HI - Cluj-Napoca - Retro Hostel is a neat hostel located in the central part of Cluj Napoca, Romania, open year-round. The price is one of the lowest in the city, you have all the basics that are to be expected from a hostel, and the place is remarkably clean.
The location is very good. It is just in the center of Cluj Napoca, within a very short walking distance of the major sites (the two museums and the Szeky Palace as well as an ice field where you can skate in winter are all just two minutes from the hostel) and very easy to reach. If you come by train, you can even walk to the hostel if you do not mind a thirty-minute walk. From the main train station, just get on Strada Horea, walk for about a kilometer, then turn left on Piata Unirii and look for Strada Potaissa.
The hostel is two minutes from St. Michaels Cathedral so if you are not sure about your way, ask someone to direct you to the cathedral. You could take a taxi, or there are also trams and buses if you prefer public transportation. The staff also told us there are good transportation options to the airport, which should not be a surprise as the hostel is very centrally located.
Rooms and Bathrooms
At Retro Youth hostel, you can choose between dorms and private rooms; there are blankets, linens, and beds (that are a little bit squeaky) for both types of rooms. The linens are replaced regularly and the rooms are very clean. The six-bed rooms have three bunk beds that can make some noise if the person above is a bit heavier and do not leave much space in the rooms, which are quite small. The furniture is not much -- just a table with two chairs.
There are no lockers, but if you want, you can leave some luggage at the reception. The place is clean and there are no exotic smells or stains anywhere.
There are bathrooms on both floors. They are very clean, quite modern and the water is very hot, so be careful. There are enough showers (five on a floor) but only a toilet for each sex on a floor, which might be a problem. The showers are quite small and the floor is slippery, so be careful when you take a shower -- we advise you to take slippers. The bathrooms are thoroughly cleaned daily around midnight, so you might need to wait twenty minutes for a shower around that time.
There is no common space where you can actually meet the other people at the hostel, which might be a problem if you want to gather a crowd for going out. The atmosphere at the Retro Youth hostel is quiet. It is by no means a party hostel and drunken behavior is not tolerated. You can enjoy a quite peaceful stay and you can expect zero trouble at the hostel. The hostel sells beers and the prices are not much higher than buying it elsewhere, but there is not really a place where you can drink it enjoying some social atmosphere.
Amenities include a laundry room with for-pay washers and dryer; a kitchen with plenty of stove space, a refrigerator, all kind of utensils, a great variety of free tea; and two computers with internet access (but they do not function during the night) as well as Wi-Fi. You must check out by noon. One good thing is that there is no deposit.
The staff are extremely helpful and approachable and they can answer quite efficiently most of your questions concerning the city. You pay for your bed in Romanian lei so you need to have local currency when you get there.
Overall, the hostel is good and you receive good value for your money. We would definitely go there if we visit Cluj Napoca again.