In Romania’s Maramureș County there is an old train converted into a small hotel with a restaurant. Even tough this kind of accommodation unit is not new for the international travelers, a train hotel concept still sounds like an exotic place to sleep. For this discovery, we should thank the guys from Zig Zag Through Romania (we wrote a small article about them a while back).
“Carpatia Express” is the first train hotel created in Romania and can be found in the north part of the country, in the small town called Vișeu de Sus, Maramureș. Baia Mare is the closest city it will soon become an international airport. However, the most handy solution is to arrive at Cluj, the biggest city in Transylvania, and start your trip from there.
The train was especially created for railway enthusiasts interested in the European railways history, as well as for adventurers exploring Maramureș county.
The train is located next to the CFF railway station, close to an impressive collection of locomotives dating from different periods of the 20th century. It consists of a steam locomotive constructed in Romania in the 1950s, two sleeping cars and a dining car originating from the East German Railway.
The “Carpatia Express” has 20 sleeper compartments that can host up to 40 guests. It has all the facilities necessary and a restaurant with fully equipped kitchen is open all day, a place where you can serve traditional food. Outside the train there is a lounge area where people can relax in the evenings and enjoy the clear sky. The price per night for one person (including breakfast) is 64 Ron (around 15 euros).
Usually, the train hotel is a good night refuge for those who are making the trip with the Mocănița train. Vișeu de Sus is the end of a forestry railway system that stretches along the Vaser river valley, approaching the Ukrainian border. From here, you can take the old steam train that runs through curves, bridges and several tunnels, introducing a wild valley that goes up through the Carpathian Mountains.
During the trip with the Mocanița train, common roads and villages are left behind, as the train enters into a vast area of isolated forest and mountains, where wolves and bears can sometimes be seen.
For a trip with the Mocănița, the price of a ticket starts from 11 euros per adult. There are also special prices for age categories and many group packages. More information here.