Location: Central Romania (County: Cluj)
Size: 69.3 sq. miles (179.5 sq. km)
Elevation: 1,181 ft. (360 meters)
Inhabited since: 200 BC
First documented: 1173 AD (Clus)
Cluj - Napoca, the largest city in the region of Transylvania, traces its origins back to a Dacian settlement (called Napuca) in the 2-nd century A.D. After the Roman take-over of Dacia, Napuca became a Roman fort "Napoca" and
in 124 A.D., received the rank of "municipium". The city quickly advanced socially and economically and during Marcus Aurelius' reign Napoca received the title "colonia", the highest possible urban status in the Roman Empire.
The name Cluj comes from Castrum Clus, first used in the 12-th century as the name of the citadel surrounding the city. Clus means "closed" in Latin and refers to the hills that surround the city.
German merchants, who arrived here in the 12th century, rebuilt the medieval earthen walls of Clus in stone after the Tartar invasion of 1241. Known as Klausenburg to the Germans* and Kolosvar to the Hungarians, Cluj became Cluj Napoca in the 1970s, when the old Roman was added to emphasize its Daco-Roman origin.
With one of the most vibrant economies in the country and a population of around 330,000, Cluj, is today a vibrant cultural and education centre. There are six state and many more private universities located in Cluj Napoca - the city with the highest ratio of students to total number of residents, in Romania.
The main square, resplendent with 18th and 19th century buildings and home to many shops and restaurants, is dominated by the 15th century St. Michael's Church, one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in Romania. The square also claims the 18-th century baroque Banffy Palace, housing the weaponry and Romanian art collections of the Art Museum. Visitors who want to learn more about the region should pay a visit to the open-air section of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, a true display of folk architecture. For entertainment, spend an enjoyable evening at the Opera or attend a classical music concert offered by the Cluj Philharmonic.
Cluj - Napoca is one of the seven walled citadels (Siebenbürgen*). built, in the Middle-Ages, and populated, until late 1960s,
by Transylvanian Saxons (people of German ethnicity who have settled in Transylvania from the mid-12th century until mid-19th century).
* The other Siebenbürgen citadels are located in the towns of: Bistrita (Bistritz), Brasov (Kronstadt),
Medias (Mediasch), Sebes (Mühlbach), Sibiu (Hermannstadt), Sighisoara (Schässburg).
"The Transylvanian "Saxons" originally stemmed from Flanders, Hainaut, Brabant, Liège, Zeeland, Moselle, Lorraine, and Luxembourg, then situated in the north-western territories of the Holy Roman Empire around the 1140s" (Wikipedia).
The St. Michael's Church dominates the Union Quare, surrounded by Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and NeoClassical buildings including the Banffy Palace (Cluj - Napoca Art Museum) - arguably Romania's most representative Transylvanian-Baroque structure. Flanking the church on the south side is a 1902 equestrian statue of the 15-th century ruler, Matei Corvin. In the southwest corner of the square stands Hotel Continental, built in 1895 in an eclectic style combining Renaissance, classical and baroque elements. During World War II, the hotel served as the German military headquarters in Transylvania. Across the square, you can visit the Hintz House, which served as Cluj's first and longest-running pharmacy (1573-1949) and is now home to Pharmacy Museum of Cluj-Napoca
Address: Piata Unirii
This church is one of the most beautiful gothic monuments in Transylvania. St. Michael's Church was erected between 1350 and 1487 on the site of the former St. Jacob's Chapel.
The altar, built around 1390, is the oldest part of the church. The most recent section is the tower, erected in neo-gothic style in 1860.
The star-shaped vault, the stained-glass windows and the sculptures impress with their beauty and grandeur. Recent restorations revealed early 15th century murals.
