Cluj-Napoca is the largest city in Transylvania and a popular tourist destination in Romania. The city has a turbulent history, which is reflected in the cityscape. The architectural mix of medieval buildings, post-socialist buildings as well as modern constructions make Cluj a charming city you should have seen. Cluj is also an economic center and a university city, which is reflected in the vibrant life that reigns in the streets of the old town.
Among the attractions you should see are the birthplace of the former Hungarian king Corvin, the 18th century Palatul Banffy din Cluj (Banffy Palace) and the churches (Biserica Franciscanilor / Biserica Priaristilor / Biserica Sf. Mihali). Also worth seeing is the Catedrala Arhiepiscopala at the square “Piata Avram Iancu” where there is also the statue of Avram Iancu. In the square there are also a few wooden huts, where among other things souvenirs are sold. Not far from this square is the beautiful Opera House, behind which is a small garden that invites you to linger. Another park in the city is the Parcul Central Simion Barnutiu, where the historic building of the Casino is located, which is now used as a cultural center (Casino Centrul de Cultura Urbana). And while I’m on the subject of parks and gardens, I should also mention the Botanical Garden (Gradina Botanica Alexandru Borza).
- Old Town (Centrul Istoric)
- Unirii Square (Piata Unirii)
- Church Saint Michael (Catedrala Sfantul Mihail)
- Orthodox Cathedral (Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral)
- Opera House (Teatrul Național Lucian Blaga)
- Viewpoint (Dealul Cetatuia)
- Statue King Mathias (Rex Matia Corvin Statue)
- Park (Parcul Central Simion Barnutiu)
- Kirche (Biserica Piarista)
- Banffy Palast (Palatul Banffy din Cluj)
- Museum of History ( Muzeul Național de Istorie a Transilvaniei)
- Forest (Padurea Hoia Baciu)
- Lake (Lacul Tarnita)
- Salt MIne (Salina Turda)
The center of the city is the square “Piata Unirii” where you can find several restaurants and sights. Here is the Catholic Church (Catedrala Romano-Catolica Sfantul Mihail) with the equestrian statue Monumentul Matia Corvin on its side. I recommend you to walk around the square, then you can see the numerous old buildings that are located at the square. Also take a seat on one of the restaurant terraces and enjoy the Romanian food. Right at the Piața Unirii begins the Calea Motilor, where the historical Cluj-Napoca City Hall is located. The most beautiful view of the city, however, is from Dealul Cetatuia hill, which is also home to several restaurants and cafes, such as Panoramic (Strada Șerpuitoare 1, Cluj-Napoca). As everywhere in Romania, there are spooky stories in or about Cluj Napoca. In the Hoia-Baciu forest (Pădurea Hoia), located about 7 kilometers from the center, inexplicable phenomena are said to have occurred.
Like all Romanian cities, I recommend exploring Cluj Napoca on foot. You can go on your own or join one of the city tours. If you want, there are also private guides available. You will find some useful addresses at the end of this article. You can reach Cluj Napoca via the city’s international airport, by train or by car.