With its cozy streets and coffee shops, warm people and antique boutiques Piatra Neamţ will make you feel at home. Surrounded by wooded mountains and boasting modern comforts, Piatra is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Moldova (and perhaps all of Romania). It also offers a small town feel that, for those who frequently travel there, gives a warm feeling whenever one passes through the Bine ati venit arch that welcomes people back to the city.
Romanian (of course), but most young citizens speak English and many speak Italian, French or German;
There are two daily direct trains (one InterCity and one Rapid) from Bucharest, and one Accelerat train from Iasi. By car from Bucharest 4 hours or by bus 4–5 hours. There are three daily buses from Cluj-Napoca. One is a minibus that departs at 9AM. The trip takes 5–6 hours. At 11AM there is a bus that is slower and arrives in Piatra around 8PM.
Exceptionally cheap minibuses (nostalgically referred to as 'Roznov buses' by the locals) run throughout the city, it costs 2.5 lei to use this transport and the price doesn't change, if you're going to the end of the road, or the opposite end of the city!
Taxis are reasonably cheap, be warned though, they will try and con you out of money. A good example of this is that the driver might place his meter in a position where the customer cannot see it. Other times he will 'forget' to turn on the meter and at the destination give you an inflated price. If the driver fails to turn on the meter then it would be wise to ask him to do this, he will oblige. One might even be inclined to negotiate the price with the driver before agreeing to go with him. A 5-minute journey from the outskirts to the centre seems to cost around 7-8 lei.
- Cucuteni eneolithic art museum, Str. Stefan cel Mare 3, ☎ . Tu-Su 9AM-5PM. A museum devoted to the remarkable Neolithic Cucuteni culture, opened in June 2005, it has the widest and richest variety of Precucuteni- Cucuteni art. The building was built between 1928-1930 by Carol Zani and decorated by the sculptor Vincenzo Puschiasis. tickets: 2 lei for adults, 1 leu children.
- Ethnographic Museum, Piaţa Libertăţii 1, ☎ . Tu-Su 9AM-5PM (October - March); 10AM-6PM (April–September). It was opened in the 1980s, has a wide variety of popular costumes, traditional art and presents the daily life of peasants from the Bistrita Valley. tickets: 2 lei for adults, 1 leu children.
- History Museum, Str. Mihai Eminescu 10, ☎ . Tu-Su 9AM-5PM (October - March); 10AM-6PM (April–September). Founded in 1934 by archaeologist (and priest) Constantin Matasa, it has important archaeological collections from the Bronze Era and Geto-Dacian Era. tickets: 2 lei for adults, 1 leu children.
- Art Museum, Piaţa Libertăţii 1, ☎ . Tu-Su 9AM-5PM (October - March); 10AM-6PM (April–September). Founded in the 1980s, it has impressive collections of paintings, graphics, sculptures made by local and national artists like: Ion Tuculescu, Nicolae Tonitza, Corneliu Baba, Lascar Vorel. tickets: 2 lei for adults, 1 leu children.
- Natural Sciences Museum, Str. Petru Rareş 26, ☎ . Tu-Su 9AM-5PM (October - March); 10AM-6PM (April–September). It was founded in the 1960s and it has a collection of fossilized fishes and other botanical, zoological, paleontology collections. tickets: 2 lei for adults, 1 leu children.
- Princely court. Tu-Su 9AM-5PM (October - March); 10AM-6PM (April–September). It is on a small plateau in the center of the city and it includes the St. John Church, Bell Tower, and it was built in 1468-1475 by Voivode Stephen the Great. From the princely court itself the only things that are left are a part of the cellars and portions of the wall. It has a tridimensional archaeological materials and documents discovered in the Piatra-Neamt area. tickets: 2 lei for adults, 1 leu children.
- Bâtca Doamnei Fortress (Petrodava) (4 km south west of the city). It was founded in 1st century BC, but there are traces of a much earlier civilization. A trip here is a bit complicated as it involves a trek to the nearby village of Doamna. From there, ask a local how to find the path that climbs the mountain 'Bâtca Doamnei- a mountain that is oddly shaped like a tent. Be certain to ask the locals, otherwise it is difficult to find. Watch out for the dogs in the village, they are aggressive and will defend their territory. There is no other way to climb the mountain, don't even try to ascend it from the side. Very rewarding once you reach the summit.
- Casa Paharnicului, str. Paharnicului, ☎ . It was built at the beginning of the 19th century by police prefect (aga) Dimitrie Gheorghiadis. This massive building was used as a storage for merchandises and now there is a restaurant.
- Lalu house, str. Stefan cel Mare 44, ☎ . A beautiful construction dating since 1912; today it houses The Children Palace
- Neamt fortress.
- Biserica Sf. Ioan (St. John church). It was founded in 1498-1499 by the voivode Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) and it is composed of: the princely church St. John the Baptist built of stone in a Moldavian style, the 19 m high tower and parts of the Princely Court (walls and the cellar arranged as a museum, placed near the "Petru Rares" High School).
- Biserica Schimbarea la faţă (The Transfiguration Church), ☎ . This monument of popular religious architecture was successively founded by the Voivodes Petru Rares and Alexandru Lapusneanu (1574).
- Biserica Adormirea Maicii Domnului (The Assumption of the Virgin Church), ☎ . Founded in 1774 by Ioil. This monument of popular religious architecture is made of fir tree on a stone base. The altar screen made of lime tree and oak is a masterpiece of Romanian popular art.
- Biserica Buna Vestire (The Annunciation Church), str. 1 Decembrie 1918 no. 118, ☎ . Founded in 1740 by Iordache Darie Darmanescul, a local nobleman. The altar screen of this monument of religious architecture was very rigurously made in the Byzantine style. There is also a Gospel from 1821, a real work of art, mounted in silver and polychrom enamel.
- Biserica Sf. Nicolae (St. Nicholas Church), str. Obor 1, ☎ . Founded in 1796 by Vogoride, a Greek chancellor. There is a golden silver icon brought from Poland in 1865.
- Biserica Constantin si Elena, str. Verii 5, ☎ . Founded in 1779-1787 by Stere and Mihalache Piroschi, moved in 1999 on the spot of Draga Hermitage, in Darmanesti, Piatra Neamt.
- Schitul Doamna (Doamna Hermitage). Founded in 1790 by Father Mitrofan. This small, simple building has very thick walls and the altar screen is a real work af art, decorated in a Moldavian style
- Sinagoga de lemn (The wooden synagogue), str.Dimitrie Ernici, ☎ . Built in 1766 on a much older foundation, it's a testimony to the once thriving local Jewish community.
Reservations and parks
- Cozla-Pietricica-Cernegura reservation. The mountains directly around the city form a natural paleontology reservation, best known for its fossil fishes from the Oligocene epoch (38 species)
- Art Deco - Piatra Neamt, Piata 22 Decembrie, tel. +40 233 224696
- Lascar Vorel - Piatra Neamt, Piata Stefan cel Mare nr.15, tel. +40 233 222240
- Topart - Piatra Neamt, Bd. Decebal nr.4, tel. +40 233 237365
There is a well-stocked (with Shimano parts, e.g.) bicycle shop, Sport and Bike Planet, at the south end of Str. Ozana.
- Amadeus, Piata M.Kogalniceanu 4, ☎ . 7AM-last customer.
- Cercul Gospodinelor, Cozla park, ☎ . 10AM-2AM.
- Ciao Ciao, blvd. Traian Bl.A9, ☎ . 8.30AM-last customer. Italian food
- Colibele Haiducilor, Cozla park, ☎ . 8AM-midnight.
- Dao, blvd. Traian Bl.A3, ☎ , . noon-10:30PM. Chinese food
- Diesel, Str. Petru Rares 21, ☎ . 9AM-2AM.
- Laguna, Bd.Decebal nr.80, ☎ . 10AM-2AM. Also has a pool hall.
- Marianti, Bd.Traian Bl.A6, ☎ .
- Nefertiti, Bd.Decebal 196, ☎ . 9AM-midnight.
- Paharnicul, Str. Paharnicului 5, ☎ .
- Villa Italia, Str. Burebista 65, ☎ . noon-midnight.
- Happy Food (Bd.Decebal Bl.H3), ☎ .
- Pizza&Grill 66, Piata M.Kogalniceanu 1-3, ☎ . 9AM-midnight.
- Pizzeria Blue Star, Piata M.Kogalniceanu 1, ☎ . 8AM-midnight.
- Pizzeria Buon Gusto, Piata Stefan cel Mare 1, ☎ . non-stop.
- La tanti Nina, Baltagului Street no.6 (Inside the Central Market Complex 5), ☎ , , . 8AM-6:30PM. Fresh healthy, traditional Romanian dishes, English-speaking personnel low prices.
- Sweetshop - Prisi Prod, ☎ . Bd.Decebal nr.14 parter, cakes like mama's
- Café-bar Bacardi - str. Duraului nr.1, tel. +40 233 217805 (program: 8:00-24:00)
- Café Latino - Bd.Decebal Bl.I4 parter, tel. +40 233 218493, +40 233 214302 (program: 8:00-24:00)
- Costarica Café - str. Titu Maiorescu Bl.I1 (program: 8:00-20:00)
- Bar 12 (12 floor at Hotel Ceahlau) - str. Stefan cel Mare nr.3 tel. +40 233 219990, +40 233 219991; fax. +40 233 215540; e-mail: email@example.com - night-bar, streap-tease
- Cazino Fortunato - Piata Petrodava, tel. +40 721 393599; bd. Traian, tel. +40 720 366031 - bar, mecanic games, electronic rullet (program: 11:00-2:00)
- Club Q 30, str. Stefan cel Mare, nr. 31(luni-joi 16:00-24:00, vineri-duminica 16:00-4:00)
- The Kilkeny (Irish Pub) - str. Dimitrie Leonida, nr.53 (program non-stop)
- Chimina Tour Hostel-Hotel Piata Centrala, Baltagului Street no.6 (Inside the Central Market Complex 5), ☎ . Capacity: 16 rooms (low budget hostel rooms, normal budget hotel rooms) opened 24/7, English speaking personnel (private restaurant and private well-equipped gym).
- Central Plaza **** Piatra Neamt, Piata Petrodava nr.1-3, tel. +40 233-216230, +40 233 214530; fax. +40 233 214532, +40 233 223528, internet: www.centralplazahotel.ro , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Capacity: 262 beds in 131 rooms (72 double-rooms; 12 matrimonial apartments; 47 (Comfort +plus) double-rooms; 30 rooms with air conditioner. Services: Room-Service between hours 6AM and 1AM, Cable TV, Mini-bar, International telephone, Internet Access, Copying and Fax,Parking, Ticket Purchase, Safebox, Laundry and Drycleaners, Money Exchange. Visa and Mastercard accepted. Classic Restaurant (300 people), Breakfast Restaurant (150 people), Reception Hall (60 people), and Pink Salon (20 people). Inside the Central Complex you will find a suspended terrace with room for 150 people and one of the most modern cafeterias in country with room from 100 people. You are invited to taste the most delicious cookies: Central, Aluneta, Exotic, Select, And Tarta cu fructe de padure. Prices: Double Rooms: €53-58, Single Room: €38-43.
- Grand Hotel Ceahlau *** Piatra Neamt, str. Stefan cel Mare nr.3, tel. +40 233 219990, +40 233 219991; fax. +40 233 215540, internet: www.hotelceahlau.ro , e-mail: email@example.com. Capacity: 244 beds in 42 single-rooms, 94 double-rooms and 7 VIP apartments. Services: Room-service, Cable TV, Internet, fax and courier, international telephone, air conditioner, barbershop and beauty salon, Laundry and drycleaners, Parking, Reservations and Tickets, Car Rental.Restaurant: 4 bars and terraces with room from 1600 people, Reception Hall with 120 seats, money exchange, tourism agency.
