- PRICES LIST
- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
- HOTELS (BEST VALUE)
- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
- THINGS TO DO
- FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- THINGS TO KNOW
- STAY SAFE
Cluj-Napoca , commonly known asCluj, is the second most populous city in Romania, after the national capital Bucharest, and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest (324 kilometres (201 miles)), Budapest (351 km (218 mi)) and Belgrade (322 km (200 mi)). Located in the Someșul Mic River valley, the city is considered the unofficial capital to thehistorical province of Transylvania. From 1790 to 1848 and from 1861 to 1867, it was the official capital of the Grand Principality of Transylvania.
As of 2011, 324,576 inhabitants live within the city limits, marking a slight increase from the figure recorded at the 2002 census. The Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area has a population of 411,379 people, while the population of the peri-urban area (Romanian: zona periurbană) exceeds 420,000 residents. The new metropolitan government of Cluj-Napoca became operational in December 2008. According to a 2007 estimate provided by the County Population Register Service, the city hosts a visible population of students and other non-residents—an average of over 20,000 people each year during 2004–2007. The city spreads out from St. Michael's Church in Unirii Square, built in the 14th century and named after the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of Cluj-Napoca. The boundaries of the municipality contain an area of 179.52 square kilometres (69.31 sq mi).
Cluj-Napoca experienced a decade of decline during the 1990s, its international reputation suffering from the policies of its mayor at the time, Gheorghe Funar. Today, the city is one of the most important academic, cultural, industrial and business centres in Romania. Among other institutions, it hosts the country's largest university, Babeș-Bolyai University, with its famous botanical garden; nationally renowned cultural institutions; as well as the largest Romanian-owned commercial bank. In 2015, Cluj-Napoca was European Youth Capital.
|POPULATION :||• City 324,576|
• Metro 411,379
|FOUNDED :||1213 (first official record as Clus)|
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone EET (UTC+2)|
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
|RELIGION :||Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 86.8%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformate and Pentecostal) 7.5%, Roman Catholic 4.7%, other (mostly Muslim) and unspecified 0.9%, none 0.1%|
|AREA :||• City 179.5 km2 (69.3 sq mi)|
• Metro 1,537.5 km2 (593.6 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||340 m (1,120 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||46°46′N 23°35′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.8%|
• Female: 51.2%
|AREA CODE :||264|
|POSTAL CODE :||400xyz|
|DIALING CODE :||+40 264|
Cluj-Napoca (Romanian), Kolozsvár(Hungarian) or Klausenburg (German) is the capital of Cluj county and the unofficial capital of the historical region of Transylvania . The city, with 310,243 people, is very pleasant, and it is certainly a great experience for those who want to see urban Transylvanian life at its best. Along with fine dining, excellent cultural activities, a wonderful historical legacy and a great atmosphere, the city will certainly not disappoint those who add it to their travel itinerary. What's more is the fact that Cluj (as it's called for short) is so easy to access and get around.
In 2007, the hotel industry in the county of Cluj offered total accommodations of 6,472 beds, of which 3,677 were in hotels, 1,294 in guesthouses and the rest in chalets, campgrounds, or hostels. A total of 700,000 visitors, 140,000 of whom were foreigners, stayed overnight . However, a considerable share of visits is made by those who visit Cluj-Napoca for a single day, and their exact number is not known. The largest numbers of foreign visitors come from Hungary, Italy, Germany, the United States, France, and Austria. Moreover, the city's 140 or so travel agencies help organise domestic and foreign trips; car rentals are also available.
The Roman Empire conquered Dacia in AD 101 and 106, during the rule of Trajan, and the Roman settlement Napoca, established thereafter, is first recorded on a milestone discovered in 1758 in the vicinity of the city. Trajan's successor Hadrian granted Napoca the status of municipiumas municipium Aelium Hadrianum Napocenses. Later, in the 2nd century AD, the city gained the status of a colonia as Colonia Aurelia Napoca. Napoca became a provincial capital of Dacia Porolissensis and thus the seat of a procurator. The colonia was evacuated in 274 by the Romans. There are no references to urban settlement on the site for the better part of a millennium thereafter.
At the beginning of the Middle Ages, two groups of buildings existed on the current site of the city: the wooden fortress at Cluj-Mănăștur (Kolozsmonostor) and the civilian settlement developed around the current Piața Muzeului (Museum Place) in the city centre. Although the precise date of the conquest of Transylvania by the Hungarians is not known, the earliest Hungarian artifacts found in the region are dated to the first half of the 10th century. In any case, after that time, the city became part of the Kingdom of Hungary. KingStephen I made the city the seat of the castle county of Kolozs, and King Saint Ladislaus I of Hungary founded the abbey of Cluj-Mănăștur (Kolozsmonostor), destroyed during the Tatar invasions in 1241 and 1285. As for the civilian colony, a castle and a village were built to the northwest of the ancient Napoca no later than the late 12th century. This new village was settled by large groups of Transylvanian Saxons, encouraged during the reign of Crown Prince Stephen, Duke of Transylvania. The first reliable mention of the settlement dates from 1275, in a document of King Ladislaus IV of Hungary, when the village (Villa Kulusvar) was granted to the Bishop of Transylvania. On 19 August 1316, during the rule of the new king, Charles I of Hungary, Cluj was granted the status of a city (Latin: civitas), as a reward for the Saxons' contribution to the defeat of the rebellious Transylvanian voivode, Ladislaus Kán.
