If you visit Cluj by car, during the trip you can enjoy wonderful views, traditional villages, splendid mountain landscapes and you can experience the traditional local culture.
Etymologically, according to historians, the name of the Cluj-Napoca city probably comes from the Latin castrum clus, name given to a medieval fortress (translation: “closed camp”; reference to its sheltered and inaccessible position, because it is located between several hills). The first Romanian name of the city was Cluş, but the name of Cluj became popular after it became part of the Kingdom of Romania (1918). In 1974 the name was changed to Cluj-Napoca, Napoca being the name given to the first settlement, in the Roman period.
Here are 5 reasons why you you should travel to Cluj-Napoca as a tourist:
The food in Cluj is very delicious, and the city has many restaurants with tailor-made dishes. Arriving as a tourist in Cluj-Napoca, it is mandatory to try the famous and traditional “cabbage à la Cluj”, the famous traditional dish of the area.
The cuisine of Cluj-Napoca is a fusion of traditional Romanian dishes, Hungarian and Transylvanian local influences, and a modern twist. Some popular dishes you can try in Cluj-Napoca are:
According to opinions of tourists, the Botanical Garden of Cluj would be in the top of the most beautiful in the country, the arrangements that make the difference being the Japanese garden (it includes a Japanese style house) and the Roman garden (it includes archeological remains, from the time when the place was a Roman colony).
At the northern end, there is the bank of the Someş, a local well-known river, from where the Cetățuia hill dominates, where the tourists can discover the ruins of a fortress dating from the beginning of the 18th century; it is worth this walk especially for the grandiose panorama over Cluj.
Another wonderful view over the city is in winter, from Feleacu hill (the top of the ski slope).
If you’re traveling to Cluj-Napoca, you should not miss Turda Salt Mine, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Romania. It hosts an amusement park (associated with multiple health benefits). This “interesting but hidden gem” is very old and dates back to 50 BC. Hr.
Also near the city is the famous Haia-Baciu haunted forest, where people in the area say that mysterious things are happening – from unexplained lights, unknown creatures wandering through the forest, changing temperatures and even UFOs. For mystery lovers it is definitely a goal to check.
Cluj is the cultural and economic heart of Transylvania. The historic center can be covered in an hour, but abounds in wonders, so you will surely want to linger a few days in the city.
The city center is a mixture of medieval buildings (with high walls and large courtyards), Hungarian and Habsburg. The Austro-Hungarians are grouped around the Union Square.
Once you travel to Cluj-Napoca, we recommend you to visit:
Cluj is a university city. Students are the ones who bring a young spirit to the city. They come from different parts of the country, but also from the world, to study here.
The largest university in Romania, Babeș-Bolyai (its name formed out of the names of two scientists, one Romanian and the other Hungarian, to highlight its bilingual status) is also one of the oldest in the country.
Every year, the city of Cluj hosts the three important music and film festivals of the country, held in spring and summer. The International Film Festival (TIFF) – a launching pad for Romanian films, Electric Castle (usually held in July at Bánffy Castle) and Untold (already a phenomenon that has gained popularity, attracting the best DJs in the world). So, if you’re ever traveling to Cluj, maybe you can plan in advance, so you enjoy some of these important events that happen every year.
During the rest of the year, Cluj is a less touristic city compared to, for example, Bucharest. Therefore, it is less crowded during these periods, and you will be able to enjoy the city and the cultural objectives in peace.
If you’re traveling to Cluj-Napoca, you will definitely find something new to explore. It is a city offering for all budgets, for nature lovers but also for explorers eager for the city. There is also a lot to see around the city.
In addition to all of the above, you also have to know that:
We hope we have given you enough reasons for traveling to Cluj this summer, and to enjoy the experiences that this city has to offer.
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