Bucharest is the political, economic and cultural center of the country. But Romania’s second largest city, Cluj-Napoca, could be your next Romanian destination. We have seven reasons to pick Cluj for your next trip to Romania!
Some say the Alexandru Borza Botanical garden of Cluj is perhaps the most charming in the country. With 10,000 plants, the Romanian species being particularly well represented, it also features a greenhouse where you can admire the Amazon Lotus, as well as two outdoor gardens.
The Japanese Garden in particular, is a top attraction in spring, when the trees are in bloom, as is the Roman Garden, which includes remains from the time the city was a Roman colony.
Cluj has many festivals
Cluj is a city of many festivals. Currently, it hosts two major music festivals, Untold and Electric Castle, as well as Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF). While the first two have turned Cluj into the undisputed Romanian capital of music, with world famous DJs flocking to entertain the crowds, TIFF has long been a top venue for Romanian film directors who want to showcase their latest work.
Besides classic dishes such as Varza a la Cluj, you will be spoilt for choice in the city. The restaurant scene has flourished in recent years, and you will find plenty of bistros, cafes and restaurants in the city’s old center.
Skiing in winter
Winter is a good time to visit too, so if visiting in the colder season grab your skis and head to the Feleacu Hill, only 12 kilometers away from the city. You can enjoy an 800 meters slope, practice your skills on the smaller slope, reserved for beginners, or head straight to the Snowpark.
City is more pocket-friendly
Although the standard of living is leveling up, your daily expenses will set you back a bit less in Cluj than, say, in Bucharest. Especially if you head to the area around Piezisa Street, near the university campus, you will be able to enjoy student life without even being one.
Cluj is less touristy
Cluj is still less touristy than the Romanian capital, Bucharest. This can definitely play to your advantage, as the locals are more eager to engage with tourists. Also, queues to major attractions such as the city’s art museum, or the open-air village museum are practically unheard of.
Salina Turda is a must-visit on your trip to Cluj. This underground salt mine is one of the major attractions you should check out while in Romania, as it comes with an amusement park hidden 120 meters below ground.