Many craft guilds were established in the second half of the 13th century, and a patrician stratum based in commerce and craft production displaced the older landed elite in the town's leadership. Through the privilege granted by Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1405, the city opted out from the jurisdiction of voivodes, vice-voivodes and royal judges, and obtained the right to elect a twelve-member jury every year. In 1488, King Matthias Corvinus (born in Kolozsvár in 1440) ordered that the centumvirate—the city council, consisting of one hundred men—be half composed from the homines bone conditiones (the wealthy people), with craftsmen supplying the other half; together they would elect the chief judge and the jury. Meanwhile, an agreement was reached providing that half of the representatives on this city council were to be drawn from the Hungarian, half from the Saxon population, and that judicial offices were to be held on a rotating basis. In 1541, Kolozsvár became part of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom (that transformed to Principality of Transylvania in 1570) after the Ottoman Turks occupied the central part of the Kingdom of Hungary; a period of economic and cultural prosperity followed. Although Alba Iulia (Gyulafehérvár) served as a political capital for the princes of Transylvania, Cluj (Kolozsvár) enjoyed the support of the princes to a greater extent, thus establishing connections with the most important centres of Eastern Europe at that time, along with Košice (Kassa),Kraków, Prague and Vienna.16th–18th centuries
In terms of religion, Protestant ideas first appeared in the middle of the 16th century. During Gáspár Heltai's service as preacher, Lutheranism grew in importance, as did the Swiss doctrine of Calvinism. By 1571, the Turda (Torda) Diet had adopted a more radical religion, Ferenc Dávid's Unitarianism, characterised by the free interpretation of the Bible and denial of the dogma of the Trinity. Stephen Báthory founded a Catholic Jesuitacademy in the city in order to promote an anti-Reform movement; however, it did not have much success. For a year, in 1600–1601, Cluj became part of the personal union of Michael the Brave. Under the Treaty of Carlowitz in 1699, it became part of theHabsburg Monarchy.
In the 17th century, Cluj suffered from great calamities, suffering from epidemics of the plague and devastating fires. The end of this century brought the end of Turkish sovereignty, but found the city bereft of much of its wealth, municipal freedom, cultural centrality, political significance and even population. It gradually regained its important position within Transylvania as the headquarters of the Gubernium and the Diets between 1719 and 1732, and again from 1790 until the revolution of 1848, when the Gubernium moved to Nagyszeben (Hermannstadt), present-day Sibiu) . In 1791, a group of Romanian intellectuals drew up a petition, known as Supplex Libellus Valachorum, which was sent to the Emperor in Vienna. The petition demanded the equality of the Romanian nation in Transylvania in respect to the other nations (Saxon, Szekler and Hungarian) governed by the Unio Trium Nationum, but it was rejected by the Diet of Cluj.
Beginning in 1830, the city became the centre of the Hungarian national movement within the principality. This erupted with the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. At one point, the Austrians were gaining control of Transylvania, trapping the Hungarians between two flanks. But, the Hungarian army, headed by the Polish general Józef Bem, launched an offensive in Transylvania, recapturing Klausenburg by Christmas 1848. After the 1848 revolution, an absolutist regime was established, followed by a liberal regime that came to power in 1860. In this latter period, the government granted equal rights to the ethnic Romanians, but only briefly. In 1865, the Diet in Cluj abolished the laws voted in Sibiu (Nagyszeben/Hermannstadt, and proclaimed the 1848 Law concerning the Union of Transylvania with Hungary. A modern university was founded in 1872, with the intention of promoting the integration of Transylvania into Hungary. Before 1918, the city's only Romanian-language schools were two church-run elementary schools, and the first printed Romanian periodical did not appear until 1903.
After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, Klausenburg and all of Transylvania were again integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary. During this time, Kolozsvár was among the largest and most important cities of the kingdom and was the seat of Kolozs County. Ethnic Romanians in Transylvania suffered oppression and persecution. Their grievances found expression in the Transylvanian Memorandum, a petition sent in 1892 by the political leaders of Transylvania's Romanians to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King Franz Joseph. It asked for equal rights with the Hungarians and demanded an end to persecutions and attempts at Magyarisation. The Emperor forwarded the memorandum to Budapest—the Hungarian capital. The authors, among them Ioan Rațiu and Iuliu Coroianu, were arrested, tried and sentenced to prison for "high treason" in Kolozsvár/Cluj in May 1894. During the trial, approximately 20,000 people who had come to Cluj demonstrated on the streets of the city in support of the defendants. A year later, the King gave them pardon upon the advice of his Hungarian prime minister, Dezső Bánffy. In 1897, the Hungarian government decided that only Hungarian place names should be used and prohibited the use of the German or Romanian versions of the city's name on official government documents.
In the autumn of 1918, as World War I drew to a close, Cluj became a centre of revolutionary activity, headed by Amos Frâncu. On 28 October 1918, Frâncu made an appeal for the organisation of the "union of all Romanians". Thirty-nine delegates were elected from Cluj to attend the proclamation of the union of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania in Alba-Iulia on 1 December 1918, later acknowledged internationally by the Treaty of Trianon. The interwar years saw the new authorities embark on a "Romanianisation" campaign: a Capitoline Wolf statue donated by Rome was set up in 1921; in 1932 a plaque written by historian Nicolae Iorga was placed on Matthias Corvinus's statue, emphasising his Romanian paternal ancestry; and construction of an imposing Orthodox cathedral began, in a city where only about a tenth of the inhabitants belonged to the Orthodox state church. This endeavour had only mixed results: by 1939, Hungarians still dominated local economic (and to a certain extent) cultural life: for instance, Cluj had five Hungarian daily newspapers and just one in Romanian.
