Best budget accommodations in Romania

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Felinarul Hostel (Sibiu)

Web info: Come and rest in our Transylvanian nest, Sibiu’s only boutique-style hostel and every day you can enjoy our organic breakfast for free. Owned and run by a Romanian/Irish couple, it promises a friendly welcome. The old house has been renovated with great attention to detail, with a mix of vintage Romanian furniture and crafts alongside modern facilities. The intimate cobblestone courtyard is a quiet oasis of calm in the heart of the old town, where customers and friends can hang out in the shade and sip a beer or glass of wine. The hostel also has chill-out zone, complete with library. An organic home-made breakfast is served each morning free of charge.

Leif’s take: A 14-bed sanctuary, roughly mid-way between the train station and the center. The Romanian-Irish husband and wife team have put a lot of thought into the design, including tasteful German, Hungarian and Romania influences. On Thursdays they whip up a Transylvanian Goulash, served with a palate-sterilising shot of tuica, naturally.

The Midland Youth Hostel 2 (Bucharest)

Leif’s take: Slightly less central than the original (now closed), but run by the same good people. They have dorms with 14, 10 and six beds, a large kitchen, computers, wifi and lockers for all. The large common area has TV/DVD and a cool skylight.

Kismet Dao Hostel (Brasov)

Leif’s take: These guys moved in early 2011 and I haven’t visited the new site yet. According to info supplied they still have a chill-out lounge (with a DVD library), a large self-cater kitchen, and a large patio and yard. The playful staff hand out tickets for one free beer/soda each day to get your evening started. It’s historically been the party-leaning hostel in town.

Rolling Stone Hostel (Brasov)

Leif’s take: Run by the high-energy, friendly Bolea Family, the Stone is a welcoming hostel spot with a more homey feel. Unfortunately, it gets pretty tight in the kitchen and bathrooms.  They also rent private apartments off-site.

Retro Hostel (Cluj)

Leif’s take: On a quiet lane amidst 16th-century citadel wall fragments, the happy, superbly run Retro is one of Romania’s best hostels. The larger dorms are a bit tight, but colourful with gold walls, moonlight windows and sunshiny bedspreads and the privates are a good value. The chatty and tirelessly helpful staff offer maps and good-value day trips.

Transylvania Hostel (Cluj)

Leif’s take: The leafy inner courtyard is prime end-of-day, cruisy, drinking territory. Even without the copiously consumed alcohol, this centrally located, 50-bed place is disarmingly welcoming, with all the next-gen hostel attributes: PCs, wi-fi, home theater, large self-cater kitchen and combo sauna/massage showers inspired by Star Trek. The privates feel a bit overpriced.

Pensiunea Ruxi (Curtea de Arges)

Tel. +40 (0) 727 827 675
Str Negru Voda 104
Family-run Pensiunea Ruxi, sitting inconspicuously across from Hotel Confarg, is exceptional. The rooms are new and comfortable (though the walls are smidge thin). Never mind that, the real treat is the homey atmosphere, where the family will go to heart-breaking lengths to take care of you. Daughter Ruxandra speaks passable English and sweet taking her will likely win you access to her computer for a quick, gratis email session. A home cooked breakfast is three euros and is served on in front of the TV, with remote control at the ready. Just like home.

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