Cluj-Napoca is a city in the north-west of the Transylvania region of Romania. The city is a university town and has a great friendly vibe to it. The city has some very nice landmarks, museums and has a vibrant nightlife.
There are some great restaurants and bars serving an array of food types including many doing traditional Romanian food options. The city is good value in terms of drinks and food as well as some very cheap self-catering accommodation.
Cluj-Napoca has an international airport so is accessible from many cities in Europe. Visiting by train is also an option, Cluj would make a good interrail destination or part of a tour of Transylvania.
What Wikipedia Says?
Cluj-Napoca, a city in north western Romania, is the unofficial capital of the Transylvania region. It’s home to universities, vibrant nightlife and landmarks dating to Saxon and Hungarian rule. Surrounding its central square, Piața Unirii, is the Gothic-style St. Michael’s Church and the dramatic Matthias Corvinus Statue of the 15th-century king. The baroque-era Bánffy Palace is now a museum showcasing Romanian art. More info…
Must See In Cluj-Napoca
The City has a diverse offering of things to do or enjoy including some very interesting buildings.
Assumption Cathedral is the most famous and recognisable Romanian Orthodox church in the city.
The Cathedral was built in a Romanian Brâncovenesc style, a blend of Renaissance and Byzantine architecture and looks pretty special. It is located on the Avram Iancu Square, alongside The Cluj-Napoca National Theatre and the Avram Iancu Statue.
This is considered one of the most important religious buildings in the city. It was constructed over a period of ten years, and completed in 1933, straight after the unification of Transylvania with Romania.
The building was designed by Architects George Cristinel and Constantin Pomponiu, it is a made from stone. This Cathedral is 64 metres high at its highest point, the Cathedral also has 8 domes and in my opinion, is stunning. It has 4 bells that were originally from Hungary, the biggest one weighs nearly 2 tons. Further Reading…
The cathedral is easy to walk around to admire the view an visitors are welcome to enter. There is a market selling local produce and trinkets towards the front entrance, an area adorned with flags.
The Franciscan Church was built between 1260 and 1290, the church is stunning on the inside with very ornate decor and an organ for music. This church dominates the Piața Muzeului or museum square area, which is lined with restaurants with outside seating.
It was constructed on the site of an older Catholic church destroyed during the Tatar invasions in 1241.
Catedrala Romano-Catolică Sfântul Mihaila
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Michael is located in the cities main square and is a bit of a stunner. This is a grand and historic church with a prominent tower, its design is of Gothic-style architecture. This is the second largest church in Transylvania with the Black Church in Brasov being larger. The original construction was completed by 1447, the church has constantly evolved and the tower that stands today was erected in 1862.
Not far from the city centre is a Botanical Garden with lots of plants, trees and feature gardens. Not as grand as Kew garden in London but has a nice charm to it.
The Lucian Blaga National Theatre is one of the most prestigious theatrical institutions in Romania. The building was completed in 1906 and is very nice in appearance and is photogenic. The theatre has many performances throughout the year and performed to a very high standard. https://www.teatrulnationalcluj.ro/
The home to the cities football team which is a stunning stadium, the team often play in the Champions League or UEFA cup qualifiers as one of the bigger teams in Romania. The arena also hosts other events and festivals nearby.
Where to Stay?
There are many options for visitors to stay in the city from cheap hostels, apartments or hotels. The city happens to be quite cheap by Western European standards in my experience.
I required cheap self-catering accommodation for my stay in the city and found Zan Central Apartments on Booking.com. It looked good and spacious and met my requirements (Cheap, a double bed and shower). The property was clean and spacious and was happy with choosing this place to stay. The entrance was through a courtyard from Bulevardul Eroilor in the centre of Cluj. I would recommend staying here as found it very nice and was simple to get into the property.
If you prefer not to stay in self-catering accommodation there are many other alternatives including HOTELS…
Traveling To Or From
The city has an international airport with regular flights from all over Europe including from Birmingham. The city also has a busy train station with either day or night trains, the night train to Constanta is a great way to get to the popular resort.
On My First Trip I flew into Cluj on an early flight from the UK, on arrival was mightily surprised with the heat when exiting the airport. The airport was not much to write home about as I wanted to exit as quickly as possible and get a taxi to my accommodation. I was advised to avoid taxis that approach you and get one from the taxi rank, unfortunately, the rank as empty and had to flag one down dropping people at departures.
The drive into Cluj was interesting as a first-time visitor to East Europe, a blend of nice scenery, fantastic architecture and some old-style Soviet buildings mainly flats. We passed through the main city centre and arrived at my requested destination.
My first visit to the city where I stayed for a few days before travelling onward to some other nice locations in Romania.