I love hostels all over the world and I’m always looking for cool ones with a bit of character and a feel good vibe. You might remember ages ago I wrote a post on 5 things a decent hostel should have and I try and ensure every place I stay on my journey ticks these boxes. This one more than does. I was heading to Romania for the first time in November 2014. Life would change for me here, drastically so, because of 2 people I met in this hostel. I had no idea how big and bad an influence these two nasty people would have on my travel life after this moment.
While my 2009 flirt with Hungary brought me within a few kilometres from the Romanian border in Debrecen, it was time to put things right and check out what Bucharest had to offer for real. I used Bucharest as my base when touring Romania, Moldova and Transnistria and I loved the city.
The plan was to find a cool cosy hostel in the old town of Bucharest and use it as base to come back and forth while exploring the region. It worked a treat but the sparkling gem of the operation was that I stayed in the coolest hostel in Old Town Bucharest, which I am just delighted to have found and glad to be sharing it with you. I decided to stay at the Little Bucharest Hostel right in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town. From my arrival in Romania, I was easing my way into a love for this country inspired by this base of a hostel to explore the city.
Here are 11 things I loved about Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel and it is where you too should aim to stay when backpacking in Romania.
1. Perfect Location
Little Bucharest Hostel is the best location you could wish for in the city. It’s housed inside an old building on a pedestrianised corner in the Old Town. From here, it’s 1 minute walk to the nearest bar or restaurant (and a line of them), 2 minutes from ATMs and Currency Changers and right in the heart of the Old Town. From your bedroom window, you’re already admiring Romania’s classic architecture.
Being based here makes it easy to explore everywhere on foot. Metro wise, you are a 3 minute walk from Piata Unirii station as well, so easy access to the other parts of the city that you might want to check out, as well as an easy route to Bucharest’s Gara de Nord. A train station I passed through about 8 or 9 times during my stint in Romania!
2. Friendly Staff
Staff make a hostel what it is. From the moment I walked in the door I was just given the warmest welcome to the point where I was home right away. I could relax and be in comfort here.
What’s incredible is the staff are all of the same type of personality – outgoing, happy, helpful people. They also all speak English. Plus any single guys staying here will also probably like the fact that Romanian girls are warm on the eye, the Little Bucharest Hostel girls do well in the “looks” department.
While I’m raving about the cool staff, it was Cristiana, Luana, Jona, Lavinia, Narcisa, Lucas, Sean and Mitsuki. Lucas is from the USA, Mitsuki is from Japan, Dean is from England and all the others are Romanian or Albanian. A great bunch of friendly helpful hard working people always on hand to help out and chat.
3. Safe and Secure
Leave a 15 Lei deposit for a locker and your stuff is oh so safe here. You can also store your bags here while you jaunt to places like Bucovina, Transylvania and Moldova as I did.
4. Organised Events
On selected nights, Little Bucharest hostel organise some really cool events. They have a “backpackers story night”, a movie night and also pub crawls and cooking nights. There’s always something happening and other guests to meet and head out with.
5. Sister Hostels
The cool thing about Little Bucharest is that it’s actually part of a group of hostels in Romania, run by local entrepreneur Tudor. The group is called Pura Vida Hostels and they have 5 hostels in the country. What this means, is it’s easy to arrange stays in their other hostels as you tour the country. I also had the pleasure of touring Cacica and Moldovita in Bucovina, where I stayed at the Dor de Bucovina hostel. I also reviewed their Peaches Hostel.
As well as having information leaflets, it’s by talking to the staff that you realise Little Bucharest is a hostel full of information. The staff were looking up trains for me to places like Chisinau and Bucovina. I won’t forget the help I got from Cristiana and Narcisa in organising my onward travel. And as a side point – some cool quotes in the quirky dorms!
7. Fast Wi-Fi
Again any hostel or hotel that charges for Wi-Fi – shame on you! I’ll never stay in one that does, and Little Bucharest has great fast wi-fi which also works in the rooms! It was in Bucharest that my laptop got banjaxed so I had to buy a new one. It was here I had to reubuild my blogging life again, hence my long stay in Romania.
8. Relaxing Lounge
On lazy days in Bucharest, I’d sit in the lounge with a tea or coffee just relaxing or working on my laptop. A really cool base to have with not a worry in the world.
9. Kitchen with free Tea and Coffee
There’s a great kitchen with all the utensils you need for cooking for yourself. They also have free tea or coffee. It was in this kitchen where the nasties came.
10. New Friends
You’ll walk in the door as a stranger and leave with friends. I got to know the staff my dorm mates over the many nights I spent here, gaining new contacts in Romania, USA, Poland and Bulgaria all from my stay here.
It was here in this hostel, on Saturday 15th November 2014 that I met Karolina Kokosz and Barbara, two fellow travellers. Barbara slept in the bunk bed above me and both tourists would have a huge influence on my travel journey later on. Though I could never have guessed it then.
11. Hot Showers
It might come as a surprise that hot showers are a major cool thing here – but they have these mini jacuzzi sprays on them to add a bit of class to your Bucharest body clean! Head and shoulders only this time on the photo 🙂
So good luck in your backpacking journey to Bucharest – it’s a great city to check out and you will love the Little Bucharest Hostel – a perfect backpacker friendly hostel. Here is the address of Little Bucharest Hostel:
15 Smardan Street,
Tel: 004 0786 055 287
Book Little Bucharest on Agoda.
Here is a video from my stay in Little Bucharest Hostel: