Several weeks ago I’ve told you about my visit in Alba Iulia and named it the other capital. Alba Iulia is the place where the Big Union, from the 1st of December 1918 ( Romania’s National Day) happened whereas Cluj-Napoca is considered the unofficial capital or the heart of the Transylvania region. During history, Cluj held the name of Capital of the Transylvanian Principality, between 1790 and 1841 and between 1861 and 1867.
Today, Cluj is the second largest city, considering the number of inhabitants and gets the name of Cluj-Napoca starting with 1974. With a very agitated history, that shares times of independency with times of Hungarian and Austro-Hungarian influences, Cluj had a very big tolerance toward many cultural religions (4 in the times of 1541).
And further, let’s focus on what you should see now, in Cluj-Napoca, and leave the images speak for themselves. I’m going to show you my recommendation on 15 things you should do in Cluj-Napoca
13 things you should do in Cluj Napoca
See the city from above
The fortress of Cluj-Napoca is the best place to do that. Your first point on the list should be this one, so you can get completely in the city’s vibe. Ask any local, they will tell you the same thing 🙂
A coffee at one of the great terraces you find here, could be just what you need. Also, I suggest having lunch in this charming square; our restaurant was exactly on the corner, on the left side, and it was delicious. Unfortunately, I forgot its name but I’ll look it up at my next visit.
Matthias Corvinus’s house
Born in Cluj, Matthias Corvinus ( Matei Corvin) was the son of Ioan of the Huniade from the Huniade family, and led the Hungarian Kingdom between 1458 and 1490. The house has a gothic style and is one of the oldest in the city.
Church Saint Michael
It is the second largest gothic style church, in Romania, after the Black Church in Brasov. You can find it exactly in the Union Square. Since in the area, enjoy the little park, maybe sit on a bench and watch the kids going crazy in the fountain. Also, climbing the tower to see the view, might be a good option 🙂
Avram Iancu Square and Orthodox Cathedral
National Theatre and The Opera House
Located in the same building, will totally make you want to see a show.
Cluj has a very high level of both theatre and opera so, if you are long enough in the city, I suggest enriching your cultural experience. The first city theatre was built on this place, in 1821, and was a Hungarian one. A new building was projected in 1904 and the Hungarian theatre inaugurated it in 1906.
is a great city getaway. Rest, recharge, walk, enjoy the lake, everything is amazing. Maybe even read a book in a hammock or take a quick nap 🙂
Since in the Central Park, make sure you also stop and admire the beautiful Casino. Now is also hosting a Center of Urban Culture. Its architecture will make you stair for minutes. If the fountain is on, you will be hypnotized.
This is one of my favorite architectures of the city. The tower was built in the 15th century and is now also a Center for Urban Culture. Visiting it will surely take you on a trip in time
Although, at a first glance, the building might seem small to host so much culture, the interior will be a big surprise. From the costumes, to the tools used and even a miniature house, the place will give you a good impression upon the Romanian people or land, history and culture
Walk along the river Somes
Little Somes on which’s valleys part of the Cluj is built around and gets formed from the Cold Somes and the Warm Somes. Interesting old architectures and nice bird dances will let themselves discovered along the way. Beautiful natural landscapes will make you seem that you are truly disconnected from the city area
Last but not list. I left it at the end so I can end up in glory 🙂 We started the day with this visit but at least half a day will be needed to explore all the beautiful gardens and many many colors displayed in front of your eyes. I didn’t note down the name of every flower because the splendid nature is more of a reason to visit, then the actual name. If you are passionate or even more into science, I invite you to discover every specie grown carefully here.
Turda Salt Mine
The 13 floors will take you on constant wonders at the address of the people that built this in the 1853. The beautiful view from the above is only completed by the ones you can have at every floor. Yes, I assure you taking the stairs will be a great experience. Step by step, with small breaks, if you need them, when you can also see the year of every floor being built ( or carved:) )
Yes, i know this is 14 but this is just a bonus if you have enough time 🙂 Due to the highway connection between Cluj-Napoca and Alba Iulia, I suggest also seeing the other capital that I was telling you at the beginning of this article and see the place that took the country at the size it has today. More about my visit and recommendation for Alba Iulia you can find here One day in Alba Iulia, the other capital