If you’re looking for a nice, clean and affordable place to stay in Cluj-Napoca, then Zen Hostel is a great option, especially if you want to be close to the city center. The hostel is located on 47 Eroilor Boulevard, the main pedestrian lane in the city.
If you’re arriving to Cluj by bus or train, take the #9 bus to Memorandumului station and from there, ask for directions to Eroilor Boulevard. It’s a short 5-minute walk from the station and you’ll pass by the popular St. Michael’s Church on your way there.
Colorful and spacious
As you walk across the courtyard, you’ll notice the colorful walls and the reception room on the left. The hostel was opened in the summer of 2015 and the young owners successfully turned an old building into a friendly and colorful space.
Everywhere inside, you’ll see splashes of color, small details like beautifully decorated stained glass, mural paintings and artsy designs in every room. Most of the decorations were handmade, including the designs on the walls of each room and the kitchen that were created by a local artist.
Bright, clean and comfortable rooms
The hostel has 32 beds and you can either choose a bed in a double/triple room with private/shared bathroom or a place in a 4 or 6-bed dorm with a private or shared bathroom. There’s also a female-only dorm with two bathrooms. Prices vary between 65 RON / 14.5 EUR / 16USD to 160 RON / 35.5 EUR / 40 USD per night. Breakfast is not available, but they usually have a free self-served morning snack, consisting of tea, coffee, extra milk, eggs and some cereal.
The rooms are very clean, bright and spacious. The beds are made of pallets and comfortable mattresses and instead of a night stand there are a couple of nice wooden shelves on the wall.
Fully equipped kitchen
At Zen Hostel, the kitchen has everything you need to prepare your own meals: a fridge, stove, dishes, etc. Coffee and tea are available for free during the day. In the open kitchen, there’s also a lounge area and a desk with a PC computer and internet. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building.
Additionally, there are three wooden terraces where you can sip your morning coffee or hang out with other guests throughout the day. Needless to say, there are large lockers for every guest, as well as free maps, and city guidance at the front desk. Laundry service costs 10 RON / 2.22 EUR / 2.5 USD.
If you want to enjoy a free tour of the city, the hostel staff will guide you to the friendly people at Cluj Guided Tours who offer free tours every day starting 6 pm in Unirii Square, in front of the Matthias Corvinus statue (next to St. Michael church).
Things to do in the area
Zen Hostel is a 2-minute walk away from St. Michael Church, a Gothic Roman Catholic edifice, the second largest church (after the Black Church of Brașov) in Transylvania, Romania, which you can see in the above photo.
Also very close are the National Opera, as well as the Orthodox cathedral, a symbol of the Romanian Brancovenesc architectural style. Across from the St. Michael Church, there’s the Art Museum, located in the Banffy Palace, a baroque building established in the 18th century. Also worth visiting is the nearby Tailors’ Bastion, built in the 15th century.
In terms of food, Varzarie is the best place to try the traditional Cluj dish called “varza a la Cluj”. Varza means cabbage and the dish is a spicy mix of stewed cabbage, rice, onions and meat. This restaurant has been open for over 40 years and it’s one of the city’s landmarks. Varzarie is not too fancy, but the food is great and very cheap.
If you come to Cluj, check out the Zen Hostel for an enjoyable stay in the heart of the city. You will enjoy their bright and spacious rooms, the hammocks on the terrace and being one minute away from the city center.
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