Accommodation Guide – Romania

Brasov

Kismet Dao Brasov
Str. Democratiei 2
Brasov 2200
Phone: (40) 268-514-296
Web: kismetdao.com/brasov
Stayed there: 16th and 17th of July 2007
Rates: 37-40 Lei for the dorms, 110 for the “Valentine” double room

This is one top notch hostel. Superb staff, great building, cool location, wonderful atmosphere.
OK, it’s not got the saunas and pools of the YHAs in Oz, but it’s got everything else. A free beer each day you stay. Free laundry service. Cheap organised tours (three castles in a day for 65 Lei plus entry fees). Cellar where you can drink all night without disturbing anyone.
It all helps that Brasov’s a nice place to spend a couple of days, but this is one hostel you could easily decide to spend another couple of nights.
There is a quibble and that’s the small number of showers (three, I think) which are shared amongst all the residents – though I noticed this kind of ratio was pretty common across all of Eastern Europe.

Bucharest

The Midland Youth Hostel
B-dul Regina Elisabeta nr.30 sc.B
1st floor ap.11
Bucharest Sector 5
Phone: +40 21 317 03 62
Web: themidlandhostel.com
Stayed there: 18th July 2007
Rates: 12 or 13 Euros per bed per night, depending on season

Another cracking place – Romania’s got some fine hostels and this is another good one, though not if you’re the “quiet night in” type.
The night I was there I returned at 3am to find half the hostel in full voice, drunk off their heads singing very bad karaoke. The rest of the hostel was trying to sleep… Still, if you’re a partier this rocks.
Internet is via one laptop, but the connection’s quick. Bathrooms are cramped, but newly-outfitted and very clean. Lovely showers though only two and two potties for the whole population.
Location is fine, only a short trek from the main train station and a very short walk from the nearest Metro and the airport shuttle bus.
The staff make it, though. They just seem to lap up having all the visitors to chat to. I gather they backpack as well so they know how it all works.

Cluj Napoca

Retro Youth Hostel
Potaissa st.13
Cluj Napoca
Phone: +40-264-450452
Web: retro.ro
Stayed there: 14th July 2007
Rates: 39-44 Lei per night for a shared dorm

Possibly the nicest welcome I’ve had at a hostel in ages. “Sit down? Would you like some tea? What kind?” followed by a little table being wheeled in with my fruit tea and a basket of biscuits crammed onto it. Kind of like visiting your grandmother if your grandmother was a very attractive young Romanian woman who worked in a hostel.
The place itself is lovely. Up a little alley way a two minute walk from the town centre and well-furnished with nice bunks and good kitchen furniture. It’s a little pokey, but in a quaint “old house” kind of way.
The showers and bathrooms were nice and clean, and the showers themselves lovely and strong.
Staff were always on hand with information and help and there’s a nice bar over the road where lots of people ended up drinking. Want food ordered in? No problem – give the staff the order and they’ll make the call for you.
It’s the only hostel in Cluj so they could get away with being rubbish. But they’re not.

Sighisoara

Gia Hostel
Libertatii street, #41
Sighisoara 545400
Phone: 0040722490003
Stayed there: 15th July 2007
Rates: Less than UK6 per night for a dorm bed

I picked this hostel as it was really close to the train station and I was arriving around 11pm. It turned out to be an OK choice. Sighisoara is small enough that it doesn’t matter too much where you stay in the town!
When I got there, the one other person in my dorm had legged it with the key so they couldn’t let me in. However, I was popped into the dorm next door – which I ended up having to myself – with a telly and en-suite bathroom. So no complaints.
The decor was pleasant enough, beds solid and comfortable and the shower hot and clean. I only stayed from the late arrival until checkout in the morning, so I can’t say much more but it seemed nice enough.

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