Address: Strada Iuliu Maniu 30
An imposing former residence of the Austro-Hungarian governors, Banffy Palace was designed by the German architect, Johann Eberhard Blaumann, for then-governor of the city, Banffy Gyorgy. Built between 1774 and 1775, Banffy Palace is considered the most representative example of Transylvanian-Baroque. In 1951, the palace became the home of the Cluj National Art Museum
Address: Str. Mihail Kogalniceanu 16
The building of this impressive church began in 1486 and was completed around 1516, with a pulpit added in 1646. The church, one of the largest in southeastern Europe, is a perfect illustration of the late gothic architectural style. Created in 1373 by the masters Martin and George of Cluj, the statue of St. George slaying the dragon, which stands in front of the church, was inspired by one of the world's most famous equestrian sculptures, a 14-th century statue displayed in centre of Prague. Organ concerts are frequently held in the church.
Address: Blvd. 21 Decembrie 1989
Named for the apostles Peter and Paul, this gothic church was built between 1844 and 1848 on the foundation of an earlier church.
The imposing portal at the entrance was built by a priest, Biro Jozsef, after the Black Death struck the town (1738-1742). A statue of Saint Archangel Michael is centered above the main entrance, flanked on the left by John the Baptist, Saint Sebastian and Saint Charles Borromei, and on the right by Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Rocus and Saint John Nepomuc. The portal was moved here in 1899 from its former location at St. Michael's Church and was recently restored.
The statue of St. Mary is a beautiful and valuable baroque work of art by sculptor Schenbauer Antal, who created it for the consul, Kornis Antal, in 1744. The statue was removed from its former location at the crossroads of Kogalniceanu and Universitatii Streets and placed in the yard behind the church in 1961.
Address: Piata Baba Novac
Dating from 1475, Tailors' Bastion is one of the two structures, that were once part of the old fortified town, still standing. (The Firemen's Tower is the other defending tower that has survived for more than fivecenturies.
For the best views of the city and the surrounding landscape, climb some 200 feet up Fortress Hill. The name refers to an Austrian fortress built here in the 18-th century to ensure control, rather than defense, of the city.
The fortress also served occasionally as a prison, and it was here that Stephan Ludwig Roth, the 1848 hero of the Transylvanian Saxons, was held, accused of high treason and executed at the northern gate on May 11, 1849.
Address: Str. Victor Deleu 4
Open: daily 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
One of the city's oldest structures, the Franciscan Monastery was built in the 15-th century on the site of an older church dating from 1273 and handed to the Dominican order by ruler Iancu de Hunedoara in 1455. Located at the south of the monastery complex, the church was offered as a gift to the Franciscans who restored it in baroque style around the year 1728.
Address: Blvd. Eroilor 10
In 1764, the church was bought by Franciscan monks living on the outskirts of Cluj. Its tower practically crumbled 15 years later, thus destroying the whole frontispiece. Restoration work began in 1783 and the church was rebuilt in baroque style. In 1924, it was donated to the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church.
Address: Str. Manasturului 60
A powerful Benedictine abbey stood once at the western gates of the city, in the oldest quarter of the town. The abbey was known under the name Monasterium Beaae Mariae de Clus and it enjoyed outstanding rights and privileges. Benedictine monks settled in towards the end of the 11-th century. During the Tartar invasion of 1241, the abbey was pillaged and burned down. The building was restored in 1263 and the current monastery of Calvaria was built between 1470 and 1508 in gothic style.
Over the years, the monastery enjoyed periods of prosperity, but also underwent times of decay. In 1787, after the war against the Turks, Bishop Alexandru Rudnai decided to have both the church and the surrounding fortifications pulled down; only the altar was spared and it was later turned into a chapel. Nothing was left of the artistic assets of the church, except for a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus; the statue currently stands on a pedestal, under a gothic baldachin, above the entrance door. The chapel, dating to 1831, and the belfry, designed in 1922 by the renowned Hungarian architect Karoly Koos are noteworthy.
Address: Str. Horea 21
The original grand Moorish-style synagogue, better known as the Memorial Temple of the Deportees, was designed by architect Hegner Izidor and inaugurated on September 4th, 1887.