In 1940, Cluj, along with the rest of Northern Transylvania, became part of Miklós Horthy's Hungary through the Second Vienna Award arbitrated by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. After the Germans occupied Hungary in March 1944 and installed a puppet government under Döme Sztójay, they forced large-scaleantisemitic measures in the city. The headquarters of the local Gestapo were located in the New York Hotel. That May, the authorities began the relocation of the Jews to the Iris ghetto. Liquidation of the 16,148 captured Jews occurred through six deportations to Auschwitz in May–June 1944. Despite facing severe sanctions from the Hungarian administration, some Jews escaped across the border to Romania, with the assistance of intellectuals such as Emil Hațieganu, Raoul Șorban, Aurel Socol and Dezső Miskolczy, as well as various peasants from Mănăștur.
On 11 October 1944 the city was captured by Romanian and Soviet troops. It was formally restored to the Kingdom of Romania by the Treaty of Paris in 1947. On 24 January 6 March and 10 May 1946, the Romanian students, who had come back to Cluj after the restoration of northern Transylvania, rose against the claims of autonomy made by nostalgic Hungarians and the new way of life imposed by the Soviets, resulting in clashes and street fights.
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 produced a powerful echo within the city; there was a real possibility that demonstrations by students sympathizing with their peers across the border could escalate into an uprising. The protests provided the Romanian authorities with a pretext to speed up the process of "unification" of the local Babeș (Romanian) and Bolyai (Hungarian) universities, allegedly contemplated before the 1956 events. Hungarians remained the majority of the city's population until the 1960s. Then Romanians began to outnumber Hungarians, due to the population increase as a result of the government's forced industrialisation of the city and new jobs. During the Communist period, the city recorded a high industrial development, as well as enforced construction expansion. On 16 October 1974, when the city celebrated 1850 years since its first mention as Napoca, the Communist government changed the name of the city by adding "Napoca" to it.
Late 20th and early 21st century
During the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Cluj-Napoca was one of the scenes of the rebellion: 26 were killed and approximately 170 injured. After the end of totalitarian rule, the nationalist politician Gheorghe Funar became mayor and governed for the next 12 years. His tenure was marked by strong Romanian nationalism and acts of ethnicprovocation against the Hungarian-speaking minority. This deterred foreign investment; however, in June 2004, Gheorghe Funar was voted out of office, and the city entered a period of rapid economic growth. From 2004 to 2009, the mayor was Emil Boc, concurrently president of the Democratic Liberal Party. He went on to be elected as prime minister, returning as mayor in 2012.
Cluj-Napoca has a continental climate, characterised by warm dry summers and cold winters. The climate is influenced by the city's proximity to the Apuseni Mountains, as well as by urbanisation. Some West-Atlantic influences are present during winter and autumn. Winter temperatures are often below 0 °C (32 °F), even though they rarely drop below −10 °C (14 °F). On average, snow covers the ground for 65 days each winter. In summer, the average temperature is approximately 18 °C (64 °F) (the average for July and August), despite the fact that temperatures sometimes reach 35 °C (95 °F) to 40 °C (104 °F) in mid-summer in the city centre. Although average precipitation and humidity during summer is low, there are infrequent yet heavy and often violent storms. During spring and autumn, temperatures vary between 13 °C (55 °F) to 18 °C (64 °F), and precipitation during this time tends to be higher than in summer, with more frequent yet milder periods of rain.
The city has the best air quality in the European Union, according to research published in 2014 by a French magazine and air-quality organization that studied the EU's hundred largest cities.
Climate data for Cluj-Napoca
|Record high °C (°F)||14.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.5|
|Record low °C (°F)||−34.2|
|Source #1: NOAA|
Cluj-Napoca, located in the central part of Transylvania, has a surface area of 179.5 square kilometres (69.3 sq mi). The city lies at the confluence of the Apuseni Mountains, the Someș plateau and the Transylvanian plain. It sprawls over the valleys of Someșul Mic and Nadăș, and, to some extent over the secondary valleys of the Popești, Chintău, Borhanci and Popii rivers. The southern part of the city occupies the upper terrace of the northern slope of Feleac Hill, and is surrounded on three sides by hills or mountains with heights between 500 metres (1,600 ft) and 700 metres (2,300 ft). The Someș plateau is situated to the east, while the northern part of town includes Dealurile Clujului ("the Hills of Cluj"), with the peaks, Lombului (684 m), Dealul Melcului (617 m), Techintău (633 m), Hoia (506 m) and Gârbău (570 m). Other hills are located in the western districts, and the hills of Calvaria and Cetățuia (Belvedere) are located near the centre of city.
Built on the banks of Someșul Mic River, the city is also crossed over by brooks or streams such as Pârâul Țiganilor, Pârâul Popești, Pârâul Nădășel, Pârâul Chintenilor, Pârâul Becaș,Pârâul Murătorii; Canalul Morilor runs through the centre of town.
Cluj-Napoca is an important economic centre in Romania. Famous local brands that have become well-known at a national, and to some extent even international level, include: Banca Transilvania, Terapia Ranbaxy, Farmec, Jolidon, and Ursusbreweries.
The American online magazine InformationWeek reports that much of the software/IT activity in Romania is taking place in Cluj-Napoca, which is quickly becoming Romania's technopolis. Nokia invested 200 million euros in a mobile telephone factory near Cluj-Napoca; this began production in February 2008 and closed in December 2011 . It also opened a research centre in the city that was shut down in April 2011. The former Nokia factory was purchased by Italian appliance manufacturer De'Longhi.The city houses regional or national headquarters of MOL,Aegon, Emerson, De'Longhi, Bechtel, FrieslandCampina, Office Depot,Genpact and New Yorker. Bosch has also built a factory near Cluj-Napoca, in the same industrial park as De'Longhi.
