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Top 10 Best Things To Do On A Vacation In Cluj-Napoca, Romania - Updated 2020

things to do in cluj-napoca
Gabi
Gabi
Updated

Cluj-Napoca is known as the unofficial capital of Transylvania mostly because is one of the biggest cities from the region and it also hosts many minorities and cultures. It would be unfair to say that this is the most beautiful town in Transylvania, but it sure is the most iconic one. Let’s have a look at the top 10 best things to on a vacation in Cluj-Napoca.

1. Take a walk in the Botanical Garden

The last time I visited the Botanical Garden of Cluj-Napoca was over ten years ago, but I still remember how amazed I was at all the plants that I was able to see there. These plants made me realize how diverse the flora of this world can be. And that sentiment came from a simple botanical garden in Romania.

The garden is spread over 14 acres (5.6 hectares) in five big sectors of plants. Over 10,000 species from all over the world can be found in the following sectors: ornamental, geobotanical, systematic, economic, and medicinal.

The Botanical Garden of Cluj-Napoca

Address: Strada Republicii 42, Cluj-Napoca 400015

Price: from 10 RON (2.3 USD) for adults, 5 RON (1.16 USD) for children

Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Duration: around 1.5 hours on average.

Access: 11 min walk from Memorandului Bus Station

Contact: +40 264 592 152

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

2. Look at the stars through the Astronomical Observatory

Astronomical Observatory
Source: Pexels

At the edge of the botanical garden, lies the astronomical observatory of the Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Although it is a working observatory, this place is open to the public, and tourists can take a look.

You can’t watch stars with so many lights in the city, but still, you can observe the most significant meteor showers, the phases of the moon, eclipses, and other annual events in the sky.

The Astronomical Observatory

Address: Strada Cireșilor 19, Cluj-Napoca 400487

Price: from 5 RON (1.16 USD)

Opening Hours: Fri 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Access: 7 min walk from Spital Recuperare I Bus Station

Contact: +40 264 594 592

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

3. Visit Unirii Square

Romania-2358 - Union Square
Source: Photo by user Dennis Jarvis used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Unirii Square was always the center of Cluj-Napoca city, although it had several names in the past such as King Matia Square or the Grand Square.

In the square, you will find more places to visit such as Saint Michael Church, the Statue of Matia Corvin, the Art Museum, the Old Town Hall, and the National Bank.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

4. Visit one of the oldest Gothic churches in Romania

St Michaels Cluj-Napoca interior
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jerzy Kociatkiewicz used under CC BY-SA 2.0

St. Michael Church is one of the most representative Gothic buildings in Transylvania, and at 70 m (230 ft) tall, it the fifth tallest religious building in Romania, after churches from Brasov, Alba-Iulia, Sibiu, and Oradea. The building of this church lasted for more than two centuries and was finished under the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg of the Holy Roman Empire.

Near Unirii Square, you can take half an hour to view all the architectural elements of this church and its decorations that have lasted for centuries.

St. Michael Gothic Church

Address: Piața Unirii, Cluj-Napoca 400015

Access: 3 min walk from the Memorandumului Bus Station

Contact: +40 264 592 089

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

5. Take a walk in the Central Park of Cluj

Central Park Cluj-Napoca - the lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roamata used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The most significant green space from Cluj-Napoca has a history of over 180 years when an organization decided to close the area to construct a recreational park. Here you can visit an old casino, the park’s lake, a fountain, the statues of famous Romanian writers, restaurants, and of course, its main paths.

The Central Park of Cluj-Napoca

Opening Hours: 24 h

Duration: 1 h on average.

Access: 6 min walk from “Spitalul de Copii” Bus Station

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

6. Walk around Museum Square and its nearby streets

Piata muzeului Cluj Napoca
Source: Photo by user Mihai Raducanu used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Museum Square is one of the few streets from Cluj-Napoca’s Old Town where cars aren’t allowed, and you can enjoy a peaceful walk or a drink at one of the coffee shops in this area. Even if the name suggests that it is a museum, the cafes and the boutique shops of this square get more visitors than the History Museum.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

7. Visit the National Theatre and the Romanian Opera

Cluj-Napoca Romanian Opera
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ES Vic used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Both the National Theatre and the Romanian Opera have their primary place in this building, which was designed by two architects from the 20th century. If the architecture of the exterior amazed you, wait till you see the interior with your own eyes. A theater play here will bring you back to the bohemian times from the beginning of 20th century.

The National Theatre

Address: Piața Ștefan cel Mare 2-4, Cluj-Napoca 400192

Opening Hours: open only during performances

Access: 1 min walk from Opera Bus Station

Contact: +40 264 590 272

Website: National Theatre

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

8. Have fun at famous Transylvanian festivals: Untold and Electric Castle

Electric Castle 2017 - Main Stage view
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Electric Castle used under CC BY-SA 4.0

These two festival have made the Cluj County even more crowded than it was by gathering the most passionate music fans from all over the country and even from abroad. Every year some famous DJs and bands come here to the delight of many young visitors. If you’re not into these festivals and you want to visit Cluj-Napoca in the same period of the year, you better book your stay sooner because the city is always fully booked during these festivals.

Untold Festival

Website

Electric Castle

Website

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

9. Take a day to visit the Ethnographic Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The old village of Transylvania is always a great attraction for tourists that come here every year. The traditional rural regions start to modernize, and the customs tend to disappear. That’s why many ethnographic parks started to rise in the most visited cities in Romania, to preserve the heritage of the traditional village.

You’ll need a full day to visit the entire Ethnographic Park of Cluj-Napoca, but it might be worth it if you like to learn more about the traditional parts of a country. In the 70 acres (28.3 hectares) of the park, you may find 13 households with over 90 buildings specific to the regions of the Apuseni Mountains, Nasaud, Bistrita, Transylvania’s Plain, Maramures, Szekler region, and many other minor regions from Transylvania.

Romulus Vuia Ethnographic Park

Address: Aleea Muzeului Etnografic, Cluj-Napoca

Price: from 6 RON (1.4 USD)

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Access: 2 min walk from the Tetarom Bus Station

Contact: +40 371 113 733

Website: Ethnographic Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

10. If you love history, you should visit the National Museum of Transylvanian History

ClujMuzeulIstorie
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If you had a great coffee (check #6) and you’re a fan of history, you might want to check out the National Museum of Transylvanian History. This museum holds over 24,000 archeological objects from domains such as botany, zoology, and mineralogy.

The objects were gathered here for over 140 years under the lead of the University of Cluj. After you walk by the first displays, you may realize that you can’t get enough of these exhibits and the history behind them.

The National Museum of Transylvanian History

Address: Strada Constantin Daicoviciu 2, Cluj-Napoca

Price: from 3 RON (0.7 USD) for access and 25 RON (5.8 USD) for photography

Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 10:00 am to 4:00 pm | Monday closed

Duration: around 2.5 hours required.

Access: 3 min walk from “Opera Maghiara Est” Bus Station

Contact: +04 264 595 677

Website: National Museum of Transylvanian History

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

Fulfill your passions

After a walk through all ten of these attractions, we can all agree that Cluj-Napoca is a place to visit for every person passionate about nature, customs, architecture, astronomy, history, or even festivals. It might not be the best city in Transylvania, but it is one of the greatest.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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My name is Gabi Miron, and I'm a Romanian living in one of the most beautiful cities from Transylvania, which is Sibiu. I love to write down my thoughts and passions. Some of my biggest passions...Read more

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