Searching online for a hostel to stay at is always a bit of a challenge… Every traveler will have their own set of preferences of what to search for in a hostel. Our list goes as follows:
- Free Wifi
- Free Breakfast
- Other Bonuses
The very first to appear on our hostelbookers.com search for a hostel in Riga, Lativa was named “The Naughty Squirrel Backpackers”. How can someone not be intrigued by that name? So we eagerly clicked on it. It hit almost all of our personal preferences and more!
- Great prices, even for a private room. ($22.76 CDN per person)
- 95.4% rating (249 out of 260 recommended)
- Located right in the center of Old Riga
- Free Wifi
- The only non-hit on our list was No free breakfast
Almost about to click back on the browser and search for a hostel with breakfast we noticed The Naughty Squirrel’s bonus…
- Rated in the Top 10 worldwide
- Bar with happy hour specials
- Free shots if you call heads or tails correctly
- No communal showers
- Nice common room
- Free walking tours
- Free linen and freshly made beds, etc etc etc….. the list goes on…
- Oh and what’s this… Shoot AK-47’s in a soviet bunker?? Hell yeah!!
Of course Scott was sold… Soviet Bunkers? Guns? How can you go wrong? The next thing we know we are clicking on book now and whipping out the credit card.
And that fast decision became the best hostel booking we have made to date. We will now be comparing all of our hostel experiences to the Naughty Squirrel. If you’re ever in Riga, Latvia you must spend your time there and say hi to the staff for us!
Oh wait… what was that? What about the Ak-47’s?? Well since you asked….
I have never shot a gun in my life. I figured shooting a gun in Eastern Europe in an old soviet bunker sounds like the perfect place to try it… and for 30 Lats each it was hard to refuse! The price got us Eva (a Naughty Squirrel staff member) as a “tour guide”, transportation to the bunker, and then 5 rounds on a handgun, 5 rounds on a AK-47, and 3 rounds on a pump action shot gun. Our tour group was a total of 7 people. With me being the only girl…
Feeling excited we walk down the bunker stairs… it smells old and dank with a soft aroma of burnt something. We get instructions from what sounded to me like an Russian accent gun lover and the next thing I know its my turn.
Probably the most power I have ever felt between my hands… but it sure makes action movies seem even less realistic! It’s not easy to fire a gun, let alone aim it and actually hit your target. Faster then you expect, your out of ammo and your turn is over. Did I even hit the target??? I couldn’t tell, it was too far away in a poorly lit room.
Would I shoot a gun again? On this trip if another unique experience turns up, yes I will for sure. But back home to just go to a firing range, I don’t think so. It wouldn’t be worth the price back home!
Check out the rest of our photos from Riga, Latvia at our flickr gallery. We love comments on our photos… So, if you don’t have a flickr account, spend the minute and sign yourself up!