Cluj-Napoca is also an important regional commercial centre, with many street malls and hypermarkets. Eroilor Avenue and Napoca and Memorandumului streets are the most expensive venues, with a yearly rent price of 720 euro/m², but Regele Ferdinand and 21 Decembrie 1989 avenues also feature high rental costs. There are two large malls: Polus(including a Carrefour hypermarket) and Iulius Mall (including an Auchan hypermarket). Other large stores include branches of various international hypermarket chains, like Cora,Metro, Selgros and do-it-yourself stores such as Baumax and Praktiker.
Among the retailers found in the city's shopping centers are H&M, Zara, Guess, Camaïeu, Bigotti, Orsay, Jolidon, Kenvelo, Triumph, Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora, Yves Rocher, Swarovski, Ecco, Bata, Adidas, Converse and Nike.
In 2008, the city's general budget amounted to 990 million lei, the equivalent of over 266 million Euros (207 million pounds sterling). Over the previous year, the budget increased 19% in 2006, 56% in 2007 and 35% in 2008.
Prices in Cluj
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.70|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€4.50|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€12.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€22.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€4.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.60|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.20|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€3.60|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€4.50|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.15|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.50|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.25|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€60.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€35.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€70.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.45|
37 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
85 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
- Cluj Avram Iancu International Airport (Aeroportul Internațional Avram Iancu Cluj).Flights to Bucharest, Timișoara, Iași, Charleroi,Billund, Vienna, Basel, Geneva, Dubai, Beauvais,Berlin, Dortmund, Koln, Memmingen, Munchen,Nurnberg, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Bari, Malaga,Bergamo, Bologna, Roma, Treviso, Doncaster,Liverpool, Luton, Eindhoven, Maastricht,Warszawa, Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Zaragoza, Malmo and Istambul provided by Blue Air, TAROM, LOT Polish Airlines, ASL Airlines Switzerland, Turkish Airlines, Atlasglobal, Lufthansa, Vueling and Wizzair.
Another alternative is to fly to Budapest Ferihegy Airport and then shuttle to Cluj-Napoca. The shuttle takes six to eight hours to make the travel. Many companies travel this route. You can find shuttles from early morning till late night. Reservations have to be made in advance, make sure you leave at least two hours between your flight arrival and the departure of the shuttle, to account for any flight delays. Prices are around 60 to 80 lei (€25).
Car rental by Avis, Budget, Europcar and several local providers (PHP rent a car, Go Rent a car Cluj, 321 Rent a car Cluj, rodna Trans, Hermin, Eco rentacar - Inchirieri auto Cluj) is available, as well as on request by Hertz.
- The Airport of Cluj-Napoca has transport connections to downtown Cluj-Napoca. To get there, travelers can choose between car rentals, taxi, limo service and public transport (bus line 8 running from 5:30AM till midnight, 3.5 lei for two travels). For the public bus, you need to exit the airport, turn right at the main street and walk to the next bus stop. There is a ticket machine. One way to the city center costs 2 Lei. (11/2015) You are not allowed to buy tickets from the driver.
- Also, WizzAir company introduced a bus-shuttle to the center of fixed price of 15 lei (about €4).
- Cluj-Napoca railway station (Gara Cluj-Napoca). The main train station serving Cluj-Napoca. There are a couple of others which are of no interest to the traveler.
As with many other Transylvanian cities, the train is the easiest way to reach Cluj. (Because it is an important Romanian railway hub.) There are 4 trains daily to Bucharest and 4 trains daily to Budapest (via Oradea). There are train connections to most Romanian or Transylvanian cities, including fast InterCity connections to Oradea, Arad, Timisoara,Brasov, Sighisoara, Ploiesti and Bucharest.
On a few routes like Cluj-Napoca - Oradea or Cluj-Napoca - Târgu Mures, you can find private companies like Transferoviar grup, which offer cheaper tickets.
Important to know, that in Romania there are three kind of trains.
- Regio - This is the slowest but cheapest way to go somewhere. The Regio trains stop at every station.
- InterRegio - The InterRegio trains is much faster than the Regio. Because it is very comfortable many international trains are InterRegio. The ticket is more expensive than the Regio ticket but affordable.
- InterCity - The fastest and the most comfortable way to travel but the ticket is very expensive.
Cluj-Napoca can be reached by bus from Bucharest, major cities in Romania, most cities in Transylvania, and a number of major cities in Europe.
OrangeWays has modern buses that circulate between Budapest and Cluj-Napoca. You can catch a bus to Cluj-Napoca from the Nepliget bus station in Budapest.
On demand bus to Cluj Napoca from Budapest by Eurobusways
Cluj-Napoca has good road connections. European road E60 links it to Bucharest and Brasov to the south, Oradea and Budapest to the west, through Bors customs. E81 leads to Zalau and Satu Mare to the north, Brasov and Bucharest to the south. E58 links Cluj-Napoca to Dej, Bistrita, Baia Mare and Vatra Dornei.
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transport
Public transport in the city is possible by means of 25 bus lines, 7 trolleybus lines, and 3 tram lines, all operated by the RATUC company (Regia Autonomă de Transport Urban de Călători). For most lines servicing the city center you won't need to wait more than 15 minutes. The tariff is 4.0 lei (about €0.85, or US$1.20) for two travels. Tickets can be bought for cash only at special booths at most stops, identifiable by the RATUC logo and possibly the text "Bilete si Abonamente" (meaning "short and long-term tickets"). Be careful to correctly punch an unused half of your ticket once in the vehicle, ticket control is relatively common and the fines are sizable.
