After a cancelled HiSky flight from Bucharest to Cluj-Napoca (often called just Cluj), we took a last-minute train. Over nine hours later, we arrived in what many consider Romania’s “most beautiful city.”
Wander the cobblestone streets of Cluj and you’ll find ancient Roman ruins. First mentioned in 1213, Cluj is considered the heart of historic Transylvania. One look at its rolling hills and you know why.
After spending four days in Cluj, here’s what we recommend.
- Hazelnut gelato from Bianco Milano, a tiny shop often with a line near Saint Michael Church.
- Quiche at A la Tarte, a woman-owned, Paris-themed bakery and cafe.
- “Varză à la Cluj” (spiced rice and meat inside a cabbage roll) from Zama, a Romanian restaurant with chic digs.
- Hazelnut latte from Tamper Coffee, a popular cafe near Parcul Operei.
- Iced cappuccino at Meron, a coffee lab near the river in an industrial space,
- Hike through the Hoia-Baciu Forest, one of the world’s most haunted forests.
- Learning about the city’s Jewish community at the Jewish History Museum, a small museum with an audio tour for adults and kids.
- Ride flamingo-shaped paddle boats at Central Park, a 19th century park with a restored grand casino building.
- Shop at the artisan’s market in front of the “Dormition of the Mother of God” Metropolitan Cathedral.
- Take a day trip to Salina Turda, a salt mine from the Middle Ages that’s now an amusement park.
- Visit with your kids Parcul Stadion, a park by the stadium with a playground, a trampoline, and kid-sized cars for rent.
- Architecture of all styles throughout the old town.
- City views from Cetățuia Park, a hill that once housed an 18th century fortress.