Cluj-Napoca

Cluj-Napoca is the largest city in Transylvania and has developed into a vibrant cosmopolitan community. The city has a long history that stretches bak to the Roman period, 2nd century AD. Although the general character of the city is Austro-Hungarian, there are still a number of late Medieval walls and buildings. Cluj-Napoca has a permanent population of about 325,000 as well as ca. 20,000 non-resident students during the academic year. In fact, the Babes-Bolyai University is the second largest in Romania and among the largest universities in Eastern Europe.

The local economy is based upon many thriving businesses and industries, large and small. The major bank based in the city is Banca Transilvania. There are pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, fashion designers and manufacturers, manufacturers of electronic components, plastics and metals, and a major brewery - Ursus beer. The primary foreign investors are German and Italian, while there are also branches of west European and American companies. There are many small business owners, primarily involved in services, including construction and communications. The city hosts about 750,000 overnight guests each year, including ca. 150,000 foreigners.

There are many very good 3- and 4-star hotels in the city, as well as a range of low-cost hotels and hostels. The choice of restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs is now on par with most major European cities. Restaurant cuisine is largely international, and it is almost difficult to find traditional Romanian food. The best choices of lodging and food/drink establishments are within the medieval walls. In the last few years there are many outdoor festivals, including Jazz in the Park and the Untold Festival. The National Theater, the National Opera House, and the Hungarian Theater offer many excellent performances each year.

List of attractions:

St. Michael Cathedral, Reformist Church, the Franciscan Church, the Greco-Catholic Church, the Calvaria Basilica, Piata Unirii with Matthias Corvin statue, house of Matthias Corvin, house of Avram Iancu, the Medieval Wall, Statue of Michael the Brave, National Musuem of Transylvanian History (under renovation since 2009), National Art Gallery, Ethnographic Museum, the Ethnographic Park (with traditional wooden houses), and the Botanical Gardens.

Getting there:

Cluj-Napoca is serviced by a small international airport with direct flights from Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Hungary, and Holland; there are several flights to/from Bucharest each day. Train and bus service are reliable, although buses generally function better in Romania than trains. By car, Cluj-Napoca is about 7 hours from Bucharest, 6 hours from Timisoara, 4.5 hours from Brasov, and 5.5 hours from Budapest.

Statue of Michael the BraveSection of medieval wallSt. Michael's CathedralCluj, street view