Transport in the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is covered by many private bus companies, one of the most important is FANY which provides numerous daily connections to neighboring towns and villages.
Taxis are relatively more expensive than in other parts of Romania, but still cheap, and very convenient. The tariff is around 2.25 lei (€0.50/US$0.70) per kilometer, and the same is applied as start fee. All the respectable companies charge the same price. Typically you won't pay more than 13 lei (€3) for a travel between the city center and some point in the suburbs. Payment is always done in cash, and paying by credit card is not possible. It is customary, though not mandatory, that the sum is rounded up to 0.5 lei multiples (e.g., if the meter shows 3.2 lei you will probably be expected to pay 3.5 lei, leaving the extra 0.3 lei as a tip). If you do not have exact change, the driver might keep this tip himself when paying back the change. If he tries to keep too much (like rounding from 3.5 to 5 lei, for example), do ask for the change.
Taxi cabs come in all shapes and colors, they are identified by the company logo on the sign on top of the car, which will also be placed somewhere on the car body. Taxis cluster around important locations in the city, and clusters are usually no more than 1 kilometer apart. Take care to always use respectable companies, such as Atlas, Diesel Rapid, Diesel Taxi, Pritax, Nova, Terra & Fan, Pro Rapid. There might be underground, "shark" drivers as they are called, which try to exploit unknowledgeable strangers by overcharging. You should avoid them as they charge at least several times the normal fee. They mostly hang around the train station and the airport. Shark drivers might sometimes "helpfully" offer a ride themselves; you won't see a usual driver do that. Usually shark drivers' cars are marked TAXI and nothing else. Search for name of company on the door of car! Respectable firms typically have several cars parked at each station; that's an easy way to identify them. Elseway, the price per kilometer is sometimes displayed on the cab door. It should be no more than 2.25 lei.
Cabs can also be phoned in. You typically need to give a name, and wait for the number of the car to be relayed to you. Cars will arrive after a period on the order of minutes.
It may happen that you will be driven around on a longer route if you don't know the city. This may happen even with respectable firms. You can't do much to help that, unless you are able to read a map very well, especially if you're easy to spot as a foreigner. The best thing to do is to appear confident, jump in the car and state your destination unhesitantly as if you knew exactly where it was.
Some of the taxi companies in Cluj-Napoca:
- Nova Taxi - (0264) 949, +40-745 151000
- Diesel Rapid - (0264) 946
- Atlas Taxi - (0264) 969
- Diesel Taxi - (0264) 953, +40-744 646663, +40-745 381532, +40-722 859093
- Pritax - (0264) 942, +40-744 159720, +40-788 550000
- Pro Rapid - (0264) 948
- Terra Fan - (0264) 944
- Clima&Confort Taxi - (0264) 943, +40-742 012280, +40-723 012280, +40-768 347379, +40-264 422224, +40-364 310673
Cars can be rented from the numerous operators throughout the city. Many small tourism agencies also act as intermediaries for renting cars, and you might be able to get better rates there. You can find such agencies scattered throughout the city centre.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Oser. Flea market held every saturday from morning 'till noon.
- Anticariat Academic.
- Anticariat Röser, Strada Matei Corvin nr. 3.
- Iulius Mall.
- Polus Center.
You can also visit Sora Shopping Center, Central and Galeriile Ferdinand (very expensive). At a lower budget you can find lots of cool clothes in Piata Marasti (shopping center).
- Transylvania "The Land Beyond The Forest" Souvenir Gift & Design Shop, 22-26 Strada Regele Ferdinand ("Centrul Comercial Central", ground floor), e-mail: [email protected]. You're lucky, this is probably the greatest souvenir shop in Romania and the official shop of the brand of Transylvania.
Cluj dining is some of the best in Romania. Ranging from traditional Romanian, Hungarian and Transylvanian (a combination of the previous two) to Italian (very good Italian food), Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, American and International Cuisine, the city can offer great dining for all tastes. Fancy restaurants are available as well as local fast food shops and a few international chains (McDonald's, Pizza Hut).
- Academia More - Pizzeria, Clinicilor st. 9A. Pizza & pasta, sports bar. Near University campus and downtown, with biggest summer garden in Cluj-Napoca (+400 seats). Pizza delivery also available: 0040-264-590823, 0040-745-983100. Big groups reservations.
- Agape. Cafeteria-style restaurant with good Hungarian and Romanian food.
- Elite Pizza. The oldest pizza place in town. Pizza delivery also available: 0040-264-597.
- Vărzărie. One of the few restaurants that Cluj had during the communist times. Today the food is pretty much unchanged and the place still maintains a bit of the old atmosphere. They serve simple and cheap Romanian food. Varză à la Cluj is a must try local specialty.
- Aroma (on the Feleacu hill).International cuisine with a great view
- Beijing, Str. A. Iancu nr. 12-14. Chinese eatery.
- Bistro Viena.
- Bolero - International.
- Casa Ardelenească, Bd. 21 Decembrie 1989 no. 5 (in the Sora Shopping Center). Traditional Romanian menu, popular with the locals, and decorated with local art.
- Casa Vikingilor. International cuisine with huge portions.
- Chicago's - American fare.
- Ciuleandra, inside the Best Western Topaz Hotel. Specializing in Romanian/Transylvanian food.
- Club Italia.
- Don Mario - Mediterranean Cuisine
- Fahid - Middle-eastern cuisine.