40-years later the synagogue was damaged by nationalistic Fascist organization "the Iron Guard" and, restored soon after with funding provided by the Romanian government.
In 1940 northern Transylvania was occupied by Hungary and the synagogue was transformed in a storage facility.
In 1942 the synagogue was damaged again following the bombing of Cluj. It was repaired three years later and completely restored in 1951.
Housed in the most representative Transylvania baroque buildings: the Banffy Palace, Cluj Art Museum displays sculptures, graphics, weapons,
furniture, carpets, and paintings by Romanian artists such as Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907), Theodor Aman (1831-1891) and Theodor Pallady (1871-1956).
Both Grigorescu and Aman were influenced by the Barbizon group and the Impressionists, while Pallady spent many years in Paris and drew inspiration from Matisse.
The Speleology Museum displays a fascinating collection of over 50,000 species of subterranean fauna
as well as botanical and zoological samples from areas beyond the Antarctic Circle.
Most items in the museum have been gathered by Romanian biologist Emil Racoviță (1868-1947),
from the over 1,400 caves he explored, in Europe and Africa, and from the Arctic.
Emil Racoviță is the world's first biologist to study the arctic life, the author of an original theory of biological evolution and founder of world's first Speleology Institute (1920).
He is considered, together with French entomologist René Jeannel, one of the founders of biospeleology.
Endowed with a collection of more than 65,000 ethnographic items, the museum offers an excellent introduction to Transylvanian folk art and traditions.
Founded in 1922, it is one of the most important ethnographic museums in Romania.
Its various sections, devoted to trades, lodging, food, pottery, textiles, national costumes and customs, include more than 50,000 photographs as well as open-air and international sections. Together, they paint an image of Transylvania's folk culture.
Founded in 1859, this museum illustrates the history of Transylvania from Paleolithic times to the present.
The number of items on display has grown from about 24,000 in late 1870s to more than 400,000 today,
including many rare and extremely valuable objects that illustrate the progress
from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages to the peak of the Dacian civilization, the first century A.D.
The medieval modern, contemporary history and Numismatic sections
contain collections of unique decorative art, ancient books, old printings, memoirs, history and coins.
Address: Piața Unirii 28
Tel: (+4) 0264 597.567
Curently closed for renovations
Cluj's Pharmacy Museum, exhibits over 2,300 pharmacy instruments and equipment.
It is located in Casa Hintz the building in which Cluj's first pharmacy was open, in 1573.
Address: Strada Republicii 42
Open: Mon. - Sun. 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Telephone (+4) 0264 592.152
Adults: 11 lei ($3.00)
Children (5 y.o. -- 18 y.o) and college students: 5 lei ($1.25)
Senior citizens: 5 lei ($1.25)
Person with a disability: free.
Cluj-Napoca Botanical Garden, one of the largest in southeastern Europe, is hometo some 10,000 plant species. Within the grounds, you can visit a museum; several greenhouses with desert and tropical plants, including huge Amazonian water lilies; a Japanese garden with a brook and a Japanese-style house, and the Roman Garden with archeological relics from the Roman colony of Napoca.
Hire a boat to row on the small lake or just enjoy a stroll in this 200-year old park.
Address: Str. Taietura Turcului
Wed. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (April through September).
Wed. - Sun. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (October through March).
Founded in 1929, the park exhibits some 90 Romanian, Saxon and Szekler traditional houses, sawmills, wells, potter's workshops, sheepfolds and outbuildings for grinding gold-bearing ores, sheep rearing, blacksmithing and tanning hides. The park also contains several 18th century wooden churches from the Transylvania region.
Where: 5 miles west of Cluj Napoca
Access: car, bus, pedestrian
Hoia - Baciu is a forested area ideal for nature walks and relaxation.
Alleged varied paranormal phenomena occur frequently in the woods.
Hoia Baciu Haunted Woods tours and more information.
