Bucur’s Shelter – where traditions meet modernism
Bucharest has become a really vibrant modern city and frankly I felt like I was there for the first time even though it was actually my second. The design and cultural scene pleasantly surprised me as I took up on my adventure to discover the best hip places in town. I chose Bucur’s Shelter Hostel to be my home during my stay there and I recommend you to do so as well when you find yourself browsing through the hundreds of hostels in Bucharest.
The hostel is conveniently located only about 10 minutes walking from the Old Town and the metro station which believe me, it’s a huge plus since Bucharest has plenty to offer besides that area. Albeit down the very street on which the hostel is located, is a bit dodgy at night, the neighbourhood is pretty safe, especially due to the fact that there is a police station right on the next street.
The place is a cozy mixture of nice cool people hanging in the lounge area, waiting to check in or out or just catching up with their online presence and yet outgoing personalities with whom you can always have a chat and share your travel adventures so far. The employees are always available for whatever questions you might have and thus learn and experience more of the local culture, traditions and history.
The mix of modern industrial interior solutions with authentic traditional pieces is definitely what would make you stay here. They’ve really put an effort to make it a home-style hostel by finding antique interior pieces – from displaying authentic flagons and rugs to old charcoal iron and a bottle of traditional Romanian rakia (typical Balkan alcoholic drink). What really took me were the copper tubes used to decorate the walls and provide lighting in the lounge. Can’t help it – I just love copper!
On the first floor is the cool lounge area right next to the reception, the kitchen where you have everything needed for you to prepare a nice meal and then enjoy it in the dining room with your friends. Breakfast is served there every morning with coffee and tea at your disposal as well. There’s even an inside courtyard where you can also have your meal or beer chilling with the rest of the guests. The showers and one of the bathrooms are on the same floor too. On the second floor are most of the Shelters as they call them, another bathroom and a smaller chilling area with a sofa and a spinning wheel – so if you want to try that be sure to bring you own wool!
The spacious courtyard hidden in between the kitchen and the lobby. Look for the small door in the dark corner under the stairs.There are 4 mixed dorms with bunk beds and one private double shelter which I did not have the chance to check out. The rest of the rooms are simple – beds, lockers in each room, a chair or two, a traditional rug, depending on which room you are though. To be honest I was quite disappointed that I did not see the same dedication to details in the shelters as in the rest of the hostel in order to make the stay even more special and related to the whole traditional theme.
When you arrive you may be not exactly in the mood for chatting or anything else besides dropping your luggage and dreaming to take a shower if you, like me, had to travel for 8 hours to get to Bucharest, but that feeling evaporates quickly when you meet the welcoming and very helpful staff. You are more than welcome to leave your luggage in the lounge area, take a shower, eat breakfast and hang out until the check in time arrives. The staff is always there ready to help you with anything from telling you about the coolest libraries and giving you directions to the train station to borrowing their laptop and phone if you happen to lose yours. Yes, that happened. Note: do not forget your phone in a taxi in Romania or as a matter of fact anywhere else. Sadly, the good people are on extinction.
Prices vary from 9 to 11 euro per night for the dormitories, 16 for the private room. You have to pay in local currency, but the good news is they accept cards as well in case you forgot to change money before you arrive. Breakfast with coffee and tea is included, as well as a locker and of course Wi-Fi. The breakfast is pretty basic – bread, jam and butter and cookies. It’s a buffet though so you can have as many as you like.
You can arrange various tours and activities from the hostel as well – from a tour to the infamous Palace of Parliament (lemonade drinking on top included) to tasting traditional food and beer and pub crawls in the Old Town.
For more information and booking reservation head to their website.
Note: I was a guest of Bucur’s Shelter but that does not reflect my opinion! As always all opinions are my own.