- Fair Play, Piața 14 Iulie. Well known for serving the best tripe soup in Cluj.
- Hao Yi - Chinese.
- Kaja Tanya.
- Klausen Burger. A restaurant & brewery with a view.
- La Piazzetta. A bit kitschy decor, but good pizza.
- Maestro - International.
- Maimuța Plângătoare. Traditional Romanian and Hungarian.
- Marco Polo, in the City Plaza Hotel. Japanese food.
- Marty Caffe, . Str. Victor Babeş nr. 39. International.
- Mint Bistro.
- Pizzeria Michelangelo, . Str. Memorandumului nr. 6. Romanian, Pizza,Restaurant.
- Panoramic. International cuisine on the Cetatuia with a great view from above downtown.
- Pizza Y - International.
- Red House - Transylvanian/Hungarian.
- Roata. Romanian food.
- Samsara Foodhouse. Vegetarian / vegan / raw vegan restaurant with a nice atmosphere.
- Shanghai, Calea Turzii nr. 42, . , , +40 727-833.453Located near a residential neighborhood a few kilometers from the city center, Shanghai has one of the most varied selections of Chinese dishes.
- Tokyo. Japanese.
- Twelve, str. Constanța 12.
- Vila Tușa.
- Baracca, Str. Napoca nr. 8A, . Very good Mediterranean food with French cuisine influence, great atmosphere. This restaurant changes its menu every 6 months, in collaboration with a Chef from France.
- Casa Boema.
- El Toro Steakhouse. Argentinian steakhouse
- Matei Corvin Intim, . Str. Matei Corvin nr. 3. International cuisine. This restaurant frequently receives national and international celebrities.
- Topaz, . Str. Septimiu Albini no. 10 (inside the Best Western Topaz). Refined menu of international selections in an elegant atmosphere.
- Via. Located in a wonderfully restored old house.
Sights & Landmarks
The area around the Union Square is a must see for the visitor, with the Teleki and Banffy Palaces (the latter now housing the National Art Museum), the Franciscan Monastery, the first Unitarian Church in the world, the Piarist Church, the Mirror Street (Iuliu Maniu Street - a unique architectural accomplishment dating back to the late 1800s) and Matthias Corvinus' place of birth, a former 15th Century hotel now home to the Visual Arts Academy. Smaller streets around the Square can take you into splendid inner courts, old houses and isolated Churches.
Squares and streets
- Union Square (Piața Unirii). Where you can find St. Michael's Church, the National Art Museum, the Statue of Matthias Corvinusand the roman ruins.
- The Museum Square (Piața Muzeului). A 2 minute walk from the Union Square, is home to the Franciscan Monastery (a combination of Baroque and Gothic architecture dating back to the 14th Century), the Transylvanian History Museum and the old Obelisk of the City, offered to the city as acknowledgement of its statute by the Austrian Emperor Franz Ferdinand in the 19th Century. You can have a nice coffee right by the Obelisk, as during daytime the surrounding bars and cafes have outdoor seating.
- Eroilor Avenue (Bulevardul Eroilor). Is linking the two main squares -Union Square and Avram Iancu Square.
- Iuliu Maniu Street (Strada Iuliu Maniu).
- The Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă).
- St. Michael's Church (Biserica Sfântul Mihail). This Gothic architecture piece is one of the most valuable in Transylvania. Its murals date from the 15th century, and the 50m neogothic tower was built in 1860.
- The Reformed Church (Biserica Reformată de pe Ulița Lupilor). Built between 1486-1516, is a very important piece of gothic architecture.
- The Franciscan Church (Biserica Franciscană). Built between 1260 and 1290
- Calvaria Church (Biserica Calvaria). A small Benedictine abbey surrounded by defensive walls, Calvaria Church was built starting in the 9th-10th centuries.
- Bob Church (Biserica Bob). It is the first Greek-Catholic church that was built in the city of Cluj, while it was part of the Austrian Empire.
- Piarist Church (Biserica Piariștilor). Completed in 1724, it was the province's first baroque church.
- Cock Church (Biserica cu Cocoș). Designed by the famous architect Kós Károly.
- The Central Park (Parcul Central). A welcome break from the rush of the city. The middle of the park hosts a small lake and the Chios Casino, from the terrace of which you can rent rowboats and hydrobicycles to circle the small island in the centre of the lake.
- Alexandru Borza Botanical Garden (Grădina Botanică Alexandru Borza), Str. Republicii nr. 42. It spreads over 14 hectares and contains among others a small Japanese garden, greenhouses for ecuatorial and tropical plants, a small water course through its middle, and a tower which can be climbed to get a better view of the garden arrangements.
- "Romulus Vuia" Ethnographic Park (Parcul Etnografic "Romulus Vuia"), Tăietura Turcului (You can take the buses 26, 27, 28 from the train station). Mondays closed. 6 lei adults, free for children.
- The Fortress Hill (Dealul Cetății). The Transylvania Hotel (also known to the locals as Belvedere) was built on top of the hill, and besides the great view offers a good restaurant as well. The hill can be climbed by stairs from the centre of the city. On the way you will also find a large iron cross monument. A walkway circles the crown of the hill just below the Hotel, offering a nice view to the city.
- The Tailors' Bastion (Bastionul Croitorilor). It is very well preserved, alongside with the corresponding section of the medieval wall
- Matthias Corvinus House(Casa Matei).
- Palace of Justice, Calea Dorobantilor nr. 2
- Babeş-Bolyai University, Str. Mihail Kogălniceanu nr. 1B.
- Old Casino (Cazinoul Vechi).Located in the Central Park, built at the end of the 19th century, restored in 2012.