Where: Village Sic - 25 miles northeast of Cluj Napoca
Access: car, bus
A unique village known for the beautiful traditional costumes worn by the locals, the colorful Tuesday Market, the Dance House / Museum and the nearby Sic marsh walk paths.
Where: 60 miles southeast of Cluj Napoca
Access: car, bus, train
Where: 65 miles northeast of Cluj Napoca
Access: car, bus, train
(Muntii Apuseni & Ghetarul Scarisoara)
Where: 45 miles southwest of Cluj Napoca
Cluj makes a great base for exploring the stunning Apuseni mountain range, located southwest of the city.
The Apuseni Nature Park protects one of the most interesting cave systems in the country.
Limestone underlies most of the park and is responsible for the area's impressive landforms and more then 400 caves, many of which can be explored. Sculptured mountain ridges, mysterious underground rivers and delicate cave formations will keep your camera busy.
Rent a car in Cluj and take the scenic drive to Campeni.
Explore Scarisoara Cave, a national monument and home to the second largest underground glacier in Europe.
The Apuseni Motzi villages are ideal places to find the tranquility and timeless wisdom of traditional village life, vibrantly alive and intact here as perhaps, nowhere else in Europe.
Aida by Giuseppe Verdi was performed at the opening night of the Cluj National Opera in 1919. Since then, the opera company's repertoire has added impressive stage productions such as La Boheme, Tosca, Giselle, Carmen, Faust and the Bald Soprano.
Hungarian Theatre & Opera
(Teatrul si Opera Maghiare din Cluj)
Address: Str. Emil Isac 26-28
Tel: (+4) 0264 593.463
Visit Transylvania's largest city – Cluj Napoca – vith a local guide.
When: every day rain or shine
May – September at 6 p.m. (no reservation needed)
October – April at 6 p.m. (on request only / reservation required)
Tour starts: Piata Unirii, in front of Matthias Corvinus statue.
Tour ends: at Piata Unirii
Duration: two hours.
If you liked the tour you can tip your tour guide.
More info and reservations:
Cluj Napoca International Airport (CLJ)
Address: Str. Traian Vuia 149
Tel: (+4) 0264 416.702
The airport is located 6 miles east of the city centre.
Taxis are the quickest way to get from the airport to Cluj downtown.
(approximate fare: the equivalent of $8.00)
Bus number # 8 departs every 15 minutes from the airport to Piata Mihai Viteazul - City Center.
(duration of the ride is approx. 30 minutes).
Airlines with service to Cluj Napoca:
Direct flights from/to: Vienna
Direct flights from/to: domestic destinations
as well as to/ from Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece and Ireland.
Direct flights from/to: Munich
Direct flights from/to: Romania, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland
Direct flights from/to: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK
Fastest routes from Bucharest to Cluj Napoca is:
Bucharest - Brasov - Sighisoara - Targu Mures - Cluj (E60)
Bucharest - Pitesti - Ramnicu Valcea - Sibiu - Alba Iulia - Turda - Cluj (E81)
|Baia Mare||96 mi|
|Belgrade (Serbia)||280 mi|
|Budapest (Hungary)||275 mi|
|Kraków (Poland)||439 mi|
|Prague (Czech Republic)||275 mi|
|Satu Mare||105 mi|
|Vienna (Austria)||390 mi|
Cluj Napoca - main train station (Gara Cluj Napoca)
Address: Str. Garii 1-3
Tel: (+4) 0264 592.952 or 952
There are daily direct trains from/to Hungary (Budapest); travel time - 8 hours,
as well as to other Central and Western Europe cities (connectiom in Budapest).
For the list of international trains with service to/from Romania please visit:
There are daily trains connecting Cluj-Napoca to Bistrita, Bucharest, Gura Humorului, Iasi, Oradea, Satu Mare, Sighetu Marmatiei, Suceava, Timisoara and several other cities in Romania.
