Well I had that whole “wow factor” yet again on arrival in Chisinau. As much as I ever try in life, I can never ever ever put into words just how amazing travel is and how I buzz off this lifestyle. I got a night train across the border from Romania to Moldova, leaving Bucharest for the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. Looking back though, there was a hint of sadness and suicide ahead. This was the first hostel I slept in after arriving into chirpy Chisinau though.
I never really knew too much about Chisinau, apart from that it’s the capital, it was once a city in the USSR and my country’s football team, Northern Ireland, once drew a poor 0-0 match here back in 1999. The good news was, the backpacking hostel vibe was in full evidence here. The low amount of tourists from afar that Moldova does attract will for sure go home raving about it. I’m here to do the same, things started well on arrival as I checked into my funky colourful hostel, Tapok Hostel. What a place to stay, and such a nice city to tour, away from the usual 18-30 inter railing backpacker clans of Europe. Moldova is a breath of fresh sweet air and having a cosy welcoming home like the Tapok Hostel meant I could relax and enjoy the joys of this country with ease.
Before I launch into multiple posts on Moldova, here are my 5 reasons why I’m glad I stayed at the Tapok Hostel in Chisinau.
Make that location perfect. Tapok Hostel is on a quiet side street, even better that the side street is three blocks on one side from the central boulevard of the city, Stefan cel Mare. And on the other side, it’s a short walk to the university, the eternal flame monument and some rather trendy bars. In short, the location of Tapok Hostel is great for exploring the city. Something you’d not get if you based yourself at the train station, a 20 minute walk from the city centre.
2. Safety and Security
From my extensive travels I know how important staying safe and secure are. This is a quiet hostel, off the main street at the back of a car park. it’s safe and secure, there are lockers (100 Lei deposit) and staff around to ensure your stay in this city is a happy one.
3. Funky Decor
You’ll know I hate boring, drab, non-descript hostels and thankfully Tapok Hostel kicks all that into touch. Painted walls, a striking interior and exterior and you feel an arty vibe here. It reminded me of some hostels I’ve stayed in before, in fact I recommended them too – the Penthouse Hostel in Yerevan Armenia and the Why Not Hostel in Tbilisi Georgia.
You literally can’t go wrong for the price of dorms here. Beds from $11 US is really cheap! Moldova is even cheaper than Romania and will stretch your budget further by staying here.
5. Local Information
I’ll be honest and say that the Moldovan tourist board and their information system isn’t great. That’s where hostels like Tapok come into it. They have free maps on Chisinau, information boards and staff that are both local and know local. Things to see won’t be a problem here and they also have the contacts for wine tours, and can help with onwards journeys (which in my case was Tiraspol).
6. Wi-Fi Access
Okay so there’s a sixth reason – the wi-fi access is great here, which might surprise some of you! I was online getting my blogs typed up and emails replied too, and fast.
So do yourself a favour and head to Chisinau in Moldova and make sure you stay at the Tapok Hostel, which you can book here.
Address: Armeneasca Street 27, Chisinau, Chisinau, Moldova 2201
Here is a video from my room in the Tapok Hostel: