Targu Neamt

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Târgu Neamt (literally, German Market Town) is little more than a dusty town that will make you quicken your step just for the attraction of getting the hell out of there. The only reasons to come here are to visit the impressive ruins of a 14th-century citadel and stock up before heading to the Neamt, Agapia and Varatec Monasteries.

Neamt Citadel (Cetatea Neamtului) considered Moldavia’s finest fortress, is perched just high enough above town to make you wish there was a chairlift. This ancient place is good for a hour’s worth of poking around and provides excellent photo ops. It was built by Petru I Musat in 1359 and was attacked repeatedly: by Hungarians in 1395, by Turks in 1476 and finally conquered by Polish forces in 1691. Restoration was completed in 2009  and the place looks like its ready to withstand another siege.

To get there, follow signs for ‘Cetatea Neamtului’ along B-dul Stefan cel Mare. You must park your car at the foot of the citadel and take the calf-blasting, but pleasant hike up the hill.

If for whatever reason you choose to spend the night in Târgu Neamt, there’s only two decent options:

Casa Arcasului (Tel. +40 (0) 233 790 699; address Str Cetatii 40) is a bright, if somewhat soulless, hotel/restaurant with a fantastic location at the foot of the citadel. Rooms are simple, but decent, equipped with cable TV, comfortable beds and small shower-toilet hybrids. The adjoining Romanian restaurant has live music nightly.

Pensiunea La Cetate (Tel. +40 (0) 233 660 249; address Str Cetatii 33) is across from Casa Arcasului, offering simple cabins, each with a small private bathroom, and a restaurant. A handful of standard rooms were near completion when I last visited.

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