There are daily INTERCITY (Express) trains connecting Cluj Napoca with
Bucharest (journey time: 8 hours),
Brasov (journey time: 5 hours),
Medias (journey time: 2 ¾ hours),
Sighisoara (journey time: 3 ½ hours),
Oradea (journey time: 2 ¼ hours)
Timisoara (journey time: 5 hours).
To check train schedules and fares for domestic routes
please visit our domestic transportation section
Note: For departures from/to Timisoara please select Timisoara Nord.
For departures from/to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord.
SNCFR's advance booking office
(Agentia de Voiaj SNCFR Cluj-Napoca)
Address: Piata Mihai Viteazu 20
Tel: (+4) 0264 432.001 (domestic travel)
Tel: (+4) 0264 534.009 (international travel)
Mon. - Fri.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cluj Napoca SNCFR ticket office offers train information and tickets for future travel.
Tickets for same-day travel can only be purchased at the train station.
Cluj Napoca Bus Station # 1
(Autogara Cluj Napoca)
Address: Str. Giordano Bruno 3-5
Tel: (+4) 0264 435.278
Daily domestic bus service from/to:
Alba Iulia, Arad, Baia Mare, Bistrita, Brasov, Bucuresti, Campeni, Horezu, Hunedoara, Iasi, Oradea, Mangalia, Piatra Neamt, Reghin, Satu Mare, Sebes, Sibiu, Sighetu Marmatiei, Targu Lapus, Targu Mures, Vatra Dornei
Cluj Napoca's main areas and tourist attractions are connected by
numerous bus (autobuz), tram (tramvai) and trolleybus (troilebuz) routes.
The city's public transportation system is safe and reliable.
All Cluj public transportation routes are operated on regular schedule Mon. through Fri., from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
and, on limited schedule during the night, weekend and public holidays
Tickets are inexpensive (the equivalent of $0.50 / trip) and are valid for bus, tram or trolleybus.
For information about Cluj Napoca public transport, including routes, schedules and fares,
please visit the Website of Cluj Transportation Authority (Compania de Transport Public Cluj Napoca)
Daniel - (+4) 0744 158.100
Diesel Taxi - (+4) 0744 646.663
Napoca - (+4) 0744 930.872
Nova - (+4) 0744 959.959
Pritax - (+4) 0744 159.720
Pro Rapid - (+4) 0744 772.696
Terra & Fan - (+4) 0744 664.141
Clima & Confort - (+4) 0742 012.280
Activ Taxi - (+4) 0746 338.153
Galeria Szabo Bela
Address: Piata Unirii 23
Address: Str. Iuliu Maniu 32
Address: Str. Matei Corvin 6
Address: Str. F. D. Roosvelt 3
Address: Str. Taietura Turcului 4
Galeria Uniunii Artistilor Plastici
Address: Str. Iuliu Maniu 2 - 4
Address: Piata Unirii
Cluj Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Address: Blvd. Eroilor 6 - 8
Telephone: (+4) 0264 452.244
The Tourist Information Centre provides maps, brochures
and information on accommodations, restaurants and transportation.
Post offices display a postal horn symbol and the word Posta.
Main Post Office
Address: Str. Regele Ferdinand 33
Mon. - Fri.: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
There are several pharmacies (farmacie) open 24 hours a day in the city.
Emergency Clinic Hospital
(Spitalul Clinic Judetean de Urgenta Cluj)
Address: Str. Clinicilor 3 - 5
Tel: (+4) 0264 592.771
Cluj-Napoca - Useful Telephone Numbers
Cluj-Napoca Area Code (Prefix Cluj-Napoca): 0264 or 0364Ambulance (Ambulanta) — 112
Cluj City Hall
(Primaria Cluj - Napoca)
Address: Calea Moților 3
Telephone: (+4) 0264 596.030
Consumer Protection Agency
(Oficiul pentru Protectia Consumatorilor – Cluj)
Address: Năvodari 2
Telephone: (+4) 0264 431.367