Heading into Chisinau, the capital of Moldova we were really unsure what we would discover in this off the beaten track country. It was an added bonus then that we also discovered the most amazing little hostel in a converted house, here of course we felt right at home but more than that we enjoyed how it allowed us to delve a little deeper and see some of the local life here in more intimacy. At IQ hostel we found more than just a place to lay our heads at night, we found a home in a strange city in the far corner of Europe!
A slice of local life
Staying in a local neighbourhood in the capital city meant a much more authentic experience for us. Chisinau isn’t a huge city as so we were close enough to walk into the centre of town but far enough away from the main streets and busy highways in this more residential area of the city. Here we became neighbours those who lived on our street, stayed up into the night drinking wine and eating cheese made in the small yards down this unassuming street.
Here people take wine making and cheese mongering seriously and each have their own special family recipes, much like the homemade Rakija we drank throughout the Balkans…but you know, actually nice! What a wonderful way to connect to the culture, through the food and drink the people of Moldova hold most dear.
Getting to know much more about Moldova
The owners of the hostel were a pair of brothers born and raised in Chisinau, the well travelled pair had returned home from visiting the far corners of the globe to promote their own amazing country! Moldova isn’t exactly the first country you might think of visiting when heading to Europe, and in fact I am sure many don’t even know the first thing about it. We headed over with only a very vague idea of what to do and what to see.
But the guys at IQ are passionate about Moldova and it rubs off. They made sure we knew the best places to head to and also how to get there! In the future they plan on developing tours which include hiking, horse riding and adventure days out in the wonderful Moldovan countryside. I think we might have to return once they have all that set up!!
Staying in a converted house full of creative energy
Unlike many hostels which can become a little sterile or just full of people partying, being in a converted house it felt much more like couchsurfing or AirBnB. It had that a real homely vibe to it and sitting in the living room together it reminded me a lot of being back in our university house. It was such an easy place to chill out and socialise in as a result. The owners are also musicians, film makers and artists, add that to a professional pianist that was also a guest and there was a really fun and creative atmosphere with something exciting and interesting happening all the time!
Check them out here:
Read our guide to Chisinau here: The surprising capital of Moldova!
Have you ever stayed in a hostel so connected to local life?
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by I.Q Hostel. As always, all opinions are our own!