the hostel is just another house in a row of houses! You will need to buzz into the hostel, but reception is open twenty-four hours, so there is always someone available to let you in; though do remember to remove your shoes before entering reception and the rest of the hostel (this is customary in Tallinn and there is a large shoe rack at the top of the first flight of stairs). On arrival, the staff provide a comprehensive introduction to the hostel and the city, particularly providing recommendations on places to visit, eat, and drink.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Dorm rooms of six or eight beds are available; all are mixed and some are en suite (for those that are not, there is an additional bathroom on the same floor and a convenient separate toilet downstairs by reception). Each bathroom is spacious, consisting of a good hot shower, useful towel racks/hooks, basin, and toilet. The bathrooms are steam-cleaned daily, so they are usually very clean.
The rooms are quite small and compact, consisting of bunk beds and complimentary bedding. There are lockers, but these are located in the corridor outside of the rooms. You are provided with a key to the room and a key to the locker that corresponds to the bed that you have been assigned. Although you can request a change of bed (and the staff will do their best to accommodate you), it is preferable to keep with the bed and locker assigned, as confusion can arise with respect to locker access, especially as you may then find your locker is on a different floor than your bed! Towels are available for a reasonable fee, and a monetary deposit or your passport is required for the keys to be issued. Private rooms of five or six beds are also available.
The common spaces are very spacious and homey. The reception sits in the corner of a large sitting room, consisting of several very comfortable sofas, a freely-accessible computer (although there is also free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel), a foosball table, a "Beer Pong" table (or a "Gin Pong" table, as some backpackers affectionately renamed it when we were there!), and a convenient vending machine. Most of the sofas are arranged around a large coffee table to encourage social interaction, but there is a sofa and some beanbags away from this if you just wish for some peace to read a book or catch up on some sleep! The staff also sell cheaply-priced local beers and cider from a well-stocked fridge behind the reception desk, allowing you to start early before joining the nightly pub crawl, run by a sister hostel a few minutes walk away, or to have a quiet beer and a catch-up with fellow travelers.
The atmosphere really is very friendly and welcoming and as social as you wish to make it; no one minds if you would rather curl up on the sofa and catch up on some journal writing or if you want to start (or continue or end) your travels with a bang and initiate some drinking games ... anything goes, as long as everyone leaves the common areas by 11 p.m. This is fairly strictly enforced (and a little sneakily too, as the clock in the sitting room is set fifteen minutes fast!), but for good reason, as the hostel is within a residential area. It is not an issue though, as there are plenty of bars to suit all tastes within a short walking distance; there is even a bar directly across the street with comfy sofas and free tea, if you just want to continue chillaxing!
In addition to the sitting room, there is also a spacious and well-stocked kitchen, with free tea and coffee. There is, however, no point in cooking! Firstly, there are plenty of places to eat in Tallinn for a range prices, and secondly, particularly for the tightest budget, the hostel puts on a home-cooked meal every night (assuming people have signed up for it), which is cheap, has massive portions and is absolutely delicious (well ... depending on whos cooking, of course!). No breakfast is provided, but then, as was the answer when we enquired about this, no one is up early enough anyway!
This hostel has an amazing atmosphere and is so welcoming and homey that you will want to return to it again and again (which is what we did, in and around our travels in Estonia!). It is the perfect place to relax or the perfect place to party; it is entirely up to you!