- The City Hall (Primăria).
- The Hintz House (Casa Hintz). Was the first pharmacy in Cluj. Currently houses thePharmaceutical museum.
- Bánffy Palace (Palatul Bánffy). Built between 1774 and 1775, currently houses the National Art Museum
- Cetățuia Fortress (Fortăreața Cetățuia). Used to hold a stronghold, as its name implies. People were also jailed there. Not much of the old fortress remains, but The Fortress Hill is worth climbing, for the view.
- Statue of Matthias Corvinus (Statuia lui Matei Corvin). The statue is always climbed by tourists, although officially this practise is not allowed.
- Someșu Rece fortress
- Cuzdrioara fortress
- Bologa fortress
- Gherla fortress
- Liteni fortress
- Gilău castle
- Bocskai castle in Aghireșu
- Banffy castles in Bonțida, Răscruci and Borșa
- Beldi castle in Geaca
- Haller castle in Coplean
- Kemeny Banffy castle in Luncani
- Kornis castle in Mănăstirea
- Teleki fortress in Luna de jos
- Beliș agrotouristic village with the Fântânele lake
Museums & Galleries
- National Art Museum (Muzeul Național de Artă), Union Square nr. 30.
- National Museum of Transylvanian History (Muzeul Național de Istorie a Transilvaniei), Str. Constantin Daicoviciu nr. 2.
- Emil Isac Memorial House, Emil Isac nr. 23
- Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania (Muzeul Etnografic al Transilvaniei), Memorandumului nr. 21. 20lei for adults.
- Pharmaceutical Museum (Muzeul Farmaciei).
- Zoology Museum, Clinicilor nr. 5-7.
- Fabrica de Pensule. Old paintbrush factory. Now the building is filled with art galleries and artists' studios.
- Galeria Arte, Str. Vasile Alecsandri nr. 1.
- Galeria Horeb, Str Târnavelor nr. 4. In the basement of what is probably the ugliest church in Cluj (it was built in 1984, during the very strict communist regime, so the church had to look like a communist apartment building), Galeria Horeb opened in 2009. It has around two exhibitions per year.
- Lateral ArtSpace (inside the Paintbrush Factory).
- Plan B (inside the Paintbrush Factory).
Things to do
- Lucian Blaga National Theatre (Teatrul Național Lucian Blaga).
- Romanian National Opera(Opera Naţională Română).Housed in the same building as the National Theatre
- Hungarian State Theater (Teatrul Maghiar de stat), Emil Isac nr. 26-28.
- Hungarian Opera (Opera Maghiară). Housed in the same building as the Hungarian State Theater
- PUCK Puppet Theatre (Teatrul de Păpuși PUCK).
- Tranzit House (Casa Tranzit). An old synagogue converted into an arts center.
- Reactor Independent Theatre (Reactor de creație și experiment), Str. Petofi Sandor nr. 4, 0747197501. 9 RON for children shows, 10/12 RON or 15/20 RON for adult shows.
Festivals and events
Cluj-Napoca hosts a number of cultural festivals of various types. These occur throughout the year, though are more frequent in the summer months. "Sărbătoarea Muzicii" (Fête de la Musique) is a music festival taking place yearly on 21 June in a number of Romanian cities, Cluj-Napoca included, organised under the aegis of the French Cultural Centre. Additionally, Splaiul Independenței, on the banks of Someșul Mic River, hosts a number of beer festivals throughout the summer, among them the "Septemberfest", modelled after the German Oktoberfest. In 2015, the city will be the European Youth Capital, an event with a budget of 5.7 million euros that is projected to boost tourism by about a fifth.
The city has seen a number of important music events, including the MTV România Music Award ceremony which was held at the Sala Sporturilor Horia Demian in 2006 with the Sugababes, Pachanga and Uniting Nations as special international guests. In 2007, Beyoncé Knowles also performed in Cluj-Napoca, at the Ion Moina Stadium. In 2010, Iron Maiden included the city in their Final Frontier World Tour. The Cluj Arena was inaugurated in 2011 with concerts by Scorpions and Smokie, the main event drawing over 40,000 people; other events followed, for instance Roxette in 2012 and Deep Purple in 2013. Smaller events occur regularly at the Polyvalent Hall, the Opera and the Students' House of Culture. Moreover, the local clubs regularly organise events featuring international artists, usually foreign disc jockeys, like André Tanneberger, Sasha, Timo Maas, Tania Vulcano, Satoshi Tomiie, Yves Larock, Dave Seaman, Plump DJs, Stephane K or Andy Fletcher.
The Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), held in the city since 2001 and organised by the Association for the Promotion of the Romanian Film, is the first Romanian film festival for international features. The festival jury awards the Transilvania Trophy for the best film in competition, as well as prizes for best director, best performance and best photography. With the support of Home Box Office, TIFF also organises a national script contest.Comedy Cluj, which debuted in 2009, is the newest annual film festival organised in Cluj-Napoca.
Toamna Muzicală Clujeană, Romania's most important classical music event after the George Enescu Festival, has taken place annually since 1965, and is run by the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra. A Mozart Festival has taken place annually since 1991. Another annual event, taking place at the Romanian National Opera, is the Opera Ball, established in 1992. Additionally, in 2012, a Festival of National Operas was introduced, which aside from the hometown troupe, also features opera companies from Bucharest, Iași and Timișoara. The Interferences International Theatre Festival, started in 2007, takes place at the Hungarian Theatre.