- Hotel Belvedere *** - Piatra Neamt, str.Petru Movila tel. +40 233 261470 Capacity: 50 beds in: 12 Rooms with 2 beds, 3 apartments, 17 beds in rooms with 2 or 3 beds. Restaurant: 80 Seats, bar with 16 seats, Parking with rooms for 10 cars. Prices: 80 lei double-room; 100 lei triple-room; 120 lei apartment
- Hotel Lido ** - Piatra Neamt, Bd. Republicii; tel. +40 233 226349
- Hotel Bulevard ** - Piatra Neamt, Bd. Republicii nr. 38-40, tel. +40 233 235010, +40 233 235020; fax. +40 233 218111. Capacity: 75 beds in 36 Rooms. 13 Matrimonial rooms, 16 Double rooms, 3 Apartments with 3 beds, 4 Apartments with 2 beds. Services: room service, cable TV, telephone, fax, safebox, parking. Restaurant with 60 Seats, diverse menus.
- Pension Melania ** http://www.melania-neamt.info Neamt county, locality Vaduri, Contact:Topliceanu Melania +40 722 626859. email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Pension tourist Melania is situated on the route Piatra Neamt-Bicaz, the valley town of Bistrita in Vaduri. Tourist attractions such as monasteries Pangarati, Bistrita, Bicaz Chei, Red Lake, are located nearby. 5 bedrooms, a recreation room with pool table, large spaces for spending time inside, terrace and swimming pool outdoor.
- "Ambiance" pension *** - Piatra Neamt, str. Petru Movila nr. 200A. owned by ANTREC, http://www.antrec.ro/. contact: Lucia Muj, tel. +40 233 234204, +40 722 608431
- "Aris" ** pension. owned by ANTREC, http://www.antrec.ro/. contact : Lucia Muj, tel. +40 233 234204, +40 722 608431
- "Cornelius" pension *** - Piatra Neamt, Str. G-ral. N.Dascalescu nr.490, tel. +40 233 211511, +40 745 566143, +40 745 372008, e-mail: - - email@example.com. Capacity: 9 Rooms: 3 Matrimonial with showers, hot water, room service. Restaurant: 60 seats, organic foods, Select Collection wines. On request can organize trips for tourists. Prices: 120 lei per night and includes breakfast, internet, telephone, cable TV. Discount available depending a length of stay. Car rental available.
- "Cozla" pension ** - Piatra Neamt, str. Elena Cuza nr. 8. Contact : Lucia Muj, tel. +40 233 234204, +40 722 608431
- "Elis" pension * - Piatra Neamt, Bd. Republicii 40. Capacity: 9 locuri
- "Nora" pension ** - Piatra Neamt, Str. Petru Movila nr.162 A. Tel. 0233 237737. Contact Person: Ciubotariu Family. Capacity: 2 Double Rooms with 2 beds. 7 Matrimonial Rooms. 8 Rooms have their own bathroom, all others have a common bathroom. Services: Cable TV. Restaurant: 16 seats. Reservation is necessary a week before. Prices: 60 lei/day double room, 75 lei/day double room with sofa.
- "Red Rock" pension ** - Piatra Neamt, str. Maratei nr. 63. tel +40 233 228077
- "Virginia" pension ** - Piatra Neamt - owned by ANTREC, http://www.antrec.ro. Contact : Lucia Muj, tel. +40 233 234204, +40 722 608431
- Chimina San Gym Piatra Neamt Baltagului Street no.6 (Inside the Central Market Complex) 5-min walk from city downtown tel:+40 233227570; +40 749488245; +40 746137426. Fitness club, powerlifting club, bodybuilding club, weight loss programs,personal trainer, nutrition bar, Dry sauna, massage.
The city is one of the safest citys in Romania and ranked as top 20 safest city in Europe. Regardless, always be prudent and take basic precautions as you would in any other city. Watch your pockets when there are gypsies around. And beware of packs of feral dogs at night.