Also held in the city is Delahoya, Romania's oldest electronic music festival, established in 1997. Electric Castle Festival, which takes place at Bánffy Castle in nearby Bonțida, had an audience of over 30,000 people for its first edition in 2013 and was nominated by European Festivals Awards for the Best New Festival and Best Medium Size Festival awards. By 2016, over 120,000 were in attendance. Untold Festival, which began in 2015, is Romania's largest music festival. Held mainly in the Cluj Arena, and also at the Polyvalent Hall, it drew over 300,000 in its second edition.
Cluj has a vibrant night life, guaranteed by the over 60000 University students living here. There are bars, cafés, clubs for all preferences and budgets.
- Boiler Club (inside the Paintbrush Factory - Fabrica de Pensule). Closed down, but they announced they are looking for a new location.
- Bulgakov. They have nice Hungarian food.
- Casa TIFF.
- Coffee O'Clock.
- Corvinus - Str. Memorandumului - A pub popular with the Hungarian community.
- Diesel, Piața Unirii no. 17, . One of the oldest and most expensive clubs in Cluj-Napoca. Cosmopolitan events on three floors with some of the most popular groups in Romania.
- Euphoria Biergarten.
- Flowers Tea House, Str. Emil Isac nr. 11.
- Flying Circus Club. Mostly rock music. Every night they are open they broadcast a movie around 20.00. Entrance is free including popcorn.
- Insomnia (opposite the cinema, next to the bookstore in Piața Unirii. Enter the alley and go upstairs.). Bohemian and ever changing decor and nice personnel. Also serve light meals.
- Janis la stuf (Janis), 19, Piata Unirii, . Bar and club. Open every day until very late. Special discounts: From 21.00-22.30 unlimited beer for 7 lei (8 lei on Friday and Saturday). Sometimes free shots for students.
- Kharma, . Piaţa Păcii nr. 1-3. Nice decor and good DJs.
- Koffer Books & Coffee.
- The Jack Pub. The smallest pub from the town.
- L'Atelier, Str. Memorandumului, 1st floor. Also known colloquially asthe cardboard place. A relaxed café-bar with furniture made from cardboard and scrap materials. Music ranges from jazz to alternative rock.
- La Cizmărie (a bit hard to find, because there is no sign outside!).
- La Gazette. A place to meet students and to get to know new music, especially electronica.
- Molotov Pub, Str. Virgil Fulicea nr. 13, . A popular place situated in a medieval house, in the historical center, close to Matei Corvin House. They have a very good coffee and tea specialties, and the famous, personal, recipe of the 'Molotov Cocktail'. Bhoemian and challenging decoration.
- Mozart Cafe.
- Obsession, . Str. Republicii nr. 109. The biggest club in town.
- Old School.
- Oscar - A good after-hours haunt.
- Qui One Quint tea room, Str. Cișmigiu nr. 1 (look for the subtle sign on the building, go to the basement). Well hidden tea house, decorated with vintage furniture.
- Stone, Str. Gheorghe Fulicea nr. 17, +40 264 408167.
- Samsara Chill-Out & Tea House. Samsara is a place to relax. They serve different kinds of tea and wine in a relaxing atmosphere. There are 3 rooms with different styles. The place is very busy in the evening, so make a reservation or come early.
- The Shelter.
- The Soviet, Strada Clemenceau Nr. 2 (Close to Piata Muzeului), , e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Fr 10:00-02:00 Sa-Su 12:00-02:00. Bar in soviet style. Has a nice cocktail menu.
- Umbra de Noapte, str. Georges Clemenceau 7. It's a place where you can meet with friends or relax and read dark literature or international magazines. Enjoy varieties of coffee and tea specialties, soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits; Romania's largest variety of absinthe; nonalcoholic, alcoholic and absinthe-cocktails as well as season-specials like iced coffee and fresh ice tea in summer or spiced wine and spiced coffee in winter. Dimly-lit atmosphere; listening to dark music (mainly Gothic, Darkwave, EBM, Industrial, Horrorpunk, Gothabilly, Medieval).
- Zorki Photo Cafe, Str. Ion Rațiu nr. 10. Cafe-bar with jazz & alternative rock music. Regular photo exhibitions. Sometimes small, acoustic concerts.
- Zorki Off the Record is located in the basement under Zorki. Where concerts sometimes happen. You can grab a beer or a glass of wine.
- VERTIGO Espresso Social Bar, 9 Unirii Square Cluj Napoca. A visionary design and futuristic lighting which challenges the borders of imagination. A setting that appears to be cut out of an OP Art expo – a place where spirit meets style, where energy becomes conversation.
Things to know
The official language is Romanian, a Romance language. Most educated people born after about 1970 will speak reasonably good English and will likely be proficient in one or more second Romance languages; most educated people born before about 1970 will speak reasonably good French and Italian. Hungarian is a common language, spoken by the relatively large Hungarian minority. The Roma people (Gypsies) speak their native Romany, as well as Romanian. Beyond that, as in any major city, there will be a smattering of other languages.
Safety in Cluj
Cluj-Napoca is in general a safe city. Even after dark, it is safe to walk through the city center and some of the other neighbourhoods. To be on the safe side, unless you know exactly where you're going and how to get there, suburbs should be avoided at night, especially the neighbourhoods of Manastur, Marasti, and Iris, and the train and inter-city bus station areas.
You should, as always, take care of your belongings and pockets. In the unfortunate event that your wallet is stolen or lost, it is likely that it will resurface after a while, but without the money and credit cards (so be sure to call your credit card company and lock the credit card as soon as you notice it's missing).
As throughout the rest of the European Union, the police, ambulance, and fire department are reachable at the number 112.